An Account of 1960s Cars' Development

    The average 1960s cars costs about $2,752, and a gallon of gas was around 31 cents. The 1960's were a time of change: the Civil Rights movement as led by Martin Luther King Jr., the Women's Movement with its demand for equal rights, Russia beat the US into outer space, Elvis hits the UK, the Beatles hit world big time, the advent of the counterculture when hair grew longer and beards became common and reaching its zenith in August 1969 at Woodstock, and later in the decade, man set foot on the moon.

    Man on the Moon 1969

    The 1960's automobiles belonged to a distinct decade of automobile history with the advent of economy, muscle. and pony cars.

    The 1960s Cars Were More Economical

    The 1960's saw the American automobile industry consolidating into the Big Three: General Motors, FordChrysler and American Motors. These firms not only dominated the domestic market with the sales of the 1960s cars, but the global market as well. In 1960 American companies built 93 percent of the autos sold in the United States and 48 percent of world .

    In the mid 1950s, however,led by Volkswagen and soon followed by Fiat, Renault, Datsun (Nissan), and Hillman, imports began to nibble their way into the rich American market. The growing presence of imports disturbed Detroit, and the Big Three responded with their own small 1960s cars. GM produced the Corvair, Ford the Falcon, and Chrysler the Valiant.

    Chevy Corvair

    Ford Falcon

    Chrysler Valiant

    1963 Buick Riviera

    1962 Buick Special

    1961 Oldsmobile F-85

    1961 Pontiac Tempest

    GM introduced three new smaller cars in the U.S. as 1961 models: the Buick Special, Oldsmobile F-85 and Pontiac Tempest.

    Oldsmobile F-85 was a compact sedan, coupe and station wagon powered which had a V8 engine from 1961 to 1963. In 1964 the F-85 was upgraded to an intermediate sized car. The Cutlass was initially the top model of the F-85 line but became a separate model by 1964 with the F-85 nameplate continued only on the lowest priced models through the 1972 model year. Subsequently, all Oldsmobile intermediate 1960s cars were Cutlasses.

    1964 Oldsmobile F-85

    1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass Custom 2-Door Coupe

    1966 Chevrolet Corvair 500

    The Corvair would represent several production firsts for Chevy including: their first (only) rear air cooled engine, first unitized body, first production car turbo, and fully independent suspension for each wheel-front and rear.

    Chevrolet introduced the radical Corvair which featured an aluminum 6 cylinder rear engine layout. The 1960 Chevrolet Corvair 500 Deluxe came with a Basic Corvair Engine , one-barrel carburetor, and three-speed manual transmission Chevy may not have "copied" the VW 1960s cars but many of the basics of the air cooled rear engine, compact transaxle and suspension were similar with the main difference that the Corvair was larger, inside and outside and was an "American size compact". The Corvair would represent several production firsts for Chevy including: their first (only) rear air cooled engine, first unitized body, first production car turbo, and fully independent suspension for each wheel-front and rear.

    1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

    The "poor man's Porsche"

    Early in the year of 1960 a "sporty" Monza model was offered with bucket seats, full wheel covers and full vinyl interior. This sporty 1960s cars were to really "drive" Corvair sales and attract the interest of enthusiasts in the coming years.

    Even during this early period the Corvair was developing a following and was considered one of the "sportier" compacts, sometimes being referred to as a "poor man's Porsche".

    As part of the 1962 model year, Chevrolet introduced a new line of 1960s, the Chevy II. The initial Corvair had been positioned as an economy car, but it was much more successful with the plusher trim and sportier image of the Monza model which sold well in 1961.

    1966 Chevy II Nova SS

    1964 Plymouth Valiant

    Chrysler had its Valiant. It was conventional in layout, but actually was extraordinary in its new features. The Valiant was sold as separate brand in the first year, but subsequently displayed Plymouth logos. The first generation was launched in 1960 and lasted until 1962. It consisted of a unibody car. It was restyled in 1963 then totally redesigned in a style reminding of European cars of the time. From 1963, Dodge used the Valiant as a base for its Dart models.

    Only survivor of the Detroit compacts, the Valiant lived up to 1976 when it was replaced by the Volare and its Dodge clone the Aspen. From its creation the Valiant and its various immitations had found a market, but although profitable, did not suffice to stop Plymouth from its share of 1960s cars.

    In fact, the paradox is that the success of the Valiant led Plymouth to make another costly mistake. Assuming the mood for smaller 1960s cars, it downsized its whole fleet. Unfortunately, the majority of customers still wanted larger cars, and Plymouth lost more market shares.

    The Mercury Comet was the everything car for Mercury. Introduced in 1960 on a stretched Falcon frame, the Comet had to be Mercury's compact, intermediate, and pony car entry at the same time. The planned 1961 Edsel Comet compact car was relabeled the Mercury Comet and sold more cars in its first year than all models of Edsel ever produced.

    The Comet was developed as a compact car for the Edsel line. But with the Edsel brand eliminated before the 1960 model year, Ford released the Comet as a separate model, that was sold by Lincoln-Mercury dealers.

    1962 Mercury Comet

    The Mercury Comet was the everything car for Mercury

    Fewer than 6,000 Edsels survive and today they are considered collectors’ items, with convertibles sometimes selling for over US$20,000 if in good condition.

    Rambler - An interesting But Sad Story

    Cheap and easy to repair, the new Rambler was a hit in the recession-racked year of 1958, when American Motors was the only domestic car manufacturer to show a profit. In 1960, Rambler produced over 450,000 cars, and became number three in sales among domestic brands.

    Ramblers were the first cars to use Unibody construction throughout their model lineup. The primary advantage of this technology was a stronger structure without the need for a separate chassis. With less squeaks and rattles, the overwhelming majority of contemporary automobiles, with the exception of trucks and some SUV’s, owe their design to some form of this 1960s cars' original unitized body construction innovation.

    1964 Rambler Classic 770

    In another safety milestone, Rambler was the first to offer seat belts as an option in 1950, and the first to provide them as standard equipment by the end of the decade.

    By 1962, the introduction of compact cars by the big three automakers had decreased Rambler’s market share.

    Rambler introduced some of the most attractive designs of any manufacturer during the mid 1960's. AMC Rambler Limited Edition Extra puts added emphasis on this period with tests of the again redesigned Classic and Ambassador series for 1966, and the introduction of the Classic-based Marlin for 1965.

    1960 Rambler Ambassador

    1965-67 Rambler Marlin

    The unsophisticated Marlin was an attempt to capture a piece of the “personal car” market dominated by the Ford Thunderbird, and Buick Riviera. Unfortunately, Rambler’s attempt to compete with the “Big Three” met with limited success. Their 1960s cars were not selling well. The Rambler name was falling out of favor in a market dominated by flashiness and horsepower. A new image was in the works, and by 1968 the Rambler name, for years a symbol of economy, was shown the door - ending a saga of 1960s cars known for gas saving.

    Some Good Looking 1960s Cars

    1960 Rambler Ambassador

    1960s Ford Galaxie 500

    1963 Corvette Sting Ray

    1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible

    1967 Shelby GT500

    1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

    1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Eleanor

    1969 Dodge Charger

    1968 COPO Camaro

    1968 Plymouth Road Runner

      History of the Automobile:
      Forerunners of the Modern Automobile
      Early 1900's cars
      1920's Cars
      More About 20's Cars
      1930's Cars
      More About 30's Cars
      1940's Cars
      1950's Cars
      1950's Imported Cars
      1970's Cars
      More '70s Cars
      1970s Imported Cars
      1980's Cars
      More '80s Cars
      '80s Car Imports
      1990's Cars
      More '90s Cars
      '90s Imported Cars
      '90s Fastest Cars
      Popular Movie Cars

      When Buying a New Car:

      Step #1: First Things First.
      Step #2: These Websites Will Give You Unbelievable Saving$$.
      Step #3: More Car Buying Guide for Painless Car Buying.
      Step #4: A Checklist Before You Finally Go To A Car Dealer.
      Step #5: It's Time To Make An Offer That The Dealer Can't Refuse.
      Step #6: Before You Buy, Consider This.
      Step #7: You're About To Finalize The Deal - A Word Of Caution!
      Voila! - A New Car

      When Buying a Used Car:

      Step #1: Know Where To Buy.
      Step #2: Alternative Ways To Find Used Cars.
      Step #3: Effective Steps in Finding Reliable Used Cars.
      Step #4: Follow These Steps For A Trouble-Free Used Car.
      Step #5: Do These Things To Effectively Deal With The Dealer Or Individual Seller.
      Step #6: How To Haggle With A Used Car Dealer Or An Individual Seller.
      Step #7: Find Out How To Get The Best Used Cars in the Market.

      How To Sell Your Used Car For Top Dollar$$:

      Preparations You Need To Do To Sell Your Car.
      How To Advertise and Haggle With Car Buyers
      Read These Very Important Tips Before You Finalize The Car Sale.

      Leasing a Car - What You Need To Know

      Advantages of Leasing.
      Disadvantages of Leasing.
      Lease vs Buy: Which is the Better Decision?
      What To Do To Get The Best Lease Deals
      You Can Exit A Lease Through Lease Assumption

      More 1960's Cars:

      1960's Economy Cars

      1962 Ford Falcon
      1966 Corvair Monza

      1960's Muscle Cars

      Dodge Charger Daytona
      Dodge Charger R/T
      1966 Pontiac GTO

      1960's Pony Cars

      1964 Ford Mustang
      1967 Shelby GT500
      1967 Camaro Convertible
      1964 Plymouth Barracuda
      1968 Mercury Cougar

      1960's Foreign Cars

      1963 Austin Mini Cooper
      1966 AC Cobra 427
      1967 Alfa Romeo Spider
      1960 Aston Martin DB4

      Classic 60's American Cars

      1963 Buick Riviera
      Dodge Charger Daytona
      Dodge Charger R/T
      1962 Ford Falcon
      1962 Ford Galaxie 500XL
      1964 Ford Mustang
      1967 Shelby GT500
      1963 Corvette Sting Ray
      1966 Corvair Monza
      1967 Camaro Convertible
      1964 Oldsmobile Starfire
      1964 Plymouth Barracuda
      1968 Mercury Cougar
      1966 Pontiac GTO
      1969 Corvette Stingray

    More about 1960s cars

    Car Loans     New Auto Loan     Used Auto Loan     Private Party Auto Loan     Car Refinance Loan      Auto Loan Deals     Instant Auto Loan     Quick Car Loan     Low Rate Auto Loan     Poor Credit Auto Loan     Bad Credit Auto Loan     Bad Credit Purchases     Upside Down Car Loan     No Credit Car Loan     Importance of a Good Credit Score     How To Improve Credit Score


    Auto Finance Loan