Dodge Matador

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Dodge Matador
Dodge Matador.jpg
1960 Dodge Matador
Overview
Manufacturer Chrysler
Production 1960
Designer Virgil Exner
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 2-door hardtop
4-door sedan
4-door hardtop
4-door station wagon
Layout FR layout
Related Dodge Polara
Powertrain
Engine 361 cu in (5.9 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
2-speed PowerFlite auto
Dimensions
Wheelbase 122 in (3,099 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Dodge Coronet (Fourth generation)
Successor Dodge Polara

The Dodge Matador was a full-sized automobile produced for the 1960 model year by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation.

Design[edit]

The Matador ("bullfighter" in Spanish) was one of two new models produced by Dodge in 1960 when the marque dropped its long-running Coronet, Custom, Custom Royal, and Lancer models.[1] Sharing the same newly engineered unibody platform as the slightly smaller Dodge Dart, the Matador was designated Dodge's full-size base trim vehicle, with the Dodge Polara becoming the make's full-sized premium model.[2] The 1960 Matador and Polara were built on 4-inch (102 mm) longer wheelbase along with the 1960 DeSoto and Chrysler models. All Matadors featured a standard "Super Red Ram" 295 hp (220 kW; 299 PS) 361 cu in (5.9 L) V8 engine.[3] The "D-500 with Ram Induction" 383 cu in (6.3 L) with dual four-barrel carburetors was optional, along with a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.[4]

The Matador (and the similar, better-trimmed Polara) featured styling cues that were carried over from 1959 models, themselves an evolution of Virgil Exner's "Forward Look" cars introduced in 1957. Now built on a new unibody chassis, the 1960 Matador continued the Dodge styling hallmarks of stacked "jet pod" taillights, however, the size of the lights was greatly exaggerated, with the lower light set into the rear bumper. The design also incorporated Dodge’s trademark (shortened) tailfins, which included small vertical taillight lenses placed on the vertical surface at the back of the fin; again. The purpose of the shortened fin was meant to exaggerate the length of the “jet pods” holding the taillights. The front end featured a small grille comprising six stacks of aluminum rectangles nested in a massive (and complex) front bumper assembly.

All 1960 Dodge station wagons used the 122 in (3,099 mm) wheelbase providing 98.5 cubic feet (2.79 m3) of cargo space with the back seats folded flat.[4] The Matador trim was available in six- or nine-passenger (with rear-facing third row bench seat) versions featuring a roll-down rear window into the tailgate.[4][5]

The Matador had less exterior chrome trim and plainer interiors than found on the Polara. The majority of cars built by Dodge and sold during the 1960 model year were in Dodge's new "smaller" and less expensive full-sized model, the Dodge Dart, which fielded three sub-series (Seneca, Pioneer and Phoenix) of its own.

A total of 27,908 Dodge Matadors were produced for 1960.[6] Low sales volume — and the popularity of the Dart model — led Dodge to drop the Matador nameplate for the 1961 model year.

Legacy[edit]

The name was subsequently used by American Motors Corporation from 1971 to 1978 for the mid- and full-sized AMC Matador cars. The automaker was purchased in 1987 by Chrysler Corporation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1960 Dodge cars: Dart, Polara, and Matador". Allpar. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (28 November 2007). "1960-1961 Dodge Polara/Matador - page 1". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (28 November 2007). "1960-1961 Dodge Polara/Matador - page 2". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Dodge Dart and 1960 Dodge Station Wagon Specifications". lov2xlr8.no. p. 13. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dodge Dart and 1960 Dodge Station Wagon Specifications". lov2xlr8.no. p. 8. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (28 November 2007). "1960-1961 Dodge Polara/Matador - Specifications". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  • Gunnell, John, ed. (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-096-0.