The Chrysler Air Raid Siren (second generation), or known as the Chrysler Bell Victory Siren (first generation) is an outdoor warning siren produced during the Cold War era that has an output of 138 dB(C) at 100 feet (30 m). Built during the World War II and Cold War era from 1952 to 1957 (second generation) by Chrysler, its power plant contained a newly designed FirePower Hemi V8 engine with a displacement of 331 cubic inches (5.42 l) and producing 180 horsepower (130 kW).Its six horns were each 3 feet (91 cm) long. The siren could be heard 20 to 25 miles (32 to 40 km) away, and had an output of 138 dBC (30,000) watts. They were 12 feet (3.7 m) long, built atop a quarter section of a Dodge truck chassis rail, and weighed an estimated 3 short tons (2.7 t).In 1952, the cost of a Chrysler Air-raid Siren was $5,500 (equivalent to $48,845 in 2021). The United States government helped buy sirens for selected state and county law enforcement agencies. In Los Angeles County, six were placed around key locations of populated areas, and another ten were sold to other government agencies in the state of California. These “Big Red Whistles” (as they were nicknamed) only saw testing use. Some were located so remotely that they deteriorated due to lack of maintenance. The main purpose of the siren was to warn the public in the event of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The operator’s job was to start the engine and bring it up to operating speed, then to pull and release the transmission handle to start the wailing signal generation. The Chrysler air raid siren produced the loudest sound ever achieved by an air raid siren.
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