Consider the buzz swirling around Chrysler’s Highland Park, Michigan headquarters towards the end of 1968. The brand-new Plymouth Road Runner had already received the Motor Trend “Car of The Year,” Hemi-powered Super Stock Darts and Barracudas were seemingly untouchable in the quarter mile, and by late October, famed Hollywood action star Steve McQueen’s detective drama “Bullitt” featured what would become one of the most iconic car chase sequences in all film, and it was clearly the villain’s triple-black Charger R/T that stole the show. It was a good time to be a Dodge lover.
With the new batch of 1969 Dodges released to the public, so was the automaker’s campaign thrust, “Dodge Fever.” The slogan was a carryover from 1968, but because of its appeal – particularly to young men – Dodge felt it wise to ride it through the new year. Central to the campaign was one Ms. Joan Parker, a petite 23-year-old brunette who received her associate’s degree of arts from Los Angeles City College majoring in drama. Parker had supporting roles in the campy Batman movie with Adam West, and even the hit television show, The Long Hot Summer. But it was Parker who beat out over 400 candidates when auditioning to become the next spokesperson for Dodge.
During her two year tenure, Parker was the Dodge “Fever Girl” for television, radio, and public appearances, racking up several commercials that would require approximately three months to film. Parker would move on to her career, passing the torch to Cheryl Miller was chosen for the Dodge “Material Girl” for Dodge’s 1970 “You Could Be Dodge Material” campaign. Big thanks to Robert Tate’s article “Remembering the Dodge Fever & Material Girls”.