Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Historical Timeline 1960-1969

Selec​t Period: 1800s | 1900s | '10s'20s | '30s | '40s | '50s | '60s | '70s | '80s | '90s | 2000s | '10s



Chrysler Engineering First:  Alternating current generator [alternator].

Chrysler Engineering First:  Electroluminescent instrument panel lighting.

The new Plymouth-based Dodge Dart is introduced to replace Plymouths at Dodge dealers in
the U. S.

The new DeSoto Diplomat car, built for export, is based on the Dodge Dart.

The DeSoto line is reduced to the Fireflite and the Adventurer, both riding on a 122-inch wheelbase.

The new compact Valiant car is introduced as a separate brand. 

Unibody construction – engineered for the first time with the help of computers – is introduced for all car lines except Imperial.

Another major Chrysler engineering first, the alternator, is introduced as standard equipment on the new Valiant and as an option on all other cars.   

The McGraw Glass Plant in Detroit begins operation.

William Newberg is appointed President of Chrysler Corporation.  L. L. Colbert becomes Chairman of the Board.

L. L. Colbert replaces William Newberg as President.

Highlighting this year’s idea cars is the Plymouth XNR.

The twelve-millionth Plymouth, the eight-millionth Dodge and the two-millionth DeSoto are built.


Imperial production reverts to the Jefferson Avenue plant for the 1962 models; the Graham/DeSoto/Imperial plant is sold.

Assembly of the Dodge Polara is moved to Jefferson Avenue.

With its product line reduced to a two-door and four-door hardtop, the DeSoto line enters its final year.

At Plymouth-DeSoto dealers the DeSoto line is replaced by Chrysler; a new, lower-priced Chrysler Newport moves into the old DeSoto market.

The Dodge Lancer, counterpart to the Valiant, is introduced for Dodge dealers as Valiant officially becomes part of the Plymouth line in the U. S.

George H. Love is elected Chairman of the Board and Lynn A. Townsend is named President of Chrysler Corporation.

Virgil Exner leaves Chrysler and Elwood Engel is named head of corporate styling.

New idea cars are the TurboFlite and Dodge FliteWing.


The new Dodge Custom 880 replaces the old Polara series in the medium-price range.

New “B-Body” Plymouths and Dodges are introduced, based on a smaller version of Virgil Exner’s “S-Body” theme.


The Chrysler line is restyled based on the “S” Body, becoming the final cars to embody Exner’s ideas.

Chrysler Engineering First:  Limited-production gas turbine automobile.

The Dodge Lancer is replaced by the new Dodge Dart in the compact market.

Chrysler increases its holdings in SIMCA to 63 percent.

Newly-acquired Therm-O-Rite Products Ltd. of Toronto becomes Chrysler Airtemp Canada, Ltd.

The corporation acquires Chrysler Hella, S. A. I., Greece.

Plymouth announces development of the Plymouth Super Stock 426-II engine.

Sam Hanks, winner of the 1957 Indianapolis 500, drives a Chrysler pace car to start the field for the 1963 race.

The 273-CID V-8 engine is introduced as an option in the 1964 Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart cars.

The thirteen-millionth Plymouth vehicle is built.


The nine-millionth Dodge and the four-millionth Chrysler are built.

The Plymouth Barracuda is introduced, several weeks before the Ford Mustang – prompting some devotees to say that “pony cars” should really be called “fish cars.”

“Average” motorists – all Chrysler customers -- are given the opportunity to conduct extensive road tests on fifty elegant new Chrysler Turbine cars, featuring handcrafted Ghia bodies.

Chrysler purchases thirty percent of voting stock and 50 percent of non-voting stock of the Rootes Group of the United Kingdom, builders of Sunbeam and Hillman cars and other car and truck product lines.

California Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board approves its first U. S. –developed exhaust control system, engineered by Chrysler Corporation.

Chrysler Credit Corporation is formed.

The Dodge Charger show car is displayed.

Richard Petty debuts the 426 HEMI® racing engine and laps the field while winning the Daytona 500 as HEMI®-powered Plymouths sweep Daytona 1-2-3.

A. J. Foyt wins the Firecracker 400 at Daytona; Plymouths or Dodges lead every lap.

HEMI®-powered stock cars win 26 of the 62 NASCAR Grand National Races.

Richard Petty captures his first of seven driving championships with eight wins and 37 top-five finishes.

Don Garlits breaks the 200 mph quarter-mile barrier in his HEMI®-powered dragster – 201.34 mph in 7.78 seconds.

Jim Thornton wins 1964 U. S. Nationals in Ramchargers “Candymatic” 426 HEMI® Dodge.

Jim Paschal wins NASCAR World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a HEMI®-powered Plymouth.


The new “C-body” for 1965 moves the Plymouth Fury and Dodge Polara into the “standard” size category.

A stylish example of the “C-body” cars, a Plymouth Sport Fury convertible, serves as pace car for the 1965 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.   

The “B-body” models become the Plymouth Belvedere and the Dodge Coronet.

The Sterling Heights, Michigan stamping plant is completed.

A new aluminum die casting plant is completed in Kokomo, Indiana.

The Lynch Road plant adds a new foundry and expands to a second car line for Plymouth production.

The last Crown Imperial limousine is built by Ghia in Italy.

Chrysler acquires the outboard engine business of West Bend Company of Hartford, Wisconsin and the Lone Star Boat Company of Plano, Texas, forming the Chrysler Boat Corporation.

Show cars include the Plymouth XP-VIP and the Dodge Charger II.

The fourteen-millionth Plymouth vehicle is manufactured. 

NASCAR outlaws the HEMI® for racing by setting minimum production levels for street use.

Bob Summers sets a 409.227 mph land speed record for vehicles with powered wheels and normally-aspirated engines in “Goldenrod,” which uses four HEMI® engines in tandem.

Shirley Shahan becomes the first female to win a major National Hot Rod Association event, driving a HEMI® Plymouth.


The ten-millionth Dodge vehicle is manufactured.

New Chrysler assembly plant opens in Belvidere, Illinois.

Chrysler Engineering First:  Safety front shoulder harness.

Chrysler Engineering First:  Self-contained rear-heater/defroster system.

Chrysler assumes marketing of Rootes and Simca products.

K. T. Keller dies.

The Dodge Charger is introduced.

Among this year’s show cars is the Chrysler 300-X.

The fifteen-millionth Plymouth is built.  

Chrysler builds the “Street HEMI®” and returns to racing.

Richard Petty again wins the Daytona 500 in a HEMI®-powered Plymouth.

HEMI® Dodge Charger wins the NASCAR championship; Plymouth is second.

Norm Nelson wins the United States Auto Club stock car championship with seven wins in a HEMI® Plymouth.


Lynn A. Townsend is elected Chairman of the Board and Virgil E. Boyd is named President of Chrysler Corporation.

Chrysler acquires Redisco, Inc., from American Motors Corporation and integrates it with Chrysler Credit to form Chrysler Financial Corporation.

Chrysler buys 77 percent of Barreiros Diesel S. A. (Spain).

Chrysler’s interest in Chrysler do Brasil (Brazil) reaches 92 percent.

Show cars this year include the Plymouth Barracuda Formula SX and the Dodge Deora.

Richard Petty wins a remarkable 27 Grand National races in a HEMI® Plymouth, including ten in a row.

Petty wins his second NASCAR championship in a HEMI® Plymouth.

Don White’s Charger gives HEMI® cars their second USAC championship in a row.


The five-millionth Chrysler and the eleven-millionth Dodge vehicles are built.

Show cars this year include the Dodge Charger III.

The sixteen-millionth Plymouth is built.

Sox and Martin win three major American Hot Rod Association events; Ronnie Sox is named AHRA Driver of the Year.

Dodge and Plymouth produce a limited number of 426 HEMI® Super Stock Darts and Barracudas.

Road Runner, the first “budget” muscle car and available with an optional 426 HEMI®, is introduced by Plymouth.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Chrysler Corporation enter into a joint strategic agreement.

Chrysler Engineering First:  Auxiliary driving light using quartz halogen bulbs.

This year’s show cars include the Plymouth Duster I and the Dodge Custom Swinger 340.

The seventeen-millionth Plymouth and the twelve-millionth Dodge car are produced.

Dodge introduces the Charger 500 HEMI®, which wins 22 NASCAR races.

The “winged” 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona with HEMI® power reigns over NASCAR super speedways.