This car should register as hideously ugly, but it doesn't. The 1961 Plymouth Valiant (or it could be a '62 - the tend to advertise model years a little early) was marketed as a dependable and practical family car - not a beauty. Somehow, it didn't come out looking all that wonky.
I mean, its no Studebaker Avanti, but for a family wagon, you could do much worse. Since this was 1962, car designers were all excited with putting jet airplane-like things all over the car.
See? The vent things on the rear fenders look like air intakes and the wheel covers look like turbines. That was all the rage at the time. On something as clunky as a wagon, its wonderfully hilarious. That may be what makes it work for me.
By comparison, consider my old un-favorite the Pontiac Aztek: one of the worst horrors ever devised to punish the eye.They're both clunky wagons with strange cargo area windows, but the Valiant kind of pulls it off. The Aztek raises the bile in my throat. On the other hand, could it be that the Aztek's hateful appearance will sweeten in forty years? Mmmmmm.... not a chance.
What's with the fake Irish talk in the copy? I wondered if maybe the Valiant was assembled in Ireland, in some kooky attempt to reduce labor costs? Nope. It was built in Hamtramck Michigan. Maybe the "Begorrah" and "Scotch" remarks were some kind of joke about practicality and frugality? This seems likely in '61, before anyone thought being an ethnocentric honky prick was a bad thing?
In other news, why is the man in the foreground staring so intently at the mechanic's wiener? "So, uh... must get awful lonely fixing cars all day, talking to customers, answering the phone, with no man in a hat to hold you close and tell you it'll be all right."