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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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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Slant Six, the unlikely rock star

1960 Slant Six

In the late 1950s, Chrysler engineers, wrapping up work on its last V8 engine families (until 1999), started working on a new six-cylinder. It would become a legend—but it may not have come at all, had things been just a little different. Slant six development story Chrysler’s first V8 engines, developed after World War II …

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