essays and articles by david g allen


Daimler Chrysler -- They both end in "ER"

 

(From the archives:  Back in May 1998, the future of Mercedes Benz and Chrysler/Dodge looked promising according to these press releases.)

 

CHRYSLER-BENZ HAS NEW RV

 

BY HELMUT EINLINER   

MUNICH

           Chrysler-Benz announced its new RV--the Reichs Viper--today to lift the spirits of the German people.  After VW introduced the new Beetle (dubbed as "Herbie goes gay!" by European Road and Track), Chrysler-Benz came up with this new Autobahn muscle car.  Sources say this first-of-a-kind car gives German drivers an edge over BMW, Audi, and VW by introducing the first European car with tail fins and fender portholes. 

           The V-24, 975 hp powerplant (2 highway/ 1 city) delivers on its promises, allowing drivers to go from Munich to Amsterdam in 11 minutes (with one tire change).  Drivers can traverse the Chunnel in 1 minute, 15 seconds.

               Lee Iacocca, illegitimate son of Marlene Dietrich and Oscar Schindler, said this new RV was always on his list but that Detroit always considered Western Europe an impenetrable market.  "Had Herbie not gone gay", Iacocca said, "we never would have cracked the 'Joe Hoffbrau Haus' market!"

               Iacocca, speaking for Chrysler-Benz, said the company would soon introduce the first European "dualie", the HummDee.  "Germans will love the way our HummDee can manuever through the Maginot Line.  After all, we're using the newest 4wd technology from Jeep."  The HummDee will be the first armor-plated, all wheel drive pickup sold for civilian use since WW I.  "It'll outpull any damned team of Lippizans!", exhorted the former Chrysler boss.

              The Daimler-Benz management team, appearing mostly aghast at Iacocca's boisterous claims, refused to comment on what plans Benz had for new American models.  They specifically denied any plans for a Mercedes-class pickup truck for American Yuppies.  And the Benz team left the press conference before fielding questions relating to the Maginot Line remarks.

From Munich, Helmut Einliner

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REICHS VIPER MAKES AUTO SHOW DEBUT

 

BY HELMUT EINLINER

MUNICH

                Chrysler-Benz unveiled its new RV--the Reichs Viper--to the public today at the Bavarian Auto Show held each May in Munich.  To the delight of the viewing public, a lederhosen Oompah band opened the show with strains of a familiar beer-drinking polka.  Their snappy performance brought forth cries of "Encore!", but emcee Dieter Klink said the show had to go on.  He then introduced Marla Maples who lip-synched Marlene Dietrich's trademark song, "Fwawink in wuffagain" (Falling In Love Again).  Miss Maples gave it her best as a cabaret chanteuse.

                Herr Klink, head of Klink and Schultz, the German ad agency hired to promote the Reichs Viper, serendipitously undraped the RV as Miss Maples slinked across the stage.  She suggestively fawned on the front fender and then toyed with the car's hood ornament, Chrysler-Benz's newly-designed 8-point star.  The design incorporates Chrysler's five-point star as well as Mercedes familiar three-pointer.  The new star may need re-designed, however, as it lacerated Marla's fishnet stockings while she coyly straddled the hood of the RV.

               Herr Klink opened the driver-side door to display the interior of the Reichs Viper.  "The seats are covered with rich Dalmatian Leather imported from the finest kennels in Cordoba!", he announced.  With that, the crowd let forth an "Oooooohhh!" in unison.  At that point, Miss Maples' song had finished and she was tugging frantically to free her tangled hose from the hood ornament, all the while looking more and more like the Coppertone girl.  With this diversion, the  crowd went "Aaaaaaaaahhh!"

               Taking an obvious jab at Volkswagen for it's newly-styled Beetle, Klink flipped a switch and the Reichs Viper's new slogan instantly appeared in neon lights.  "Die Fledermaus und ViagraWagen" (The Batmobile on Viagra) lit the stage backdrop.  Klink announced, "This is the muscle car of the 21st century!  Our 'cab-backward' design gives engine designers room to add even more cylinders to the V-24 powerplant should gas prices fall further."

               The cab-backward design has limited the car's seating to three--driver, passenger, and 'hump-rider'.  Benz engineers suspect they'll need to introduce a four-door model next year.

               BMW officials, shying away from the rotating turntable that displayed the Reichs Viper, were overheard by this reporter as saying, "Only Chrysler would hire Dieter Klink!"  The remark apparently referred to Klink's three consecutive titles as the car show's Schnapps shooter contest winner.

From Munich, Helmut Einliner

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