I’m a big fan of Chrysler products from the late 1950s to early 1960s, a time in automotive history when fins grew on Chryslers, Dodges, Plymouths and DeSotos and then suddenly shrunk and vanished. The brand DeSoto vanished altogether, but in their quest to eliminate the fins, officially called stabilizers, Chrysler produced some odd looking vehicles in 1961 that are huge collectibles today.
One such vehicle is the 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix, a somewhat rare car in its day, and extremely rare today. WFSB viewer Bruce Bissonnette owns two of them, and invited me to check them out.
First up, a glacier blue convertible that has quite a history. Bissonnette told me it is the actual car driven by Elvis Presley in the 1961 film “Blue Hawaii.” It changed hands over the years and has been repainted and restored, and Bissonnette picked it up a few months ago to keep his white ’61 company.
We met at the legendary Shady Glen Dairy Store in Manchester, that is actually older than Bissonnette’s Dodge. My matching shoes were a coincidence, and Bruce says he wants a pair. I’ll trade mine for his Dodge.
Click picture to make bigger
My favorite from that era? The 1960 Chrysler Imperial and 1960 Plymouth Fury.