During the dark days of the Great Recession, the mega-merger of Fiat-Chrysler meant executives from both companies had to take a hard look at cost-saving measures as the company vested into new vehicle platforms. This meant that some consumer-facing perks, like the open-to-the-public Walter P. Chrysler Museum, had to be temporarily shuttered so the money used to keep it open could be allocated elsewhere.
That was back in 2012, and the decision seems to be paying off as FCA’s balance sheets are looking much stronger these days thanks to new vehicles like the Jeep Renegade and Challenger Hellcat. Things are looking so good that Fiat-Chrysler will reopen the Walter P. Chrysler Museum to the public on June 4th, though not every day.
Going forward, visitors to the Chrysler Museum will be allowed access to the tremendous collection two weekends a month, except in December when the museum will only be publicly accessible a single weekend. You can thank interest and volunteers from Chrysler for the museum being reopened to the public, as volunteer staffing levels can now accomodate the thousands of expected annual visitors.
Opened in 1999, back when Chrysler was owned by the Germans rather than the Italians, the museum saw upwards of 90,000 visitors per year during its heydays. Home to approximately 300 significant production and concept cars from Chrysler’s long history, the museum also houses the only remaining operational Chrysler Turbine car and the very first Hemi-powered car.
Other exhibits include a section dedicated to Chrysler’s role in World War II as part of the Arsenal of Democracy, Virgil Exner’s Chrysler SS concept, as well as an entire basement level almost entirely dedicated to Jeeps and muscle cars. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for kids 6 to 17 years old and free for kids 5 and under, and you can see a list of available weekends to visit the museum here.