Friday, 29 July 2011

Chrysler,USA,the Rootes car company and the arrival of the Pentastar

Those solid brass Hillman Imp water pipe nipples remind me of the dark days when one of Britains top car builders,the Rootes Group were taken over by the massive US based company Chrysler,this was circa 1966 or so? This was a turning point in the British car manufacturing process,a sad time for many?

A body badge set,one only fitted to our 1967 Singer Chamois,did they really try to save this kind of money back then?

Known tastefully by the Rootes employees at the Linwood factory in Scotland as 'The Puckered Arse'

Maybe it was too late and the cars that Rootes built were not right for the then market,they had Hillman,Sunbeam and Singer,all well established and quality car brands which sold world wide.Chryslers first move with the Imp range was to save build costs,small items in some ways but ones that in time make a difference,the brass water pipe nipples were a case in point.

To save production costs,being a rise in profits they sought to save money on what went into the cars,these brass water nipples became steel which were plated,they lasted long enough to cover any warranty but never as long as a brass one.

A close look at the front bonnet on a late model  Imp will show you just one cross brace support,before Chrysler there were two which formed a perfect cross brace.They even saved money on their own branding,the Singer Chamois came out with just one small Pentastar badge on the passenger side of the car,its plastic,worth very little but there was never one on the drivers side.Build quality of the bodies was also said to suffer,less spot welds and the like.Chrysler later handed over to Pugeot who took over the damage really,it was too late by then?

The Pentastar was created by Robert Stanley, at the Lippincott & Marguiles design firm. He wanted, according to his blog entry, “something simple, a classic, dynamic but stable shape for a mark that would lend itself to a highly designed, styled product. What that meant, basically, was a classic geometric form. We wanted something that was not stolid. That’s the reason that we broke up the pentagonal form that became the Pentastar. It provides a certain tension and a dynamic quality.” [This was reversed by Trevor Creed].

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