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Chrysler Boat Corporation
Chrysler had long offered marine engines for inboard and later sterndrive applications through their marine and industrial engine division. In 1959, they offered the Imperial-V, Royal-V, and Sea-V V-8 marine engines as well as four in-line six-cylinder models. A venture into an expanded role in the boating industry came in the mid-1960's with the acquisition of West Bend Outboards and Lone Star Boats. These purchases provided Chrysler with an integrated line of boats and motors.
With the purchase of West Bend's outboard motor business, Chrysler acquired the 413,000 sq. ft facility in Hartford, Wisconsin which employed 500 people. The business was added to Chrysler's marine and industrial Engine division which already included a Marysville, Michigan plant for producing inboard marine engines (Jan. 8, 1965, Wall Street Journal).
By 1964, Chrysler offered a line of Chrysler Drive 90° sterndrives designed and made by the Salisbury Division of the Dana Corporation of Fort Wayne, Indiana (see 1964 ad flyer below).
The May 14, 1965 edition of the Wall Street Journal announced the purchase of the Lone Star Boat Co. of Plano, Texas by the Chrysler Corporation. With the purchase came 1000 dealers, three major distributors, the main manufacturing and sales center in Plano and distribution center in Shelby, Ohio. The former owners of Lone Star were the Houston Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. of Fort Worth and the C. A. Sammons interests of Dallas. Lone Star was reorganized into Chrysler Boat Corporation with Adam J. Koch president and Theodore Eiselt VP of operations. Koch was previously treasurer of Chrysler Canada, Ltd. and Eiselt president of Lone Star Boats.
The Marine Division was discontinued in 1979 and the outboard division later on was sold to OMC. Six executives of the boat subsidiary purchased the assets and formed Texas International Inc. in Plano, Texas, led by William Maxwell who was previously head of the subsidiary. Texas International leased the 477,000 sq. ft facility in Plano from Chrysler, beginning Jan. 31, 1980.
For more information, see the Chrysler Crew Website: http://www.chryslercrew.com/