The Plymouth Texan
by Bill Cawthon
My Plymouth Texan was a special car in many ways, besides being unique.
In the mid-1950s, a group of Dodge and Chrysler executives, including my father, came up with the idea of creating a special edition car for sale in Texas. It was to be called the "Texan" and special badges were cast. It was partially in response to the Texas-built Fords that had a decal in the rear window saying, "Built in Texas by Texans."
A few were produced, but the idea was scuttled by some groups in Texas, including the Daughters of the Republic, who felt it was a commercialization of the state's image.
My father still had some of the badges, and in 1962, when my grandmother ordered a new Plymouth Belvedere sedan, Dad had two of the badges attached to the rear quarter panels of her car. This was done at the factory and the car was delivered with them, thus making it the only Plymouth "Texan." My grandmother gave me the car when she stopped driving in the mid-1970s.
The car also had factory-installed seat belts, V8 engine, pushbutton transmission and an Airtemp A/C unit that would frost the windshield even in the summer.
Sadly, the car no longer exists. It was heavily vandalized in 1978 and had to be junked.