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Home/Technical Info/Plymouth/11. Car Models Described/ 1961/
1961 Plymouth Models Described


The 1961 Plymouth Fury convertible was the most expensive non-station wagon offered by Plymouth.
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1961 Plymouth - General

The full-sized Plymouths were introduced September 29, 1960, and the Valiant appeared in dealer showrooms the same day. Chrysler-Plymouth Division was formed this year, joining together the marketing of the related nameplates. General manager this year was C.E. Briggs, who also held the title of Plymouth vice-president and chief executive officer.

Plymouth's full-size car sheet metal was was based on straight lines, supplemented by sculptured curves. This was, to a great extent, a contradiction. A straight beltline ran from the front body corners to the rear, across the deck overhang and continued entirely around to the opposite front corner. This created a flat, shelf-like upper beltline plane into which the hood and deck gently sloped.

However, the front fender feature lines had an entirely different look. It was rounded and canted at the same time. They came around the body corner running straight, but then angled into the stamped aluminum "egg crate" grille, made an abrupt curve and ran into the dual individual headlights which sat side-by-side on a horizontal plane. Below the shelf created by this effect, the body sides had both concave and convex shapes, with flat doors as well. The front bumper ran straight across with a rippled center section.

The rear deck had a small, thin center dorsal fin and concave latch panel. Large, missile-shaped taillights were hung below the "shelf" at the rear body sides. Sleek, flowing rooflines were used on all models — even the Suburbans.

Plymouth sales dropped way down to seventh rank in the American industry.  Plymouth's sheet metal was drastically and uniquely altered by Virgil Exner's design team, and this radical new styling was one key factor in this decline, with Plymouths looking nothing like its competitors, Ford and Chevrolet, who had clean designs. Model year production peaked at 206,907 units for Plymouth and 143,078 for Valiant. This compared to 242,725 and 187,808, respectively, in the previous year, 1960.


Plymouth Models -

1961 VALIANT V-100 6-CYL

Valiant was now classified as a Plymouth sub-series. Given the state of affairs at Chrysler, there were very few styling changes over 1960  A new look was achieved by blacking-out the delicately-patterned grille inserts, while leaving the wider horizontal and vertical blades in chrome finish. This gave an egg crate grille look. The "Valiant" in script was again seen behind the front wheel openings, and "Plymouth" in script was found on the right side of the trunk lid. The simulated spare tire impression returned to the deck lid.

The Valiant V-100 model was the base offering. Standard equipment included electric windshield wipers, turn signals, oil filter, and five tubeless black wall tires. In the middle of the 1961 model year, a version of the 225 cubic inch Slant Six was released as an option on the Valiant -- previously it had only been a big car offering. This engine had the same horsepower rating as the 1960 four-barrel 170 cubic inch motor with "Hyper-Pack" option, but it was not as tempermental.


1961 VALIANT V-200 6-CYL

The V-200 was the upscale Valiant line. It featured bright metal side trim moldings extending from the front wheel openings into the taillight. The trim curved upwards, below rear ventipanes, to follow the rear fender contour. Interiors were available in three choices of color and featured vinyl seat bolsters and mylon cloth inserts.


1961 FLEET SPECIAL, SAVOY and DELUXE SUBURBAN 6-CYL and V-8

The Savoy was the low-priced line in the regular market, but once again economy level "Fleet Special" editions were provided for commercial customers.

Standard equipment on base models included oil filter, turn signals, sun visors, electric wipers, front foam cushions, front arm rests, glove box lock, and five tubeless blackwall tires. Savoys and Deluxe Suburbans had no trim to speak of.  For the "Fleet Specials" some of the Savoy's standard features were deleted.


1961 BELVEDERE and CUSTOM SUBURBAN - 6-CYL and V-8

Belvedere level trim included a tapering contrast panel along the beltline "shelf" from behind the rearmost door edge to the rear body corner with chrome louvers at its forward end. There was also brighter window trim and "Belvedere" in script plates on the left edge of the concave rear deck lid latch panel.

Belvederes and Custom Suburbans had all Savoy/DeLuxe type equipment, plus rear arm rests, cigar lighter and - on nine-passenger jobs only - power tailgate window and oversized tires. Plymouth paid quite a bit of attention to interior appointments for 1961. The automatic transmission push buttons were larger and rectangular for easier operation. A new, magnetic drive "thermometer" type speedometer functioned with less noise, and it was more accurate, too. The previous system of gears was replaced with a cable driven 12-pole annular ceramic magnet with temperature compensator. Body insulation was also improved.

A square steering wheel, to add a good field of view to the instruments, was a Belvedere option. Technical innovations included standardization of ram-tuned induction manifolding with the 383 CID engine option, the use of a cast iron intake manifold on the Slant Six, lower compression ratios for regular fuel adaptability, alternator electrical system, and closed crankcase ventilation on all cars built for California sale.


1961 FURY and SPORT SUBURBAN 6-CYL and V-8

Furys and Sport Suburbans were Plymouth's best-equipped models. Furys began with Belvedere/Custom trim level and then added upgraded upholstery, bright, full-length beltline trim, "Fury" or "Sport" in script behind the front wheel openings, heavy, slanted chrome louvers on the upper body side contrast panels (which also had aluminum inserts), a chrome base for the deck lid dorsal fin, full wheel discs and on two-door hardtop sedans, a larger, "Sky-Hi", rear window. In addition, the missile-shaped taillight housings were fully chrome plated.

Standard equipment extras over the Belvedere were backup lights and an electric clock.


Engines -

  • VALIANT V-100 and V-200 Series Engine. Inline Six. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 170 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 3.406" x 3.125". Compression ratio: 8.5:1. Horsepower: 101 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 155 ft lbs @ 2400 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid lifters. Carburetor: Carter Ball and Ball Type BBS one-barrel Model 3093S.

  • VALIANT V-100 and V-200 Series "Hyper Pack" Engine. Inline Six. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 170 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 3.406" x 3.125". Compression ratio: 10.5:1. Horsepower: 148 @ 5200 RPM. Torque: 153 ft lbs @ 4200 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2813S.

  • VALIANT and PLYMOUTH 6-CYL. (Not available on Belvedere convertible and Sport Suburbans). Inline Six. Overhead valves. Cast iron or aluminum block. Displacement: 225 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 3.406" x 4.125". Compression ratio: 8.5:1. Horsepower: 145 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 215 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type BBS one-barrel Model 3679S.

  • Plymouth Base V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 318 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 3.906" x 3.312". Compression ratio: 9.0:1. Horsepower: 230 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 340 ft lbs @ 2400 RPM Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type BBD two-barrel Model 3682S.

  • Plymouth Optional V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 318 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 3.906" x 3.312". Compression ratio: 9.0:1. Horsepower: 260 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 345 ft lbs @ 2400 RPM Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2913S.

  • Plymouth Optional 361 CID V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 361 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.125" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 305 @ 4800 RPM. Torque: 395 ft lbs @ 3000 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2913S.

  • Plymouth Optional "361 CID Golden Commando" V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 361 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.125" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 310 @ 4800 RPM. Torque: 395 ft lbs @ 3000 RPM Five main bearings. solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2913S.

  • Plymouth Optional "361 CID Sonoramic Golden Commando" V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 361 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.125" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 310 @ 4800 RPM. Torque: 435 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFT four-barrels Model 2903S on a long ram induction manifold.

  • Plymouth Optional "383 CID Golden Commando" V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 383 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.250" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 325 @ 4800 RPM. Torque: 420 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2913S.

  • Plymouth Optional "383 CID Sonoramic Commando" V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 383 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.250" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 330 @ 5200 RPM. Torque: 425 ft lbs @ 3600 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFT four-barrels Model 2903S on a long ram induction manifold.

  • Plymouth Optional "Sonoramic Commando" V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 383 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.250" x 3.375". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 340 @ 5200 RPM. Torque: 425 ft lbs @ 3600 RPM Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFT four-barrels Model 2903S on a short ram induction manifold.

NOTE: Certain 413 CID Performance Sonoramic V8s were released to professional race teams late in the year. They were not available to the general public. They were:

  • V-8 413 CID 350 horsepower four-barrel engine. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 413 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.1875 x 3.75". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 350 @ 4600 RPM. Torque: 470 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter Type AFB four-barrel Model 2913S.

  • V-8 413 CID 375/400 horsepower dual four-barrel engine. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 413 cubic in. Bore and stroke: 4.1875 x 3.75". Compression ratio: 10.0:1. Horsepower: 375 @ 5000 RPM / 400 @ 5500 RPM. Torque: 495 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic / Solid valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter Type AFT four-barrels Model 2903S on a long / short ram induction manifold.

Chassis - All Models

  • Wheelbase: Valiant 106.5" Plymouth Full Size 118" Suburbans 122".
  • Overall length:  Valiant 100 passenger cars 183.7", Valiant 100 nine-passenger wagon 184.8", Valiant 200 nine-passenger wagon 185.1",  Valiant 200 passenger cars 184", Plymouth Full size 209.5", Plymouth Suburbans 217.7".
  • Front Tread: Valiant 56.0" Plymouth 60.9"
  • Rear Tread: Valiant 55.9" Plymouth 59.6"
  • Tires: Valiant 6.50 x 13, Plymouth nine-passenger wagon 8.00 x 14. Other V-8s 7.50 x 14. Other 6-cyls 7.00 x 14.

VALIANT Powertrain Options -

  • Three-speed manual floor shift transmission standard.
  • Automatic transmission ($172).
  • 148 horsepower "Hyper Pack" six cylinder engine.
  • Six-cylinder 225 CID 145 horsepower Slant Six engine.
  • Positive crankcase ventilation system, mandatory on California cars ($5).


PLYMOUTH Powertrain Options -

  • Three-speed manual transmission was standard.
  • Torqueflite automatic transmission with standard V-8 ($189).
  • Torqueflite automatic transmission with V-8 engine options ($211).
  • Torqueflite automatic transmission with Slant Six ($192).
  • Crankcase vent system, mandatory on California cars ($5).
  • Dual exhausts, when fitted as optional equipment ($27).
  • V-8 318 CID 260 horsepower four-barrel engine ($158).
  • V-8 361 CID 305 horsepower four-barrel engine ($206).
  • V-8 361 CID 310 horsepower four-barrel solid lifter engine ($389).
  • V-8 383 CID 325 horsepower "Police" four-barrel engine.
  • V-8 383 CID 330 horsepower dual four-barrel engine ($405).
  • V-8 383 CID 340 horsepower dual four-barrel solid lifter engine.V-8
  • Ram induction package is included with all dual four-barrel V-8s.
  • Four-barrel carburetor added to 318 CID 2-barrel economy engine ($119). 
  • Sure-Grip positive traction rear axle ($50).

Significant Options -

NOTE: Valiant options were the same as 1960, at the same prices, plus dealer-installed air conditioning available.

  • Air conditioning (Dual) with heater ($640).
  • Air conditioning including heater ($446).
  • All Solex glass ($43).
  • Appearance group ($47).
  • Basic radio accessory group ($150).
  • Easy driving group ($98).
  • Four wheel covers ($19).
  • Front bumper grille bar ($14).
  • Headlight trim plate ($18).
  • Heater and defroster ($74).
  • Hi-FI radio ($84).
  • Inside Prismatic mirror ($4).
  • Locking spare tire compartment, six-passenger wagons ($4).
  • Outside rear view mirror - Left ($5);
  • Outside rear view mirror - Left remote control ($14);
  • Outside rear view mirror - Right manual ($5).
  • Power brakes ($43). Power steering ($77).
  • Power tailgate window, six-passenger wagon ($33).
  • Push button radio ($59).
  • RCA automatic record player, radio required ($52).
  • Safety pad instrument panel ($14).
  • Saf-T-Matic power door locks, two-door ($23); four-door ($30).
  • Savoy/DeLuxe options, clock ($16); cigar lighter ($4).
  • Savoy/DeLuxe, Belvedere/Custom backup lights ($11).
  • Six-Way power seat ($96).
  • Square-shaped Deluxe steering wheel ($11).
  • Tailgate assist handle, Custom/Sport Wagon ($16).
  • Two-tone paint, except convertible ($17).
  • Undercoating and underhood pad ($14).
  • Windshield washers ($12).
  • Windshield wipers, variable ($6).
  • Windshield wipers, variable and Washers together ($17).

 

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The 1961 Fury 4-door hardtop was the most expensive 4-door in the lineup.

1961 Fury 2-door Hardtops were the sportiest of the big Plymouths.

The 1961 Fury 4-door sedan was the plushest sedan in the lineup.

The 1961 Belvedere 2-door hardtop was the most expensive of the Belvederes, but only by at small amount.

1961 Belvedere 4-door sedans were the next best seller that year - over 40,000.

The 1961 Belvedere 2-door sedan was not a hot item, with fewer sold than the Fury convertible.

The 1961 Plymouth Savoy 4-door sedan sold more than any other Plymouth that year - almost 45,000.

1961 Plymouth Savoy 2-door sedans sold well at almost 19,000, due in part to aggressive fleet sales.

The 1961 Plymouth Sport Suburban was the most expensive Plymouth in the line. The 9-passenger listed for $200 more than the Fury convertible.

The 1961 Belvedere Custom Wagons also were more costly than the Fury convertible, and 15,553 were sold.

The 1961 Deluxe Suburban 4-door was a stripped down version of the Custom Wagon, and 12,980 were sold.

The only 2-door wagon was the Deluxe Suburban. Losing the utility of the rear doors and being rather sparsely equipped, only 2,464 were sold in 1961.

 

The V-200 Valiants were the top of the 1961 line. The 2-door hardtop was only available here. V-200 models out sold the lesser V-100 line by about 34,000 units.

1961 V-100 Valiants came in 2 and 4-door sedan configuration.

The 1961 Valiant station wagons were available in both the V-100 and V-200 line.

 

1961 Plymouth Production - All Series

 

 

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