The Dodge La Femme Car, 1955, Came With A Built-In Pink Purse and Matching Raincoat

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Happy Mother’s Day!  What a great day to reflect on what people thought women wanted from a car in the mid-1950s.  At first it sort of seems like some weird Mad Men spoof of 1950s advertising; but no, it was a real thing.

Made from 1955 to 1956, the Dodge La Femme was a car specifically made for and marketed to women.  It was (what else?) pink, with a pink interior.  It came with a purse that custom-matched the interior fabric and this purse fit into a custom-made compartment slot behind the front-passenger seat.  You could get your name engraved on the front of the purse and the purse came with custom matching accessories such as a comb, lighter, cigarette case, lipstick case,  coin purse, and a face-powder compact.

Better yet, in a compartment on the back of the driver’s seat was a custom-made raincoat,  rain bonnet and umbrella also made to match the interior fabric.

Kind of looks like a toy Barbie car.  Here’s the car in all of its pink glory, including a photo of the pink dashboard:

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And here’s the ‘purse compartment’ on the back of the passenger seat, along with a photo of the purse and its contents:

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And of course, I can’t forget to include the matching umbrella, rain bonnet and raincoat.  The photo’s in black and white, but somehow, I’m getting a hunch that they were pink:

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Info source: [Wikipedia] and [Dodge LaFemme Registry Website]

Photo sources: These photos aren’t my own.  Click on each one to link back to its original website.

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This entry was posted in 20th Century, Historical Photos, Modern History, Museum Artefact, Pop Culture History, U.S. History, Women's History and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Dodge La Femme Car, 1955, Came With A Built-In Pink Purse and Matching Raincoat

  1. Gypsy Bev says:

    Somehow I missed this car! At that time for a college graduation present, my parents bought me a new 1960 light blue Chevy Impala with white back the side. Wish I still had it!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Links Roundup 5/24 « Two Wrongs and a Write

  3. Linda Palandech says:

    In 1955, when I was 15, my parents bought the Dodge LaFemme. We absolutely thought it was the most beautiful car EVER!!! My mother loved pink so, of course, this was right up her alley. She also thought that having the purse and an umbrella that came with the car was very fancy and she talked about that all the time. I have very fond memories of those year and riding in that car. Wish we would never have sold it. I haven’t seen one since we sold the car and it is nice to know that there is a website that has so many pictures of it.

    • Linda – that is absolutely amazing!! I can imagine how all the matching items must have made it feel like a fancy car – kind of like today when ferrari owners have special logo shirts and hats! I loved the classic style of the car (and almost any car from the 50s for that matter!), very big, classy styles, and the flourish of the tailfins are such nice touches.

      This is why I love doing this blog – I’ve always thought this car was interesting from the photos I’ve seen and now I’ve gotten to hear firsthand what the car was like. Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it. 🙂

  4. swabby429 says:

    Maybe this is where Mary Kay got the idea for the pink car rewards for top distributors. The La Femme has a more attractive pink. Of course, coral pink was a very chic color choice for many things back in the 1950s. This particular Dodge has a very close style to that of the Desoto.

    • Good idea! Since the Mary Kay car first came out in the 60s, I’m sure it may have. I always thought that the sales reps were gifted a car; but apparently they are just allowed the privilege of driving it and never own it. Regardless of the colour and all of its connotations, the LaFemme is a beautiful car. Makes modern cars look so boring!

  5. eideard says:

    Like most ’55 Chrysler products it was made with first-gen lighter gauge steel w/o additional rustproofing. On both coasts the fenders began rusting out within a couple years.

    Even though the designs in each line were tasty.

  6. Bronxgirl says:

    My dad had this same car. I’m 60 years old and I can still remember my dads pink car & sitting on the fender while he polished it. He was a real car fanatic. He owned over 30 cars in his lifetime.

    • I’m so jealous! Thanks for sharing your experience. I am FASCINATED by this car! One of the best side effects of this post are all the people sharing their memories of it. 🙂

  7. Brockelman says:

    I didn’t know about this model. It’s extraordinary in every way. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m enjoying your posts!

  8. gpcox says:

    Too bad they don’t have a “Love it” button to click as well as the “Like”!!!

  9. I had a great aunt that had one. As a kid I was never allowed to sit in it. She had white and pink interior. I was so fascinated with her push button transmission. You could see her coming with that paint color. She owned it for most of her life. She sold it when she entered a retirement home. She never drove it that much. It was an awesome car. They don’t make cars like that anymore.

    • I think if I had a car like that, I would own it for as long as I could too! It seemed liked your great Aunt really loved it! It must have been so neat to drive something so distinct.

  10. Paul Duca says:

    Some who owned it said “You couldn’t wear anything but black or white while driving it and look good”

  11. greytstuff44 says:

    Being a child of the late 50″s, early 60’s: I like every other boy in my class at the time was a complete car NUT! I never remember seeing this particular model, but I do recall my Dad buying a 1959 Ford Galaxy 500 2 door hard top, in coral with white top, and black and white interior. We kept that car until he bought a boring 1965 Chevy Impala 4 door. But I do recall everyone swooning over that old 59 Ford. Cars of the 50’s era had more imagination, chrome, and everything that could make the average kid say “gee whiz”! I only wished to God that today’s car were as over the top in design aesthetics as those. There’s simply nothing made within the last 30 years that excites me just looking at it, like them. Sure, I know that today’s cars are better in every way. But not in looks. That’s most likely why I haven’t bought anything other than SUV’s and Trucks over the past 20 years.

    • I know exactly what you mean – I just can’t imagine how fun it would have been driving a car like that! I haven’t seen one in coral (except online), only the turquoise Ford Galaxy, but it is so impressive. Makes my current vehicle feel too plain!

  12. Debbie Zinke says:

    I love reading all the responses to your blog. I have the most fantastic husband in the world. He gave me this car for a wedding present 5 years ago next month. We just finished getting the inside done last month. She’s been repainted and her bumpers re-chromed, other than that she’s original.He is in the process of trying to make the purse since there are none to be found. The pink is not a coral pink but more a blush pink. The seat material is very delicate and explains why it didn’t hold up to the wear and tear a seat would sustain on a daily basis. I have the original engine (a Hemi) in it and except for minor repairs she drives beautifully. I named her Sophia.

    • You chose a great name for this car! What an amazing gift! I love hearing all of these first-hand experiences. Interesting observation re: the delicate seat material. What a treat it must be to drive it around! 🙂

  13. brian C says:

    I own a 1955 La Femme.It took me 20 years to find.I will never give her up .I LOVE HER VERY MUCH. Everytime we are out.People give her the biggest smile.I love that part the most.Bringing happiness just by driving by ! She only has 68,000 orignal miles on her.Not bad for just turning 60.

  14. I’ve always been fond of old American cars. My dream car since the late 70’s was a three-tone Pink, Black and White 1955 Dodge which I actually own now since 8 years. In 1985 I’ve visited USA and met a car guy in San Diego who had a non-running La Femme with all special accessories. Later same summer we joined the W.P.C. Club meeting in Detroit celebrating Chrysler 60 years. Another La Femme from Wisconsin participated the show, it was a partially restored survivor still having all accessories. 28 years later I found a 55 Dodge for sale on ebay and bought it for my wife and it turned out to be the very same car I saw in Detroit in 1985. For sure it is the only La Femme in Sweden and most probably there are no more in Europe. Still with the car is the purse with all accessories and the Rain gear and Umbrella in pristine condition. Currently the “Old Lady” is going through some refurbishing to get her back on the roads next summer.

  15. Brian Cotton says:

    Just so you know..The 1955 La Femme is the only one that came with the purse.The 1956 had the “Boxes” on the back seats.But no cut-out for the purse.I have own a 1955 La Femme for 15 years now.And even Car Guys have never heard of them.It sure brings Lots of smile when we are out.And everyone loves the history about them.Super great article ! Thank you !!

  16. Pingback: Dodge La Femme, A Car for Women of the 1950s | Hot Rides

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