American Car Spotters Guide - 1961

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1961


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1961 Pontiac Star Chief
USA

AMC Rambler Range

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
The second generation Rambler American was achieved through a heavy restyling of the previous year's model under AMC's styling Vice President Edmund E. Anderson. While mechanically identical to the 1960 model, Anderson's restyle resulted in a car that was shorter in its exterior dimensions with an overall length of 173.1 inches (4,397 mm), but increased in its cargo capacity. Continuing to ride on the 100 inches (2,540 mm) wheelbase, the American's new styling was more square (sometimes described as "breadbox") instead of round (or "bathtub"), and the visual connection with the original 1950 Nash model had finally disappeared.
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1961 AMC Rambler American
USA

AMC Rambler American

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
  For 1961 the American line added a four-door station wagon, as well as a two-door convertible for the first time since 1954. It featured a folding top with roll-down door glass, rather than the fixed side-window frames of the original design.
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1961 Buick Electra
USA

Buick LeSabre, Invicta and Electra

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
For 1961 the Buick lineup was totally re-styled. The elaborate fins were gone, the roofline was changed, although the trademark portholes remained. In side profile, the lines looked more like a steak knife, but it was very modern and gave the car a faster more meaningful stance. The LeSabre had a 123 inch wheelbase and came standard with the 250 horsepower engine, and by years end this model proved to be the most popular 1961 Buick, with 37,790 being built. The Invicta shared the same wheelbase, but came with the 325 hp V8, while the Electra rode on a 126 inch wheelbase. 18,398 Invicta 4-door sedans were manufactured, selling for $3515. Production figures for the standard Electra include model #4719 sedan: 13,818 which sold for $3825, model #4737 2 door Hardtop: 4,250 which sold for $3818 and model #4739 4-door Hardtop: 8,978 which sold for $3932. The beautiful Electra 225 convertible sold for $4192, and 7,158 were built.
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1961 Buick Electra 225 Sport Sedan
USA

Buick Electra 225 Sport Sedan

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
   
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1961 Buick LeSabre Wagon
USA

Buick LeSabre Wagon

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
   
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1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Van
USA

Chevrolet Corvair 95 Van

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1961 Chevrolet Impala 2 Door Hardtop
USA

Chevrolet Impala 2 Door Hardtop

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
The Impala was restyled on the existing GM B platform for 1961. The new body styling was more trim and boxy than the 1958-1960 models. Sport Coupe models featured a "bubbleback" roofline style for 1961, and a unique model, the 2-door pillared sedan, was available for 1961 only. It was rarely ordered and a scarce collectible today. The rare Super Sport (SS) option debuted for 1961.
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1961 Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Sedan 2 Door
USA

Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Sedan 2 Door

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
In 1961, the Impala SS (Super Sport) was introduced to the market. The SS badge was to become Chevrolet's signature of performance on many models, though it has often been an appearance package only. The Impala's SS package in 1961 was truly a performance package, beginning with the high-performance 348-cubic-inch (5.7 Litre) V8 engines available with 305 brake horsepower (227 kW), 340 brake horsepower (250 kW), and 350 brake horsepower (260 kW) or the new 409-cubic-inch (6.7 Litre) V8, which was available with up to 425 brake horsepower (317 kW). The package also included upgraded tyres on station wagon wheels, springs, shocks and special sintered metallic brake linings.
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1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
USA

Chevrolet Impala Convertible

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
The Impala was restyled on the existing GM B platform for 1961. The new body styling was more trim and boxy than the 1958-1960 models. Sport Coupe models featured a "bubbleback" roofline style for 1961, and a unique model, the 2-door pillared sedan, was available for 1961 only. It was rarely ordered and a scarce collectible today. The rare Super Sport (SS) option debuted for 1961.
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1961 Chrysler Newport
USA

Chrysler Newport

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
The Newport was inaugurated as a full size Chrysler class car that ran on regular grade fuel and had an economical price tag. To make its debut even more auspicious' the Newport won its class of the Mobilgas Economy Run with an average of 19.99 miles per gallon. The alternator became standard in all Chryslers.
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1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 Door Hardtop Coupe
USA

Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix Convertible
USA

Dodge Dart Phoenix Convertible

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1961 Dodge Dart Pioneer 2 Door Hardtop
USA

Dodge Dart Pioneer 2 Door Hardtop

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1961 Dodge Polara 4 Door Hardtop
USA

Dodge Polara 4 Door Hardtop

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 

For 1961, Dodge dropped the Matador, leaving the Polara as the sole "senior" Dodge model. Darts on the shorter wheelbase continued. Exner’s styling department reversed the car’s fins, making them taller as they flowed toward the rear window. As the fins sloped towards the rear of the car, they cut slightly towards the centre (to allow the single tail light housing on each side) of the rear of the vehicle, wrapping downward and then back along the side fender to form a C-shaped line accentuated in chrome. The overall effect made the rear of the car seem to "pucker" from the angles the design created.

Up front, the massive bumper treatments that had been a Dodge hallmark since 1957 were replaced with a simple bar design, above which was a massive concave grille shared with the Dodge Dart. The 1961 styling overhaul of the Dodge line-up was different from anything else on the US market at that time (save the 1961 Plymouth, which was equally unique in its styling) and consumers voted on the 1961 restyle with their car-shopping dollars.

Sales of fullsize Dodges plunged to their lowest levels since the firms founding in 1914, with only 14,032 units produced in the United States. For the second straight year, the make was carried by the Dart which saw sales of 142,000 units for the year. Total Dodge sales for 1961 were down 53% compared to 1960, dropping the make from sixth in the American market to ninth place.

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Ford Thunderbird Convertible
USA

Ford Thunderbird Convertible

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
   
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1961 Lincoln Continental 4-Door
USA

Lincoln Continental 4-Door

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
   
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1961 Lincoln Continental 4-Door Convertible
USA

Lincoln Continental 4-Door Convertible

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
In 1961, the concept of a large four-door convertible with an electric folding roof was radical. The car was a stunner, and quickly became globally recognised when President Kennedy was shot dead in one.
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1961 Mercury Colony Park Wagon
USA

Mercury Colony Park Wagon

  Also see: Mercury Road Tests and Reviews | Mercury Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass 2 Door
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass 2 Door

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass 2 Door Coupe Hardtop
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Coupe Hardtop

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile F-85 DeLuxe Wagon
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 DeLuxe Wagon

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile F-85 DeLuxe Wagon
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 DeLuxe Wagon

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible
USA

Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile Super 88 Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile Super 88 Sedan

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1961 Oldsmobile Super 88 Sedan
USA

Pontiac Bonneville Sport Coupe

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
The 1961 full-sized Pontiacs were completely restyled with more squared-off bodylines, the reintroduction of the split grille first seen in 1959 and dropped for 1960 and an all-new Torque-Box perimeter frame with side rails replacing the "X" frame chassis used since 1958. The new frame not only provided greater side-impact protection than the "X" design but also improved interior roominess. Rooflines were more squared off on four-door models with the six-window styling dropped on pillared sedans and wider C-pillars with flat rear windows on four-door hardtops.

A revised version of the 1959-60 "bubbletop" roof was used on two-door hardtops. Wrap-around windshields were dropped in favor of flatter glass work for improved entry and exit to the front seat. The new body was somewhat smaller and lighter than the 1960 model with wheelbase down three inches (76 mm) to 119, overall length reduced by the same to 210 inches (5,300 mm) and width dropping nearly two inches to 78.2 from 80 in (2032 mm) 1960.
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1961 Pontiac Catalina Sport Sedan
USA

Pontiac Catalina Sport Sedan

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Despite the reduced length and width, the wider track between the wheels was retained for outstanding ride and handling characteristics. The new '61 Pontiac was advertised as "All Pontiac...On a New Wide Track." All engines were again 389 cubic-inch V8s as in previous years. Standard engines were two-barrel units rated at 215 with the three-speed manual transmission or 267 with the optional Hydramatic, with a 230 horsepower (170 kW) regular-fuel economy V8 offered as a no-cost option with the Hydramatic

Offered as extra-cost options were more powerful versions of the 389 including a 303 horsepower (226 kW) version with four-barrel carburettor or 318 horsepower (237 kW) Tri-Power option with three two-barrel carburettors. New to the option list were two higher performance versions of the 389 V8 including a four-barrel 333 horsepower (248 kW) unit and a 348 horsepower (260 kW) Tri-Power option, both with higher 10.75 to 1 compression ratios.
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1961 Pontiac Star Chief
USA

Pontiac Star Chief

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
A new three-speed Roto Hydramatic transmission replaced the previous four-speed unit for 1961. The new transmission was slimmer and lighter than the older four-speed Hydramatic, which was continued on the Star Chief and Bonneville models. Also new for 1961 was a four-speed manual transmission with Hurst floor shifter, available on special order.
1961 Rambler American
1961 Rambler American.
1961 Chrysler New-Yorker
1961 Chrysler New-Yorker.
1961 Chrysler New-Yorker Four-Door Station Wagon
1961 Chrysler New-Yorker Four-Door Station Wagon.
1961 Chrysler Newport Four-Door Hardtop
1961 Chrysler Newport Four-Door Hardtop.
1961 Chrysler Newport Four Door Station Wagon
1961 Chrysler Newport Four Door Station Wagon.
1961 Ford Falcon
1961 Ford Falcon.
1961 Plymouth Valiant 4-Door Sedan V200
1961 Plymouth Valiant 4-Door Sedan V200.
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