The Truth About Cars » Plymouth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:39:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Plymouth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer, Wait, I Mean Plymouth Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1989-mitsubishi-lancer-wait-mean-plymouth-colt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1989-mitsubishi-lancer-wait-mean-plymouth-colt/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889946 At the same time Chrysler was selling heavily evolved— if that’s the word— Simcas, you could walk into the same showrooms that sold Turismos and Omnis and buy yourself a badge-engineered Mitsubishi Lancer. By the late 1980s, Mitsubishi itself was selling these cars (badged as Mirages), which meant that car shoppers could choose between three […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer, Wait, I Mean Plymouth Colt appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
08 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAt the same time Chrysler was selling heavily evolved— if that’s the word— Simcas, you could walk into the same showrooms that sold Turismos and Omnis and buy yourself a badge-engineered Mitsubishi Lancer. By the late 1980s, Mitsubishi itself was selling these cars (badged as Mirages), which meant that car shoppers could choose between three more or less identical versions of the same car, all priced within it-doesn’t-matter distance of one another: Dodge Colt, Plymouth Colt, and Mitsubishi Mirage. The owner of this Plymouth Colt, however, decided that he or she wanted to go all JDM and convert this car into a Lancer (on a shoestring budget).
19 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis would make more sense if you wanted to turn your Q45 into a President or even your Tercel wagon into a Sprinter Carib. Perhaps the association with the Lancer Evolution was the main motivator for the Colt-Lancer switch.
06 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou’ll find one in every car, kid. You’ll see.
12 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAlmost made it to 100,000 miles.
18 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s pretty easy to get the correct badges if you’re motivated.

Future project: convert a Colt into a Cyborg!

01 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1989 Mitsubishi Lancer, Wait, I Mean Plymouth Colt appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1989-mitsubishi-lancer-wait-mean-plymouth-colt/feed/ 16
Junkyard Find: 1975 Dodge Dart Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1975-dodge-dart-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1975-dodge-dart-sedan/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=887809 So many Chrysler A-bodies in junkyards these days, even though the last ones rolled off the assembly line in 1981 (in South America and Australia; the final Detroit-built A-body was a 1976 model). These cars were cheap and simple, and they’re still useful transportation in the 21st century, so many of them manage to stay […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1975 Dodge Dart Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
07 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo many Chrysler A-bodies in junkyards these days, even though the last ones rolled off the assembly line in 1981 (in South America and Australia; the final Detroit-built A-body was a 1976 model). These cars were cheap and simple, and they’re still useful transportation in the 21st century, so many of them manage to stay on the street well into their 30s and 40s. Sadly, even the most fanatical Dart/Valiant restorer has all the affordable two-doors and/or factory V8 cars he or she can handle, and so when a made-by-the-zillions Slant-6 Malaise Era sedan craps out, it’s going to The Crusher. So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’60 Valiant wagon, this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, and now we’re adding yet another ’75 to the list.
01 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is a California car, so there’s absolutely zero rust and the upholstery is pretty well roasted by the sun.
06 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDid it finally die?
05 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen I shot this car, it had only been on the yard for a few days. You can tell because the front brake parts, which are highly sought-after because they’ll bolt right on to B-body cars such as Chargers and Belvederes, were still there. By now, of course, the car has been shredded, dumped into a shipping container at the Port of Oakland, shipped to China, and melted down; I photographed it last October, in a yard that keeps inventory for a mere two months before scrapping it.
09 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAccording to my favorite junkyard-inventory site, there are two Darts, six Valiants, a Duster, and two Swingers in the inventory of the 90 yards Row52 tracks, which means there are many hundreds of fresh A-bodies in the junkyards they don’t cover. If you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time!

01 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1975 Dodge Dart Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1975-dodge-dart-sedan/feed/ 50
Junkyard Find: 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1960-plymouth-valiant-station-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1960-plymouth-valiant-station-wagon/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=808866 By my calculations, we will stop seeing Chrysler A bodies in wrecking yards by about the year 2109; so far in this series we’ve seen this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
12 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy my calculations, we will stop seeing Chrysler A bodies in wrecking yards by about the year 2109; so far in this series we’ve seen this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, and today I’m adding a first-year Valiant wagon that sat abandoned for about 40 years before being sent to a California self-serve yard.
18 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow do I know it sat for that long? From the yellowed but otherwise intact stack of 1970 newspapers I found in the back. Here’s the first paragraph of the Herb Caen column from the February 25, 1970 San Francisco Chronicle. Those damn Traditional Hippies (Caen invented the term “hippie”), donating blood for the SFPD! My very first job was delivering the Chronicle on my Schwinn, about 8 years after this issue came out, so it was cool to find this paper.
05 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Slant-6 engine was fairly modern in 1960. I can’t tell a 170 from a 225 by glancing at it, but the 170 was more common in the early Valiants. Someday I will buy an NOS Slant-6 scale model.
01 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is pretty well cooked from those decades in the California sun.
11 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe early Valiant wagon had some interesting body lines.
27 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll right, back to the 2/25/70 newspaper! Here’s an ad for the 70 Plymouth Duster, complete with cartoon woman in psychedelic bell-bottoms.
22 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAn unusual time to announce the somewhat delayed second-gen Camaro. Stewart Chevrolet is still around, though not in San Francisco.
33 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinConservative columnist Joseph Alsop had some concerns about Nixon’s plan to abolish the draft, citing Philip II of Macedonia.
32 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNews stories out of the Middle East haven’t changed much in 44 years, although big-nosed caricatures of Arabs in American editorial cartoons have been toned down a bit since then. Also, busing nowadays isn’t quite the issue it was in 1970.
21 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t see help-wanted ads separated by gender these days.
28 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRemember Gordo and his cat, Poosy Gato? Only if you’re old.
24 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow about a sharp ’65 Chrysler for $595?
09 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, old newspapers in junked cars are quite interesting, as we saw with this 1982 Denver Post I found in the trunk of a 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air. Just think of all the big news stories that happened while this Valiant sat, forgotten, in a back yard or driveway since the early 1970s. Soon it will return to the steel from which it came.

01 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 29 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 30 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 32 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 33 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1960-plymouth-valiant-station-wagon/feed/ 25
New York 2014: Outtakes Part 2 – Expand Your Horizons http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-outtakes-part-2-expand-your-horizons/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-outtakes-part-2-expand-your-horizons/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=808746 3-Series. 3-Series GT. 3-Series Touring. 4-Series. 4-Series Gran Coupe. X3. X4. Not too long ago, it was simple to decipher BMW’s model lineup and nomenclature. One sausage, many lengths. These days, you need the Rosetta Stone for niche variants to figure out what’s what. But I did have a brief moment of clarity on the […]

The post New York 2014: Outtakes Part 2 – Expand Your Horizons appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
photo (22)

3-Series. 3-Series GT. 3-Series Touring. 4-Series. 4-Series Gran Coupe. X3. X4. Not too long ago, it was simple to decipher BMW’s model lineup and nomenclature. One sausage, many lengths. These days, you need the Rosetta Stone for niche variants to figure out what’s what. But I did have a brief moment of clarity on the floor of the New York Auto Show.

kgrhqjlge-9krproubp3tkqr6gw_4

It turns out, the 4GC is really just a 5-door hatchback/liftback, like the old Plymouth Horizon (or Sundance, as shown above) or the Skoda Octavia. It’s a very practical bodystyle, but hatchback is a dirty word to American car buyers, so it needs to be dressed up in what Paul Fussel would call “BAD” language.

 

 

 

 

 

photo (21)

I still don’t understand how the 3-Series GT, 4-Series Gran Coupe and X4 aren’t entirely redundant, to say nothing of the 3-Series Touring aka station wagon. Even with the insatiable quest for volume, they are all basically the same thing, just riding a little higher and gaining a little height, right?

Then again, the 3-GT (above – ignore the F-Type) is just…the same thing. But dressed up as…a pseudo-crossover hatchback thing…? So, tell me again BMW fans, what’s the difference between a 328i xDrive Gran Turismo and a 428i Gran Coupe xDrive? Oh hell, I give up.

 

 

The post New York 2014: Outtakes Part 2 – Expand Your Horizons appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-outtakes-part-2-expand-your-horizons/feed/ 99
Junkyard Find: 1990 Plymouth Horizon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1990-plymouth-horizon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1990-plymouth-horizon/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=704962 No, that’s not a typo— Chrysler made the Simca-derived Omnirizon all the way until the 1990 model year. I’ve been looking for a final-year example of an Omni or Horizon for quite a while now, and I finally found this one in a Denver self-serve yard over the weekend. Would you believe an airbag in […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1990 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
11 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinNo, that’s not a typo— Chrysler made the Simca-derived Omnirizon all the way until the 1990 model year. I’ve been looking for a final-year example of an Omni or Horizon for quite a while now, and I finally found this one in a Denver self-serve yard over the weekend.
06 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWould you believe an airbag in this cheap little car, as early as 1990? Standard equipment for the ’90 Omnirizons!
05 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin5-speed, factory tach, no rust, only 114,325 miles on the clock.
12 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinVery, very rare, and an interesting bit of history, but not really worth saving from The Crusher.
17 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinIf you want to split hairs, the Omnirizon outlived the original Chrysler K platform by a year (though cars based on the K were built until 1995). By 1987, the Chrysler 2.2— originally developed for the K-cars— was the only engine available in these cars.
Even with the airbag, the last-year-of-production Omnirizon wasn’t much different from the original 1978 version. The new Dodge Omni does it all!

01 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1990 Plymouth Horizoni Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1990 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1990-plymouth-horizon/feed/ 73
Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=680690 The march of the Chrysler A-bodies into The Crusher’s jaws continues in Colorado; in this series prior to today, we’ve seen this ’75 Duster, this ’75 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’66 Dart, this ’73 Valiant, and this ’61 Valiant. Most of these cars’ contemporary competitors— Chevy Novas, Ford Falcons […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
05 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe march of the Chrysler A-bodies into The Crusher’s jaws continues in Colorado; in this series prior to today, we’ve seen this ’75 Duster, this ’75 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’66 Dart, this ’73 Valiant, and this ’61 Valiant. Most of these cars’ contemporary competitors— Chevy Novas, Ford Falcons and Mavericks, AMC Gremlins— were crushed decades ago, but plenty of the old 318- and Slant 6-powered Chrysler commuters managed to hang on in everyday service for nearly half a century. This ’67 sedan still looks pretty solid, but these days only the Dart coupes are worth fixing up.
14 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler made the Slant-6 engine from 1959 through 2000, if you count Mexican crate-motor production, and you could still buy US-built trucks with this engine in the late 1980s. With such a junkyard glut, not many Slant-6 engines will be saved once they get to this point.
09 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlymouth Transaudio AM radio, with none of the CONELRAD frequency markers you’ll see in most car radios of this era.
10 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe owner of this car must have been an AM radio audiophile, what with this aftermarket fader control. No doubt Bobby Goldsboro sounded a lot better this way.
12 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHey, an aftermarket Libby Light!
07 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDo you really need more interior than this?

01 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/feed/ 42
Junkyard Find: 1988 Plymouth Colt Premier Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1988-plymouth-colt-premier-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1988-plymouth-colt-premier-sedan/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=670658 We see the occasional Colt hatchback in this series— say, this ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo or this ’88 Dodge Colt hatchback— but the Colt sedan is stop-the-presses rare by Junkyard Find standards. Chrysler called this car the Premier, and it’s full of unusual-for-a-badge-engineered-econobox options. Of course, we can’t talk about the Colt without watching this […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1988 Plymouth Colt Premier Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
16 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWe see the occasional Colt hatchback in this series— say, this ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo or this ’88 Dodge Colt hatchback— but the Colt sedan is stop-the-presses rare by Junkyard Find standards. Chrysler called this car the Premier, and it’s full of unusual-for-a-badge-engineered-econobox options.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Colt without watching this Redd Foxx Colt .45 ad, featuring a much earlier version of the car.
04 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinJust over 155,000 miles on the clock.
10 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis seat seems to have manual adjustment controls, so what’s the joystick for?
06 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinNine-band equalizers were considered essential to a quality cassette experience in the late 1980s.
01 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinPremier!

01 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1988 Plymouth Colt Premier Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1988-plymouth-colt-premier-sedan/feed/ 23
Junkyard Find: 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1996-plymouth-neon-expresso/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1996-plymouth-neon-expresso/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=669282 The Neon sold in respectable numbers during its 1995-2005 production run, most Detroit cars in high-turnover self-serve wrecking yards are 12-15 years old, and so you’ll see many, many Neons in such yards these days. Most of the time, Neons are just junkyard background noise to me as I look for interesting cars to photograph […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
01 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Neon sold in respectable numbers during its 1995-2005 production run, most Detroit cars in high-turnover self-serve wrecking yards are 12-15 years old, and so you’ll see many, many Neons in such yards these days. Most of the time, Neons are just junkyard background noise to me as I look for interesting cars to photograph for this series; I’ll shoot a rare Neon R/T, but that’s about it. Still, something about the dot-com-boom optimism of the Expresso trim level catches my attention, so I paused to document this ’96 in its final parking spot.
05 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were cheap and had a bit more power than their similarly priced imported competitors, but they never built up much of a popular reputation for longevity.
04 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThere was a time when 16-valve four-cylinder engines were exotic, as were 5-speeds and fuel injection.
11 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car has the automatic, though. Note the cheerful party-style seat fabric.


Because I spend a lot of time watching low-budget race cars clank around road courses, I think of the Neon as a very good cheap racer— quicker and more reliable than most Japanese LeMons cars, and of course there’s that incredible junkyard parts selection. Here’s in-car video from one of those Neons in action.


It’s a pretty hot little number!


Neon-style cuteness was definitely out in the minds of car marketers of the 21st century, and so the Neon’s successor got ads like this. Stupid little fairy!

01 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1996-plymouth-neon-expresso/feed/ 43
Life Lesson: Falling For The Roadrunner http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/life-lesson-falling-for-the-roadrunner/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/life-lesson-falling-for-the-roadrunner/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 15:28:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=614993 Like so many broken down old cars, the old Plymouth sat forlorn and alone at the far edge of the driveway. Even from a distance, it looked like it was a mess, its green paint was peeling away and the hood, which for some reason had a flat black square in the middle, was entirely […]

The post Life Lesson: Falling For The Roadrunner appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1968roadrunner082907

Like so many broken down old cars, the old Plymouth sat forlorn and alone at the far edge of the driveway. Even from a distance, it looked like it was a mess, its green paint was peeling away and the hood, which for some reason had a flat black square in the middle, was entirely oxidized. Up close I could see that the interior was just as bad as the exterior. The dash pad was totally cooked and the vinyl seats had split wide open along their seams. My buddy Rick, however, insisted the car was cool and to prove his point he raised the hood to show me a tired old engine that he insisted was a 383 big block. I looked it over, noting the four barrel Holley double pumper without an air cleaner and the unpainted valve covers that had leaked an impressive amount of dirty black oil over the years, and tried to find something to be positive about. Finally I found it, bolted to the inner fender was a splash of faded purple and a sticker featuring a cartoon character. Its text proclaimed “Voice of the Roadrunner” and I knew in an instant, with all the certainty that 19 years of life experience had given me, that my friend had been right all along.

0_horn

I suppose now that I had driven by that house a million times over the years and never once noticed the old Plymouth that sat deteriorating in its driveway. It wasn’t until my friend Rick had gone to work for the man who owned the car that we became aware of its presence and after seeing it in the driveway thoughts of buying it soon swirled around inside our primitive, teen aged brains. Muscle cars were good and if we could score one we would be awesome.

We examined our situation. Rick had a job and a few dollars in his pocket but his family situation wasn’t stable and, since his single mother often struggled to make ends meet, he usually ended up using most of his paycheck to help the family get by. My family situation was a lot better, I certainly never wanted for any of life’s basic necessities, but I lacked a job and the drive it took to get one. As a result, the only money I had was what I could skim off the top of the gas money that my parents slipped me so I could “look for work.” Still, we were young and ignorant so we decided that between the two of us we could work something out with the car’s owner. Before we struck the deal, however, we needed to make sure the old car ran.

The car’s owner told us it needed an alternator so Rick and I pooled our meager resources and scraped together the $30 required to buy a rebuilt part at the local auto parts store. While we were there we also bought a new set of plugs and a can of starting fluid. Back at the house, we charged the battery while we worked on the car. Although neither of us were master mechanics, we managed to get the old alternator off and the new on back on without breaking anything important. The spark plug change went just as well, and within a couple of hours we had progressed to the point where we could add some old lawn mower gas to the car’s tank and start cranking.

20100627startingfluidspray

The Plymouth’s gear reduction starter gave a raspy growl and the big engine started to slowly turn. Inside the car, Rick pumped the gas pedal and I gave the open carb a shot of starting fluid. For a second the car chuffed, then fired and struggled to life. It ran for less than five seconds and then stopped as painfully as it had started. Rick cranked the engine again and the car stumbled back to life as I added another shot of ether. The car popped, sputtered and started to die again, but this time I thought to give it another shot of starting fluid before the engine quit and it struggled back to life. On and on the cycle went and between Rick pumping the gas and my occasional shots of starting fluid we managed to keep the car running long enough for our fresh lawnmower gas to make its way up from the fuel tank to allow the car to begin to idle on its own. It sat there, running rough and emitting a cloud of rich smelling black smoke out the back, but between the two of us we had done it. We had breathed life back into the old car.

The car’s owner was impressed and he gave us a hearty pat on the back for our efforts before inviting us up onto his porch to talk about price. He laid it out in simple, broad terms. He wanted $1000 and he wanted it in cash, up front. No payments, no working it off, just $1000 cash on the barrelhead, please. Rick and I looked at one another dumfounded and it suddenly dawned upon us that between the two of us we had never even seen $1000 in our lives. There was no way we could actually buy the car we had just repaired.

wile_e_coyote_super_genius-1

A week or two later someone else came up with the cash and just as quickly as we had found and fixed it, the old Plymouth was snatched away. It was a bitter lesson, but like another cartoon character, the Grinch when he discovered the Christmas spirit, my brain previously two sizes too small, grew three sizes bigger that day. I have never forgotten that lesson. Cars, houses, and in the case of my sister when she thought she was going to fix one of her dead beat boyfriends a long time ago, if you are going to put your time, effort and money into something, make damn good and certain you have the title in hand. They are words to live by.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

The post Life Lesson: Falling For The Roadrunner appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/life-lesson-falling-for-the-roadrunner/feed/ 57
Junkyard Find: 1987 Plymouth Horizon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1987-plymouth-horizon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1987-plymouth-horizon/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=529337 Chrysler did pretty well selling Mitsubishi-derived products in North America, but the only platform from their European operations that was a hit over here was the Simca-based Omnirizon. These cars had a lengthy production run and you still see a fair number in wrecking yards these days; in this series so far, we’ve had this […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1987 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
11 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler did pretty well selling Mitsubishi-derived products in North America, but the only platform from their European operations that was a hit over here was the Simca-based Omnirizon. These cars had a lengthy production run and you still see a fair number in wrecking yards these days; in this series so far, we’ve had this ’78 Horizon, this ’83 Dodge Rampage Prospector, this ’84 Turismo, this ’85 Shelby Charger, this ’86 Omni, and this this Shelby-ized ’86 Omni GLH. I’d really like to find a final-year-of-production 1990 model Omnirizon, but so far this ’87 is the newest example I’ve seen in the wrecking yard.
05 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost European and Japanese cars of this era had gone to six-digit odometers, but Detroit stuck with five-digit tradition until the 1990s.
07 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Omnirizon could be had with a Simca 1.6, a Volkswagen 1.7, or the Chrysler 2.2 originally developed for the K-car platform. By 1987, the 2.2 was the only engine available in these cars.
04 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one appears to be pretty well optioned. Automatic transmission, to siphon away some of those 96 Chrysler horses.
03 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAir conditioning on a mid-80s econobox is an uncommon sight.
06 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe factory digital AM/FM radio probably pushed the out-the-door price of this car well into Aries-K territory, but how else could the buyer listen to the greatest hits of 1987?
01 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Sentra, Civic, and Corolla (not to mention the Excel) were really stomping sales of Detroit subcompacts by 1987, but the Omnirizon (and the newly-acquired-from-AMC Jeep line) helped improve Chrysler’s bottom line a bit.


The pride is back!
JudgesAnimatedAs you’re reading this, three of your beloved TTAC writers are participating in the 24 Hours of LeMons race at MSR Houston. Sajeev and I are judging, Jack is racing. This one runs a straight 24 hours. What could possibly go wrong?

01 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1987 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1987-plymouth-horizon/feed/ 68
Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré Premier Station Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare-premier-station-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare-premier-station-wagon/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499810 The successor to the incredibly successful Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant was the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré. These simple rear-wheel-drive cars sold fairly well, but for every Aspen or Volaré I see in high-turnover wrecking yards today, I find ten Darts and Valiants. Part of that reason is a short production run, part is (arguably) lower build quality, […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré Premier Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe successor to the incredibly successful Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant was the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré. These simple rear-wheel-drive cars sold fairly well, but for every Aspen or Volaré I see in high-turnover wrecking yards today, I find ten Darts and Valiants. Part of that reason is a short production run, part is (arguably) lower build quality, but I’m guessing the main reason is that Americans just didn’t love the F-body Chryslers the way they did the A-body. When a Valiant got sick (which wasn’t often), it got fixed; when a Volaré came down with some expensive problem, it got crushed. Now these things are almost nonexistent, but here’s a very rare Volaré Premier wagon I spotted in a California yard a few months back.
12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStrange to think that there was once a time in which station wagons outnumbered SUVs and minivans for family-hauling use, and even stranger to recall that small station wagons were once fairly good sellers.
10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSlant Six power, not much to go wrong here. Still, this car with the Slant Six was quite sluggish. If only Chrysler had installed the Hemi-6 in this car, Things Would Have Been Different.

So sensible!

02 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré Premier Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare-premier-station-wagon/feed/ 59
Junkyard Find: 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1989-plymouth-acclaim-turbo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1989-plymouth-acclaim-turbo/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=495095 Members of the Plymouth Sundance/Dodge Shadow K-Platform-based compacts of the early 1990s remain easy to find in self-service junkyards these days, but the larger stretched-K-derivative Plymouth Acclaim/Dodge Spirit isn’t so common. This probably has more to do with quantity sold than reliability, as both types are pretty similar under the skin. Here’s a first-year-of-production Acclaim […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
01 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMembers of the Plymouth Sundance/Dodge Shadow K-Platform-based compacts of the early 1990s remain easy to find in self-service junkyards these days, but the larger stretched-K-derivative Plymouth Acclaim/Dodge Spirit isn’t so common. This probably has more to do with quantity sold than reliability, as both types are pretty similar under the skin. Here’s a first-year-of-production Acclaim Turbo, spotted in a Denver self-service yard a couple months ago.
13 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Taurus-inspired “bar of soap” design philosophy hadn’t caught up with Plymouth’s designers by 1989, though Chrysler would beat Ford at their own game a few years later, with the futuristic-looking LH.
03 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin153,632 miles, which is about average for junkyard-dwelling Detroit cars of this era.
09 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou could still get a column-shift automatic on a bucket-seat-equipped midsize sedan in 1989.
05 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe turbocharged 2.5 engine in this car made a fairly decent (for its time) 150 horsepower.
06 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCurb weight on the ’89 Acclaim sedan was just 2,753 pounds (a little less than a 2013 Civic), so 150 horses went a long way.
04 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFuturistic cassette-deck technology!
17 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe white-with-red-tape-stripes scheme looks very fleet-car-ish, but rental-car companies didn’t buy many turbocharged cars back then.

Tina Turner: “You think you have to give up a lot to get Acclaim? Not when it’s a Plymouth!”

01 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1989-plymouth-acclaim-turbo/feed/ 56
The Encyclopedia of Obscure Concept and Show Cars: Part Four – Mitsubishi to Plymouth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/the-encyclopedia-of-obscure-concept-and-show-cars-part-four-mitsubishi-to-plymouth/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/the-encyclopedia-of-obscure-concept-and-show-cars-part-four-mitsubishi-to-plymouth/#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484784 It started with a photo of a strange looking Pinto with a targa style roof and it metastasized into an encyclopedia of just about every concept car you never heard about. Part One, Acura to Chevrolet, is here. Part two, Chrysler to Ford, is here. Part three, Honda to Mercury, is here. Mitsubishi likes three letter acronyms […]

The post The Encyclopedia of Obscure Concept and Show Cars: Part Four – Mitsubishi to Plymouth appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
MitsubishiHSRIII@1992Web22

Mitsubishi HSR III from 1992

It started with a photo of a strange looking Pinto with a targa style roof and it metastasized into an encyclopedia of just about every concept car you never heard about. Part One, Acura to Chevrolet, is herePart two, Chrysler to Ford, is here. Part three, Honda to Mercury, is here.

Mitsubishi likes three letter acronyms and alphanumerics. Behold, above, the HSR III from 1992, some kind of Eclipse concept, I think.

MitsubishiRPM_concept@2001Web22And 2001′s RPM.

MitsubishiSSS_Concept@2000Web22Or the SSS from 2000.

MitsubishiSSU@1999Web22And the SSU from the year before.

NissanAlpha-T_Concept@2001Web22This is Nissan’s Alpha-T from 2001. I’m pretty sure that T stands for truck. As for being the alpha truck or not, a Ford Raptor looks like it could could drive right over the Alpha-T.

OldsmobileAnthemConcept@1992Web22After years of mismanaging the Oldsmobile brand, General Motors started giving Olds dealers some decent new product but it may have been too late to resuscitate the brand. It’s possible that new model names like Alero, Achieva and Aurora only confused their existing clientele, many of whom had been buying Cutlasses and Ninety Eights since the Kennedy administration. Someone at Olds must have liked car names starting with A because in 1992, they introduced the Anthem concept, which previewed the Aurora. I suppose they couldn’t use Aurora because GM had just used it a couple of years earlier on a Cadillac concept (see above).

OldsProfileConcept@2000Web22The Wikipedia entry on the Oldsmobile Profile from 2000 says that it’s a crossover, a CUV, I guess that’s because it had sliding doors but I still think it looks like a station wagon. Not a bad looking car either, it had show car features that have since become commonplace on production cars like keyless entry and ignition, a rotating shifter knob complemented by shifters buttons on the steering wheel, hands free phone plus internet and DVD based entertainment for rear passengers. Give it a big glass sunroof and call it a Vista Cruiser.

OldsRecon@1999Web221Olds’ Recon from the year before does have a big sunroof (though it can’t be a Vista Cruiser because it isn’t a glass roof) and it does look more like a proper CUV, albeit with suicide doors. What’s a car show without at least one concept car with suicide doors?

55packardrequestI guess we’re into the dead brand section of obscure show cars. Even Packard made concept cars, though some of them were more like personal vanity projects for Packard executives. The Panther is pretty slick, and while Dick Teague’s Predictor didn’t help Packard survive, true to its name it did influence a lot of cars in the 1960s, but neither of those cars are particularly obscure. The Packard Request, for 1955, on the other hand, is an obscure for a car that ironically came about due to popular demand. The Request was apparently the reaction to requests by Packard executives, dealers and enthusiasts for a car with a classic Packard grille. Now I happen to think that the 1955 and 1956 Packards, also Teague designs, look great. Teague gave the last real Packards a grille that looked contemporary but still echoed the distinctive arched radiator shell of classic prewar Packards. The ’55 and ’56 Packards gave away little in the looks department to the mid-’50s cars from the Big 3. However, grafting an actual upright classic grille onto Teague’s ’55 Packard gave the Request an odd, Edsel like appearance. I suppose that Teague, the original silk purse out of a sow’s ear designer, did the best he could, but I wouldn’t put it on the list of ten top Teague designs. Still, from the side view it looks almost stately and in any case it could have been worse. For instance…

plymouth_plainsman1956If they arranged the cemetery of dead car brands alphabetically, next to Packard’s grave would be Plymouth. Of course in real life, or death, Packard customers would not likely be buried next to Plymouth owners, Plymouth being one of the “low cost three”, and Packard being America’s most prestigious brand for decades. Low cost three or carriage trade, just as the Packard Request was not Richard Teague’s most attractive show cars, the Plymouth Plainsman, another western themed show car, was not one of the better Exner-Ghia Chrysler concepts. The Darth Vaderish front end is massive, which is good in a way because it distracts you from the oddly shaped B pillar and the wagon’s stepped roof that looks like they mounted it backwards. At one time the as yet unrestored (I wonder why) Plainsman was part of the Bortz collection of show cars but later ownership was transferred to Joe Bortz’s ex wife as part of the settlement of what I understand was a somewhat contentious divorce. It’s not clear if the former Mrs. Bortz wanted or didn’t want the Plainsman. That’s only part of the car’s story, which involves Chrysler avoiding customs fees, the car almost becoming one of Cuba’s old American cars, and a stay in Australia before ending up in Joe Bortz’s hands. The story is much better than the car is.

PlymouthBelmont1954WebThe Plymouth Belmont is one of two Chrysler concepts that could have competed with the Chevrolet Corvette and the original Ford Thunderbirds, sporty two seat roadsters. The other Chrysler two seat concept was the 1955 Chrysler Falcon, a personal favorite of Virgil Exner Sr., who supervised Maury Baldwin’s design of that car, which Exner used personally. He also used the Belmont as a personal car but that was not an in-house Chrysler (or Ghia) design. The Belmont, like the first two Chrysler concept cars from just before WWII, the Thunderbolt and Newport, was designed and built by Briggs, Chrysler’s body supplier. In 1954, Briggs wanted to experiment with the then new material called fiberglass and demonstrate to Chrysler that they could supply plastic bodies as well as the steel ones they’d been building for almost half a century. Working under Briggs design head Al Prance, designer Bill Robinson, who later worked directly for Chrysler and subsequently taught at Detroit’s CCS, came up with the Belmont. Since Briggs had no experience working with the new material, it is thought that they contracted the actual body making to Creative Industries or Ionia Manufacturing, two companies that did contract work for the major automakers. It’s an attractive car, though I think the design is a bit compromised by the fact that Robinson was told to use production Plymouth bumpers. The Belmont still exists and is in a private collection.

PlymouthSlingshot@1988Web22

I’m not sure what relevance the Slingshot had to the rest of Plymouth’s lineup in 1988, which was mostly K-car derived. The Slingshot was made of carbon fiber and was designed with input from design students interning at Chrysler. It has a canopy opening, but then I already said it was partially designed by design students. According to Wikipedia, it was designed as part of a series of three concepts, along with the Big Shot and the Hot Shot but since I can’t find anything at all about those other two cars, and since that information has no citation, I think someone’s pulling our Wikilegs.

Continued in part 5 tomorrow, Pontiac to Volvo.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

The post The Encyclopedia of Obscure Concept and Show Cars: Part Four – Mitsubishi to Plymouth appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/the-encyclopedia-of-obscure-concept-and-show-cars-part-four-mitsubishi-to-plymouth/feed/ 10
Historic Police Car Spotted Responding to call on the Not-So-Mean Streets of Seattle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/historic-police-car-spotted-responding-to-call-on-the-not-so-mean-streets-of-seattle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/historic-police-car-spotted-responding-to-call-on-the-not-so-mean-streets-of-seattle/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:51:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=483383 An alert REDDIT reader (manuelv 19) spotted the Seattle Police Museum’s 1970 Plymouth Satellite patrol car responding to calls on the coffee scented streets of dowtown Seattle earlier this week. According to the Seattle Police Museum website, only 53 Special Order Police Satellites were produced in 1970 and 21 of those were purchased by the […]

The post Historic Police Car Spotted Responding to call on the Not-So-Mean Streets of Seattle appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

An alert REDDIT reader (manuelv 19) spotted the Seattle Police Museum’s 1970 Plymouth Satellite patrol car responding to calls on the coffee scented streets of dowtown Seattle earlier this week. According to the Seattle Police Museum website, only 53 Special Order Police Satellites were produced in 1970 and 21 of those were purchased by the Seattle Police Department. The cars were mid-size police vehicles and featured the 383 Super Commando engine package complete with 4 bbl carburetors. They were reputed top be quite fast at the time.

This particular vehicle, known as Unit #521, was wrecked with only 9000 miles on the clock and sold at public auction eventually ending up in Los Angeles. The Seattle Police Museum located and purchased the vehicle in 2006 and spent a year returning the car to its former glory. More information on this vehicle is available at the Seattle Police Museum website of by calling (206) 748-9991.

http://www.seametropolicemuseum.org/

http://www.seametropolicemuseum.org/docs/Seattle_Police_Car.pdf

The post Historic Police Car Spotted Responding to call on the Not-So-Mean Streets of Seattle appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/historic-police-car-spotted-responding-to-call-on-the-not-so-mean-streets-of-seattle/feed/ 52
Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare/#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=476282 The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they replaced, and they have not aged well. In fact, most of them got crushed during the 1990s, so it’s not often that I see examples like this one in self-service wrecking yards.
Of course, the Volaré and its Detroit rivals were taking a beating during the gloom of the Malaise Era, with ever-rising fuel prices and the swelling market share of the Japanese automakers. Not long after this car was built, Chrysler had to seek out loan guarantees from the federal government.

We all know about Ricardo Montalban’s ads for the Cordoba, but we mustn’t forget that Sergio Franchi‘s ads for the Volaré were nearly as suave. This car had a “special” suspension!
This sporty coupe came with bucket seats, tape stripes, and two-tone paint.
And, for practicality’s sake, the extraordinarily reliable Slant Six.

01 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare/feed/ 91
Junkyard Find: 1973 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-plymouth-valiant/#comments Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474379 Chrysler A-bodies are much like VW Type 1 Beetles when it comes to junkyard populations— they’ve been showing up in self-serve junkyards in a steady stream for more than 30 years, and you can usually find one or two in the larger yards. Like old Beetles, I don’t photograph most of the ones I see […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1973 Plymouth Valiant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chrysler A-bodies are much like VW Type 1 Beetles when it comes to junkyard populations— they’ve been showing up in self-serve junkyards in a steady stream for more than 30 years, and you can usually find one or two in the larger yards. Like old Beetles, I don’t photograph most of the ones I see (though we have seen this ’68 Valiant Signet sedan, this ’64 Valiant wagon, and this ’66 Dart sedan in this series so far). The make-your-neighbors-hate-you band stickers on the decklid of this one caught my eye during a recent trip to my favorite Denver-area yard, and so I broke out the camera.
This generation of Valiant/Dart sedan was once among the most common motor vehicles on American roads, which made it a natural choice for Dennis Weaver’s car in the 1971 film Duel. You still saw quite a few of them around, well into the 1990s, but at some point the beater-Valiant demographic switched over to beater Corollas.
You could get the ’73 Valiant sedan with a 318-cubic-inch V8, or even the 340, but almost every A-body sedan shopper went for the good old quadrillion-mile Slant Six engine. Come to think of it, there were no bad engine choices for this car.
Slant Six A-bodies with air conditioning were rare indeed, and someone had already grabbed the AC compressor by the time I found this car.
I don’t bother getting 5-digit odometer shots, especially when you can’t tell an 80,000-mile car from a 480,000-mile one.

In honor of the musical tastes of this car’s last owner, let’s hear one of my favorite Melvins songs.

01 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 02 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 03 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 04 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 05 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 06 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 07 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 08 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 09 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 10 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 11 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 12 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1973 Plymouth Valiant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-plymouth-valiant/feed/ 25
Junkyard Find: 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1994-plymouth-sundance-duster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1994-plymouth-sundance-duster/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474153 Not everyone shares my interest in the K-variant Chrysler P platform, so I limit Shadow and Sundance Junkyard Finds to just the more historically significant members of the P family. Like, say, this ’93 Shadow ES, this ’91 Shadow, this ’92 Sundance, and this hard-to-find Sundance America. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Not everyone shares my interest in the K-variant Chrysler P platform, so I limit Shadow and Sundance Junkyard Finds to just the more historically significant members of the P family. Like, say, this ’93 Shadow ES, this ’91 Shadow, this ’92 Sundance, and this hard-to-find Sundance America. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the weirdest Sundances of them all: Chrysler’s fourth platform bearing the Duster name.
The P-based Duster was the quickest Duster since the days when you could get an A-body with a 340-cubic-inch V8, thanks to its Mitsubishi V6.
Of course, beating the Turismo- and Volare-based versions wasn’t much of a challenge. Check out this mean-looking hood bulge!

We really can’t talk about any variety of Duster without referring to the infamous “Cocaine Factory” ad for the 1985 Turismo Duster. This may well be the Greatest Car Ad of All Time.
Will we miss the Sundance Duster when the last one is gone?

01 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1994-plymouth-sundance-duster/feed/ 77
Piston Slap: Modern Sleeper, Future Classic? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/piston-slap-modern-sleeper-future-classic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/piston-slap-modern-sleeper-future-classic/#comments Tue, 25 Dec 2012 11:46:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=471473 TTAC Commentator Halftruth writes: Hey Sajeev, While watching the Mecum auto auctions recently, a beautiful Plymouth GTX came thru on the auction block. It got me thinking about the rash of brand-icide we’ve seen these past ten or so years. As they pass, others come in. So my question is, are the newbies up to the […]

The post Piston Slap: Modern Sleeper, Future Classic? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
TTAC Commentator Halftruth writes:

Hey Sajeev,

While watching the Mecum auto auctions recently, a beautiful Plymouth GTX came thru on the auction block. It got me thinking about the rash of brand-icide we’ve seen these past ten or so years. As they pass, others come in.

So my question is, are the newbies up to the task? I know Olds, Pontiac and Plymouth kind of slid into oblivion after the glory days but will there be a newly minted brand that you think will have staying power and be a “classic”? Or perhaps an already existing one?

Sajeev answers:

History is a bizarre thing: when my 1988 Cougar was new, it was quite the head turner.  One person tangentially connected to our family was enamored with it.  But, 10 years ago, nobody understood why I was pumping thousands into its resto-modification treatment. Why not do it to a Fox Mustang? It’s easier! Why not get an LT-1 Camaro instead?  That’s a waaay better car, right?

But these days I drive the Cougar on the highway and necks snap to witness its sleek, quasi-aero 1980s monochrome red coachwork. Drunk guys at local bars yell out “COOOUGAR” when it rumbles out of the parking lot: as if somehow it knows Courtney Cox, etc. I like my damn car for my reasons…but I see how cars become moderately-desirable classics with inherent, unexpected future value.

Am I expecting the Cougar to be somewhat valuable 20 years from now?  No, and I don’t care either. Ferrari, Corvette, Lamborghini, Mustang, Ford GT, Camaro, Viper, etc.  They are the obvious future classics.

So here are some forgotten models from modern brands that I think will, unlike my Cougar, be hot auction fodder:

  1. Acura Integra: A fantastic machine in every respect, with a cult following.  Definitely a car that will shine on in the auctions of the future.  And if it’s a Type R?  LOOK OUT!
  2. Subaru WRX/Mitsubishi EVO:  these turbo-beasties will be great collector car fodder, and rare too!  How often do you see a 5+ year old model that’s clean, low mile, UNMODIFIED in the used car market right now?
  3. V-series Cadillacs:  they are the spiritual successor to the performance Pontiacs from the 60s and 70s. While an STS-V may be valuable like those Gran Prixs with the 8-lug wheels, the CTS-V is most certainly the next GTO Judge.
  4. Lexus Coupes, V8 sedans: See above, except change the Pontiac reference to Cadillac. The SC ad LS have a loyal following both in new and used car markets for their top drawer appointments and reputation for being the best of the best. That won’t change in the future, especially for the SC 300/400.
  5. Anything Hyundai Genesis: they look decent, are RWD, and have a chance to really make an impact to those displaced by Pontiac, Olds, Plymouth, Mercury, Lincoln, Cadillac, etc. Like Apple products’ mass appeal these days, they will get better as time marches on.
  6. Scion xB (first-gen) and FR-S: even if it doesn’t live up to the hype for you, these will be a hot commodity.
  7. Teslas, Fiskers:  these proto-mainstream hybrid playtoys for rich people point to a future when Hybrids are more than just a trim job on a Lexus, or a boring Prius.  Think about the star-crossed DeLorean’s appeal these days.
  8. Honda Civic CRX, Si: while all CRXs are cool, I’m referring only to the Si’s from 1990s. It’s hard to argue with their mass appeal and silly amounts of driving fun. Everyone loves them, and we never forgot their awesomeness.
  9. Any SRT/SVT product:  collectors tend to wet themselves at the sight of a bone-stock, low mile, HEMI from the 70s these days.  Expect the same from the SRT brand in the future. Ford’s SVT group will do the same, Focus and Contour aside.
  10. Toyota Supra, Mk IV: the positively heroic amounts of power made from tweaked Turbo Supras made this machine a God among men. Even clean non-turbo models fetch good money these days, and that will continue.
  11. 2013 Lincoln MKZ:  just kidding. The Kia Optima has a better chance at being a collector’s item!
  12. Nissan GT-R: this will be the matching numbers, L-88 Corvette for the next generation.
  13. Lexus LFA: see above, except change L-88 to ZL-l.
  14. Anything HUMMER: yes, it’s already a dead brand, but SUVs will do well in the collector car market of our future.  And there’s no better SUV statement than the Hummer H2 Alpha, especially in douchebag yellow.
  15. Any BMW M product:  Most every M3 will command a high dollar in tommorow’s import centric collector car market.  Who hasn’t loved driving one?  Who wouldn’t want one when they have more disposable income? My favorite will be the E39 M5.
  16. Anything AMG: see above.
  17. Anything AMG Black Series: see above, and multiply by 5.
  18. Porsche Boxster/Cayman:  they sell many more Porkers these days…which makes for a bigger following. Maybe not muscle car big, but you get the point. And with a more accessible market today comes a hotter collector market in the future.
  19. Mercury Marauder, anything Panther:  okay, this is total bullshit. But if I say “PANTHER LOVE” enough for the next 30 years…right???
Food for thought.  Have a great Christmas Day!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

The post Piston Slap: Modern Sleeper, Future Classic? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/piston-slap-modern-sleeper-future-classic/feed/ 52
Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1941-plymouth-special-deluxe-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1941-plymouth-special-deluxe-sedan/#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=468390 When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the way of Plymouths. However, if I expanded my search there to include late prewar Plymouths, this car jumps right out.
This 1947 Plymouth sedan that I shot for the Down On The Street series in my former home of Alameda, California, would rumble around town on a regular basis and I thought it was the best-looking car I’d seen in a long time. Someday I’ll have one of my own, I thought.
This one is a bit rougher, having sat in a field in eastern Colorado for decades prior to showing up at the Brain-Melting Yard a few years back. As is typical for cars exposed to the elements in the high desert east of Pikes Peak, the interior is utterly nuked, but there’s not much serious rust.
It was last registered in Nebraska in 1966. 46 years of sitting, waiting to be rescued… or crushed.
All the emblems and most of the chrome are in good shape.
The Chrysler Flathead Six was built from 1929 through 1972 (in later years it was used for military trucks and then as a power source for pumps and farm equipment), a production run length surpassed by just a handful of engines (e.g., small-block Chevrolet, Ford Flathead V8, Volkswagen air-cooled). This one may be seized solid, but you never know on a car that kept its hood closed in the single-digit Colorado humidity.
I’ve been wanting to buy a postwar Plymouth sedan as a recipient for a modern drivetrain and suspension transplant, but this slightly older (yet nearly identical) car really tempted me.
So, what the hell, I went and bought it yesterday. Mine, all mine!

47_Plymouth_LH_Frt_2_1280 01 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1941-plymouth-special-deluxe-sedan/feed/ 52
Question Of The Day: What Is The Best Orphan Car In History? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/question-of-the-day-what-is-the-best-orphan-car-in-history/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/question-of-the-day-what-is-the-best-orphan-car-in-history/#comments Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466565   There was the Cadillac of minivans. A different kind of company selling a different kind of car. A Swede with no compromises, and a Frenchman that went from strength to strength. Daihatsus that were perhaps, a bit too modest, by skinny dipping their unknown name in a slogan-less lake. And then we had that crazy distant Yugoslavian […]

The post Question Of The Day: What Is The Best Orphan Car In History? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Are you talkin’ to me???

 

There was the Cadillac of minivans. A different kind of company selling a different kind of car. A Swede with no compromises, and a Frenchman that went from strength to strength.

Daihatsus that were perhaps, a bit too modest, by skinny dipping their unknown name in a slogan-less lake. And then we had that crazy distant Yugoslavian cousin who bragged about a ‘road back to sanity’ while his neighbors blew up his plant.

They are gone now from these shores, for now. As is Opel, Hummer, Mercury, Plymouth, and in due time, Suzuki. An amazing variety of brands that offered their own interesting contributions to the mosaic of the American automotive experience.

Rockys and Rodeos were rugged for too short of a while. While Hummer alternated between playing the role of the military bad-ass and the fashionista poseur. Eventually style won, followed by bankruptcy.

Europeans always offered a more sophisticated level of style while battling Gremlins on every level. While weaker Japanese marques, plainly, contributed varying levels of utility and engineering excellence to a marketplace that expected far more.

Then there is Oldsmobile.

Oldsmobile, the rocket division, was the power and the glory.  From their 300+ horsepower cruisers of the late-60′s to the best selling Cutlass Supremes of the mid-80′s. It’s hard to find fault with a popular brand like Oldsmobile that was torturously mis-marketed and blandified into irrelevance.

All defunct brands have their unique qualities. But which vintage offered the very best? Which model among them all provided that level of power and prestige that begs for a resurrection of the brand?

Any constraints on choices? Well… no outright luxury or exotic brands. Vectors, Deusenbergs, Cords and Tuckers may have their place in museuems the world over. But for this particular exercise I want special attention to be given to those models that served the everyday Joe.

Choose your car wisely, and defend it well.  Hell hath no Fury like a Plymouth.

 

The post Question Of The Day: What Is The Best Orphan Car In History? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/question-of-the-day-what-is-the-best-orphan-car-in-history/feed/ 69
Junkyard Find: 1992 Plymouth Sundance http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1992-plymouth-sundance/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1992-plymouth-sundance/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=458259 Chrysler sold P-body compacts in near-identical Dodge and Plymouth flavors; we saw the ’91 Dodge Shadow yesterday, and the very same self-service yard has this ’92 Sundance. In the early 1990s, cars sold in the United States were required to have maddening automatic seatbelts if they didn’t have a driver’s-side airbag. Chrysler opted to spring […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1992 Plymouth Sundance appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chrysler sold P-body compacts in near-identical Dodge and Plymouth flavors; we saw the ’91 Dodge Shadow yesterday, and the very same self-service yard has this ’92 Sundance.
In the early 1990s, cars sold in the United States were required to have maddening automatic seatbelts if they didn’t have a driver’s-side airbag. Chrysler opted to spring for the airbags in the Shadow/Sundance.
Here’s another feature you won’t see in most compacts of the period: hood hinge springs. Yes, Chrysler was willing to add several pounds of weight and (I’m guessing) $5 in cost to each Sundance, so that owners wouldn’t have to fumble for a hood prop. Corollas, Sentras, and Civics got no such convenience.
The problem was that these cars didn’t hold up under the rigors of street abuse for quite as long as their (non-Mitsubishi) Japanese rivals. This one nearly made 160,000 miles.
The Pabst-and-Marlboro diet of the car’s last owner indicates that perhaps the process of depreciation had gone as far as it ever would.

15 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1992 Plymouth Sundance appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1992-plymouth-sundance/feed/ 26
Junkyard Find: 1965 Plymouth Belvedere http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1965-plymouth-belvedere/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1965-plymouth-belvedere/#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=455446 Chrysler got a lot of mileage out of their midsize B platform, which was used for just about the entirety of the 1960s and 1970s. The Charger was a B, the Cordoba was a B, and so was this well-used Belvedere that now awaits The Crusher in Denver. The good old 318-cubic-inch A engine was […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1965 Plymouth Belvedere appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chrysler got a lot of mileage out of their midsize B platform, which was used for just about the entirety of the 1960s and 1970s. The Charger was a B, the Cordoba was a B, and so was this well-used Belvedere that now awaits The Crusher in Denver.
The good old 318-cubic-inch A engine was much heavier than the later LA version, but had the same reputation for reliability.
Even the kind of Ayatollahs-of-rock-n-rollah that like to bomb around cities in big 60s Detroit sedans know that they can always get another one for cheap once the current hooptie breaks something that costs more than a couple hundred bucks.
That’s probably what happened to this one, judging from the telltale cryptic stickers in the back window.

16 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1965 Plymouth Belvedere appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1965-plymouth-belvedere/feed/ 26
Junkyard Find: 1984 Plymouth Turismo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1984-plymouth-turismo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1984-plymouth-turismo/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450253 The Simca-derived Omnirizon platform led to some sportier-looking variations as the Malaise Era ground to a close. The hatchback-coupe Dodge 024 and Plymouth TC3 became the Charger and the Turismo, respectively, in 1982. Turismos were never plentiful, and these days they’re nearly extinct. Here’s a rare example I found yesterday at a Denver self-serve wrecking […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1984 Plymouth Turismo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
The Simca-derived Omnirizon platform led to some sportier-looking variations as the Malaise Era ground to a close. The hatchback-coupe Dodge 024 and Plymouth TC3 became the Charger and the Turismo, respectively, in 1982. Turismos were never plentiful, and these days they’re nearly extinct. Here’s a rare example I found yesterday at a Denver self-serve wrecking yard.
The Turismo certainly stood out from the crowd in the middle 1980s, though the Omnirizon platform was getting a bit dated by that point.
By 1984, buyers could opt to replace the VW-derived 1.7 engine with Chrysler’s more powerful 2.2 liter engine. 96 horsepower was decent in a 2,300-pound car in 1984.
You can still find evidence of the car’s Franco-Chrysler heritage here and there.
The 1970s had been over for a few years when this car was sold, but the brown-on-brown tape stripes of the prior decade were able to hold on well into the 1980s.

14 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1984 Plymouth Turismo - Picture courtesy of Old Car Brochures Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1984 Plymouth Turismo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1984-plymouth-turismo/feed/ 40
Junkyard Find: 1978 Plymouth Horizon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1978-plymouth-horizon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1978-plymouth-horizon/#comments Sat, 26 May 2012 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=446120 Yesterday’s Junkyard Find was one of the better-known examples of the Simca-based “Omnirizon” platform, and you still see 80s Dodge Chargers here and there. What you won’t see often is today’s Junkyard Find, a first-year Plymouth Horizon. I found this one languishing in a Denver self-serve junkyard. This car was the first true subcompact car […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1978 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Yesterday’s Junkyard Find was one of the better-known examples of the Simca-based “Omnirizon” platform, and you still see 80s Dodge Chargers here and there. What you won’t see often is today’s Junkyard Find, a first-year Plymouth Horizon. I found this one languishing in a Denver self-serve junkyard.
This car was the first true subcompact car Chrysler ever built in North America, and it (along with its Dodge sibling, the Omni, and the French-market Talbot/Simca Horizon) was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to the Omnirizon, the only subcompacts sold by Chrysler in the United States had been rebadged Mitsubishis, Hillmans, and Simcas, all built overseas.
The Plymouth Horizon was an Americanized version of a Chrysler of Europe design, and it wasn’t any more miserable to drive than other front-drive subcompacts of the late 1970s (e.g., the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Rabbit, Datsun 310). If that sounds like faint praise, remember that expectations were lower during the depths of the Malaise Era.
The ’78 Horizon listed at $3,976, which was actually 200 bucks more than a new Plymouth Volaré two-door (but $250 less than a new Rabbit). With gas prices and inflation soaring year after year, however, the gas-sipping Horizon looked like a good deal next to the much thirstier (and not much roomier) Volaré.
You see some odd little luxury touches in this otherwise minimalist econobox. Look, “wood” on the glovebox door!
The Omni, Horizon, and their L-body variants continued production in the United States until 1990. By that time, the mid-70s-ness of the design had become a bit embarrassing for Chrysler.

14 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 01 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 02 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 03 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 04 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 05 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 06 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 07 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 08 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 09 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 10 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 11 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 12 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 13 - 1978 Plymouth Horizon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1978 Plymouth Horizon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1978-plymouth-horizon/feed/ 65
Junkyard Find: 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1972-plymouth-satellite-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1972-plymouth-satellite-sedan/#comments Tue, 01 May 2012 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442192 Back when I bought my very first car at age 15, the fastest cars on the island were three early-70s Plymouth Satellites. They had 440s, tunnel-ram intakes with great big carbs perched way over the hoods, wild lumpy cams, unruly glasspack mufflers, and absurd 70s-style “stinkbug stance” jacked-up rears. One of them even had a […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Back when I bought my very first car at age 15, the fastest cars on the island were three early-70s Plymouth Satellites. They had 440s, tunnel-ram intakes with great big carbs perched way over the hoods, wild lumpy cams, unruly glasspack mufflers, and absurd 70s-style “stinkbug stance” jacked-up rears. One of them even had a big “55″ with circle-and-slash emblem painted on the diff cover, complete with little spotlights to illuminate this statement at night. Rumor had it that these Satellites ran 10s at Baylands Raceway, but what they were really all about was street racing for cash. These cars were gloriously evil to the young driver of a ’69 Corona, and I’ve wanted a ’71-74 “fuselage” Satellite coupe ever since. Even though this one is a sedan, it still reminds me of the Fastest Cars In Alameda, 1981.
With a stock 318, this car was probably capable of running 17s at the dragstrip. Well, maybe not even that, if it was running at high-altitude Bandimere, where naturally-aspirated cars lose 20% of their horsepower due to lack of oxygen.
Back in the early 1970s, Detroit was very good at building big, cheap sedans with enough luxury to make drivers feel they’d hacked off a nice chunk of the American Dream. The Satellite and its competitors drank gas, but (prior to October, 1973) who cared?
The now-defunct Gates Rubber plant, where Neal Cassady toiled as a teenager, is just a few miles from this Denver self-service yard. Maybe this radiator hose was made there before the plant closed in ’96.
This car has been pretty well used up, but there are still many good parts left on it. I might go back and grab the transmission kickdown linkage for my A100 Hell Project.

18 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 17 - 1972 Plymouth Satellite Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08-1972-Plymouth-Satellite-Down-On-the-Junkyard-Pictures-courtesy-of-Phil-Murilee-Martin-Greden-thumb

The post Junkyard Find: 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sedan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1972-plymouth-satellite-sedan/feed/ 45