We’ve had a number of 1965 Chryslers appear on these pages, but there’s no way I’m not going to stop when I see one parked curbside. I’ve had a special place in my heart for these since they appeared, and that love was deepened when my father’s cousin, a traveling salesman of fine Austrian opticals, showed up in one. He had good taste in cars, and a Chrysler’s trunk could hold a lot of cameras, microscopes and telescopes. Including a telescope for me.
This one is obviously a Newport, but I was a bit confused when I walked up to shoot the front.
That’s not a Newport grille, but a New Yorker, although without the clear headlight covers. Hmmm…. I’ll assume someone swapped it out later, rather than it being an assembly line mix-up. My father’s ’68 Dart came with mismatched upholstery, the rear seat coming from a higher trim version. Maybe Newport grilles had run out temporarily? Not likely.
Have I read somewhere that some jurisdictions were not happy about the clear headlight covers? But then a number of cars used them up until 1968, when they were outlawed by new federal lighting standards. They’re not here, and truth be told, when I fist looked at this front end, I didn’t register that it wasn’t the Newport front end, in part because of the missing headlight covers. I had to go back to the brochure to make sure there wasn’t a Newport Custom or such that used the NY grille, minus the covers.
Given the dual exhausts, one might assume this Newport has the optional 325 hp four barrel 383, but then its rear end might be as in-authentic as its front end.
Elwood Engel recycled a lot of his 1961 Continental themes in these new Chrysler’s, although the chrome-tipped horizontal crease on its sides is not as high up and out as it was on the Contis, a reflection of the changing times and a move towards a smother transition from the window base into the body side. Exner had pioneered that in his 1960 Valiant and 1962 Dodge and Plymouth, and it would come back on the 1969 fuselage cars, but for 1965-1968 it took a slab-sided hiatus, although as these pictures show, it was less exaggerated on the Chrysler than on the Continental.
The lower line of that edge allowed Engel to incorporate the door handles into it, similarly to the 1961-1963 Thunderbird.
I got to ride in that ’65 Chrysler my relative had when he came to visit, and what a contrast it was to our ’62 stripper Fairlane. Now this is a real car! Why couldn’t my dad have bought one of these instead? And our friends, the Blodis, also from Austria, had just bought one too. Chryslers were the next best thing to a Mercedes, which is exactly what my dad’s cousin (“Uncle Leo”) bought next: a 280 SE. The trunk wasn’t as large, but who cared? Not me or him.