3/23/11

1962 Plymouth Valiant Wagon - Ugly Pretty

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."

9 comments:

Craig said...

The world's most racist ad campaign.

"Ah, fer fook's sake, maybe yer a wee bit Jewish and can't even put air in your toires!

Or mebbe you're a wee bit Mexican and only steal the foinest, most space-agey cars made today!

Or perhaps, by Jaysus, you're one of them dark fellas and need load of room for your nine kids and watermelon!

The Valiant is the car for you and all your theivin' scoombag degenerate types!

Stop in today to try one. If we're passed out drunk just leave a note and we'll call you back."

Phil Are Go! said...

Zing! Take THAT, 1961! Well done, Craig.

Dave Pryor said...

I have this game I like to play where I try to guess what the creatively cropped content at the end of the post will be. This one was an easy one.

Sue said...

Maybe he sees something he likes! (Nothing wrong with that. Big fan of the parts, myself)

Mr. Craig, excellent job on the racial slurs. 1961 would be proud! I'll still be chuckling when we're all in hell!

Phil Are Go! said...

Yes, while P.A.G. generally adheres to a strict editorial code of "avoid the low hanging fruit", sometimes that fruit hangs so low that it's too juicy and tender not to take a swing at it.

Knowing this "guess the crop" game Dave plays, the "parting crop" will now get ever more weird.

When we all wind up in this "hell" place, I'm sure we'll all be driving Azteks.

Sue said...

Just you, McCracken! I'LL be in a Smart Car with no A/C, no stereo and no power steering!!

John said...

I own a car identical to the one in the ad. No one looks at my privates but the wagon is a real attention getter.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

You, sir, have my envy. I hope you kept it original.

[-Mgmt.]

David Zornig said...

The wagon is a `61 V200.

Post a Comment