Anyone else like 1964 Chrysler longroofs too?

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by WagonTheDog, Nov 6, 2021.

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Do you appreciate the quirky styling of '64 Chryslers?

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  1. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the length of my post, but I just felt suddenly impassioned and this post just flowed out of me...

    This thread has no real point to it, though, other than my curious growing appreciation for the 1964 Chrysler models as a whole. The 1963 and 1964 models share the same basic body style, except the '64 models have more distinctive looking blocky diamond-shaped tail lights, whereas the '63s had simpler round tail lights. There are other minor differences between the two model years, of course, but at first glance the '63s and '64s look pretty much identical.

    These cars were the last gasp for Chrysler's "Forward Look" cars, which were designed by revered and somewhat controversial Chrysler styling engineer, Vigil Exner. The most iconic cars he was responsible for designing were the 1955-'59 Chryslers, Dodges, Plymouths, DeSotos and Imperials, which coined such memorable ad slogans as, "The New 100-Million Dollar Look" and, "Suddenly, It's 1960!" The cars he designed during that period were fairly revolutionary, and well...forward looking for their time, and are generally looked upon favourably by collectors today.

    However, beginning in 1960 his designs increasingly became more and more bizarre with each model year, which ended with one of the last cars he had a hand in designing: the 1963-'64 Chryslers. In particular with the 1961-'64 cars across all Mopar brands, they were a complete flop in the marketplace and people just did not gravitate toward their quirky and sometimes downright odd styling cues and proportions. Virgil Exner was finally relieved of his Head of Design title by Chrysler in 1963 and was then kept on as a consultant for a few more years afterward.

    Back to the subject of 1964 Chryslers: in the past, even as a Mopar guy I never really liked their odd, square overhanging front end styling; their odd, wedge-shaped grills or their quirky headlight bezels (on some models). Nor did I really appreciate their tail light design at the time. I have no idea what changed - or how, or why for that matter - but within the last year I came across some pics of 1964 Chrysler models and suddenly I "got" it. The design queues just started to click with me for some reason.

    I still think the square, overhanging, wedge-shaped front end styling is a bit quirky, but now I see it in a more appreciative way, instead of just in a "weird", off-putting way. But then I began to fall for its diamond-esque tail light shape; its attractive roofline and C-pillar; its almost muscular haunch toward the rear quarter and C-pillar area; its clean, contoured sides and how the trim along the upper shoulder line slopes downward ever so slightly toward the tail lights; its understatedly attractive curved back window; its clean trunk lid that is flanked by shallow fins on each side that gently slope downward toward the back; and how the rear bumper neatly tucks into the sheetmetal of the lower quarters. I also took note of how I liked its perfectly symmetrical gauge cluster layout and overall design, with its typical-for-the-era push button automatic controls that mirror the climate control buttons on the right side; its clean and not-too-complex upholstery and door panel designs, etc.

    Then I looked at the wagons and appreciated how the upper shoulder line wraps around and creates a (subjectively) tasteful overhang above the tail lights; the design of its rear side glass and how the upper shoulder line fades downward toward the back, creating an elegantly contoured body panel between them; how the gas cap is neatly flush-mounted on the top corner of the driver's side rear quarter; the curvature of the rear tailgate and how the lines of the rear glass add to its effect...I could go on, but I only have so much room here. lol

    But yeah, the styling of the 1964 Chrysler cars just suddenly "clicked" with me and I could honestly see owning one of those in a wagon or even a 2-door or 4-door hardtop. Styling is SO subjective (and this one snuck up on me by surprise), but for me, the styling of the '64s is equally understated, overstated, elegant and quirky. Don't ask me why, but they've really grown on me.

    Also, additionally for any fellow Mopar fanatics reading this (if you've made it this far, congrats lol): I know this series of car isn't a C-body car (C-bodies debuted in 1965), but I can't seem to find a letter designation for this body/chassis configuration. All I have been able to find is that these are (supposedly) just generically called "full-sized" Chryslers from this era. Was there a letter designation for this body/chassis, or were they just called "full-sized"?

    Anywayyyyy...so? Anyone else have an appreciation for 1964 Chryslers? :) Or is it just me? :rofl2:

    Here's some random pics to whet your weirdness appetite. lol. Sorry for the non-longroof ones, but these are what led me to loving the '64 wagons too! :oops:...

    300-1964-Chrysler-300K-front.jpg
    300Screen Shot 2021-08-30 at 8.35.48 AM.jpg
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    1964-chrysler-newport-sport-coupe.jpeg
    Screen Shot 2021-11-06 at 1.15.44 AM.jpg
    fl0116-227299_5@2x.jpg
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    1964-chrysler-new-yorker-town-country-american-cars-for-sale-2016-10-31-1-1024x768-1024x768.jpg
    b396050d3de4fa59ec4d1826e9625d1c.jpg
     
  2. wylee

    wylee New Member

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    sweet cars !!!
     
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  3. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    I think so too! :D
     
  4. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a '64 New Yorker Town & Country would be welcome in my garage anytime.......
     
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  5. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    For sure. The front end styling is certainly unconventional, but I really like its body lines, contours and overall styling queues. I actually forgot to post a picture of the Chrysler Windsor/Newport grill which I like a little more. The pictures I posted above with the bicoloured crosshatch grill is the one used on the Saratoga and 300K letter series cars, which I'm not as keen on. Still nice, but I prefer the Windsor and Newport grills. The New Yorker was also nice, but I just like the cleaner entry level look. Great cars overall though. Ultimately, I'd happily own any one of them.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but in the closeup picture of the gauge cluster the speedometer is in kilometers per hour! o_O That must have been an overseas export car (Canada didn't adopt the metric system until 1975).
     
  7. ArnieM888

    ArnieM888 Well-Known Member

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    As a bodyman I was always intrigued how Chrysler stamped out those front fenders .... significant fender overhang above the headlights ... then the bulging and protruding headlights .... cannot do that in one stamping so they must have stamped it twice.

    Anyway , unusual and unique front ... but many of the 63-64 cars the rear sides were very plain at the tailights .... its as though the engineers were exhausted after designing the front .... haaaa.

    . 64 chrysler.JPG 64 chrysler blu.JPG 64 chrysler blu rear.JPG
     
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  8. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    Some of those early to mid 60s Mopars had some surprisingly elaborate and intricate stampings. I always wondered how they stamped those fenders too. I bet they were an absolute nightmare for body guys doing collision repairs on them back in the day though.

    As for the sides, honestly, I think if they had made them with multiple or compound radiused sides with elaborate trim that the entire car would have looked too busy. So, I actually think the car is served quite nicely with the plainer sides it has. I think what it does is serve as a smooth transition point to draw one's attention to the front and rear styling, as well as all the other subtleties of the design. But even at that, there are some nice touches along the sides on all body styles. Particularly the wagon.

    I always used to think these cars were gaudy, and just weird and distasteful looking, but now I'm really appreciating so many of its styling details. Go figure.
     
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  9. ArnieM888

    ArnieM888 Well-Known Member

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    I was the same ... never really liked them ..... such as the early Valiants ... probably because they were efficient compact cars with the tiny 170 cu in slant 6 ... mostly women and teachers drove them and hot-rod wannabes like me wanted big power.

    Interesting all these years later I have become fond of them and wish I had one .... especially with the spare tire stamping on the trunk.

    .
    60 valiant spare.JPG 60 valiant.JPG .
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  10. ArnieM888

    ArnieM888 Well-Known Member

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    Valiant wagons are cool too

    Even the sheet metal roof has extra curvature added ... just above tailgate window.

    .
    61 valiant wagon.JPG
     
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  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Where's Jeremiah, when you're talking his language?:bigsmile:

    And, Leadslead and I took the Breezeway down the street to a neighbor's house, where he has a '63 Plymouth Fury, and introduced ourselves. Like Jeremiah, Ruben's '63 was passed down to him, but by his father, who bought it new. We'll have to show him this thread, see what he has to say.
     
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  12. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    I always had a lil' soft spot the early 1960-'62 Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Lancer "road toads", as they were affectionately named. As well as the 1962 Plymouth B-body Savoy/Belvedere/Fury cars (which look cool in wagon form). They're very quirky, but again, they are just cool and unique cars with very difficult, and elaborate stampings.

    But I love the ol' "leaning tower of power" slant sixes! Including the 170! :D I've always had a love for underdog engines like the slant six, 273 and 318 A (Poly)/318 LA/318 Magnum, etc. They're all great engines and I'd be just as happy with one of those as a 440. Probably even happier (unless it was a factory 440 car). I'd even be happy with an "oddball" 361 big block. I'd also rather keep a car's stock engine than rip it out and put in a 360 small block or a 400, or 440 big block like most people do. But I'm weird like that. ;)

    Yeah, they're neat. That contoured roof edge at the back is a really cool touch that I always liked about those cars.

    That's awesome. I'd love to see pics of his car if he's willing to share any! :) A separate thread about that car would be really cool. I also loves me some '63 Plymouth B-bodies too! :D
     
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  13. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    A '64 New Yorker Town & Country. :thumbs2:

    1964-chrysler-new-yorker-hardtop-station-wagon-413-wedge-mopar-low-miles-c-body-1.jpg
     
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  14. Dan Scully

    Dan Scully Well-Known Member

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    I, am partial to the Dodge version for some reason . :tiphat: DSC02213.jpg
     
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  15. WagonTheDog

    WagonTheDog Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmm, I wonder why??? :scratchchin:
     

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