Pretty In Pink: 1955 Dodge La Femme

Carmakers did some wonky things in the 1950s to market cars and this Dodge is a great, if unsuccessful, example. Chrysler wanted to attract female buyers so they took a Dodge Custom Royal Lancer and replaced its badges with gold La Femme badges and painted it Sapphire White and Heather Rose pink. The interior upholstery has little pink roses with pink trim and as much of the interior as possible is also pink. They even included a fancy purse that matched the upholstery. There was a pocket on the driver’s seat for said purse and the compartment on the back of the other seat contained rain gear. Can you believe that somehow most of the accessories are still in this car? This is an incredibly original car still proudly wearing most of its original paint and even it’s chalk marks. It’s listed on eBay for $44,500 but best offers are accepted. This car has been mechanically restored, so it runs and drives beautifully. It has a little over 40,00o miles on it and has the documentation to prove it.

Now here’s a real man’s, er, no, lady’s dash! Everything looks to be in great condition and very pink. It really has survived the years amazingly well.

The plastic cover has yellowed so the colors are hard to see. Those really are little roses on the upholstery which is hopefully in good condition under the plastic and not crispy.

There’s a 270 CID Hemi in there somewhere. It’s the “Super Red Ram” version rated at about 190 horsepower. It looks original under here but it could use some detailing. There’s no AC, but at least there are power brakes.

La Femme was an option package and only a few were sold and very few remain today. However, the market for this car is very limited, so rare doesn’t make it valuable. It is, though, an incredibly original, complete car and even has the original La Femme accessories. The nose had acquired rock chips that required repair and a little paint in the 1970s but the rest of the paint is original. It would be great at car shows, especially if you’re into vintage clothing and all the quirky things built in the ’50s!

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Comments

  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    That’s a lot of cash being asked for a mid-’50s Dodge. I think the La Femme was less successful than Ford’s Lifeguard Design as a marketing tool (allow Peter to remove tongue from cheek).

    Look forward to reading the others’ comments…

    1
    • Scott Miller

      Jay Leno had one on his show a month ago at $100000.00 and mine appraised on Discovery’s Stick Shock for $38000.00 so he’s in the ball park. Less than 20 known to exist.

      1
    • Scott Miller

      jay Leno had one on his show couple months ago,valued at $100000,00.Imown a 55 Lafemme and it appeared on Discovery’s Sticker Shock and they put a $38000.00 value on it.The Lafemmes are really rare with only 20 KNOWN to exist I know there are probably more but with only 300 to 1500 mare in 55 and 56 how many could still exist.

    • Theo

      My 55 LA femme has 26 000 original miles with factory ac

      • WILLIAM ZEWATSKI

        is yours for sale?

  2. Fred H

    Anybody know how many were sold ? The classic car data base doesn’t list it .

    http://www.classiccardatabase.com/search.php?year=1964&make=0

    It is a good site.

    • Scott Miller

      They made between 300 and 1500 in the 2 yr run 55 and 56.We have one of each year.Our 55 appeared on Discovery’s Stick Shock last month. Less than 20 known to still exist.

      2
  3. Krindall

    I think one with every accessory included might be worth something, even if just as a curiosity

    1
  4. cyclemikey

    That’s a rare find, especially in that condition. I completely understand the seller’s strategy – price it high and solicit offers. That way you can interview potential buyers and do the best you can to ensure that it goes to the right buyer.

    To put a finer point on it, he can do his damndest to keep it from falling into the hands of some doofus who just *has* to have A/C, and disc brakes, and a modern V8, and god only knows what else, and will chop up the car. The seller may very well be right that this is best unrestored one of these remaining, and it should be preserved as-is for show.

    And besides, I’m gonna guess that there aren’t too many guys who would enjoy actually driving around in a car that says “La Femme” on the side.

    6
    • Allan W.

      I habe always wanted to see one of these at a show…they are so rare, that before the internet I would have sworn that their existence was an urban legend. My understanding is that not only were sales of new ‘La Femme’ cars poor, but resale was next to impossible. There is a very limited resale market for used cars once men are eliminated from that pool.

      • WILLIAM ZEWATSKI

        I had one in the mid-60s and I gave to my then girlfriend, and she had me paint it purple for her. We used to drive it up and down Woodward Ave in Royal Oak. that was before the dream cruise. she ended up giving the car to a carhop at the TotemPole Drive-in Restaurant. we have reunited after many years but we still remember the Le Femme.

        1
  5. Mountainwoodie

    True story. In 1981 I was working my way through school, walking 10 miles in the dark, studying by candlelight and working part time at a used classic car lot in San Diego.we had a perfect condition LaFemme with all the accessories. I should have bought it! Instead I bought a 1960 Caddy limo once owned by a Mexican President …Started a limo business when there weren’t any In town..but the damn limo wouldn’t run on cocaine so I had to sell it.

    10
  6. Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

    I have a series of books describing motoring lemons from throughout automotive history. This actually makes the list (along with the Trabant and just about anything made by British Leyland). It makes the list for two reasons. Firstly, sales were pretty appalling. Secondly, if any car company tried to build and market a car like this in our politically correct times, they would be hung for it. For those reasons alone…I like it!

    7
  7. Simon Perry

    This could be my favourite car to ever come across the barn finds… Its gorgeous!

    3
  8. Miguel

    My price guide says to add only 25% for the Le Femme package.

    That doesn’t seem like a lot, but there it is.

    For the record, I would love to drive this car with Le Femme on the side and I am male.

    5
  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Bet that lady with that hemi could spank a few that laughed. The umbrella is usually missing so if that’s there that’s a plus.

    On a side note I have a factory trunk air unit from a Dodge – smaller than the Chrysler’s and Desota’s if anyone’s looking….was saving it for my Fury but don’t think it will make it in there.

    2
  10. Nick

    The first time I visited Las Vegas, in 1997 I think,. there was one of these in the car museum in the Imperial Palace. I wonder if this is the same car.

    2
    • Nick

      I think it came with a matching umbrella and hat box that matched the interior fabric.

      1
  11. Tony, Oz

    La Femme, pink, roses, who gives a rats a…s, you can bet you’ll be the only one at the car show with one and all the chicks will love you and want to buy it off you to compete with their husbands and boyfriends cars. You might even make a profit if you took the best offer from the girls, dollars that is !

    3
    • TMD

      No Kidding, look at all the wives sitting around at car shows while the husband has all the fun…this could sell!

  12. Lawyer George

    Nice car but priced at double what I would expect.

  13. CanuckCarGuy

    Not usually a fan of Dodges from the ’50s but this is very nice; the layout and that shade of pink works very well with these body lines. In this current age of ‘gender neutrality’, I respect the era this car represents… society might be surprised by the number of ladies today, that would still appreciate this car.

    2
  14. Dave Mc

    The rarity of this model alone would bring attention at any car meet. I have a feeling that your voice would be hoarse by the end of the day.
    (Better make a placard to set in front of it)

  15. James T Houghton

    She’s a Beauty for sure. This car deserves to be in a Mopar Collection .Love It!

    • bill

      they supposedly had one at the chrysler museum in auburn hills mi but I heard that they closed the museum down.

      • bill

        I had one in 1966 and gave it to my girl friend and she wanted me to paint it purple for her. then she drove it daily up and down Woodward Avenue, in Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Hills

        1
      • Tom

        They did have one at the Chrysler Museum. It was a great display, too bad you missed it.

  16. Dom Colucci

    I saw one of these years ago but it had a black roof… I would drive it remember Elvis had a pink cady and he had a lot of ladies wanting a ride in it…

  17. scottymac

    “…and all the quirky things built in the ’50s!” Hey! I resemble that remark! I was built in the ’50s!

  18. johnfromct

    One of these was recently appraised on a Discovery car show. Might even be this one. Estimate if I recall correctly, was $40K – $50K. So asking price is not out of line.

  19. Steve

    Needs a Demon or Hellcat motor swap. Or at least a 392 Hemi with twin carter afb’s. Leave everything else like it is.

    • Kenny

      Oh Brother.

  20. KarlS

    A buddy of mine in high school in the late 60’s had a ’57 Ford in a color called Salmon, which was pretty (in) pink, but it didn’t bother him. Especially since it had a Lincoln engine in it that was bored and stroked out to around 500 ci.

  21. the GasHole

    2 things:
    These were also available in lavender (never have seen one though)
    The “Hello Kitty” company should be all over this as a promo vehicle.

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