On this day in auto history - January 7th

Thu 7th Jan 2021

It was on this day in 1929 that Walter Chrysler - founder of the mighty Chrysler Corporation - became the first motoring figure to feature on Time magazine as its prestigious ‘Person of The Year’ for 1928.

The Kansas-born, former railroad worker had been the highest-paid executive in the world when running Buick before founding his own eponymous company in 1925 which instantly became a success.

He won the prestigious Time magazine award for a remarkable year’s work in 1928 which saw Chrysler purchase the Dodge Brothers company (instantly becoming the world’s third largest automaker). In addition, this was the year in which Walter bankrolled construction of the 77-storey Chrysler Building in New York city which, when completed, briefly became the world's tallest skyscraper.

In 1955 Chrysler was joined on the Time magazine list by then-General Motors supremo Harlow Curtice who was named ‘Man of The Year’ on the back of astonishing year-end figures which saw GM become the first corporation in history to earn $1 billion in a single year.

No motor industry figure has been honoured by Time since.