La Femme

Pretty in pink but women didn’t fall for the Dodge La Femme

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Unveiled in 1955, the La Femme was Dodge’s idea of how to appeal to the growing numbers of female drivers and car buyers.

It’s one of the earliest examples of targeted automotive marketing to women.

And although it did not sell in vast numbers (about 2500 over two model years), La Femme awakened Detroit to the possibilities.

The La Femme was basically a Dodge Custom Royal Lancer hardtop coupe splashed with a special paint palette of Sapphire White and Heather Rose.

Gold “La Femme” script on the mudguards shouted out its target market.

The interior boasted special tapestry upholstery featuring pink rosebuds on a pale pink background and pale pink vinyl trim.

A purse matching the car’s interior was a standard La Femme feature, stowed in a special compartment built into the back of the passenger seat.

Each purse came complete with matching compact lipstick, cigarette case and a lighter.

Also standard was a raincoat, rain hat and umbrella in the rosebud pattern that was stored in a compartment behind the driver’s seat.

The carpet was woven with light and dark pink threads and the steering wheel was two-tone pink.

Save for a few items of literature, Dodge did not promote the La Femme all that hard.

Contemporary reports indicate it did not appeal to women the way the guys at Dodge thought it would (Duh!).

But five out of 10 for trying!

A perfectly restored example of the La Femme was on permanent exhibit at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan, until the bean counters at FCA closed the facility.

We have seen the car.

The overwhelming take away is the lavish use of pink paint and blindly bright hectares of chrome.

Less than 100 La Femmes are thought to still exist, all of them in the USA.

David Burrell is the editor of www.retroautos.com.au



David Burrell is the founder and editor of Retroautos.com.au, a free online classic cars magazine. David has a passion for cars and car design. He's also into speedway, which he's been writing about since 1981. His first car was a rusted-out 1961 Vauxhall Velox. Prior to starting the magazine, David worked as an international executive in a Fortune 500 company, in Australia, NZ, Asia, Latin America and the UK.