I love Fuselage Mopars. Pretty much all of them, as a matter of fact. And while there are highs and lows in Fuselage-land (high: 1970 Three Hundred convertible; low: 1969 Plymouth Fury I), I can find some love for all of these fine 1969-73 Highland Park land yachts. I especially liked this black over silver 1969 Monaco when it appeared on eBay last year. Great car, great lines, and wow! What a color combination!
The über-swoopy 1969 full-size Chrysler Corporation products were quite a departure from the more squared-off yet equally attractive 1965-68 models. While you can see some of the 1965-68 GM full-size line in the Fuselages, I am of the opinion that they have a look all their own, and that look is fine indeed. Particularly on the two-door hardtops, four-door hardtops, and convertibles.
The top-drawer model over at the Dodge Boys’ home base was the Monaco–itself introduced in 1965 as a top-of-the-line hardtop coupe, meant to compete with other specialty coupes such as the Pontiac Grand Prix. But by 1969, a full-range of Monacos was available–even an attractive Di-Noc clad wagon. But the real looker was still the coupe.
One interesting fact about the 1969 Fuselage cars: About halfway into the model year, dealers apparently wanted some more chrome, so chrome caps were added above the bumper–a preview of the “loop” bumpers that would be ushered in for the 1970 model year, perhaps? Apparently it placated dealers, but the overall effect seems more J.C. Whitney-ish to me. Regardless, the tacked-on chrome still can’t change my love for this fine example. But wait! What’s that round thing in the grille?!
That, my friends, is the “Super Lite!” Mounted on the driver’s side of the grille, the quartz-iodide lamp provided near the same illumination as the high beams, but without blinding oncoming traffic. Co-developed between Sylvania and Chrysler Corporation, it was not exactly a rousing success. It remained available for MY 1970, then quietly disappeared from the option list.
And while the exteriors of the Fuselage Dodges was remarkably attractive, the interiors were pretty appealing in their own right. I love the late ’60s/early ’70s Mopar instrument panels! So well-organized, yet still good-looking. I love all the rocker switches, with the name for each switch printed on the woodgrain trim panel. Also, please note the alternator and temperature gauges–a Highland Park Unique Selling Point, in an era when many GM and Ford competitors had only a speedometer and a gas gauge. Cool!
And I have to put in a plug for that silver interior! I didn’t even know a silver interior choice was available on these cars, but it looks stunning with the black paint and black vinyl top. Other than this car and the Silver Luxury Group Continental Mark IVs, what other cars offered a silver interior?
And just look at that dash pad! Mint–just like the rest of this amazing car.
Considering the Monaco was the top of the line Dodge, that door panel looks a little plain–no carpet on the lower edge, and no full-length armrest? It does have power windows though–and look Zackman, the rear windows go down too! Excellent.
Once common, now a rarity, and completely unavailable on anything but full-size pickup trucks in 2014: The humble bench seat. I love bench seats for their stretch-out room. I can occasionally be found driving my Town Car with my right arm draped over the leather bench, driving with just my left hand. So comfy–driving your living room around, indeed!
I also love the delta-shaped taillights, a Dodge feature starting with the 1965 full-size models. Though increasingly less obvious over the years and restylings, they remained an identifying characteristic through 1971. In 1972, a full-width checkerboard taillight replaced it.
The 1969 Dodges are my favorite of the Fuselage Era Dodge Boys offerings. The 1970, while still a beauty, is just slightly less attractive than the ’69. Ironically, I prefer the loop-bumper 1970 Plymouths to the rather plain 1969 Furys I, II and III. Though I will make an exception for the ’69 Sport Fury and VIP versions!
So, what did it go for? I don’t know. I regularly sneak through eBay Motors, looking for cool stuff, but I usually save the pictures of the real wowsers and never follow up with what they sold for–if they sold at all. I hope whoever won this beautiful Monaco appreciates her. She’s a fine Fuselage!