I Probably Should Hate This Retro-Styled K-Car But I Just Don't

I saw this in my neighborhood the other day, and screeched to a nice dangerous stop to take some pictures. Since I came to Retro's defense, I've been hyper aware of all the Retro cars on the road, and when I saw this prime example of Class 3/Synthetic Comprehensive goodness, I had to stop.


This clearly-labelled Dodge started life as what I believe was a Dodge 600 convertible, which was a relative of the Chrysler-saving but otherwise boring K-Car line. The 600s were very square-rigged looking cars, and this body kit is a pretty radical restyling.

And, as far as this category Retro designs go, I think it kind of works. I categorized it as a Synthetic Comprehensive design, which means that it emulates a particular era's look (mid-late 50s, in this case) without being based on any one particular design, and attempts to use the design vocabulary of the era without translating it into modern design language. Hence the thin chrome bumpers, tiny taillights, etc.

The rear has a bit of Karmann-Ghia feeling about it, which makes sense, since the beloved Ghia was largely stolen from a Chrysler show car, the D'Elegance. The flanks have a very early Corvette feel with that bright red intaglio flash, and the front has a very, well, period look. There's a whole bunch of cars with this general type of face, though that grille looks like it was made from a material normally used to keep tuna sandwiches fresh.


All told, it's not bad, whatever it is. A glance in the interior gives it all away, of course, and the build quality seems a bit iffy in parts. Was this a kit? Is this the only one? Our pal Blake wrote about the CL ad for this thing, and it looks like it's found a new home near me, in much crappier surroundings than shown in the Craigslist ad.


I'd still have more fun driving this odd little throwback than a stock 600 convertible. If the owner's reading this, let us know in the comments!

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