Chrysler M platform

The M-Bodies were Chrysler Corporation's successor to the F-body Aspen/Volare. The platform identical to the F-body, was introduced in 1977, it was the basis for some mid-sized Chrysler models until its demise in 1989; the M-body was the successor to the short-lived R-body, as the Chrysler New Yorker and Plymouth Gran Fury moved to it following the R-body's demise in 1981. The M platform was the final production passenger car with a solid rear axle mounted on Hotchkiss-style, parallel semi-elliptical leaf springs sold in the U. S; the M-cars were built at St. Louis and Newark, Delaware with initial debut in spring 1977 as late 1977 models, with some 1977-83 production at Windsor, Ontario. Beginning in late 1986 and through the last 1989 year, the American Motors plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin was used for production. By 1983-84, it became clear that most private buyers preferred the roomy but cheaper and more fuel-efficient K-cars. In 1989 the Chrysler M-bodies received a standard drivers side air bag.

After the M-bodies were discontinued in 1989 Chrysler Corporation wouldn't build a rear wheel drive car outside of trucks and specialty models until LX based cars. Vehicles on this platform include: 1977-1989 Dodge Diplomat 1977-1981 Chrysler LeBaron 1978-1981 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon 1978-1979 Dodge Coronet 1978-1982 Plymouth Caravelle 1980-1981 Dodge Dart 1981-1982 Dodge Magnum 5.9L 1982-1989 Plymouth Gran Fury 1982 Chrysler New Yorker 1983 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue 1983-1989 Plymouth Caravelle Salon 1984-1989 Chrysler Fifth Avenue 1979-1980 Monteverdi sierra ConvertibleThere were three body styles offered: 2-door coupe - 1977-1981 4-door sedan - 1977-1989 4-door station wagon - 1978-1981There were two wheelbases used: 108.7 in - 1980-1981 2-door models 112.7 in - 1977-1979 2-door models and 1977-1989 4-door modelsEngines used with this platform include: 225 Slant 6 318 V8 360 V8,article,6712.html List of Chrysler platforms

David Wickins

David Allen Wickins, was an English accountant-turned-entrepreneur, best known for founding the world's largest vehicle remarketing business British Car Auctions, saving Lotus Cars. David Allen Wickins was born in Tilehurst, near Reading, Berkshire on 15 February 1920; the seventh child of an architect-turned-builder, 64 when David was born, his father was one of the first civilian casualties killed in London at the start of the Luftwaffe air raids during the Second World War. His mother was a successful antiques dealer, enabling him to be educated at St George's College, Weybridge, by Josephites. Wickins described his schooling as "very academic hard", though an aptitude for figures allowed him to run a betting book for fellow pupils. On leaving school he was recommended to apply to take articles with accountants Deloitte & Co in London. On gaining his chartered membership, he volunteered to be posted to Cape Town, South Africa, working on financial audits for Rhodesian copper mines and Zambian sawmills.

At the start of the Second World War, due to the death of his father he decided to avoid the heavy conflict in Europe and joined the South African Navy. Seconded to the Royal Navy after 18 months, he reluctantly returned to England. Serving as a lieutenant in motor torpedo boats based in East Anglia patrolling the North Sea, he served alongside both Edward du Cann and Owen Aisher. In 1946 and still a Royal Navy officer, Wickins was offered a commission in the South African Navy, with immediate deployment on their duties in managing the reconstruction of Japan. Deciding to take the offer, he needed to sell his Riley Lynx tourer. Placing an advert in the local newspaper, he offered to sell the car to the first person who turned up at his mothers house with £200. Arriving home late, he found a crowd of eager buyers, so auctioned the car off for £420. Wickins rented a farmer's field at Frimley Bridges, now under junction 4 of the M3 motorway, set up his first public auction; the 14 cars auctioned sold for a total of £8,250.

Wickins and one of his brothers founded Southern Counties Car Auctions Ltd, which after exiting the Royal Navy shortly afterwards he expanded across the UK by selling surplus ex-British Army and Royal Air Force vehicles for the Ministry of Defence. Wickins expanded the company across Europe and the United States through acquisition; this included the purchase of the car auctions division of British conglomerate Hawley Goodall, owned by Michael Ashcroft, Baron Ashcroft. This proved to be the start of a lifelong friendship between Wickins and Ashcroft, through his Bermuda and Belize based holdings in various banks, Ashcroft would finance a number of Wickins ventures. In 1987, Ashcroft bought out the existing shareholders of BCA via Hawley Goodall, closed down Wickins treasured aviation division, which flew both Jet Ranger helicopters and Beechcraft King Air turbo prop aircraft; the company had offices at the Frimley Bridges site, but moved to purpose-built premises at Blackbushe Airport, where the aviation division was based.

Employing 160 at its head office, Wickins had built the company into the largest car auction business in the world by the time of his retirement in 1990. Today, still based at Blackbushe but owned by an investment banking division of HSBC, BCA claims to be Europe's largest vehicle auctioning company, employing 5,000 people, selling 1.3 million vehicles that generate a turnover of £3.3billion. After British Leyland decided to close the MG Cars factory at Abingdon in 1980, Wickins became involved with a group of businessmen aiming to finance Aston Martin's purchase of the brand and factory. Led by Alan Curtis, the group consisted of Wickins, Peter Cadbury, Lord George-Brown and the Norwest construction; the consortia commissioned William Towns to design an updated MG MGB, produced at Newport Pagnell in six days, ready for the publicity presentation. However, rejected outright by BL, this project failed to materialise. After the death of founder Colin Chapman in 1982, Wickins became involved with Lotus Cars in 1983, taking a 29% stake in the troubled company.

After bringing in other investors and negotiating with the Inland Revenue, he oversaw a turnaround in the sports car manufacturer's fortunes, which resulted in him being called "The saviour of Lotus". Wickins oversaw the sale of the business to General Motors in 1986. In March 1983, Wickins was asked to lead a private-sector consortia to help save the Meriden Workers Co-operative; the co-op owned the Triumph Engineering company, the stuttering residual and by near-bankrupt component of the once world dominant British motorcycling industry, by solely producing the Triumph Bonneville T140. Wickins gathered a £500,000 private investment fund together from five investors, including BCA, United Dominions Trust and GEC/Binatone, but civil servants, with advising merchant bankers and commercial accountants, considered that at least £1 million was required to save the company and reconstruct it. Despite considering buying the bankrupt Hesketh Motorcycles, touting a 900cc prototype water-cooled twin at the 1983 National Exhibition Show to attract outside investment, the Conservative-led UK government refused to back the co-op, resulting in Triumph Motorcycles Ltd becoming bankrupt on 23 August 1983.

By early 1983, Lord Ashcroft's Hawley Goodall Ltd had built up a 20% stake in pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer Cope Allman. Ashcroft offered to increase his stake to 29.9%, just below the 30% level at which a formal bid for the entire company must be launched. Ashcroft and Cope Allman fought bitterly over the purchase share price and current holdi