HyperPak Hopeful: 1961 Dodge Lancer

1961-dodge-lancer

As modern cars start to look more and more alike, we are starting to really appreciate unique classics like these old Dodges. This one is a 1961 Lancer and although the seller repetitively uses the word “perfect” in their listing, it is far from it. The engine does run though and the seller’s asking price of $4,900 could be realistic depending on which engine is under the hood. Find it here on eBay out of Moreno Valley, California.

1961-dodge-lancer-side

You could chose from a few engine options when ordering a new Lancer. There was the base 101hp 170 and the 145hp 225. Both engines were slant-sixes, but the 225 was cast in aluminum and thus lighter than the smaller steel 170. It was also more expensive to produce and not as reliable, so they ended up only offering it for a few years. Both engines could also be ordered with the Hyper-Pak performance upgrade which added an aggressive cam, high-compression pistons, tubular headers, upgraded exhaust, and a long-ram intake with a four-barrel carburetor on top. Power was increased to 148hp (170) and 195hp (225) respectively.

dodge-slant-six

The seller does not mention which engine is installed here, but from the looks of it, we think it may just have the HyperPak. The valve covers are finned and the headers don’t look like cast iron to us… We could be wrong though, so you can do your own research over at Valiant.org and decide for yourself. The engine does run and the interior looks good, but there are a few issues that need addressing.

1961-dodge-lancer-interior

There is rust. It is hard to determine how much of the nasty stuff is lurking under the surface, but we are sure there is plenty. We also noticed a little crash damage out back. Some pieces from the push-button transmission are missing and that is supposedly the reason this Dodge can’t be driven. The seller is optimistic, but we are sure there are other items that will need attention before this car will be safe to drive on the open road. Even so, with the distinctive styling and NASCAR heritage, we think this Dodge is worth some serious consideration.

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Comments

  1. Dan Farrell

    They probably needed the hyper-pack to turn the A.C. compressor.

  2. Rick Ralston

    Back in1973 I worked at a gas station in St. Louis, out by the airport. This little old lady (school teacher) brought in a car just like this one for a tune up. I order the parts and when I got them I noticed I was 2 spark plugs short. After a long word battle with the parts store on how Lancers only came with the slant six and I must be wrong about it having a V8. I had to drive it down to the parts store. Again I got the horse laugh from the guys, saying I couldn’t tell a 6 cylinder from an 8. But when I opened the hood and all those guys saw the BIG V8….the laugh was on them. Running the number on the block, it turned out to be a 413.
    When I took the car back to the Lady, I asked how she got this car. Turns out her late husband had ordered it from this dealer, and when it came in the lady’s husband wanted a little bigger motor. So the dealer put in the 413 (a very tight fix). I’ve always wonder what ever happen to the Lancer. Talk about “The Little Old Lady In A Super Stock Dodge”. After seeing the pic of this Lancer, I just had to tell my story….
    Rick Ralston

    Like 2
  3. joe williams

    I know of 62 lancer 4 dr coming up for sale.It has the aluminum 6 36k on the clock.I have been around this car for 15 years this is a barn find

  4. jim

    under the front bumper is missing some metal and i see rust. so how much more rust is hidden. it would be a great driver once fixed, but how much money/time to get the job done. and what else could you buy for that much money. the slant six is a great motor and there are a lot of them still out there. me i would think about about something like this instead or not.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1960-Ford-Falcon-Four-Door-Great-Looking-Falcon-/161054270890?_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&forcev4exp=true.

  5. Wayne

    Holy cow! This guy could write romance novels and make a fortune! I love anything Mopar but this ain’t no Imperial! LOL

  6. Chris

    It does seem to be missing the front valence. You can see the radiator support. I had the same year Valiant.I know these cars well, and I can fix ’em in the dark!

  7. paul

    Lots of over spray in the jambs, so we know it’s been repainted at some point, so you have to wonder how much rust etc. is hidden do to a respray…. Arrow straight body, must be one of those crooked arrows we see very often. Outside of that when was the last time you ever seen one of these?

    • clay bryant

      Paul,
      I see one about every 2-3 days when I go that way.

  8. RandyatBBYRacing

    You can see the bubbles of rust under the door too

  9. Rene

    I think it would be fun to drive

  10. Horse Radish

    “The car does not drive due to missing the controls that operate the UNIQUE push button transmission.”
    Wouldn’t that be a very bad thing ?
    “Considering the incredible quality of this car,……..who saw the true potential of this fine car.”
    I FEEL for this guy.
    He must not get out that much, or have seen what’s out there….

    • Horse Radish

      Mileage : ???47655

      …but surely , I would like to know what he’s smoking and know where to get it….

      ooohhh, and BTW: REG EXPIRED 4/13/2013, with penalties it’s $141, because of that….I love these dealers, who underhanded slip by this info, even though THEY KNOW EXACTLY ….(so NOT a clear title !)
      deal-breaker for me ….

  11. clay bryant

    It’s a dealer,Horseradish.Don’t feel for him,he knows what he’s doin’.

    • Horse Radish

      I looked at the e-bay listing again…. I got it.
      He’s trying to squeeze apple juice from a lemon…..

  12. Horse Radish

    Now I remember, that a friend bought one of these comparable in condition, for $700 a couple of years ago.
    Deduct the missing parts and this would be worth $600

  13. erikj

    I guess i could like the car,but the seller should be a little more stright forward about the car.Anybody notice the lite blue/torquoise that pops up in a few of the pics. The rust thats showing through on the body. I would say its not its orig. color and rusty with a big dent in the rear. Not the perfect one for me.

  14. Connor

    IMO a car with stunning lines but the only thing that spoils the looks is the trim below the side windows

  15. tlw5406

    Did anyone notice the blue paint on the valve cover? Good bet that its not the orignal motor as the early slant sixes were red.

  16. Al Lebo

    I love the period styling, second only to the original Valiant 4dr and 60 Plymouth Fury two door. My concern with this car might be rust.

  17. SoCal Car Guy

    I’ve always kinda liked the early Valiants and Lancers for their unique but oddly apealing styling. That said, Mopars of that era would rust if you parked at the beach for a day or in a McDonalds lot for a meal. This car looks like a decent basis for a project car but definitely has some needs. Al Lebo is concerned about the rust (I would be too) but I’m more concerned about the seller — strikes me a the sort who is so full of shit that if he was given an enema he could be buried in an empty Marlboro hard pack…

    • Horse Radish

      Now THAT’s the straight forward version of what I was trying to say.

  18. rancho bella

    What a neat design. Looks as though the grill has be blacked out and the current buy is not reasonable. The seller is smoking bad grade stuff or using bath salts…… :)
    Those slant 6 engines were good. Unless I am having a senior moment and not remembering correctly. As for the push button…….parts? I got nothin’

  19. Wayne

    ROFLMAO! Well said SoCal, WELL SAID!!!

  20. Jamie Wallhauser

    Call me weird but this badge engineered car is fascinating to me — production was a tiny fraction of the comparable Valiant and the styling is cleaner, if not arguably better. Low production and an engine upgrade does not necessarily translate into a value premium. The price is optimistic given the visible rust and missing parts and while it would make a noble and viable project restoration, compare it with what’s available for the same cash; it will take a special Mopar lover to take this project on.

  21. SlantSixDan

    No, Jesse, it does not have the Hyper Pak and it does not have the 225. The engine installed in this particular ’61 Lancer is the iron 170. Not the original ’61 item, either, it doesn’t look like.The valve cover (there is only one on a slant-6) is the stock stamped-steel item with ridges (not fins), as installed on every ’61-’65 slant-6 engine. The carburetor on this car is a stock 1bbl item under a ’64-’68 1bbl air cleaner. And the Hyper Pak did not get tubular headers, it got front-3/rear-3 cast iron headers.

    A few minutes’ Googlery would’ve prepared you to write a less guess-filled article.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Maybe you’re right Dan, but what fun would that be? I’m sure everyone had a good time trying to figure it out for themselves.

      Like 1
      • jim

        yes i did have fun with this one, and learned some things that were ” new to me “. thanks

  22. William Robinson

    I think that car is painted this color to hide all the bondo. The thing is not very laser straight looking to my eye. bubbles and actual rust in a few places peeling paint in the jambs a dent and a missing frint valance. At $4995 tbis is definatly not the right lancer to start with, Im sure if one looked hard enough they couldfind a much straighter perfectly stunning version for this moneyup to maybe $7500.

  23. Okiedude

    I would hate have to find parts for that “unique” engine. Those one-offs can be a real b**ch!

  24. John Morrow

    WOW !! A Jewel of Jewels, A Classic of Classics!! From where I come from, we call these a P.O.S.!!!!!

    • paul

      Yeah, rusted if you looked at them, handling with those torsion bars was horrible, but it amazes me what some people think of as classic.

  25. Horse Radish

    Somebody made themselves really unhappy with an $4000 offer, or we will see it RE-OFFERED, when they see the car IN PERSON…..

    • paul

      4k really, for this junk!

    • Horse Radish

      ………..told you so.

  26. KE100

    This would be a really fun car with or without the hyperpak

  27. Doug Kielian

    cut it up redesign the roof line spin the roof skin 180, lower the windshield into the cowl an inch lean the w/s back 21/2 inches. cut the rear window frame out with rear deck lid surround pivot it forward lowering the rear window shortening the roof line and raising up the deck lid a bit. Open up the wheel arches, nip and tuck the bumpers , so many other little mods are needed. but here is what it looks like.

    • Doug Kielian

      Ok a rear view a lot more work needed but a impovement in my eyes

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