Tuesday, July 17, 2012

55-56 Dodge La Femme - Chrysler's Barbie Car

Back in the 50s, Chrysler decided to make a special edition car that they felt would appeal to the as yet untapped market of women drivers coming onto America's streets and highways.

So for the 1955 model year, they introduced a factory option based on the 2 door Dodge Custom Royal Lancer hardtop called the La Femme. It was painted a two tone Heather Rose over a Sapphire white, giving the Dodge an exterior look of what June Cleaver would drive if she was a Mary Kay saleswoman. The Lancer nameplate was replaced by a gold scripted La Femme badge.

It was the interior that made this a full sized Barbie car that Chrysler hoped would be bought by real life Barbie Girls. It was upholstered in the kind of material that Liberace would have made a bedspread with, tapestry in pale silver pink with pink rosebuds and with a darker pink vinyl trim. Each car came with a special matching purse, compact, lipstick case, cigarette lighter, and comb, all perfect for the boss's secretary to freshen up after that long lunch.

To top it off, the La Femme package included a matching raincoat, rain hat,and umbrella stashed away in a compartment behind the driver's seat

The ladies weren't cheated in the powerplant department, as the La Femme was equipped with the same 268 CI (4.4L) V8 available in the more he-man Lancers.

While Chrysler hoped at first that they could corner the ladies market with this car, there were only about 2,500 models ever made. It wasn't heavily promoted by Dodge dealerships, but it's just as likely that this car was too gaudy for June Cleaver and too low end for the Lana Turner La Femme Fatales. Liberace might have taken one for a test drive on Fremont Ave in downtown Vegas, it's appeal would have been just fabulous for the drag queen at the drag strip if the closet doors had been opened in the buttoned up 50s

There are only 7 known to exist in the world, just imagine what one would bring at an auction now, it might even stretch Elton John's budget


  1. The La Femme concept was based upon two Chrysler show cars from the 1954 season. Named Le Comte, and La Comtesse, each was built from a Chrysler Newport hardtop body, and each was given a clear plastic roof over the entire passenger compartment.Dodge dealers

  2. Thank you for your input John, and thank you for visiting the blog.