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Heritage Overview

History buffs rejoice. Here’s a comprehensive look at the intriguing evolution of an American automaker. The Company’s story in the United States predates the founding of the automaker itself. Here you will see the faces that formed this company’s heritage and learn about the brilliant contributions those pioneers made to the automotive industry. Explore the history of the Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge brands as well as such predecessor marques as DeSoto, Hudson, Nash, Plymouth, Rambler and Willys-Overland. 

 Walter P. Chrysler built the​ company on strong engineering and a design reputation that is unequalled in the industry, even to this day. Many of the company’s engineering breakthroughs are now standard equipment on major manufacturer vehicles around the world.​

 A Heritage of Innovation and Engineering Firsts

All automobile manufacturers build vehicles, but FCA US LLC creates entirely new automotive categories. Our leadership and innovation earned us the label of Detroit’s “engineering company.” Our innovation has stretched from pioneering automotive wind tunnel development with Orville Wright1 to ushering in the era of modern automotive aerodynamic design.

Here are o​ur proud “firsts”:

  • Automatic overdrive: 1934
  • Power-assisted convertible tops: 1939
  • Safety rim wheels: 1941
  • All steel body station wagon: 1946
  • Key operated combination ignition and starter: 1949
  • Power windows: 1950
  • Power steering: 1951
  • Cruise control: 1958
  • Alternator: 1960
  • Mating of four-wheel-drive and automatic transmission: 1963
  • Front-wheel-drive minivan: 1984
  • Airbag as standard: 1988
  • Integrated child seat: 1992  
1Orville Wright™ by The Wright family Foundation, and under the license through Corbis, Corporation.​


FCA US LLC History: A diorama in the Walter P. Chrysler Museum depicting Walter P Chrysler in his machine shop. In the foreground are his original handmade tools.


Walter P. Chrysler’s tool box: Walter made these tools when he was a locomotive mechanic for the railroad in the late 1800s.


Walter P. Chrysler with the first Production Chrysler model at his home in Great Neck, New York circa 1924.


Historical Services

FCA US is pleased to be able to assist vehicle restorers, collectors and scholars with information from the corporate archives.


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About FCA US

Learn about FCA US LLC, a North American automaker with a new name and a long history.