A Star is Born
The name Mopar® was officially coined at a meeting of the Chrysler Parts Corporation’s Activities Council in Highland Park, Michigan. Not surprisingly, it’s a combination of the words “motor” and “parts.” The name ChryCo (for Chrysler Corporation) was also in contention as a brand name for the fledgling parts line. But when put to a final vote, the name Mopar prevailed.
The public was first introduced to Mopar in 1937, when Chrysler was asked to create a float for a parade that opened the annual Shriners convention in Detroit. The company produced a 10-foot-tall camel made entirely of engine parts.
It featured signs on both sides that read: “Mr. Mopar.” A small “mechanical man” named ACCY (for accessories) was also placed on the float as if he were leading the camel down the street. What a camel had to do with antifreeze is anyone’s guess, but at the time, that was the only product that bore the Mopar name.
Either way, from this humble origin,
Mopar was born.
The Big Boom
How WWII Shaped Our Parts Distribution Centers (PDCs)
Mopar® wasn’t even five years old when the country entered World War II. Car production ceased for the duration of the war. During this period, Mopar supplied parts for the war machinery Chrysler was building, all the while helping citizens keep their cars running on the home front. The automaker supplied multiple goods, including the M3 tank, a Martin B-26 bomber and anti-aircraft artillery. It also helped to produce bomb fuses, shells, aircraft landing gear, field kitchens, refrigerators and bearings, as well as military vehicles, including command cars, ambulances, trucks and weapon carriers. With this dedication and fierce determination, it’s not surprising the allies prevailed.
After the war, the troops returned home to garages full of cars and trucks that were left idle during their absence. This was a watershed moment for do-it-yourselfers and parts makers alike. Mopar was more than happy to come to their rescue. It was a boom time for the company. So, Mopar moved into a building on Jefferson Avenue on Detroit’s east side. Soon after, the Mopar Tech training program was launched to give Chrysler technicians the skills they needed to service vehicles. The number of plants and the number of available parts grew substantially in the early ’50s. The Center Line, Michigan, Mopar PDC opened. It was a sprawling and busy parts center that’s still going strong. Today, it utilizes more than 1,300 employees and ships an astonishing 16.5 million parts a year.
Right Parts, Right Place, Right Time
Mopar® Parts include everything from wear and tear maintenance items to heavy-duty repair and reman parts. More recently, the introduction of Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar added an additional line of parts for all FCA US LLC vehicles — and other makes and models.
As you can see, Mopar has evolved and grown quite a bit, becoming a global company that now offers 500,000 parts and accessories. And you can rest assured, we’re going to continue to grow.
FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Circa 1960-1980: Parts, Accessories and Service manuals (before the digital age!). These pages are straight from the Mopar vault and showcase the corporation’s commitment to communication with our installers as well as our dealers.
A Brief History of the Spark Plug
The first demonstration of using an electronic spark to ignite a fuel-air mixture was done way back in 1777 by the Italian, Alessandro Volta
Jean Lenoir patented what most closely resembled the spark plug as we know it in 1860
Karl Benz has been recognized as the person who actually invented the spark plug around 1885
Robert Bosch made a monumental breakthrough in 1897 when he adapted a magneto ignition device to a vehicle engine
In 1898, patents for spark plugs were granted to Nikola Tesla, Richard Simms and Robert Bosch
Robert Bosch’s engineer Gottlob Honold invented the first commercially viable high-voltage spark plug in 1902
Today, some spark plugs can last up to 100,000 miles depending on driving condition. (Source: https://www.consumerreports.org)
The first steering wheel didn’t appear in cars until 1894.
Before then, cars were steered with a tiller.
Early vehicles featured tires that were similar to bike tires.
Which meant they had to be replaced quite often. Although the pneumatic tire was patented in 1847, a practical version of the tire wasn’t manufactured until 1888.
Early brakes utilized a wood block to rub against the wheels to stop.
With the invention of the pneumatic tire, this system became obsolete. In 1898, Elmer Ambrose Sperry designed an electric car with front-wheel disc brakes. However, these brakes emitted a loud screeching sound. Five years later, a brake pad lined with asbestos was introduced. These were phased out in the ’80s, due to health and safety concerns about asbestos use.
Windshield wipers were invented by Mary Anderson in 1903.
She was inspired by seeing streetcar drivers, who could manually operate an outside rubber blade by moving a lever.
Although turn signals date back to 1907, the modern flashing turn signal wasn’t patented until 1938.