If you’re looking to get an old Detroit car for a not-heinously-expensive project, something that can accept a bolt-in affordable V8 and lots of off-the-rack reproduction parts, it’s hard to beat the simple, lightweight Chrysler A-Body. From the 1960 model year through 1981 (if you count production in Argentina and Australia), A-Bodies rolled off the showroom floors. Most of us in the United States think of the 1960-1976 Plymouth Valiant and 1963-1976 Dodge Dart when we think of the A-Body, but Chrysler called the 1961-1962 Dodge-badged version the Lancer. Here’s a project-worthy ’61 that somehow ended up here in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard.
Yes, that’s a floor-shifted three-speed manual transmission; the column-shifted three-on-the-tree setup was much more common for low-priced cars during this era, which makes this car even more cool. Too bad it’s going to be crushed.