DFHC 10/8/2011

Ask Cool Daddy Goes Beep Beep

Dear Cool Daddy: Wasn’t there a car in the 1950s made especially for women or something like that? I figure if anybody knows, you know. …from Coco, in Pismo Beach

Dear Coco: You know, when you’re right, you’re right, and you’re right! It was the Dodge La Femme, available in the 1955 and 1956 model years. The origin for it was a 1954 show car, “dream car” as they used to be called…actually, a his-and-her pair of them, called Le Comte and La Comtesse (Count and Countess.) The female version you see below…that was a glass top in the roof, hard to see in the large picture, but clearer in the 2 smaller ones on the right.

Positive reaction to this Pinkmobile prompted the decision to do it as a production model. Renamed La Femme, it was based on Dodge’s top-of-the-line model, the Custom Royal Lancer. The first was a 1955 model, available in the Spring of ’55 as  a “Spring special”…a special edition to try to goose up sales after the introduction of the new models the previous fall.

Body colors were Heather Rose and Sapphire White…the show car had been Dusty Rose and Pigeon Gray…with matching trim and jacquard upholstery inside. The La Femme script on the fenders was gold, not chrome.

But apart from the paint color and fabrics, there were additional doodads…like a fancy purse by Evans of Chicago, with compact, lipstick case, comb, cigarette lighter, and change purse, as seen below.

There was also a pocket behind one of the front seats that held a raincoat, rain bonnet, and umbrella, all color-coordinated and matching everything else, of course.

This was technically an option package, adding $143 to the base price of around $2600.

Dealers were  enthusiastic with the results, and the La Femme returned in 1956 for one more go…this time, the color scheme was Misty Orchid and Regal Orchid, as seen below…notice: real tail-fins!

No breakdown of options ordered exists as such, but researchers estimate that about 2500 La Femmes were produced, of which no more than 60 or so exist today. Among car collectors and enthusiasts, the La Femme was seen as an oddity at best…it certainly didn’t start a fad or trend…well except maybe for the Pink Cadillacs and Lavender Lincolns. Yet with today’s Think Pink revival…goes around, comes around, nez pah?

Wicked Ballsy

Oh, and by the way…you could even order your La Femme with Chrysler Corporation’s new “Highway Hi Fi” under-dash record player…a concept that didn’t last long, well not with vinyl anyway…it took the 8-track to make it practical. These special records revolved at a leisurely 16 2/3 rpm…the slower the speed, the less likely the needle would get jostled as you drove along, you see…

shameless plugs, in the PINK…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Deep Fried Hoodsie Cups Daily Blog:    https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com/

Other Daily Blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

NEW!   >>>>>   Audio samples at  http://stolfspots.podbean.com/   <<<<<<

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