Last Night’s Dream: 1960 Plymouth XNR – Haven’t I Seen Your Face Around Here Before?

Virgil Exner; how dull the Autosphere would have been without you. Yes, there were a few cars along the that were a bit  challenging, shall we say? And the whole 1962 debacle; well, we’ll just forget that. Even as a kid I never mistook your stuff for anything coming out of GM’s studios. You’d never have fit in with Earl or Mitchell (actually, Exner started his career there with Earl way back).

You were always trying new things, taking huge risks…with your employer’s sheer survival, it seemed at times. Your semi-eponymous XNR from 1960 is pretty representative of your Valiant work of that era: the splayed out fins and sloping back, and those most distinct hips. And that asymmetrical hood that resolves into the instrument panel and those front fins; Exneruberance at its finest.

Exner loved to drive sports cars (natch), and the XNR was very much drivable, based on the new 1960 Valiant, and plenty brisk. 250 hp Hyper-Pak 170 CID slant six. And that face; well, it eventually got recycled, but it took about a decade or so…