A Roaring '65 Ragtop

"The Roaring '65s" was a successful ad campaign by Plymouth initiated in mid-to-late 1964 to introduce the 1965 Plymouth models.  Plymouth was still reeling, though slowly recovering, from the 1962 debacle of the downsized "full size" cars combined with questionable styling cues that sent perspective buyers scurrying to GM and Ford.  The 1965 Plymouth lineup consisted of the familiar Fury nameplate being moved from the B-body line to the newly developed C-body line.  The Fury model lines would be designated from the stripper version to the top of the line with the names:  Fury I, Fury II, Fury III, and Sport Fury.  The C-body line would finally give Plymouth the length, width, and wheelbase to compete with the GM and Ford products.  In addition to the new C-body line, there was the new B-body designated with a name reaching back to 1954, the Belvedere. 

Chip has the original operating instructions manual, the owner's manual, and the sales brochure from 1965.

The new "mid-size" (or intermediate size) line was basically the 1964 "full size" Plymouth with redesigned front fenders and new bright work.  As with the full size Fury, the Belvedere model lines used Roman numerals to designate the trim level of the car.  The Belvedere I was the base model, the Belvedere II was more refined than the base model, and the Satellite was the top of the line.  The Belvedere line received several of the styling cues from the Fury with the trim and instrumentation being similar between the two lines.  Rounding out the Roaring '65s was the entry level A-body line.  This line consisted of the tried and true Valiant and the year old Barracuda riding on the shortest wheel base of any '65 Plymouth.  On top of the new model lines, Chrysler discontinued the push button automatic selector (aka "the typewriter", "dial-a-winner", or "the buttons").  There are several theories as to why this was done:  1) the cost of the push button was more expensive than the conventional column shift selector, 2) there was a governmental decree for the Society of American Engineers (SAE) to standardized shift selector pattern to a "PRND21"; a safety development enabling a person the ability to basically drive any car because the shift pattern was the same, and 3) Chrysler developed the more conventional column shift actuation to attract the Ford and GM new car buyers.  Regardless of the reason, the buttons were gone.   Did Chrysler's changes make a difference?  "The Roaring '65s" proved to be Plymouth's best year in sales (683,456 units sold) since 1957 and almost a 20 percent increase over the 1964 sales year.