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Mopar A Body
Throughout its illustrious history, Chevrolet has established a reputation for producing fantastic cars and backing their products with quality service. Started in 1925 by Walter Chrysler, the DaimlerChrysler corporation has grown from its humble Detroit roots to become one of the biggest automakers in the world. The parent company for such respected automotive brands like Dodge, Plymouth, American Motors Corporation (AMC), Imperial, DeSoto, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz, Chrysler has been responsible for producing a number of classic automobiles that have played a role in writing the history of cars in the country.
While its production team is among the best, one of Chryslerís biggest assets is its automobile parts and service division, moparts. Short for motor parts, moparts has become a part of the car enthusiastís vernacular due to their history for producing innovative products. People remember the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s fondly and mopar parts had a big role in creating this legend through its creation of the 426 hemi. However, mopar muscle cars isnít the lone legacy of Chryslerís mopar division. One of the most successful products created by mopar was itís a body platform.
The mopar a body platform was created out of necessity. The automotive industry is such a competitive industry because there is a constant demand for innovation and improvement. This is primarily due to the fact that automakers feel compelled to copy the successes of other automakers, which is how the mopar a body platform developed.
Flashback to 1958 and you will see the engineers and designers at the Chrysler corporation reacting to news of Chevroletís newest creation: the Chevrolet Corvair. A compact car, the Chevrolet Corvair would become one of the most popular cars of its time. Realizing that they didnít have a car that could compete against the chevrolet corvair, the people at mopar quickly went to work in designing and producing a compact car. What they came up with was the a body platform that would be introduced with the Plymouth Valiant in 1960.
While Plymouth may not have been the automaker to think of the compact car, they managed to find ways to innovate it due to the work of the engineers at mopar. It was around this time that mopar began to really cement its reputation for producing fantastic mopar performance parts that made their cars reliable and powerful. Through the intuition of these engineers, mopar quickly went to work in producing a new engine that was small enough for a compact car.
Recognizing that the Chevrolet Corvairís engine could be improved upon due to the many problems that it had, the people at mopar decided that they would create a front engine car that had six cylinders. Due to space restrictions, mopar engineers decided to place the engine at a slant in order for it to fit under the package tray. This new engine would be called the Slant Six and would become justifiably praised as one of the best mopar parts that Chrysler had every produced.
Considered by car enthusiasts as one of the two best engines that Chrysler has ever produced (the other is the hemi v8 engine), the Slant 6 engine was a technical marvel that utilized a water pump that allowed its engineers to reduce the engineís overall length. The mopar Slant-6 engine was also equipped with intake and exhaust manifolds that meant that the engineís six cylinders were able to distribute fuel more efficiently and increased the airflow in the engine.
With the development of the slant 6 engine by mopar, Chrysler designers were able to take advantage of the extra space by reducing hood lines for the a body platform. When the Plymouth Valiant was released, it was a considerable success. The popularity of moparís six cylinder engine and their A body platform made other automakers under Chryslerís line take notice. In 1961, Dodge was awarded with their own version of the Plymouth Valiant which they released as the Dodge Lancer. The popularity of the mopar a body platform led to Dodge deciding to completely renovate its revered Dart car so it was also an A body platform, thus replacing the Dodge Lancer.
Although the a body platform was considered a success, the people at mopar still felt that it could use a bit of tinkering. In 1964, the Plymouth Barracuda was released and it came with a V8 engine that increased the power of the Chrysler compact cars. The a body platform continued to be successful and led to mopar branching out from the compact car market to create wide body a body cars. These new vehicles were available as the Plymouth Barracuda, Plymouth Valiant, and the Dodge Dart.
The success of the mopar a body platform made it one of the biggest successes in Chryslerís considerable history. The A body platform would be used for such popular cars as the Plymouth Valiant, the Dodge Dart, the Plymouth Barracuda, the Plymouth Scamp, the Plymouth Duster, the Dodge lancer, and the Dodge Demon. The A body platform would eventually be discontinued in 1976 after a remarkable sixteen year production run. While the A body platform was still popular at the time of its discontinuation, Chrysler felt that this was the right time to switch to a new platform.
The replacement of the mopar A body platform was the f body platform. The mopar f body platform was heavily based on the A body platform and was quiet similar in the car noses. While the F Body platform would be greeted with immediate success, it would not have the same considerable staying power as the mopar A body platform. While, Chryslerís mopar division continues to tinker with new car body designs that can match the A body platformís success, car enthusiasts continue to search for classic cars that have the refined and practical look of the A body platform. The success of the A body platform and the innovation of the Slant Six engine are remembered fondly as being creations that cemented Chryslerís mopar division as household names for car lovers.