Street Parked: 1960 Plymouth Savoy

Plymouth Savoy
This 1960 Plymouth Savoy is a real attention grabber. More noteworthy than this car’s giant tail fins is the fact that this car introduced to the world the legendary Slant Six engine. The leaning tower of power got its start in this car.

Aft stabilizers at attention

The tail fins jut proudly out of parking stalls as the hindquarters of this long coupe dangle in the roadway in comparison to the diminutive Civics and minivans parked next to it.  Tail fins were beginning to fall out of fashion in 1960.  In an attempt to give them a reason to exist, they were called “Stabilizers” and were marketed as reducing steering corrections by 20% in a cross wind.

Flying saucer dash

That steering wheel is big; perfectly sized for cruising with your arm resting on the door sill.  Some of these cars came with a push-button transmission.  The gear selector buttons located just below the flying saucer instrument pod.

Virgil Exner design at its best

The car was designed by Virgil Exner.  He is famous for some cutting edge designs in the Chrysler 300 and Imperial luxury cars.  Look at the styling of the front fender and wheel well.  The brow over the headlight cuts down and around the wheel in a surprisingly stylish way for a mass market car.

Gold in my grill

In addition to introducing the Slant Six, the 1960 Savoy was Chrysler’s first uni-body car.  Most old cars like this have a ladder frame, similar to a pickup truck, with the body bolted to the frame.  Modern cars don’t have ladder frames, the bodywork handles the duties of holding the car together. While this car still has a ladder frame, the bodywork also does some of the job of holding things together.


This is a striking car to encounter in a parking lot.  Those fins stabilizers are like hands waving passers by down.  I see this car in its neighborhood all the time, it does daily driver duty.

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