Dodge moved cautiously by staging the introduction of the 1955 Dodge La Femme -- and testing public reaction to the idea -- at the International Salon in the Chrysler Building in New York City.
Held from January 17-29, 1955, the Salon provided the setting for Chrysler's exhibit, "The Forward Look," which debuted the Chrysler 300. Also featured was "Dimensions in Color," a display of colors and fabrics as used in Chrysler's automobiles.
Old Timers News reported that, "Another attraction at the exhibit was the premier showing of Dodge's 'La Femme' -- a Custom Royal Lancer hardtop, appointed in the most feminine of pinks -- which drew throngs of women visitors to the International Salon. The company's interior styling experts have gone all out in efforts to woo today's women. They have designed a car interior specifically intended to 'please and flatter the modern woman' -- who no longer is relegated to kitchen and household tasks from dawn to dusk. It's a woman's world inside the Heather Rose-Sapphire White 'La Femme.' "
The La Femme finally arrived in the spring of 1955 as a $145.30 trim and accessory option for the $2,543 Custom Royal Lancer two-door hardtop. Dodge dealers had been officially notified earlier, on February 7, via the following letter:
"TO ALL DODGE DIRECT DEALERS AND DEALERS:
"The enclosed folder will introduce you to the La Femme, by Dodge, the first car ever exclusively designed for the woman motorist.
"At the Chicago Auto Show, the La Femme received exceptionally enthusiastic response and it is enjoying similar response at special shows and exhibits in other parts of the country.
"Exterior color scheme of the car is Heather Rose over Sapphire White, and there is a gold La Femme name plate on each front fender, replacing the Royal Lancer name plate. The interior consists of specially designed Heather Rose Cordagrain bolster and trim. The materials used, of course, possess the usual qualities of durability, beauty, economy, and ease of cleaning.
"The crowning touches which personalize the La Femme are its special feminine accessories. Two compartments located on the backs of the front seats are upholstered in Heather Rose Cordagrain. The compartment on the driver's side contains a stylish rain cape, fisherman's style rain hat and umbrella which carry out the Jacquard motif. The other compartment holds a stunning shoulder bag in soft rose leather. It is fitted with compact, lighter, lipstick and cigarette case.
"Available only in the Custom Royal Lancer model, the La Femme can now be ordered for March delivery. Naturally, a model of this type will initially be built in limited quantities and will be handled on first come, first served basis. To order, specify Trim Code #443 and color code #571-1 . . .
"I hope you will endeavor to see the La Femme at your earliest opportunity. I believe you will agree that this unusual car has great appeal to women, and that it gives Dodge dealers a 'drawing card' enjoyed by no other dealer group."
Very truly yours,
General Sales Manager
See the next page to learn more about the 1955 La Femme's interior.
For more information on cars, see: