There’s something always a bit sinister about a car with flat black paint and “Baby Moon” hubcaps. Who knows what’s going on as the driver of this 1963 Dodge 330 Sedan pulled over on West Grand Boulevard to take a phone call? Will his mission report self destruct?
In a lot of ways, the 1963 offerings from Highland Park, Michigan reflected an attempt to make it back from the brink of disaster that their 1962 models had caused. The metaphor for pulling over and rethinking the strategy for success is clearly laid out in the styling morph these almost-Full Sized cars did in one model season.
Some of the weirdness from the previous season still sat on the face of the 1963 Dodges. Notably the asymmetrical headlamp arrangement found itself a bit more boxed in by a more traditional grille. The roofline featured a far more formal C-Pillar for all models this year, but the “Speedboat” Cowl from the previous year stayed as a styling quirk for the upper body for one more year.
Although they didn’t have the full-size girth of competitive Full Sized Pontiac and Mercury Offerings, they made up for it with a plethora of performance options and hard to beat performance on and off the track. They also offered downmarket Six Cylinder Power as well, which encroached on Plymouth territory as well as broadening their buyer base.
It all worked for the better. 1963 Dodge sales were far less abysmal than the tragic mistake that 1962 proved to be for the brand. Sales were buoyed by a healthy re-branding of the Dart as a senior compact on top of pure gravy sales of the Chrysler Newport based 880/Custom 880 model. Although it wouldn’t be until 1965 that Dodge truly got into the full swing of a recovery, the products they offered, including this lowly 330 Sedan seeing suspicious duty on Saturday Afternoons, were well on their way to recovering the road ahead for the brand of the Ram.
2 thoughts on “(Found In) West Oakland – 1963 Dodge 330 Four Door Sedan”
This would’ve been an easy choice for me if I were a full-size car buyer in 1963. This, of course, is coming from the perspective of a “gen-y” son of import buyers; the Mopars of this period look most like the sober and rectilinear cars I loved as a child and miss seeing today. I think the lack of tumblehome hurts the design, especially from a 3/4 angle; the greenhouse from a side-on view looks very clean and sporty, on the other hand, and is my favorite feature of these cars.
I didn’t even notice the guy in the driver’s seat at first. He looks rather young; I wonder what his impressions of this car’s dynamics are. I can’t imagine it’d be that fun to drive something like this outside of city traffic these days.
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