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What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?
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ABloch
Posted 2018-09-17 12:28 PM (#570249)
Subject: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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Greetings collective,

Chrysler started using the C-body platform moniker in '65. I've heard the 1962 Chryslers and Imperials commonly referred to as C-bodies. I can see that the '56's were different in their frame/body/suspension so my question is...

Did the C-bodies platform start in 1957 or '60 when it went unibody?

What platform is the forward look era?

Thanks
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57chizler
Posted 2018-09-17 1:36 PM (#570254 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: RE: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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I believe the pre-'65 was merely referred to as "full-sized car". Many refer to the pre-'65 Chryslers a C-bodies because of their general construction and interchangeable parts but it's a misnomer.
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wizard
Posted 2018-09-17 3:21 PM (#570260 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: Re: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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1960 is "P-serie" according to the manuals.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-09-17 3:27 PM (#570261 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: RE: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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The answer is that it wasn't defined into body types for the earlier years. And no one bothers to define them that way now because no one really cares. They are usually included into full size, C-body, early, or if you are especially lucky, forwardlook. But if you were to make up something similar to the definitions created in the mid '60's, it is based on inner body panel structure interchangeability, and axle width. Wheelbase isn't a big part of the definition as the later Dart and Valiant have different wheelbases, but are both A-bodies. So I would see them separated like this:

'55-'56 Dodge & Plymouth
'55-'56 DeSoto, Chrysler & Imperial
'57-'59 All except Imperial
'57-'63? Imperial
'60-'61 Full size Plymouth, Dodge
'60-'63? DeSoto, Chrysler, Dodge 880
'60-'62 Valiant, Lancer (A-body, but a lot did change in '63).

The '60-up would be separated from the earlier versions because the uni-body construction shares nothing in common with the body-on-frame cars. I don't know enough about '60-'61 Dodge and Plymouth to know if they really should be included with the DeSoto & Chrysler in terms of inner body structure, but it is possible that they should be.
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Stroller
Posted 2018-10-20 11:08 AM (#572038 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: Re: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?


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Hm I always thought the term 'Forward Look" was related to ? Virgil Eixner and his designs. Thing about cars like the '60 Fury had all the wonderfull liquifcation retention insulation units. But back the every year change had different bodies, lights, seats, bumpers and grills, unlike today. But remember Chrysler was not the first to use unibodies. Besides take the later '60's high performane engines and I don't think anyone would have bought any at all due to how much gas it would have taken to move them given full frames and over done engineering.
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Chrycoman
Posted 2018-10-21 6:02 AM (#572099 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: Re: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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The full-size unibodies of 1960 to 1964 would be classified as one body. They were like the C bodies from 1965-78 - different lengths achieved by extending the floor pan and/or the front clip. Different roof lines were used to differentiate the smaller models from the bigger. Chrysler got a major restyling for 1963, but the Dodge 880 continued with the 1960 styling through 1964. Underneath the exterior sheet metal, though, the two remained the same.

The Imperial non-unibody was used from 1957 to 1966, with a major restyling for 1964. Somewhere around 1964 it became labelled as the D body. Unibpdy Imperials used the C body.

The A body label began with the 1963 models, which was a major restyle of the 1960 body, which was referred to as the X body in 1960. Valiants were V car line, except for the 1960 Valiant, which was X car line.

The intermediate body introduced for 1962 was the B body.

Chrysler started with using one body in different sizes for more than one make with the Airflow (Chrysler's first "unibody") in 1934. Four wheelbase lengths done by hood length, revised rear doors and longer front doors.

Extending hood lengths and rear seat area was done for 1935-1936, 1937-1939 and 1940. 1939 Dodge/DeSoto/Chrysler models got a one-year redesign. Starting in 1941 Chrysler had two bodies - Plymouth and Dodge/DeSoto/Chrysler. The D/D/C body was 3" wider and longer than the Plymouth. That was changed to Plymouth/Dodge and DeSoto/Chrysler for 1953, adding Imperial to D/C for 1955.

1957 brought two bodies, one for Imperial (1957-66) and a second for the rest used in 1957-59. Chrysler had Plymouth and Dodge share roof lines and DeSoto/Chrysler a second design.

The P for 1960, by the way, is the Engineering Department code for the 1960 model year. "A" years were 1925-1926, 1942, 1965, and 1982. Combined years were 1925-26, 1946-48, and 1951-52. And letters were A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, P, R, S, T, V.

The letter "Q" was used only for the 1960 Valiant. Thus the 1960 Valiant V-100 was model QX1-L while for 1961 it it was RV1-L.

The letter for the car body should not be confused with the letter used for the car line. A body was used by V, B and L car lines. The B body was for R, W, X, S. The C car body was used by P, D, C and Y car lines. D body was for Y - non-unibody. And so on through E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, etc. car bodies.

And Forward Look refers to the Exner styling from 1955 to 1961 (although not the Valiant and Lancer). The 1962 Dodge 880, Chrysler and Imperial were a continuation of 1961 designs, minus fins, but they are not included with the Forward Look era.



Edited by Chrycoman 2018-10-21 6:06 AM
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-10-21 10:04 AM (#572106 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: Re: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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Looks like my chart was pretty good except for the years that extended outside the forwardlook.

Are you saying that '53-'56 Dodge & Plymouth would be considered to have the same body? And the same for DeSoto & Chysler with Imperial added in '55-'56 only? I would have expected a '53 Imperial to have very close ties to a '53 Chrysler, body-wise.

Also, what justification do you give to say that the Valiant & Lancer weren't considered a part of the forwardlook? Are you saying that Exner didn't design them? Or are you saying that they weren't part of the advertising campaign for some reason?

Edited by Powerflite 2018-10-21 10:05 AM
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Chrycoman
Posted 2018-10-22 1:45 AM (#572144 - in reply to #570249)
Subject: Re: What platform are Foward Look Era Cars?



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I'm not saying 1952-56 Dodges and Plymouths would be considered to have the same body, I am saying they DID share the same body. The exterior may look different, but underneath an awful lot is the same.

For 1953-54 the Dodge club coupe and sedan stretched the Plymouth's 114" wheelbase to 119" by moving the rear axle back. You can see the extra length by comparing the Plymouth and Dodge sedan bodies. Windshield, rear doors, roof and rear window were modified to give the Dodge models a unique, non-Plymouth look. The Dodge hardtop, convertible and wagons were Plymouth bodies with Dodge front clips and revised rear sheet metal all on Plymouth's 114" wheelbase. And the hardtop, convertible and wagon front clip was used on the Plymouth body to make the Plymouth-base Dodges, or "Plodges". The 1954 4dr wagon was done by an outside supplier who extended the body 5", modified the roof, added sedan front doors and unique rear doors.

For 1955-56, Chrysler moved the Plymouth rear axle back 5" extending the Plymouth wheelbase from 115" to 120" on all Dodge models. Front windshield, front door glass and front doors were the same for both Plymouth and Dodge. The rear doors were longer for Dodge so the glass for the doors was longer. Same holds for the rear quarter window glass on the 2 door hardtops. The major difference between Plymouth and Dodge was the outer skin of steel. Underneath the two shared a lot of parts, in particular parts for the rigidity of the body - the expensive parts.

The reason Imperial was added on my list for 1955-56 is that the 1951-1954 Imperial was a Chrysler. From 1951 to 1954 they were sold as Chrysler Imperials. The 1951-54 Imperials used the DeSoto/Chrysler body with a 6" longer nose, as did the 1949-50 Saratoga and 1949-1952 New Yorker. For 1955 the Imperial was marketed as just Imperial, even though it was still sold at Chrysler dealers and marketed by the Chrysler Sales Division.

As for the Valiant and Lancer, the styling says it all. The Forward Look cars were noted for their fins and clean, flowing lines. The Valiant and Lancer had no fins and the lines were not really flowing, instead starting at the outer edges of the body and ending somewhere in the centre. Or vice versa. The compact duo were actually a hint at what was going to be for 1962, successors to the Forward Look, if Chrysler president William Newberg hadn't heard part of a conversation between some GM excecutives.

By the time the Valiant appeared, advertising for the Forward Look was waning. Fins were rapidly becoming yesterday's news.

Virgil Exner had a heart attack in late 1956. Chrysler management was not sure how long Exner would be away from work and brought on William Schmidt, formerly with Ford and Packard, under contract to assume Exner's duties. Thus Chrysler styling continued, with Schmidt running the show. And Schmidt put his approval on Forward Look designs. The 1959 models, for example, seem out of step with the 1957-58 and 1960 models, and were done under Schmidt's direction. Exner returned to Chrysler in late 1957 and developed the 1962 "S" series with rounded sides and curved side glass, presented in 1959, to put his stamp back on Chrysler styling. Schmidt left Chrysler shortly after.

Should point out that Exner did not personally design all the cars that rolled out the factory doors. He had two main persons under him - one for Plymouth-Dodge and the other for DeSoto-Chrysler-Imperial. Underneath each were stylists coming up with new ideas, cleaning up styling proposals, others doing instrument panels, interior seat and door designs. Literally dozens of people working in styling at Chrysler. Think of Exner as an orchestra conductor, with stylists replacing musicians. It was his job to keep everyone on the same page, and going in the same direction for styling.

Virgil Exner used to work for Raymond Loewy and Associates at Studebaker. He was responsible for the Starlight 5 passenger coupe at the end of the war. Exner apparently did not agree with Loewy that only Loewy's name should be attached to the designs that were approved for production. And when Exner became head of styling? Only Exner's name was mentioned. We know more about who was responsible for Chrysler designs due to writers who researched the development of Chrysler designs over the years and interviewed stylists who were actually involved. Even the fact that William Schmidt was heading Chrysler Styling during Exner's absence was not widely known until the 1970's and 1980's.

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