By on September 3, 2016

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The seaside city-state of Monaco is no stranger to yachts, but in late 1973 an American barge powered by a smog-strangled V8 appeared on its shores.

Chrysler Corporation was on site to film a TV commercial for the new full-size Dodge Monaco, a conservatively styled model with terrible timing. The model’s name evoked glamour and elegance, and the automaker hoped some of the glitz would rub off on the redesigned ’74 full-sizer.

There was another reason for the location shoot. A very special guest would appear in the ad — Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly American actress Grace Kelly). And the princess would help sell the car, whether she wanted to or not.

As a 1950s starlet, Kelly was the embodiment of glamour and style, starring in box office blockbusters like To Catch a Thief and Rear Window. Her fairytale marriage to Prince Rainier III in 1956 ended her acting career, but her new role as princess elevated her to almost mythical status. Still glamorous, but now with a touch of magic — everything the 1974 Monaco was not.

Obviously, Princess Grace wasn’t prepared to sling Chrysler C-bodies, but her consent wasn’t needed. The automaker had acquired the rights to the promotional film Monaco Now, directed by Francois Reichenbach. It had all the necessary action shots of happy Monacans living the high life, with the added bonus of a narration by Princess Grace.

So, Chrysler ran all the best parts in its ad, kept the princess’s narration (she’s discussing the wonders of Monaco, not the car), then had a Monaco hardtop roll up to the Hotel Metropole to close out the commercial. What a (sort of) celebrity endorsement!

Sneaky, sure. Transparent? Definitely. But hey, it’s the ad business. And the drinking-at-noon, lampshade-on-head era wasn’t over. When Chrysler Corp. turned the upscale Monaco Custom into the Royal Monaco for 1975, Princess Grace unwittingly promoted that model, too.

Chrysler lined up a number of real endorsements for its ’74 and ’75 ad campaigns, but marketing wasn’t the automaker’s biggest problem. The messy realm of politics and international diplomacy had a nasty surprise in store for Chrysler and its overweight, Baroque beasts.

The OPEC oil crisis kicked off days after the ’74 models went on sale. Gas pumps across the U.S. dried up and fuel prices shot up. The 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, hastily enacted by the Nixon administration, put an end to all-day 75 mph cruising in your V8-powered living room.

It was a terrible time to launch a vehicle of such generous proportions, especially one with a 421 cubic-inch V8 as a base engine. Americans turned to six-cylinder compact and intermediate cars to weather the storm, causing the full-size C-bodies to land with a thud.

The powers that be at Chrysler had no control over an oil embargo, and the ’73-74 crisis kicked off a steady decline for the automaker, which ended the decade teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. (The rushed-to-production 1976 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare twins — and their associated recall costs — helped speed up the process.)

Glamour and faux endorsements can only go so far in battling poor quality and a bad balance sheet.

[Image: Classic Film/Flickr]

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128 Comments on “That Time Chrysler Bought a Princess’s Dodge ‘Endorsement’...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    It’s great to see that Chrysler really learned its lesson from 1974 and has become a leader in light weight, fuel efficient powertrain, hybrid and electric car technologies.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      That etched my glasses.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The 1978 Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon were far more advanced than the Pinto or Chevette they competed against. Ford didn’t have an answer until 1981, and GM just had to wait for fuel prices to go back down. The company that is playing ostrich over current fascist regulations is Fiat. Chrysler is long dead.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Chrysler fell azz backwards into the Omnirizon, they didn’t set out to create a fuel efficient car, they just grabbed what they could at the time.

        At least Ford and GM came by their compacts honest, even if they were junk.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I’m not sure why you think that’s the case, but Chrysler owned Simca while they developed much of their FWD technology and then there wasn’t much carryover to the US Omni from the Talbot Horizon anyway. Many of the US-friendly features of the Plymouth and Dodge models were purely home grown, like the excellent Torqueflite automatics, the power steering, the coil spring suspension, and the incorporation of effective air conditioning. Other than the body styling of the 4-doors and the dash caps, what did the French and US products have in common in 1978? The US car reached production about six months before the French one sporting an engine design derived from a VW-Audi, a homegrown suspension and automatic, and all the creature comforts expected by US customers. The French car was a reskinned Alpine, ancient OHV engines and all. I don’t see how Chrysler accidentally launched a subcompact with up-to-the-moment technology in a body that Simca would be using the following season to update its model line.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Good points, but the torqueflite was a longitudinal design from the late ’50s modified for the Omni/Horizon because they didn’t have a proper automatic transaxle. It would be another few years before the Chrysler 2.2 engine took over from the VW and Simca engines.

            1975 marked the final escape of Chrysler from rule by accountant Lynn Townsend. The Omni/Horizon came from John Riccardo who replaced Townsend in 1975, and begged Iacocca to take over in 1978.

            If you want to know how Townsend nearly killed Chrysler, read Iacocca’s book, detailing how he fired dozens of vice-presidents, and noted he not only didn’t have the numbers he needed to properly run the company, there was no system in place to generate the numbers. Under those circumstances, the Omni/Horizon was a miracle.

            VoGo’s joke is funny, but applies only to the Sergio dictatorship. By the 1990s, Chrysler was a VERY well-run outfit, with excellent engineering chops and major profits – until Iacocca’s biggest mistake, successor Bob Eaton sold out the company to Daimler-Benz. Iacocca didn’t care for Maximum Bob Lutz,and chose GM-lifer Eaton to replace him, later admitting he made the wrong move.

            Some commenters here seem to think Chrysler was ALWAYS a third rate outfit, but the hemi, torquflite, auto air conditioning, and slant six didn’t come from thin air. The company had a long history of excellence in engineering drivetrains, and of beancounters nickel and diming almost everything else. Under Sergio, it’s ALL nickel and diming, with smoke and mirrors thrown in.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy67

            IIRC–never a given–Chrysler was also first to use alternators instead of generators.

            Side note: Was looking to diagnose possible alternator issue in my Mustang, but the official Ford shop manual had nothing in the index for ‘alternator.’ Finally found the info under ‘generator;’ which I thought odd (or is this a trend?). I guess, technically, an alternator IS just a type of generator.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “modified for the Omni/Horizon because they didn’t have a proper automatic transaxle.”

            what exactly was “improper” about the A413 transaxle? it was a planetary gear 3-speed automatic, just like pretty much every other one on the market. It even stayed in the lineup until the 2000s (as the 31TH) thanks to Nickel-and-Daimler’s, uh, nickel-and-diming.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Fascist?

        “Countries with fascist elements and ideologies present in their governments include Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia, Venezuela, Bolivia, France, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Hungary.”

        I don’t see USA on that list.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m guessing that a ’74 Monaco today is worth more than any six-cylinder compact or intermediate from that time. So Delorean-style silver lining I suppose.

    The ’74 Monaco also became a real movie star in 1980.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    “Unmistakenly New”???

    What kind of tagline is that? All products begin life new, including the crappy ones. Was that really the best thing they could say about their product?

    One thing has occurred to me after articles on all these retro car ads. Whatever happened to the cheesy ad jingle? It seemed to die sometime in the 1980s.

  • avatar

    TTAC is a website that is focused on all things automotive. If this post had been featured in a non-automotive blog, I’d give it a pass. But as it’s not, I’m going to bitch.

    A 421 cubic inch powerplant is a Pontiac engine. Wikipedia is wrong, Steph. I just looked up to see where you got that 421 number…

    http://www.allpar.com/mopar.html

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      360 was the base engine, (400 on Brougham) 400 and 440 optional. Have a quick google of the brochure for 1974.
      I’m not a Mopar expert, but I’ve never heard of them having a 421.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        They didn’t have a 421. I have a friend who had a tri-power 421 Pontiac Catalina many moons ago. We’d take a hi-speed drive from Anaheim to around the Dana Pt. area to do some surfing and you could almost see the gas needle steadily move toward empty.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Wow. The Wikipedia Dodge Monaco page is a travesty. “The Monaco got a smaller standard V8 for ’72. The 320 cu in (5.2 L) B-block V8 engine, which had been introduced in ’71 as an option on Polaras, developed 210 horsepower (160 kW), now measured as net instead of gross. Still the 320 was a new created V8 B engine 368 cu in (6.0 L) B-block V8. The 440 or 482 remained available, but it now produced 275 horsepower (205 kW) (net).”

      The 320 ci “B-block V8” was a “new created V8 B engine 368 cu in (6.0 L) B-block V8.” Too bad it was an LA that displaced 318 ci, as was the 360 ci (5.9 L) engine offered to compensate for the reduction in compression ratios to make aging technology work with unleaded fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Also, “Monegasque” is how one describes the residents of Monaco. “Monacans” is a group of rebels in “Aeon Flux.”

      Hey, if you’re gonna write professionally, particularly on a website that posts Baruth’s (deserved) critiques on other so-called internet journalists, you’d better make sure your ducks are in a row.

  • avatar
    Edsel

    Chrysler should have disappeared back then. I remember watching new 1973 Dodge & Plymouth cars rolling off carriers at a dealer with huge panel gaps, bubbling paint, and misaligned trim. They’re still producing junk.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Since most every other aspect of Steph’s work has been attacked, in a rude fashion I will change the direction of the discussion.

    The Energy Crisis. I did see Johnny’s comment praising Ford and GM for their inadequate foray into the small fuel efficient vehicles.

    The reality is this is what gave the Japanese and Europeans a lift in the global vehicle industry. The Japanese and Europeans were making global products that could be used in any nation, unlike the US that produce “mobile living rooms”, not that there is much wrong with that other than limiting your market to one market more or less.

    Did the US auto makers learn from this era? Obviously not. They still are heavily reliant on producing and protecting large vehicle production with crazy technical barriers, massive tariffs, etc.

    The mainstay of the US auto industry is still base heavily on large vehicle production for the everyday driver.

    Look at CAFE. It’s now only just starting to force these large vehicles, ie, pickups, SUVs, CUVs improve their FE. Whereas previously they were protected from such measures.

    Cars were forced to make larger changes.

    Chrysler up until now with FCA mainly produce vehicles with a low FE rating. When will this change?

    When will the so called “trucks” like CUVs, SUVs, pickups come into line with car regulations?

    The US vehicle market is more fragile because of this. Why do you think the chicken tax has not been removed? When the next energy crisis arises and it will you will see the wheels fall off the cart completely.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The 69-73 Fuselage C-Body Mopars were just better quality cars than the redesigned 74’s. The Lean Burn system was quite problematic as well as the ignition resistor. I do have a soft spot for the retractable headlights on the Royal Monoco.

    The big-3 were caught in a bad way when the 73-4 Oil Embargo hit because their full-sizers were larger and not more fuel efficient than their previous models.

    Princess Grace sadly met her end in a Rover 3500TC. At least it had the wonderful Buick 215.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Well at least Chrysler Monaco had gracefull Kelly’s voice and not Lincoln’s William Conrad paunch.

    Photo above a Talbot from To Catch a Thief. I don’t know what UK Chrysler had to offer the US market back then? Quite possibly something diminutive and more in keeping with the energy crisis.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Well Grace’s movie car is from before Chrysler purchased Rootes and imported the Tiger with a Ford Engine. I think by the time the movie was made the Talbot name had been dropped and the car was commonly referred to as a Sunbeam Alpine.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        I was thinking more early 70’s around the Monaco time. Apology for not clarifying.

        • 0 avatar
          Jagboi

          They brought over the Plymouth Cricket from the Rootes Group Hillman Avenger. Ford was bringing the Cortina from the UK then (into Canada anyway), which was a better car.

          • 0 avatar
            Corollaman

            The Cricket might have been one of the worst POS ever imported here, even worse that the Yugo, at least that one started and ran.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            Back in the mid-80’s I saw a abandoned Plymouth Cricket on a street and sidewalk in the South Bronx. It sat for weeks unscathed with only the wheels missing. Apparently no one had a desire for the parts unlike the popular GM B, G and H body cars which were quite popular then.

          • 0 avatar
            dash riprock

            The Cricket was my first car. $50 and “herman” only let me down once in 6 months of ownership. It was ugly, underpowered, and made me absolutely date proof

          • 0 avatar

            Lou Grant bought a used Plymouth Cricket when he moved to LA and the Tribune’s city desk. Or maybe it was an Austin Marina? Either way, Ed Asner was catnip to the ladies back then, but that’s Seventies TV for you.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Cars on the Lou Grant show were supplied by British Leyland. He drove an Austin Marina. There also was an episode with a TR7. I only remember because I learned to drive in NYC in my parents Austin Marina at the same time the show was on TV.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Everyone seems to be forgetting the Cordoba, introduced in ’75 in the PLC class. It was a major sales success for Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      Didn’t they have Khan (aka Ricardo Montalban) shilling that one?

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        He sure did shill for the Cordoba and made famous “Rich Corinthian Leather”.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIL3fbGbU2o

        Ricardo Montalban’s interview with Letterman where he riffs on his pitchman status for Chrysler.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Yes and why a sales success it was the first time in the post WWII era that the Chrysler name plate was put on a car that was not full size and/or luxury and that competed directly with Pontiacs (Grand Prix), Chevs (Monte Carlo) and Fords (Torino Elite and T-Bird) rather than Cadillacs and Lincolns. Thus starting the long downward slide in any prestige linked to the Chrysler name.

          When the Cordoba first came on the market, just the Chrysler name made it more desirable/prestigious for certain generations than much of its PLC competition.

          Yes the Newport was not a high end luxury auto, but it was full size (and more) and would be what is now considered to be ‘entry level luxury’.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          Here is the Letterman interview.

  • avatar

    From outsider’s perspective, who lived in 60s-70s but had never seen large glamorous American cars other than in magazines and films, America seemed to be a dream come true somewhere far away, where people lived free and prosperous lives in mansion-like houses and owned full size luxurious cars. America was the most successful country in human history, always a winner and always elected the the right leader for the right times. Compare this to devastated and helpless European “powers”.

    That ad and car stirred my old memories. Of course we knew also that American youth got bored of prosperity and success and wanted to destroy all that and live in communes (aka communism). We could not understand why, but music was great and and girls were beautiful. Today America was humiliated in China and large powers do not give a damn about America anymore. Russia and China openly challenge American power esp in their respective backyards. American power never been so weak and helpless after WWII as it is today and yes youth still aspires for communism. Turkey, Iran, Egypt and Israel are now friends with Russia and Asian countries have no confidence in America as an ally against China. We will see how it turns out and if Americans still able to elect right leader for challenging times. American cars are supposed to be much larger and more luxurious than in other countries, well because they can.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice post. As a native, I’m not betting on us since anyone with eyes can see the country’s decline in the past twenty to twenty five years. Heck its almost as if it was intentional.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      What a sad and factually wrong world view. Compared to 30 years ago, the world has changed in remarkable and wonderful ways. 30 years ago, there were wars being fought throughout the Americas – in Nicaragua, in El Salvador, in Colombia and Argentina. Today, there is peace throughout the entire hemisphere, and the vast majority of nations are solidly democratic.

      30 years ago, half the world lived under the scourge of communism. Today only a couple of a few countries remain that admit to being communist. Europe is now unified and at peace, for the first time since the Roman empire.

      Turkey, Iran, Egypt and Israel are now friends with Russia? That’s absurd. Israel has known the US was it’s #1 ally for decades. Turkey is closely allied with us through NATO. Egypt is in the midst of a messy transition, but they’ve always looked to the US, not Russia. For the first time ever, we actually have a real opportunity to finally befriend the Iranian people.

      Russia is in a deep recession and Putin has to resort to bluster to stay in power. He can’t afford any of the adventurism he aspires to and is boxed in on all sides by thriving democracies and world powers.

      In Asia, a billion people have risen from poverty, and can now eat 3 square meals a day, live with a roof over their heads and have access to decent medical care.

      America has never been so weak? What cave do you live in that you say such terrible things about our country? We spend more on defense than the next 10 countries combined. No nation threatens our air supremacy circa 1990, and we are introducing an entirely new generation of jet fighters. No one can match our superiority in drones, helicopters, submarines and air craft carriers.

      Our stock market has never been higher. Our workforce is at full employment. An additional 15 million people got health insurance in just the last 5 years. The companies that lead the world – Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook – are all American, as is the 21st century.

      Why you hate on America so much?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Staunch patriotism from a squooshy liberal? I think I love you even though you forget stuff.

        Like, there’s nothing wrong with America that selectively halving the population wouldn’t cure. All other nations, even Euro-peons, are merely inflated tribes.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        It isn`t so much a case of the USA loosing power but a case of many other countries getting stronger.
        The irony of mentioning South America is that many countries were moving towards a more socialist state and the USA couldn`t have that. A prime example is Pinochet. He was a tyrant put in place by the CIA. Along with that, look up Operation Condor.
        “For the first time ever, we actually have a real opportunity to finally befriend the Iranian people.”
        Too funny.
        Iran was a country that was going to socialize its oil. US and English “big oil” couldn’t have that happen. The Shah of Iran was put in place courtesy of the CIA and MI5. That helped fuel the rise of Muslim Extremism in Iran and the ” Iranian revolution”. There is that pesky war that went on for eight years between Iran and Iraq. That was fueled partially by Hussein’s fear that revolution would spread to Iraq. The US backed Hussein to a degree. (Any enemy of our enemy is our friend. – What a flawed doctrine, don’t you think?)
        Oh, who can forget Iran/Contra? Meddling in several spots gone wrong all at once.
        OH…..Can you really trust Turkey?
        “Russia is in a deep recession”. That was partially due to opening up the country to Friedman economics which put the populace in a worse off position than when they were “communist”. Power just shifted to Putin and his cronies. Isn’t that by definition capitalism?
        ” We spend more on defense than the next 10 countries combined. No nation threatens our air supremacy circa 1990, and we are introducing an entirely new generation of jet fighters. No one can match our superiority in drones, helicopters, submarines and air craft carriers.”
        That war on terror is costly. Political ideology has made a mess of that. Gulf War Bush 2.0 helped spawn ISIS. Add to that Somalia and other countries.I ready that for every one Muslim killed by the US war on terror, it causes five to turn to the cause. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Roughly a quarter of the world’s population. It is going to take trillions to kill all of them.

        In many cases calling out one’s country for the mistakes it has make is done due to love not hate. One does not do anyone any favours by ignoring the bad.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Lou_BC,

          that sums it up perfectly. for far too long “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” has repeatedly made messes which have come back to bit us later. We created Khomeini’s Iran. We created Al Qaeda. We created ISIL. yet this ultra-nationalist mindset that believes any criticism of America is therefore hatred of America is growing and disturbing.

          • 0 avatar

            My point was also that USA is helpless to stop Russia and China esp in their respective backyards. Russia will not withdraw from Crimea and if it finds it s necessary to take over the whole Ukraine if necessary it will do that and Western power can do nothing about it – they will not start devastating war with Russia over Ukraine. But who really need failed state. So Russian may just open land corridor to Crimea. Well Russia is already amassing troops and weapons on the border without West giving a s*t about it. The same with China. Japan would better get nukes as soon as they can. They can pull it out.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “My point was also that USA is helpless to stop Russia and China esp in their respective backyards.”

            I don’t see why we should be doing that. The “Red Scare” is history. The “Domino Effect” has been shown to be bulls**t. All those led to were a series of pointless wars which went nowhere. Korea was at best a draw, and the “West” lost Vietnam. The “West” tried to arm rebels in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, and created Al Qaeda. The “West” deposed Saddam Hussein and created ISIL. Our attempts to be the world’s watchdog have done far more harm than good.

            “My point was also that USA is helpless to stop Russia and China esp in their respective backyards. Russia will not withdraw from Crimea and if it finds it s necessary to take over the whole Ukraine if necessary it will do that and Western power can do nothing about it – they will not start devastating war with Russia over Ukraine.”

            Nor should we. We’re not Team America:World Police.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        If Russia wants to give Israel tens of billions in ‘aid’ and weaponry every year instead of us I’m fine with that. I’ve never forgiven them for shooting up the USS Liberty and killing 34 American sailors. ‘Mistake,’ my ass; the Israelis knew exactly who they were attacking.

        • 0 avatar

          “Tens of billions”? You’re only off by ~700%. Israel gets about $3 billion in direct aid from the U.S., much of it earmarked for the purchase of American military hardware (or for joint research projects like Iron Dome), so in many ways it’s as much aid to Boeing and Lockheed workers.

          So much for your credibility.

          I don’t know what the USS Liberty has to do with cars or Princess Grace, but my experience tells me that outside of family members of the killed sailors, people who are preoccupied with the Liberty tend to have issues about Jews.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ronnie,
            It’s one thing to correct someone’s facts on the level of US government aid to Israel.

            It’s another to interpret it as meaning they have issues with Jews. In the same way that Colin Kaepernick does not hate veterans, people questioning the Israeli government’s attack on the US ship are not automatically anti-Semites.

            And in case you *do* want to get the facts right, a new $40B, 10 year aid pact was just signed between the US and Israel. $10B is only 250% larger than $4B, not 700%.

          • 0 avatar

            “Tens of billions” means at least 20 billion so that would be 500%.

            I never said anyone was an anti-Semite. In any case, that’s a term I avoid in favor of the more honest “Jew hater”. “Anti-semitism” was coined by a Jew hater named Wilhelm Marr who wanted to put a scientific veneer on his hate borrowing a term from linguistics.

            Concering Liberty conspiracy theorists, I was just speaking from my own experience, my own truth, if I can borrow a term from the cultural left. That experience also tells me that the only people who say “you can’t criticize Israel without getting called an anti-semite” tend to have Jews on the brain. I’ve criticized Israeli policy many times and nobody’s ever called me an anti-Semite.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy67

            I don’t hate Jews Ronnie, I just totally resent the Israelis ‘accidentally’–their military is too good for that–attacking their ally and benefactor:

            http://www.wrmea.org/1993-june/the-assault-on-the-uss-liberty-still-covered-up-after-26-years.html

            http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html

            I should have researched the dollar amount we give the Israelis; it’s still a boatload of money and I suspect there’s more under the table. I will be more diligent in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Inside Looking Out,
      That’s a nice comment. I do believe it is a little naive in some respects. Most of US TV and media portrays the US in the light you put forward.

      I did read in 1952 to GDP per capita in France was 1/4 that of the US. By the 1970s, France and really the rest of the EU (West) were nipping at the US’es heels in standard of living and productivity and GDP.

      The US and a few other allies (Canada, NZ and Australia) that fought in WWII were not devastated as Japan and many European countries. The US during the war also sold weapons to nations as well. Even human losses were not great among these allied nations as the devastated countries.

      The US after the war represented around 1/2 of the world’s economic might. This placed the US in a power of influence due to trade, whether financial or goods and services.

      The US now represents around 20% of the world’s economic activity. This comes at a price of losing influence. The only way for the US to maintain it’s influence is to become closer to its allies, that is Japan, EU, Australia and a few other countries. Hence we need to globalise even more than ever, not become insular as many countries are currently with trade.

      The US now doesn’t have the opportunities it once had for it’s population. There are still opportunities, but there is more and more competition globally chasing these opportunities as well. This leaves the US in a position where it must become more competitive because as I’ve mentioned above the US lost a significant part of global economic activity.

      The US middle class is dwindling because the minimum wage has reduced in real terms. I do read sometimes comments that suggest its up to the individual to make do and reach the US middle class, but my view is, if there are X amount of middle class jobs with many more poor chasing these opportunities not everyone will reach the middle class and it becomes harder, even unattainable for many.

      The US nowadays is still the most powerful nation. But it’s power is based on trade. Everyday as the global markets increase in size reduces the US’es ability to “get what it wants”.

      Military is based on trade. The US military has become proportionally smaller as it’s percentage of trade has reduced, no different the Britannia, or most every great civilisation.

      I see it this way, the US can become more insular, which will reduce it’s influence and global power or it can open up more to maintain it’s influence.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        “The US middle class is dwindling because the minimum wage has reduced in real terms.”

        You have confused cause and effect: A high minimum wage is a not a creator of wealth, it is a consequence of a highly productive, prosperous economy.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the sole reason we were so successful immediately post WWII is exactly what you said: “Compare this to devastated and helpless European “powers.””

      Europe was absolutely devastated by the war, and we were relatively untouched. we had tons of manufacturing capacity which no longer needed to make war materials and equipment. we had huge pent-up demand for manufactured consumer goods which had been suspended in favor of wartime production. we had thousands of returning servicemen who would need jobs, and what better to do than give them jobs cranking out all of those cars, white goods, televisions, etc. t hat people were clamoring for. And we had a perfect bogeyman with a bushy mustache across the pond which meant we could still continue to spend tons on defense.

      In short, we were at the top after WWII because *we had no competition.* they were busy picking up the pieces and rebuilding. I feel pretty comfortable that the economic might we had post-WWII was an anomaly, which will never be repeated. Any politician promising to return us to those times is selling you hot air.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Wow. A reasonably civil political discussion. Time to buy a lotto ticket ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Insightful and generally correct.

          European and Asian leaders also tend to look at things a little more ‘long term’ than American leaders who can be in power for a maximum of 8 years.

          They understand that though politicians and political alliances may change, geography does not.

          For example Russia will always require access to warm weather ports and a buffer between it and western Europe. Those requirements will never change and Russia will do whatever it takes to ensure these.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Do Studebaker and Mr. Ed next.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    “Engineered with all of the comfort and quiet, the solid dependability that goes with the name Dodge.”

    Narrator deserves an Oscar for getting through that phrase without laughing. That dude EARNED it.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Not that I ever enjoyed his writing, but where’s Ronnie Schreiber lately (other than posting under the name Big Al From Oz)?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Chrysler has more lives than a cat.
    Their executives thorough the times have made tremendous blunders which would have killed other companies.

    I have owned several Chrysler vehicles throughout 4 decades, and my take is when they are good, they are actually nice vehicles. OTOH, when they are bad, they are really a P.O.S.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Chrysler’s problem since the 1970s is that they’ve perpetually been “too small to survive.” Even when they were doing well in the ’90s Bob Lutz would admit they were going to need an international partner/merger soon. Buying AMC worked out great; they got Jeep, the basis for an incredibly lucrative platform (The Renault platform which eventually morphed into LH,) and a team-oriented mindset with intelligent cost-saving strategies (SCORE) led by Tom Stallkamp. The problem was that Eaton was a scared little man and ran willingly into the arms of absolutely the wrong partner (Daimler) which set everything back severely.

      • 0 avatar

        Eaton made a ton of money out of the “merger”. I would not call him “little scared man”, he knew what is doing. GOAT is trying to do the same trick and will get out of FCA incredibly rich. Only company and employess will get the short end of the stick.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The job of a CEO is to maximize shareholder value. By that measure, Eaton is the greatest Chrysler CEO in history.

          • 0 avatar

            You should say “At expense of long term success of the company”. Investors are short sighted and ready to damage company just to get good return next quarter and run to next victim. That is the reason why American companies eventually lose to their Japanese competitors. Compare graveyards of American companies with those for Japanese or even Germans counterparts.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I’m not buying it. Shareholders in the 4 most important companies – Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon would tend to agree.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sometimes I think you are a pre-programmed bot.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the most revered CEO in history (Jack Welch) is now saying how wrong-headed that mindset is.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            To many folks, Facebook is a technology company, whereas ExxonMobil is not. Sad perspective.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            To many folks, Facebook is a fast growing company improving our lives and ExxonMobile is a slow growing monopoly destroying our planet.
            Sad reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            What’s this “Facebook” thing?

            Sounds like malware.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Facebook is an intelligence gathering operation which has drained up to 3.5 trillion dollars in productivity from the global economy.

            http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/04/facebook-turns-12–trillions-in-time-wasted.html

            http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/10/facebook-personal-data-online-privacy-social-norm

            http://www.pcworld.com/article/2986988/privacy/the-price-of-free-how-apple-facebook-microsoft-and-google-sell-you-to-advertisers.html

            If suddenly the ridiculous farce collapsed tomorrow the entire planet would be better off for it. Absolutely nothing changes on a macro level.

            Exxon is certainly not a feel good company but it produces crude oil which is necessary to sustain civilization. Period. I like the idea of solar power too but it is mathematically impossible to replace the amount of energy in barrel of oil.

            This large solar farm claims it can produce 5 million watts annually.

            http://solarfarm.tennessee.edu/

            5 million watts is 5000 Kilowatts

            http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/power/kW_to_Watt.htm

            Per these people:

            “A barrel of oil contains about six gigajoules of energy. That’s six billion joules or 1667 kilowatt-hours.”

            http://letthesunwork.com/energy/barrelofenergy.htm

            There is no direction conversion of kW to kWh because of the inclusion of time as a variable, however if we use 24 hours as a time period for our barrel of oil we get: 69.4583 KW. Therefore it would require 70 kW of power to produce 24hrs worth of 1667 kWh, which is the amount of energy found in a barrel of oil.

            http://rapidtables.com/calc/electric/kWh_to_kW_Calculator.htm

            70 / 5000 = 71.42857

            Thus the amount of energy produced on the farm annually is equivalent to 71.4 barrels of crude oil. Seriously. Just a quick fact check, but the US was using 18.9 million barrels per day in 2014.

            https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140714/americas-oil-consumption-rising-not-falling-outpacing-chinas

            A “sustainable” future using only “sustainable” energy technology is one which involves removing 90-95% of the global population. I’m sure volunteers will be accepted should anyone feel up to taking one for Mother Earth and all. Check with Facebook, I’m sure they will point folks in the right direction.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            28, you’re scary when you’re focused. You know that?

            I *knew* anything that gained such a hold on the dummies at work had to be from the debbil!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks Kenmore. Hey is my wine chilled yet?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Yo’ Mad Dog be 45 degree! Jus’ how you likes it!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The thought of MD takes me back.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “The thought of MD takes me back.”

            Yeah… me, too. To people and places I’d love to nuke.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    The duplicity of Chrysler’s marketing must have made the Princess blow a Monagasquet!

  • avatar
    Joss

    The Cricket or Hillmam Avenger as I knew it wasn’t a luxe coupe. In the UK a passenger visor was an option on the base model.

    Perhaps Sunbeam Rapier? Or Ford Capri?

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t b!tch and moan about everything that doesn’t remain in lockstep with the party line.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I seem to recall that Chevrolet also featured Monaco and Monte Carlo as the setting for some ads for their Chevrolet Monte Carlo model.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What’s going on at TTAC??

    No articles for a couple of days.

    Is everything okay?

  • avatar
    pb35

    Those dang Canadians are always leeching onto our holidays. You don’t see us yanks celebrating Boxing Day, do you?!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    As long as that Australian is driving a 1975 Royal Monaco wearing a London Fog trench coat just to stay on topic. It is interesting that an article about Dodge Monaco advertising has brought up a discussion about US foreign policy. It would be nice if foreign policy were as simple as a Dodge Monaco, but it isn’t.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Damnit I’m sure there was a car in this conversation somewhere. If only we could find it…


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