Plymouth police cars of 1976: Valiant to Gran Fury

1976 Plymouth police cars (A38)

The muscle car era is usually officially closed with the 1974 models; the Hemi was long gone by then, but the big 440s remained, as did the high-po small-blocks. The writing was on the wall, with soaring gasoline prices, occasional shortages, and new life for smaller cars. The Valiant Brougham drew in many former big-Chrysler, …

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Chrysler’s electric minivans—of the 1990s

epic electric cars

“Who killed the electric car?” asked a movie, some years ago, implying that General Motors deliberately destroyed the rebirth of electrics. The movie ignored Chrysler’s epic electric car program of the same time—a program which sold cars, rather than leasing them, and was something of a success. Made in Plymouth and Dodge versions, the EPIC …

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The diesel slant six: Abandoned contender

1960 Slant Six

In the 1970s, the world was rocked by a series of fuel crises as political conflict suddenly stopped the flow of oil from the Middle East to Europe and North America. Since they didn’t produce much oil on their own (and since many cities had extremely narrow roads), Europeans were used to small, fuel-efficient cars; …

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Future Mopars: Hemi or GME-T6?

Nearly four years ago, I wrote about the “Tornado,” as the turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine then being development was coded (not after the Jeep engine, but the airplane, in line with other Chrysler engine projects). Insiders were certain that the 5.7 Hemi, which was overdue for upgrades—upgrades which had reportedly been at least partly created, …

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The original, tough, military-grade Dodge Power Wagon

The Dodge brothers generally didn’t make trucks; they made cars, and the Graham brothers turned some of them into trucks. Chrysler, acquiring both companies, focused on Dodge for the truck market, which was still too small for more than one corporate brand (Fargo, the Plymouth truck division, was relegated to export duty). Dodge made four …

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First Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Hits the Dyno

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye on the Satera Dyno

The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye has just started showing up in dealerships around the country. According to the details accompanying this video from Satera Tuning, this is one of just nine that have been delivered, with shop owner and new Redeye owner Jeremy Satera picking the car up earlier this week. For most …

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What happened to Mopar’s heavy-duty dual-clutch transmissions?

62TEM or 79REM transmission

Back in the days when there was still a Chrysler Corporation, engineers started working an a manual transmission that shifted itself—a dual-clutch automatic of the style later produced by Fiat, Ford, and others. At the time, such transmissions had never been successfully used in light-duty vehicles, but were used by heavy-duty trucks. The transmission was …

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Inside the “Firefly” or “T4” GSE 1.3 turbo engine

T4 1.3 turbo GSE engine

Years after Fiat and Chrysler came together, a team of engineers from nearly every part of the country, including Americans, Italians, and Brazilians, came together to create brand new small (GSE) and medium-sized (GME) four-cylinder engines. The acronyms stand for “Global Small/Medium Engine;” in Brazil, the GSE is marketed as the FireFly. The first of …

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B (as in “big”) V8 engines

300G cross-ram wedge engine

Despite our headline, the B in “B engines” did not mean “big.” The creation story Chrysler’s first V8 engines (such as the 392 shown below) were a success, but they were only intended for high-end, relatively pricey cars. As more and more customers demanded eight cylinders, though, Chrysler Corporation could not make enough of their …

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