Re: [FWDLK] '61 Seneca
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Re: [FWDLK] '61 Seneca

----- Original Message -----
On the Seneca, we know the transmission is not stock - other than the Facel-Vega 4-speed in the 300F race cars, Chrysler didn't start using 4-speeds until '64.  I think we also know that the car is a 'built' car - it's a '61 and the ram tubes are '60 (not a likely factory combination).  Also, it's unlikely that a 413 would have been put in a Dodge in '61 -  much more likely to have been a 383, as that was available (from the sales literature), whereas the 413 isn't.
Sure would be a fun sleeper to own, but not at $25k for a built car, IMO.
Dan Motley
Salem, OR
    I would sure like to crawl all over this one !
    Vintage-built hot rods are getting more and more sought after.  I think there is a real clash of thinking between the "numbers matching" crowd and those who just like vintage stuff.
    I can speak nothing about this car or whether or not Wyoming used pursuit vehicles like this -  if we are to go with the premise it was an "official" car.
    California used cars just like this and had about 400 in the fleet for pursuit.  I parted a 57 Coronet 2 door sedan years ago with a 325 4bbl solid lifter Hemi that still had black and white paint and a gold star showing on the door.  It was a T/F tranny car.  I parted a 60 small body 2 door sedan equipped with a 383 4bbl and 3-onda-tree that was bought new for Washington State Patrol.
    For those familiar with the stick cars of 60 and later (floor shift), the Pont-a-Mousson 4 speed first offered in the 300F liked to come apart in 2nd gear.  Just too much weight vs. torque to put that tranny in between.  Chrysler whipped a "fix" together as a recall measure, utilizing the battle-axe 3-speed dating back to the Civil War and a shifter that actually mounted and pivoted on the floor.  The shifter handle is a pretty looking thing, with a gentle curve backward toward the seat and a tapered shaft coming back to a small, unmarked white ball.  It looked NOTHING like the shifter shown in those photos.  The floor mounting of the shifter causedits own problems, as the floor sheetmetal flexed during rowing.  As time went on, metal fatigue caused the floor to crack and even further slop was encountered.  In 63, Chrysler offered a Hurst-built replacement that bolted to the transmission as a further "fix".  This set up used a "U" yoke attachment for the shift handle rather than the slip-in type.  The shifter handle I have with this shifter has a threaded end and a nut goes on each side of the yoke.  It is not tapered and is more "Z" shaped.  I cannot vouch that it is original to the shifter.  I took it out of a 58 Plymoth in a wrecking yard 30 years ago.  As I have never handled a correct Pont-a-Mousson shifter, I cannot attest to what they looked like for comparison.
    The crossram 61 Dodges used by CHP used 413's, ... or so I have been told by more than one source.  These were full size Dodges, if memory serves.  Whether or not they used long-long rams or not, I really do not know.
  There are a few surviving cars of this ilk still with us.  A black 60 Matador came out of the Salem-Portland area that was a well preserved original crossram, 3-onda-tree car.  I tried like hell to get an acquaintance let me have the info to pursue it, but he wanted it for himself and ultimately it went to a third party.  I hear it showed up in LA, but really have no info.  My crossram 60 Fireflite had the recall floor shifter and 12" Chrysler brakes.  This car was special ordered/built for family of Hawk DeSoto-Plymouth in Bellingham, Wa.  Stuff like this DID get built.  Is it "numbers matching" ????  Hell, ...  I don't know !  It is period and the equipment is correct.  The phrase "close enough for hand grenades" comes to mind.  Maybe it isn't factory ?  Maybe it was built by some drag racers in 1963 ?  If you like pre-muscle car era muscle cars, .... try to find another !  ;-D


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