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Chrysler : The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius

4.14 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Here is a richly detailed account of one of the most important men in American automotive history, based on full access to both Chrysler Corporation and Chrysler family historical records. Chrysler emerges as a man who loved machines, an accomplished mechanic who also had highly developed managerial skills derived from half a lifetime on the railroads, a man whose success came from his deep understanding of engineering and his total commitment to the quality of his vehicles. Vincent Curcio traces Chrysler's rise from a locomotive wiper in a Kansas roundhouse to the head of the Buick Division of General Motors, to his rescue of the Maxwell-Chalmers car company, which led to the successful development of the 1924 Chrysler-the world's first modern car-and the formation of Chrysler Corporation in 1925. Chrysler was quite different from the other auto giants-a colorful and expansive man, deeply involved in the design of his cars, a maverick in establishing his headquarters in New York City, in the world's most famous art deco structure, the fabled Chrysler Building, which he built and helped to design. Because of his emphasis on quality at popular prices, the company weathered the Great Depression with flying colors-losing money only in the rock-bottom year of 1932-and despite the market fiasco of the Chrysler Airflow (which was years ahead of its time), the company grew and remained profitable right up to Chrysler's death in 1940. The definitive portrait, Walter P. Chrysler is must reading for all car enthusiasts and for everyone interested in the story of a giant of industry.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 720 pages
  • 154 x 234 x 40mm | 979.75g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones, 1 frontispiece
  • 0195147057
  • 9780195147056
  • 611,678

Review quote

"The lives of auto magnates William C. Durant, founder of General Motors, and Henry Ford have been well chronicled, but the remaining founding partner of the Big Three automaking triumvirate is generally known only by name and by the skyscraper he built in New York.... With full access to Chrysler company records and family archives, [Curcio] meticulously details the events in Chrysler's life as a skillful railroad mechanic, automobile designer and manufacturer, and tycoon."-Booklist "Curcio's robust, engaging portrait is chock-full of lore from the classic automobile era, as it sets the Chrysler saga against the backdrop of the roaring 20's, the Depression and the labor unrest of the 1930s" -Publishers Weekly This dynamic biography brings a surprisingly neglected giant out of the shadows. * Publishers Weekly, June 2000 * "Walter P. Chrysler is the subject of a splendid new biography by Curcio...the book has been rigorously researched and reads well. Highly recommended for larger public libraries" -Library Journal "A definitive full-length biography of an exceptional leader who helped raise the American standard of living"- Kirkus (starred review) "Mr. Curcio's research deserves respect. His book will be the definitive starting point for anyone who wants to attempt a less hefty biography of the charismatic man behind that beautiful Manhattan spire."-The Wall Street Journal this splendid new biography * Richard Drezen, Library Journal, June 1 2000 * has been rigorously researched and reads well * Richard Drezen, Library Journal, June 1 2000 * as much a history of the auto industry and the wheeler-dealer world of pre-1929 as it is biography. * Times, July 2000 *show more

About Vincent Curcio

Vincent Curcio, a veteran theatrical manager-producer, is the author of Suicide Blonde, a biography of Gloria Grahame. A long-time car enthusiast, he lives in Union City, New Jersey.show more

Rating details

34 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 41% (14)
4 38% (13)
3 18% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 3% (1)
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