CHRYSLER

A 100-foot engine with a 50-foot dragon for a crankshaft, a ride on a production line and a zoo of metallic monsters are part of this imaginative exhibit, one of the largest at the Fair, assembled on five islands linked by bridges and set in a six-acre artificial lake. Four of the islands demonstrate specific aspects of Chrysler's work: engineering, production, styling and operations. The fifth is a large theater in which puppets present a continuous show. Other features are a giant rocket posed on the lake, symbolizing the company's space and missile work, and more than a thousand umbrella-shaded chairs for visitors set around the perimeters of the islands.

Engineering Island. Prime attraction is the vast engine, a structure with a huge revolving fan in front and an air filter on top, 55 feet up. Visitors walking through its innards see a writhing dragon with snapping jaws, which drives pistons weighing nearly a ton apiece.

A sign on the engine noted that if it were real it would be able to deliver 1,000,000 horsepower based on its scale. (CD #TBD Set 279 #3)


 
A turbine engine developed by Chrysler is on display, and a montage shows the sources of energy that may drive engines of the future.

Chrysler had high hopes for its turbine powered concept car. A small fleet of these futuristic cars were loaned to drivers across the country to test their performance under actual driving conditions. Several of the cars were also displayed at the Fair, with a special track running through the Chrysler area to show the cars driving at speed. Unfortunately, when the project was ended, almost all of the cars were crushed to avoid tax liabilities. (CD #TBD Set 302 #11)


 
Production Island. Seated in 12 car bodies, visitors travel along an assembly line which winds through and around an open-sided structure. Mechanical workmen line the ride, and both visitors and car bodies receive an "O.K." in a quality control center.

With only 12 cars to ride in long lines built up quickly for the assembly line ride. After riding it, most visitors probably wondered why they had waited so long. Compared to the shows at Ford and General Motors it was quite a let down. (CD #TBD Set 299 #21)


 
A metallic menagerie, in which creatures made of car parts squeak and squeal with the sounds of metal on metal, is also on the island. A 12-foot mantis flashes light from its car-reflector antenna; a 12-foot crawler is made of roof panels and hoods. The zookeeper stands two stories tall. (CD #10 Set 53 #23)
 
Styling Island. A giant car, 80 feet long from bumper to bumper, with wheels more than 20 feet high, dominates the island. Underneath the car, which sits seven feet above the ground, is an exhibit area which demonstrates the company's automotive styling.

Examples of the latest Chrysler cars were on display in the lagoon surrounding the different islands. Small fountains underneath them masked their supports, creating an illusion that they were floating on the water. Weary Fairgoers were able to rest in the many chairs ringing the waterways - chairs that were permanently affixed facing the displayed cars. (CD #36 Set 181 #45)


 
Operations Island. Eight-foot-high animated characters show the world-wide operations of Chrysler other than automotive manufacturing. (CD #64 Set 259 #1)
 
Puppet Show. A 24-minute musical comedy, with puppets designed by Bil Baird, is given continuously on the fifth island built in the shape of the company's Pentastar symbol.

This is Carby, the star of the show. One of these figures is known to exist in a private collection. (Chrysler publicity photograph)


 
This is the theater building, seen in its 1965 color scheme. Click here for more details on changes to the Chrysler exhibit between seasons. (CD #20 Set 105 #38)
 
Although it wasn't mentioned in the guide book, this rocket was an important part of the Chrysler exhibit. Thundering jets of water cascaded from the engines that ringed the rocket, making it look like it was about to take flight. (CD #48 Set 208 #4)
 


Want more information on the Chrysler pavilion?

Business Screen magazine
 

Click here to go back to the Transportation Area index.
   
Click here to go back to the Alphabetical Listing page.
   
Click here to go back to the main 1964-65 New York World's Fair page.