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The Chrysler Phoenix

Phoenix photoIn Australia, between the Chrysler Royal and Valiant, Chrysler brought out the Dodge Phoenix. Based on the American Dodge Dart (and, after the B-body Dart was replaced by the A-body Dart, the Plymouth Fury), it had a 318 cid “economy” V-8 that pushed the big but relatively light car quickly, or an optional B-series engine, both of which used 2-barrel carburetors. The Phoenix delivered luxury (not for nothing were original models available in “Luxury Liner” trim), quality, and power for 12 years.

In the United States, the Phoenix was a trim-linen of the Dart.

The Phoenix was restyled within a year of its introduction. A single year later, it was restyled again, dropping its fins and gaining an interesting grille; this was the S series.  It was shorter, narrower, and lighter, and had an alternator, one of the first cars to gain this aid to reliable service.

Phoenix photoA year later, the T series came out (1963). The wheelbase and length now increased. A single year later the V series arrived with a restyled front end and four horizontal headlamps. That was to be the end of the Dodge-based Phoenix (though, since the B bodies were common to Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge, it didn't matter much).

In 1965, the A series arrived, looking like a Plymouth Fury, complete with vertically stacked headlights. From that point, most changes were cosmetic, with the DB, DC, DD, DF, and DG series. The DB added a bow-tie rear; the DC moved the chrome and lights around, and added a larger optional engine and a four-door hardtop model; the DD simplified the grille; the DF went to the single-piece loopy bumpers; the DG used a new recessed grille.

A 400 series, of which 400 were produced, was brought out in 1969, featuring a longer wheelbase, front power disc brakes, horizontal headlamps, a concave rear window, and a different grille. The hardtop 400 had more power.

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