One-Year-Only 1960 Dodge Matador Project

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Whenever the name Matador is used in automotive terminology, I typically think of the AMC cars from the seventies, specifically those oddly-shaped but loveable 2-door coupes from the second generation.  However, more than a decade before the American Motors car was introduced, Dodge had already chosen the same name for a one-year-only full-size offering, complete with that finned styling that was all the hoopla during this period.  Judging from the tire depth into the earth, it appears as though this 1960 Dodge Matador may have been sitting for quite some time, but with a sensible asking price of $4,500, this one could end up turning into a fun and affordable project.  Our thanks go out to Barn Finds reader Ted for spotting this Mopar and sending us the tip!

Even though the Matador was considered the entry-level full-size Dodge for 1960, there’s still plenty of outside eye appeal going on here, and I find myself envying how those fins stop shy of the rear and end somewhat abruptly down into the quarter panels.  The seller doesn’t give us a whole lot of background to go on, although he does state that the hardtop is solid but needs to be redone.  Looking around at the exterior, the driver’s side seems to be in the best shape, with the other half looking fairly good as well.  There are a few areas visible in the more close-up photos that show what is hopefully just some bubbling in the paint, but I sense that all of the panels here may be salvageable.

No specific details are provided regarding the interior, but with the amount of wear and tear on the seats, I’m guessing things inside are mostly original.  While both seats and the door panels will require some new upholstery, the dash appears to remain in reasonably good condition, complete with the push-button gear selector on the left.  We also get to view a couple of shots from the undercarriage, and although there is surface rust present, the frame rails appear to be structurally sound.

Buyers had a choice of two different-sized V8s, including the standard 361 or an optional 383 cubic-inch powerplant.  This one has the smaller offering, and though the engine won’t start, it will still turn over.  If you’re ready to get this sleekly-styled 1960 Dodge Matador back on the road, the car is located in McConnelsville, Ohio, and can be found here on Facebook Marketplace.  Are you finding this one tempting enough to take on as a project?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    My folks had a 1960 Dodge Dart four-door, similar to this example. If I recall, it was the Seneca trim level, which I always assumed was the lowest level (because that was their modus operandi when it came to new cars– strippers). But I don’t claim to know the trim level hierarchy. I do know, it was nothing fancy.

    I have a very vague remembrance of picking it up at the dealer— I would have been no more than four years old. I remember being concerned with how they were going to get the car down the imposing, steep ramp from the inside dealer storage area to street level. Later, as an adult, I saw the ramp: it was only three or four feet above the street level at the building level, with a rather shallow angle. Through the eyes of a child, I guess.

    Otherwise, I remember the dash-mounted rearview mirror, the funky steering wheel, and the see-through speedometer…. all things that I would have paid attention to as back-seat passenger.

    Thanks Mike for the memories.

    Like 26
    • CCFisher

      Your parents’ Dart had more in common with a 1960 Plymouth than this Matador. Prior to 1960, Dodge, DeSoto, and Chrysler dealers also sold Plymouth. In 1960, Chrysler took Plymouth away from Dodge dealers and created the Plymouth-based Dart as a replacement.

      1960 Darts came in three models: Phoenix on top, Pioneer in the middle, and, just as you surmised, Seneca as the fleet special.

      Like 10
  2. RICK W

    As I recall, Dodge for 60 and 61 had senior Seneca and upscale Matador. Slightly smaller but similar Dart models were (base) Pioneer? and upscale PHOENIX. We had a 61 red PHOENIX convertible! 👍 These were the last of Exners fabulous finned fantasies for Chrysler. Subsequent downsized 62 Dodge and Plymouth were controversial to say the least!

    Like 3
  3. Zen

    This car is mostly all there and in surprisingly good shape for having been sitting outside long enough to sink into the ground a little. I hope it finds a good home. Didn’t know the optional 383 was available that far back.

    Like 6
  4. Rosseaux

    I guess that white dash is correct, but it looks a little odd. I can’t recall seeing many from this era where the dash wasn’t matched with the interior or the body color.

    Like 2
    • normadesmond

      Yes, that white dash does look odd. Hmm.

      Like 3
      • RICK W

        Dear NORMA, LOL! But surely you saw Mr.DeMille do a lot of WHITEWASHING at Paramount! 😉 perhaps he was the greatest whitewasher of them all!

        Like 4
  5. CCFisher

    It’s remarkable how quickly Chrysler squandered its styling lead. People looked at the 1957 Chrysler products and said “WOW!” They looked at the 1960 Chrysler products and said “Whaaaa?” (The Chrysler brand itself being the handsome exception.)

    Like 7
    • Dan


      Like 0
  6. Dave k

    Love the odd ball stuff!!

    Like 9
  7. Moparman MoparmanMember

    My Dad had one of these, light yellow with a white top. I remember washing those jet exhaust tail lights, and how he would make me laugh by punching the 361 and making my head rock back! That missing chrome trim for the front windshield is going to take some searching! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 9
  8. BlondeUXBMember

    “So that’s a Matador… “

    Like 5
  9. RickyMember

    Holy Bizzaro Batman!!!!

    Like 3
  10. Robin Tomlin

    I beg to differ on the interior. It looks like a poor late 70s job to me with incorrect fabric and wrong door cards. It’s still worth the money though to my eyes and I’ve always appreciated the wild design of this year Dodge.

    Like 1
  11. jwaltb

    Somebody cut off the fins!

    Like 3
    • 370zpp 370zppMember

      Yes, but they appear to be growing back.

      Like 2
      • jwaltb


        Like 0
  12. Robert G.

    And, those finds probably provided excellent directional stability at mach II.

    Like 1
  13. Don

    This fins look like after the matador cut the horns off the bull. What a goofy looking body. This is one Exner should have left in the sketchbooks.

    Like 0
  14. Pastor Ron

    In a word, WOW. I have never seen a Matador four door hardtop in my 45 years in the hobby. The only Matador I’ve ever seen in person was a wagon with the exact same color scheme (including the dash) in a junkyard in Myerstown, PA about 35 or 40 years ago. And to think I could have had it for $200 at the time. But I was young and poor then, and could only afford the ’68 Monaco wagon I had then. Was picking up some spare goodies for that when I spotted the Matador. Guy said the engine was blown.

    Like 2
  15. Michelle RandStaff

    Stunning. I want it.

    Like 5
    • jwaltb

      Michelle, you have eclectic tastes. 👍

      Like 0
  16. Boris

    Quirky design. Can`t say I like it.

    Like 0
  17. carl

    im a big early/mid 60’s mopars…. but this thing is fugly. love the front end but after the cowl?? not so much

    Like 0

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