Interesting post. I had forgotten about a couple of these and it was a good refresher.
I am reminded of how the '62 Dodge & Plymouth models were shunned by consumers and due to the disastrous sales year that was 1961, the Chrysler board of directors was seriously considering giving the Dodge brand the axe. But for strong pushback by the stockholders it might just have gone that way as Plymouth (as was the norm) was out-selling Dodge by a fair margin.
In order to solve the problem it was determined to immediately redesign the Dodge body but there was practically no time left for that exercise. So, designers went to the abandoned DeSoto brand and pulled designs intended for the 1962 (or perhaps '63 models, I don’t accurately recall) and used them to create what became the 330, 440 and 880 series Dodge; a design that sold exceedingly well as it resonated favorably with the customers as a more conventional and modern offering.
Who would have imagined that the beleaguered (and by then defunct) DeSoto would be instrumental in saving the great (almost iconic) Dodge brand? But such is life in the automotive world and the rest, as they say, is history.
An interesting side note is that the '62 Dodge and Plymouth 2 door hardtops and in particular the post 2dr hardtops are some of the most sought after bodies among serious '60’s era MoPar restorers and muscle car builders. Go figure…