Franco American Motors

John Gunnell |

The first car in my life was my dad’s 1937 Plymouth. By the mid ’50s, he finally wore out that reliable Mopar and purchased a gorgeous ’49 De Soto that he drove well into the ’60s. In the early ’60s, we became a two-car family, but the ’57 Ford didn’t last as long as the Mopars and was eventually replaced by a ’57 Chrysler Saratoga four-door hardtop — the car I learned to drive on. Dad went on to buy a Dodge Dart later and that Slant Six powered compact lasted and lasted again. While he was still driving the Dart, I moved to Wisconsin to work for Old Cars Weekly and I purchased a ’63 Chrysler Sport 300.Though it wasn’t a letter car, the 300 suited me to a “T.” That car lasted a good long time, too.

Dad’s Mopars and my 300 didn’t adhere to the concept of planned obsolesence. Anything Chrysler built in the 1940s-early 1970s was known as a well-engineered, long-lasting machine. Maybe the people at Fiat should make a note of this. If they really want the new “Franco American Motors” to succeed, they ought to just focus on building a car that you or I could count on for years and years. If Chrysler followed a simple concept like that, what other car would we ever want?

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