(Found In) Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, California): 1962 Plymouth Fury Four Door Sedan

image (13) You shouldn’t believe everything you hear over dinner party chatter. Especially when you’re already on the ropes with your business. Chrysler Corporation seemed perpetually going just askew of where buyers wanted for a good portion of the Post-war era.

First the boxy post-war efforts, then the lack of an Automatic transmission, then the quality debacles of The Forward Look to some rather interstellar looking land based transit as the decade clock ticked over into the 60’s, it was a surprise that Highland Park found buyers for their wares. Yet another goof greeted them for 1962.
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(Found In) McClymonds (Oakland, California): 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe 4 Door Sedan

12713943_10153300656617201_1397644997_n Once upon a time, the low priced Three automobiles stood securely in their respective reputations. Each brought a unique motoring experience reflective of the corporate philosophy that spurred their development. At the end of the World War, Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth still held steadfast to policies dictated to them ever since they carved out the bottom of the market for the Big 3 automakers.

Things started to change as each rolled out their all-new wares after the war. Where Ford and Chevrolet emphasized style and power, Plymouth advocated for sturdy solidarity and practicality. The spirit of Spinsters that would focus around Plymouth Valiants in the 60’s was an alive and well current at Plymouth seemingly forever.
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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) West Berkeley (Berkeley, California): 1967 Plymouth Sport Fury Convertible

23103158215_cfa935d04f_h In actuality, the Plymouth Fury was the first fearsome Full-Sizer among the Low Priced Three. Plymouth’s Super Sports Coupe debuted as one of the 4 Mopar Super Coupes in 1956, 2 seasons ahead of Chevrolet’s Impala. In addition, the Fury right away asserted itself as performance focused first, with the first 3 seasons dedicated to exclusive coupes with top tier powertrains.

The Sport Fury designation came along in 1959, again, 2 years ahead of the Impala SS. Despite always being ahead of its General Motors rival, the Plymouth’s actual emphasis on go to go along with the show often left it in the shadows of its crosstown rival.
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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California) : 1958 DeSoto Adventurer Sportsman Coupe

12366640_10153190214917201_1545318438_nLong before the muscle car era kicked off in earnest in 1964, Highland Park fielded a ferocious foursome of super coupes in the mid-to late 1950’s. The second most hedonistic was the DeSoto Adventurer.

In DeSoto’s role as the less demure, more accessible Chrysler counterpart, the Adventurer focused quite a bit on outward glitter to compliment the marvelous performance capabilities unleashed by the chassis. Decked out with “Christmas Tree” tail lamps and “Firesweep” two-tone color panels, the Adventurer was the most expensive and prized gift you could receive from DeSoto retailers during the late 1950’s.

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(Found In) Potrero Hill (San Francisco, California): 1966 Chrysler 300 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

12305959_10153168570327201_567136321_nThe Chrysler 300 found itself no longer suffering from a split identity by 1966. Gone for good was the ultra sport-lux Letter series version.

Around since 1962, the Non-Letter 300 went toe to toe with mainstream Bankers hot-rods from perpetual cross town rival Buick. With a smidgen more cachet than the Flint offering, the 300 proved a brisk bet in the equally stuffy Chrysler showroom. With far less outre styling compared to the beginning of the 1960’s, these big block brutes gave Chrysler a sophisticated foothold in the upper crust performance market.

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(Found In) Downtown/City Center Plaza (Oakland, CA): 1968 Plymouth Valiant Signet 2 Door Sedan

12167370_10153094429002201_114606198_n (1)American buyers have always appreciated a reliable “appliance” car. More often than not, Plymouth provided safe and sane reliable transportation as their bread and butter. Perhaps the most refined expression of the wholesome “Peanut Butter and Wheat Germ Sandwich” expression of Plymouth values was the 3rd Generation Plymouth Valiant sold from 1967 through 1976.

For such a humble car, few automobiles have been admired for their all around staid status the way Plymouth Valiants (and to a lesser degree their sister car the Dodge Dart) are. The official ride of High School Chemistry Teachers and Lesbian Librarians of the 1960’s can still be seen in locales that don’t encourage rust to rise on their quarter panels nearly 50 years later.

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(Found In) Bushrod (Oakland, California): 1960 Plymouth Fury Four Door Hardtop Sedan

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Sometimes you get so far ahead of the curve that you’re blind to your own turns. This is precisely the predicament that Highland Park found themselves in with their Forward Look cars at the turn of the decade.

Plymouth in particular had screamed from every stage that Suddenly, It’s 1960! in the fall of 1956. So what were they to do when it actually made it to 1960? Apparently the solution was to offer a brand new Uni-Body shell and soon to be legendary 6 cylinder powerplant in an updated wrapper of what warped the automotive Space-Time continuum 3 seasons earlier.

Bedazzled and befinned, we have the 1960 Plymouth looking to the recent past as it plugged from the Space Age to the Camelot years.

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(Found In) Guerneville (California) – 1971 Plymouth Satellite Regent Station Wagon

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Once upon a time in America, the Station Wagon once reigned as the ultimate Suburban Status Symbol. Costing more than convertibles for their extra utility, each manufacturer south of the top luxury brands scrambled and served up the finest confections they could possibly think of to the discerning growing families on cul-de-sacs nationwide.

Plymouth, once a provider of sensible small steel wagons in the early fifties had latched onto the faux pretense of wood paneling suburban good taste as 2 decades passed. The heavy influence of The Ford Country Squire made sure that image was part and parcel of most family conveyances. To deviate from this norm typically meant death to your Station Wagon business.

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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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