Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Best of Detroit - 1 Comment

66 Models We Loved at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum – Auburn Hills, Michigan

As the calendar turned from 2012 to 2013, we here at I Love Detroit Michigan were saddened to witness the loss of one of Metro Detroit’s crown jewels of automobile manufacturing culture. On December 31st, 2012, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills closed its doors to the general public for good. We hear rumors that Chrysler Group LLC owns the building and intends to purchase the Museum’s stunning collection of mint classics, and that the building might still be used for museum-like exhibitions; but for now they’ll be strictly private affairs. In the weeks before its closing we made a special effort to chronicle and archive a good portion of the Museum’s holdings for both posterity and the pleasure of Metro Detroit car culture enthusiasts. If you never had the opportunity to peruse the Museum’s amazing collection while it was still open, well, you do now. Enjoy! ~I♥DM

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1902 Rambler Model C I1. 1902 Rambler Model C

Retail price: $750

1,500 Model Cs were produced by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Chicago in 1902.

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1909 Hudson Roadster I2. 1909 Hudson Roadster

Retail price: $900

The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in Detroit in 1909.

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1915 Dodge Touring Car3. 1915 Dodge Touring Car

Retail price: $785

The auto industry’s first mass-produced, all-steel body.

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1917 Willys Knight Touring Car4. 1917 Willys Knight 88-8 Touring Car

Retail price: Low $2,000s to nearly $3,000

The 88-8 was available as a touring car, town car, sedan or limousine.

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1924 Chrysler B-70 Phaeton5. 1924 Chrysler B-70 Phaeton

Retail price: $1,350

The first automobile to bear the Chrysler name.

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1928 Chrysler Model 72 Le Mans Racer Replica II6. 1928 Chrysler Model 72 Le Mans Racer #8 Replica

Retail price of 1928 stock model: $1,500

“In England, the Chrysler became known as ‘the poor man’s Bentley’.”

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1928 Plymouth Model Q Deluxe Coupe I7. 1928 Plymouth Model Q Deluxe Coupe

Retail price: $720

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1929 DeSoto Roadster8. 1929 DeSoto Roadster

Retail price: $845

“DeSoto Motors Corporation sold more than 80,000 cars in its first 12 months in business.”

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1929 Nash 440 Special Six Sedan9. 1929 Nash 440 Special Six Sedan

Retail price: $1,400

“Nash Motors built more than 116,000 cars in 1929.”

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1930 Hudson Model T Coupe10. 1930 Hudson Model T Coupe

Retail price: $925

Hudson sold more than 300,000 cars in 1929, making it the nation’s third largest auto manufacturer, behind Ford and Chevrolet.

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1934 Chrysler Airflow Model CU11. 1934 Chrysler Airflow Model CU

Retail price: $1,350

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1934 Dodge KC Commercial Express Half Ton Pickup12. 1934 Dodge KC Commercial Express Half-Ton Pickup

Retail price: $480

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1934 Plymouth PE Deluxe Coupe13. 1934 Plymouth PE Deluxe Coupe

Retail price: $650

“A 1934 Plymouth cost one hundred more dollars than a Ford but was longer, heavier and better-equipped.”

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1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Rumble Seat Coupe14. 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Rumble Seat Coupe

Retail price: $630

Owned by Judy Sherman of Orchard Lake, Michigan.

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1937 Chrysler Airflow C17 Two Door Coupe I15. 1937 Chrysler Airflow C-17 Two Door Coupe

Retail price: $1,610

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1937 Desoto Convertible Coupe I16. 1937 DeSoto Convertible Coupe

Retail price: $975

Owned by Burke and Karen Brown of Milford, Michigan.

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1939 Dodge Deluxe Town Coupe17. 1939 Dodge Deluxe Town Coupe

Retail price: $1,050

Bodies for this limited-production premium coupe were built for Chrysler by the Hayes Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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1939 Plymouth Convertible Coupe I18. 1939 Plymouth Convertible Coupe

Retail price: $900

Featured a “vacuum-powered convertible top – a Chrysler first.”

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1940 Dodge Pickup19. 1940 Dodge Pickup

Retail price: $600

“By 1940, Dodge was the nation’s fourth-largest truck manufacturer.”

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1940s Chrysler 30 Cylinder Tank Engine20. 1940s Chrysler 30-Cylinder Tank Engine

Retail price: n/a

Five six-cylinder automobile engines bundled around a single crankcase.

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1941 Chrysler Newport I21. 1941 Chrysler Newport

Retail price: n/a

Designed by Ralph Roberts, only six were produced by the Briggs Body Company.

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1941 Chrysler Town and Country Station Wagon22. 1941 Chrysler Town & Country Station Wagon

Retail price: $1,500

“The Chrysler brand’s first ‘woodie.'”

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1941 Dodge Command Car23. 1941 Dodge Command Car

Retail price: n/a

Chrysler’s Dodge Division produced over half a million military vehicles during World War II.

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1943 Willys Overland Jeep MB24. 1943 Willys-Overland Jeep MB

Retail price: n/a

“In 1940 Willys-Overland competed against Ford and American Bantam for a contract to supply the U.S. Army with a four-wheel drive scout vehicle.”

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1945 Willys Overland Jeep CJ 2A25. 1945 Willys-Overland Jeep CJ-2A

Retail price: $1,200

“CJ” stands for “Civilian Jeep”.

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1948 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible I26. 1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible

Retail price: $3,200

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1949 Dodge Half Ton Pickup27. 1949 Dodge Half-Ton Pickup

Retail price: $1,250

“This 1949 Dodge Half-Ton Pickup is in original, unrestored condition — with just 28,500 miles showing on its odometer.”

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1950s Chrysler Air Raid Siren28. 1950s Chrysler Air Raid Siren

Retail price: n/a

“Several hundred HEMI-powered Chrysler Air Raid Sirens were built from 1952 until 1957.”

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1951 Chrysler Saratoga Club Coupe29. 1951 Chrysler Saratoga Club Coupe

Retail price before customizations: $3,000

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1951 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible30. 1951 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible

Retail price: $3,900

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1953 Chrysler Special I31. 1953 Chrysler Special

Retail price: n/a

Custom designed by Virgil Exner.

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1953 Hudson Hornet I32. 1953 Hudson Hornet

Retail price: $2,800

In 1954 Hudson merged with Nash to form the American Motors Corporation.

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1954 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible I33. 1954 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible

Retail price: $3,650

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1955 Chrysler 300 II34. 1955 Chrysler 300

Retail price: $4,100

“Nicknamed the ‘banker’s hot rod’, the 300 was America’s first modern muscle car.”

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1955 Dodge La Femme35. 1955 Dodge La Femme

Retail price: $2,600

Painted in “Sapphire White” and “Heather Rose”.

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1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer D 500 I36. 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer D-500

Retail price: $2,650

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1956 Imperial Southampton Coupe I37. 1956 Imperial Southampton Coupe

Retail price: $4,700

In ’56, “Chrysler’s flagship Imperial line was spun off into a separate car line to compete head-to-head with luxury car rivals Cadillac and Lincoln.”

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1957 Dodge Sweptside Pickup38. 1957 Dodge Sweptside Pickup

Retail price: $2,200 with custom cab

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1957 Plymouth Fury I39. 1957 Plymouth Fury

Retail price: $2,900

Plymouth’s first “premium-priced high-performance model.”

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1964 Dodge Color Me Gone Model 33040. 1964 Dodge “Color Me Gone” Model 330

Retail price: n/a

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1966 Dodge Charger41. 1966 Dodge Charger

Retail price: $3,150

Introduced in mid-1966, all Charger models were powered by V-8 engines.

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1967 Plymouth Fury III Convertible42. 1967 Plymouth Fury III Convertible

Retail price: $3,200

One of only 4,523 Fury III Convertibles built in 1967.

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1968 American Motors AMX43. 1968 American Motors AMX

Retail price: $3,300

“This 1968 AMX was restored in AMC’s Kenosha, Wisconsin Assembly Plant in the early 1980s.”

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1968 Dodge Charger44. 1968 Dodge Charger

Retail price: $3,500

“Bobby Isaac — who went on to win the 1970 NASCAR driver’s championship — campaigned a Dodge Charger in 1968.”

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1968 Dodge Hemi Charger RT45. 1968 Dodge Hemi Charger RT

Retail price: $3,480

“This vehicle was used in the 2011 movie Fast Five starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.”

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1968 Dodge Hemi Dart46. 1968 Dodge Hemi Dart

Retail price before customizations: $5,194

With this Dodge Dart, Larry Griffith won two United Drag Racing Association Super Stock Championships.

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1969 Plymouth Road Runner47. 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Retail price: $3,100

“The 1969 Plymouth Road Runner was Motor Trend magazine’s ‘car of the year’.”

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1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda III48. 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda (Purple)

Retail price: $3,104

“The ‘Cuda had the option of five different engines, and many high performance upgrades inside and out.”

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1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda49. 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda (Orange)

Retail price: $3,200

“Fewer than 700 ‘Cuda coupes were built for 1970 — and just 18 convertibles.”

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1970 Plymouth Valiant Duster 34050. 1970 Plymouth Valiant Duster 340

Retail price: $2,600

“After a 16-year production run, the last Plymouth Valiant was built in mid-1976.”

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1972 Dodge Charger SE51. 1972 Dodge Charger SE

Retail price: $3,249

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1973 Jeep CJ 552. 1973 Jeep CJ-5

Retail price: $3,100

The CJ-5 was a staple of the Jeep product line from 1954 to 1983.

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1976 Chrysler Cordoba53. 1976 Chrysler Cordoba

Retail price: $5,600

“The most memorable elements of Cordoba marketing were the endorsements of actor Ricardo Montalban.”

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1981 Plymouth Reliant K54. 1981 Plymouth Reliant K

Retail price: $6,350

“The Reliant was the lowest cost offering of all Chrysler K cars.”

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1982 AMC Eagle SX 455. 1982 AMC Eagle SX/4

Retail price: $7,800

Chrysler acquired the American Motors Corporation in 1987.

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1982 Dodge PPG M4S Turbo Interceptor56. 1982 Dodge PPG M4S Turbo Interceptor

Retail price: n/a

Top speed of 194 miles per hour.

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1984 Plymouth Voyager Minivan57. 1984 Plymouth Voyager Minivan

Retail price: $9,100

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1985 Dodge Shelby Charger58. 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger

Retail price: $9,553

Dodge produced 7,709 Carroll Shelby designed Chargers in 1985.

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1986 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible59. 1986 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible

Retail price: $17,600

“Injection molded plastic imitation wood trim replaced the hand crafted ash of the original.”

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1995 Patriot Hybrid Race Car Concept60. 1995 Patriot Hybrid Race Car Concept

Retail price: n/a

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1997 Dodge Viper GTS R I61. 1997 Dodge Viper GTS-R

Retail price: n/a

“This very early GTS-R was the first pilot vehicle for the entire Dodge Viper Racing Program.”

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1997 Plymouth Prowler62. 1997 Plymouth Prowler

Retail price: $39,000

“Chrysler ceased building Plymouth Brand vehicles in 2001.”

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2001 Evernham Winston Cup NASCAR Prototype63. 2001 Evernham Winston Cup NASCAR Prototype

Retail price: n/a

“In February 2001, Dodge competed in its first NASCAR stock car race in 22 years.”

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2002 Dodge Razor Concept64. 2002 Dodge Razor Concept

Retail price: n/a

“Equipped with two matching ‘Razor’ kick scooters mounted behind its seats.”

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2003 Dodge Tomahawk Motorcycle65. 2003 Dodge Tomahawk Motorcycle

Retail price: $550,000

“Hand-built examples of the Tomahawk were to be offered through the Nieman Marcus catalog at a price of $550,000, but none were ever produced for sale.”

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2005 Chrysler Firepower Concept66. 2005 Chrysler Firepower Concept

Retail price: n/a

Debuted at Detroit’s NAIAS in 2005.

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[Editor’s Note: All info in quotes taken directly from informational placards inside the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. Click on any photo to see it enlarged.]

1937 Desoto Convertible Coupe II

About the author

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Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.

1 Comment

  1. Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:05 am

    […] I Love Detroit MI | 66 Models at the … – As the calendar turned from 2012 to 2013, we here at I Love Detroit Michigan were saddened to witness the loss of one of Metro Detroit’s crown jewels of … […]

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