In 1962, Dodge entered in America’s booming new compact car category with the Dodge Lancer. Rolling out the year before, the Lancer lineup for ’62 included the 170 and 770 models in sedan and station wagon styles, along with the sporty and sophisticated model shown here, the Dodge Lancer GT Hardtop.
The Lancer GT boasted thick-pile carpeting, bucket seats and leather-grain vinyl upholstery behind its two doors. A distinct padded dash, a hot new fad was sweeping through the auto industry: the hardtop convertible. Here’s Dodge’s contribution to the styling trend, the 1950 Coronet Diplomat.
When first you hear it, the term “hardtop convertible” sounds like an oxymoron—like “constant variable” or “jumbo shrimp.” Hold on, and we’ll make some sense of it. In the late ’40s, industry product planners discovered that many new car buyers, especially young people,