Vintage Ads: 1961 Plymouth – Solid Beauty

The 1961 Plymouth is of course one of the more…unusual cars of its time, which was a pretty unusual time, actually. So that’s saying something. The fins were chopped, which is why Virgil Exner called them “plucked chickens”, for all-to obvious reasons. I see a lot of 1960 Corvair from this angle. Given that this was essentially a face lift and fin-ectomy, the timing seems about right.

It neither hurt nor helped, sales-wise. Unit sales were down some, but then it was a recession year. Market share was almost unchanged at 3.7%. The 1960 had been the disaster, with market share collapsing from 7.3% to 3.8%, thanks to a major styling miscalculation and the Dodge Dart, which boomed while the Plymouth busted.

I was just getting a bit warmed up from the rear view, and then this comes along: Pop! The 1958 Chevrolet’s rear end makes a return appearance, but on the front.

It’s all a bit muted on the wagon, which suffers some from having to use the sedan rear doors.

No wonder Chrysler management decided to pull the plug on big Plymouths and Dodges for 1962; it wasn’t really much of a risk, considering the stylistic dead end they backed themselves into, and the resulting feeble sales. A pretty pragmatic decision, actually, as big car market share had been dropping for years.