Walter P. Chrysler and the Chrysler Corporation were on a roll in the early 1920s. Early in that decade, Mr. Chrysler had gained control of Maxwell and Chalmers. He replaced the 1924 Chalmers Six with his own new 1924 Chrysler Six at the end of December 1923. He was assisted by his expert engineers Zeder, Skelton and Breer. The 1924 Chrysler featured hydraulic 4-wheel brakes, a high-compression engine and many advances, which propelled this model to popularity.
By mid-1925, the Maxwell was replaced by a new 4-cylinder Chrysler, as the 6-cylinder Chrysler went on. In 1926, Chrysler began using model numbers, with the Six becoming the 70. Model numbers indicated the top speed of the car; soon the 70 was joined by the big Imperial 80 Six, the smaller 60 Six and the 50 Four for 1927.
In 1928, Chrysler acquired Dodge, and in midyear, introduced the new 1929 DeSoto Six and four-cylinder Chrysler-Plymouth (which simply became the Plymouth after January 1929). 1928 had been a banner year for Chrysler, as it had risen to third place in nationwide sales just before its three companion brands were introduced. The 1928 Chrysler models included the 52, 62 and 72, which were restyled in '29 as the 65 and 75, along with the Imperial 80. New models often were introduced several months before that model year began.
On Aug. 8, 1929, the early '30 Chryslers (66, 70, 77 and Imperial 80) made their debut. High-up parking lights on closed models and triangular pennon hood-vent louvers were distinctive features of the revived 70 and the 77, as well as new 4-speed transmissions.
Big news for 1930 was the new Art Deco-style Chrysler Building in New York City, which for one year, was the city's tallest building - at 77 stories - until the 102-story Empire State Building was completed in 1931. But because of the Depression in the early '30s, it took some time to lease out all of the offices in these giant buildings.
A quaint touch on the Chrysler Building was the decorative designs that suggested features of the 1930 Chryslers, even though these would soon look dated when car styles changed.
In the spring of 1930, a new low-priced Chrysler CJ Six joined the slightly larger 66 and soon replaced it. Because of excellent engineering and competitive pricing, Chrysler products sold very well, even in the early '30s, when many other brands failed. GM, Ford and Chrysler Corp. had become the Big Three of motordom!