Photos by Mark Jordan
The 1961 Chrysler New Yorker... 1961 like Breakfast at Tiffany's, JFK, Sputniks, and Johnny Carson replacing Jack Paar. Porkpies were in style 'cause you could wear them with that low, hardtop line. The last year and the last car with tailfins. When the designer Virgil Exner refused to remove them he was fired. When they asked Virg what he thought of the '62's, he replied, "Looks like a plucked chicken."
Yeah it's rare. They made 75,000 Cadillac hardtops and like 2,000 of these. That's why they're not around.
This engine, the 413 Wedge, set the record at Daytona in '60 and '61, 140 something mph. Yeah, it's a muscle car, alright.
Lot's go for the buckets, but, believe me, bench seats have their advantages.
This machine was a worn, beige heap. Got it for $600 in '84-the same year I started makin' martinis on stage. When I was pulling apart the doors I found a "For Sale" sign with a number, and I called. Some hick lady who owned it a few owners ago could hardly believe and yelled to her husband, "George ah'm on the phone with the guy who bought the 'Fleshmobile.'" I painted it the '61 "Coronation Red" the next week. It's a very sexy color.
While restoring this thing, my living room was stacks of car mags and chrome piled on the beach chairs. The flat stunk of chrome polish. I tore another "Astrodome" dash out of a junker near the old airport at San Carlos and mixed, matched and shined those knobs till I found the best ones. Won trophies at the Mopars on the Green and Power in the Pines shows. Always, "Ladies Choice."
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