In 1961 the Plymouth Valiant changed slightly in appearance which allows people flag this car as a 61. The range added a two-door sedan and hardtop to the four-door sedans and wagons. For an extra cost they offered a high-performance version 170-cubic-inch slant six engine was offered. All models except the hardtop came in either a Deluxe or Standard trim. Options included power-steering and air-conditioning .
The Lancer was Dodge’s new compact, based on the previously successful unit body and chassis of the Valiant. The basic engine was 101- Horsepower slant six the had a 170 cubic inch displacement. A 225-cubic-inch engine putting out 135 Horse-power was an available option. Two-door sedan, hardtop or four-door sedans and hardtops made up the available choices. Buyer had the choice of Manual or Automatic transmissions.
Except for the big 394 cubic-inch engine and the rear axle the Oldsmobile was virtually a new car for 1961, the box frame was widened, new bodies were created and they made a new lighter version of the Hydra-matic transmission. Horsepower was increased from 240 to 250 on the Dynamic 88, and from 315 to 325 on the Super 88 and 98 models. The changes made for a roomier interior starting in 1961.
New for 61 the T Bird retained the four passenger two door in both the hard top and convertible models, built around the 430 Cubic inch V-8 the put out 350 horsepower and the ford-o-matic dual range automatic transmission. This was the appearance of the iconic torpedo like body, the windshield no longer wraps into the door opening, and the steering column swings to the right to allow easy access for the driver.