The first cars of every major car maker (Part 6)

Chrysler: 70 (1924)
Walter Chrysler had turned around the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers car company which had been founded in 1904. That company closed down in 1923 so the next year Walter created a new company bearing his own name – and here he is with his very first car, the 70. Fitted with a 3301cc side-valve straight-six, the 70 was highly innovative with its aluminium pistons, full-pressure lubrication and oil filter. No wonder 32,000 were sold in the first year. qiu ceme

Chrysler retained its reputation as an innovator over the following few decades, helping to fend off competition from its two larger Detroit rivals. Today, Chrysler is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, though the nameplate is now only used on two models.

Skoda: Type 110 (1925)
Just like Laurin & Klement, Skoda was also started in 1895, mainly to build armaments, but it expanded rapidly to also offer locomotives, bridges, power stations, ships and much more. In 1919 it started to build steam trucks and heavy road tractors but in 1925 Skoda merged with Laurin & Klement to start offering cars.

The company’s first model was the Type 110, an evolution of L&K’s Types 100 and 105, powered by a 1791cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine. Today, Skoda is part of Volkswagen.

Pontiac (1926)
In the 1920s General Motors had Chevrolet at the bottom end and Cadillac at the top. There was also Oldsmobile which was closer to Cadillac than Chevrolet; what was needed was a brand that offered affordable, high-quality cars. Pontiac was launched in 1926 to fill that gap; its first model was a 3.1-litre car available in two-door saloon or coupé forms, both priced at $825. The car proved a big hit with almost 77,000 sold in the first year.

The Pontiac brand was closed down by GM in 2010 in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.