Thursday, May 3, 2018

Vintage 1950s Cars

Vintage 1950s
Dodge La Femme

          The Dodge La Femme was a full-sized automobile produced by Dodge between 1955 and 1956. It was specifically designed for women.

          The La Femme's stemmed from Chrysler's all-male marketing department's observation that more and more women were taking an interest in automobiles during the 1950s and that women’s opinions on what color car to buy was becoming part of the decision making the process for couples buying an automobile. The La Femme was an attempt to gain a foothold in the women's automobile market.

          The  La Femme began as a 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer " spring special" hardtop two-door coupe, painted "Sapphire White" and "Heather Rose". From there, the exterior received special gold-colored "La Femme" script that replaced the standard "Custom Royal Lancer" script on the car's front fenders.

          Upholstered in a pink rosebud tapestry with pale pink vinyl trim, the La Femme came with a keystone-shaped purse that could be stowed in a compartment in the back of the passenger seat. Each purse was stocked with a face-powder compact, lipstick case, cigarette case, comb, cigarette lighter and change purse, all made of faux-tortoiseshell plastic or pink calfskin and gold-tone metal, all were designed by “Evans”, a maker of women’s fine garments and accessories in Chicago at the time.

          For 1956, the La Femme returned, with no less fanfare; letters to dealers from Dodge’s marketing department called the La Femme a "stunning success". For 1956, Dodge replaced the Heather Rose and Sapphire White scheme with a Misty Orchid and Regal Orchid color scheme
          Dodge dropped the La Femme in 1957.  Production numbers, suggests fewer than 2,500 were made over the two-year period. At least 40 are known to exist of the 1955 version and approximately 20 for the 1956 version.

          Many theories exist concerning the low sales of the La Femme trim package. No evidence of magazine, television, radio, or other La Femme advertisements have been found since 1986. Given the large number of Dodge dealerships in the U.S. at the time, few of them received a demonstration La Femme for their showroom. Instead, single-sheet dealer pamphlets were the only clue that Dodge La Femme was available when other trim-special models such as the Chrysler 300 letter seriesPlymouth Fury, and DeSoto Adventurer were widely promoted.

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