American Motor Ambassador changed face with a smaller grill and a down-curved hood. Wheelbase remained 117 inches but the body shell was unchanged under the front sheet metal. The power plant was a 327 cubic inch V-8 which produced 250 horsepower.
Restyled for 1961 Fords were nearly four inches shorter and two inches narrower, the wheel base remained 119 inches and the passenger compartment did not change. On the engineering side Ford made many updates for the 1961 production year; Chassis lubrication, Brakes became self adjusting and lower body panels became galvanized steel for longer life.
In 1961 Rambler was completely restyled 5 inches shorter and three inches narrower but retained the same engine, drive line, suspension, on the existing unit body and frame chassis. In addition to the two and four door sedan and wagons, the 100 inch wheel base American planed to produce a Convertible in mid winter.
The big dodge for 61 was the Polara with five models; a four door sedan, two and four door hardtops, a convertible an four door hardtop station wagon. Basic dimensions of the interior and exterior of the construction body were unchanged that year. On the other hand restyling changed the visual style giving the Dodge more of a compact appearance (for the time).
In 1961 Chevrolet produced bigger bodies within smaller exterior dimensions. Styling remained the “gull-wing” theme on the rear trunk increasing the usefull capacity of the trunk, Frame, suspension and the three engines; the six, 283 and 348 cubic inch V-8’s remain unchanged.
In 1961 the Comet received a longer stroke ,170 cubic inch version of the six cylinder engine which added 20 horsepower. The new engine was welcomed by the station wagon buyers wishing to carry heavy loads. Visibly the Comet received a new grille with horizontal bars, modified name plates and trim marks. All models had a two-speed automatic transmission option.