(Found In) Golden Gate (Oakland, California): 1961 Dodge Dart Seneca 2 Door Sedan

170D2987-5DBA-4EF4-88DA-A499E215FDCAStrange times call for strange subjects, correct? Nothing gets more absurd and always great for examination when it comes to automobiles than the products Chrysler Corporation produced between 1960 and 1962.

None of them can be considered, even in the context of the later googie-interstellar design influences throughout product design, ‘normal.’ They all beamed down from outer space and asked to be taken to our leaders. Strangest of all might be the collective 1961 line. The friendliest face, with the most devastating mission, would be the line of 1961 Darts. Granted the Dart line up of 1960 had already did plenty of damage to the order established on the planet Mopar.
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(Found In) Santa Fe (Oakland, California): 1964 Dodge Dart GT Convertible

IMG_7707Happy Spring! Here we find ourselves at Spring Equinox of 2017. What better way to celebrate the brightening longer days at this seasonal balance point than a shiny red super stock Dodge? Today’s example is a little bit flashier than the one that The Little Old Lady From Pasadena bought however.

This Dart Convertible brought a sparkle to the compact field for its sophomore season with a bit more muscle under the metal to keep up with more potent players from different brands. What other refinements were added more to the smallest Dodge for ’64?

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(Found In) Uptown (Oakland, California): 1969 Dodge Dart Custom 4 Door Sedan

img_5655Before the automotive market fully fragmented due to offerings to fit every type of vehicle lifestyle, the vast majority of automotive sales went to the 4 door sedan. Each American brand offered many flavors of door opening convenience through their line ups. Most often, each one was offered in bargain basement, deluxe and sometimes luxury trim by the mid 1960’s.

Dodge was no different in offering different flavors of its three different sedan sizes. The smallest you could get was the ever popular Valiant based A-body Dart before you stepped up to larger Coronet, Polara & Monaco offerings. The Dart’s aim scored success as a reasonable pair of sensible shoes, but how exactly?

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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco): 1958 Dodge Royal Lancer D-500 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

12666505_10153279337232201_596618935_nThe fabulous fin-tailed Forward Look rocked the industry in 1957. Beyond the styling and the engineering, Mopar’s mainstream brands all fielded muscle coupes and convertibles as halo highway eaters. The most demonic Dodge was the least known, however.

Not casting a singular performance model, the Royal Lancer decidedly played double duty, offering a multi-layered approach to the burgeoning medium priced luxury field. Perhaps the only Dodge tactic not encroaching fully on DeSoto territory, it’s among the rarest of a rare breed of bird.
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(Found In) The Bayview (San Francisco, California): 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

12570985_10153265225732201_290692963_n If this Dodge Charger was decked out in All-Black, it would cut a far more threatening presence on the streets of San Francisco. As it stands, resplendent in a shade close to gold, it remains one of the most celebrated muscle machines of the late 1960’s.

The Charger was a cross section model with little definition. It too big to be a Pony Car, too unique in design to be a mainstream Mid Sized Muscle car (and Dodge had Coronet R/T models to serve that purpose) yet not as luxurious as some rivals to be cast as a personal coupe. In theory, it was one of the most unique Mopar offerings for the 2nd half of the 1960’s, and had a special corner of the market all to itself.
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(Found in) Islais Creek (San Francisco) – 1968 Dodge Coronet 440 4 Door Sedan

11160290_10152735412347201_1140823247_nOne would look at this swanky “all new” for 1968 mid-sized Dodge and not see an older “full sized” Dodge underneath.

However, Mopar middle children for nearly 2 decades before they were re-visioned 20 years later back to full sized sedan status can all trace their roots back to the infamous shrunken sales failures of 1962.

Each year more and more sheetmetal distance was put between that failed start and a semblance of success. Underneath however, were the main basic goodies that had long proved these to be rather wonderful choices in the intermediate field.

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(Found In) West Oakland – 1963 Dodge 330 Four Door Sedan

image (23) 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.

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