Like that "$100 Million Look" of the mid-'50s Mopars? So did a lot of folks, who made 1955
'55-'56 "Shoebox" Mopars (All brands)
"The $100 Million Look" is what the ads called Chrysler's four car lines for 1955, as Plymouth, Dodge, De Soto, and Chrysler not only wore all-new sheetmetal, they were also built on all-new platforms. And in the opinion of many back then, they were the best cars that Chrysler had ever produced. That included new-car buyers-1955 was Chrysler's best sales year yet, and 1956 wasn't too shabby either.
These years marked the first-ever Plymouth V-8s, as the Poly first appeared as an option alongside the venerable flathead Six, while Dodge, De Soto, and Chrysler all carried over their Hemis.
Mopar's shoeboxes were as fast and as stylish as the other guys' mid-'50s cars, but they w
Even now, 50-plus years later, these cars are still lookers. We've seen instances where someone parks a '55 or '56 Plymouth on a showfield next to a same-year Chevy, and the Plymouth gets all the attention.
The best-preserved ones make the best projects and cruisers, regardless of body style. Special versions to keep en eye out for are the '56 Plymouth Fury, the '55 and '56 Dodge D-500s, the '56 De Soto Pacesetter that was the Indy 500's Official Pace Car, and, naturally, the first "letter" Chrysler 300s: the '55 C-300 and '56 300B.
Plush replaced power in Charger's top model in 1973-'74. Here's a '73 Charger non-SE. The
The "Torsion Quiet" '73-'78 B-Bodies
Starting in 1973, Chrysler added more rubber pieces and other bits to dampen road shocks and vibration, resulting in the "Torsion-Quiet Ride" of the late B-Body cars.
Even though the Hemis and Six Packs were off the options list, the '73 B-Body two-doors still sold well, especially the Charger SE (with its distinctive, gill-like opera windows). That sales pace didn't carry far into 1974, as the first "oil shock" of October 1973 clobbered sales of everything larger than the A-Body. The '75 redesign resulted in squared-off hardtops that looked better than their GM and Blue Oval sales competitors. sedans/wagons got facelifts that saw them share everything but grilles and nameplates. The year 1975 was the last year for the B-Body Road Runner, and the first year for the Cordoba/Charger SE, which were aimed at the Monte Carlo/Grand Prix end of the new-car market.
B-Body Dodges never got any plusher than the '75-'78 Charger SE. The 360s and 400s were fa
More likely than not, there's a 318 or 360 under the hood, with 400s a fairly-rare option and 440s only found in the cop-equipped Pursuit sedans. But the gear developed for the men in blue works on civilian rides-witness the B-Body cars of all types that now wear the 15 7-inch slotted wheels that were cop-only in 1978. Ditto for upgraded steering and suspension systems fitted with equipment scavenged off a parted-out ex-cop car.
One caution: The "Lean Burn" electronic engine-control systems, which first appeared in 1976, weren't the most reliable gadgets ever installed by Mother Mopar. If you've got a car that's ELB-equipped, count your blessings if that early onboard computer still works. Many didn't and were replaced with conventional ignitions.