By on June 26, 2012

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.

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42 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1984 Plymouth Turismo...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Plymouth, so product starved for so long. And Chrysler pricing Dodge so cheap that it was constantly eating Plymouth’s lunch.

  • avatar

    My dad worked at a Chrysler dealership in the early 80’s. I got my drivers license in 1983 and his demo was a Turismo 2.2 with a 5 speed in the same exact color as this one. The 2.2 was the high performance model which had a larger exhaust, a different cam and some other modifications. It was a cool car that was fun to drive (for a 16 year old). I still remember driving my friends in it the first day I got my license. I recall looking down at the radio and almost driving into oncoming traffic. That was the last time I did that!

    We also had a 1984 model 2.2 same as the maroon one in the ad. That one was an automatic. I remember pulling the hand brake and attempting a FWD burnout. Thanks for the trip down memory lane this morning!

  • avatar

    I’ll never understand the popularity of that color. Brown/Bronze/Copper/Burnt Whatever, it was on every 3rd car from the mid 70s through the early 80s. With so many choices on the pallet, why such a hideous one?

  • avatar

    My friend had one of these but it was the Charger. Great little car.
    Roomy, decent gas mileage and easily ran circles around the Buick 350 powered Electra I had at the time. Interior and exterior held up well for a car 7 + years old too.

  • avatar

    I remember reading that the regular OmniHorizons were better for the race tracks, less weight and less over-hang.

    The TC3s and 024s had some silly fake grilles on them that I never cared for, its nice that they did away with those with the 2nd generation.

    These Turismos and Chargers are fine-looking cars, but I’d rather have the lighter set-up of the OmniZon, and the lack of sporty pretension.

    I’ll gladly take this over the new Dart, it isn’t a complete lie in name (I can’t see new Darts going 1 million miles), dosen’t use a tranny with 300 gears, and it looks better.

    • 0 avatar

      you’d be putting head gaskets on it every 30,000 miles, timing belts every 50k, not to mention the Holley abortion of a carburetor which never ran right after a cold start. Oh, and the A413 may not have had 300 gears, but it wasn’t a particularly good transaxle.

      oh, and if you get into a collision with one, well, let’s just say I hope you have good medical insurance.

      • 0 avatar

        I disagree. I’ve had 3 cars with the trans-4 engine (2.2/2.5), a 87 Horizon (2.2 carb), a 88 Reliant (2.5 TBI), and a 94 Shadow (2.2 TBI). Only the Shadow needed a head gasket replacement, and only once (and it was under warranty at the time anyways).

        At the time I owned them each , I didn’t even know they had a timing belt, and never had it go on any of them. I’ll agree that the 2BBL Holley was gawdawful with the infamous choke-sticking problems on my Horizon. The 2.5 in the Reliant with the 3 speed (A413 i think?) was flawless throughout its lifetime. AFAIK, it never had the timing belt changed, which is frankly amazing as the Reliant was bought new and stayed in our family (my parents, then me, then my cousin) for 200K+ miles. Never heard of a timing belt going that long without being replaced. I know I personally never changed it, and I don’t remember my parents ever doing it (i’d remember if my Dad had yelled about a $500 repair, LOL).

      • 0 avatar

        I never said that either car was particularly good.

        In fact, I’d take the Dart so I could sell it and buy a real Dart.

        My Horizon had tha 2,2 and the belt broke at 80k miles, only time that car ever had to be towed.

    • 0 avatar

      “Ill gladly take this..”

      It’s yours! These certainly didn’t last much past 70K, and never were considered ‘cool’ by the target demo. These were cheap wheels, and many bought imports after one too many break downs. Take off the Rose colored glasses, please.

      • 0 avatar

        At least is isn’t an import thats trying to be American.

        I’m not too concerned with a car being “cool”, just cheap and easy to fix.

        As for my “tinted glasses”, I wasn’t even born in the 80’s thank you very much, I just can’t stand the new Darts ugly design nor its 999-geared automatic.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    This car looks like it might have been a time capsule prior to getting scrapped. Why do people do that…?

    • 0 avatar

      The tranny probably broke, I’ve seen K-Cars have faulty automatic trannies at just 20k miles, despite bneing pampered and rarely driven.

      That and these have next to no resale value, I dunno who considering their okay cars and they’re the “coupe” models.

      • 0 avatar

        Which K-car transmission are you referring to? The three-speed was a time tested design and meant to be bulletproof. The four-speed had issues with people using the wrong fluid, and programming for too much clutch slip to get those silky smooth shifts.

      • 0 avatar

        That “time tested” 3-speed, my Horizon had one that broke at just 90k. Its as bulletproof as cardboard.

      • 0 avatar

        The automatic used in the K cars was a 904 torqueflite with the parts rearranged a bit to fit in the front drive casing. They were bulletproof behind the 4 cylinders. You probably either ran yours low on fluid or drove it with a misadjusted kickdown cable

    • 0 avatar

      Why scrap it? Because there is no darn room for all of these ‘time capsules’. Want to save it, go buy a parking lot and ‘collect’ all these that you want.

      Not every single old car is a ‘classic’ and ‘must be saved’.

  • avatar

    I liked the styling of the earlier version, the TC3. My mother had a 1980 or 1981 model. It was good for what it was, economical transportation. Nice hatch. The 2.2 liter engine was a good combination of quickness and good fuel economy (5-speed). You could get in the 30s on the highway, 20s in town.

  • avatar

    I learned to drive on a blue ’86 Turismo just like that. 2.2L with the auto. The dash said Charger on it for some reason and the block cracked at some point so it leaked coolant so we switched to straight water and I had to refill the radiator every time I used it.

    • 0 avatar

      That would be Chrysler’s notoriously sloppy quality control of the era. It was so bad that you would buy a Dodge and it would have the corresponding emblems on one side and on the other side you would have Plymouth badges!

  • avatar

    I was in a dealership in Central Ohio with my mom as a co-signer one summer day in 1985, trying to buy one of these. They would not budge off the MSRP, not even a dollar. “This car is going to be a classic; it is the 427 Cobra of the 80’s”

    We walked out, and 3 days later I bought a 5.0 Mustang with a 5-speed. My mom still mentions that she wishes I had gotten the slower car.

    Thanks for the memories…

  • avatar

    Whaddya think: 40k or 140k? From the condition it looks almost like the former…

  • avatar

    I still have my 1982 Dodge 024, the same car I drove through high school until I put it away in 1991. Check out this video:

    Please understand that this car has been in storage for over 20 years, this video documents the first time the little 1.7 fired up in that amount of time. I love these cars even though they were only little econoboxes. I wanted to keep this car for my son because I always wanted my dads first car a 1966 Dodge Coronet. My son is uber geeked to get this car restored. BTW, I need the drivers door from this car I am in Ohio, any way to get it? Great site.

  • avatar

    So I remember they made a Duster around this time too, was it the same or a different platform? I learned to drive in a 79 Dodge Colt. I think that was all Mitsubishi. Thing was indestructible. My mom gave it to my brother in 2002 or so with 350K on it he kept it a couple more years and sold it, it might still be on the road.

  • avatar

    My best friend went out and bought a Shelby Charger…very, very quick off the line…but you could easily tell where the money was spent in development, and it wasn’t anywhere but on the engine. Ironically, about two years after he bought it (it was a few years old when he got it, maybe like three years old at time of purchase) it burned to the ground…

  • avatar

    drove the turboed 2.2 version of the car on a trip across New England. Nice power on the highway, OK ride, but not as tight as my GLH turbo despite exact same running gear. The TC3 was bigger inside, though.

  • avatar

    When I came home from Marine Corps boot camp in 1984 to find my sister, who was home from college for the summer, had blown the engine in my 69 Pontiac Catalina.

    I bought a leftover 1984 Turismo with the 2.2 liter engine and a 5 speed manual – two tone silver with charcoal below the belt-line. If I recall, the car was EPA rated at 29 city, 43 highway, and the sticker price was around $7,500.

    I liked the car, but the shift linkage was terrible, and I remember the clutch cable breaking in traffic right in front of the Chrysler dealer, just by coincidence. Later I traded it for a used Plymouth Sundance Turbo, but that is another story.

  • avatar

    Nobody mentions that the original iteration of this car had glass between the C and D panel instead of the lame “updated” fiberglass blank out panel there. I think the original design was more successful. Thanks for the memories TTAC!

    • 0 avatar

      I think the side windows shrank when the Charger 2.2 came out before going away when the Shelby Charger reached production. There was a time when I really wanted a Charger 2.2, apparently willing to countenance its fake fender vents and fake hood scoop. Mind you I was twelve years old… A few years later I had a friend with one and that car was about as fast point A to B as anything in local high-school parking lots. He beat ‘5.0’ Mustangs and 280ZXs on roads where we really shouldn’t have been racing. The tires were so much better than the brakes that it effectively had ABS, but it stuck to the road better than anything it wasn’t quicker than.

  • avatar

    Wow, looks *identical* to my first car, except for being a Plymouth Turismo instead of a Dodge Charger. Could be the SAME car… interior color, exterior, all the same. And I disagree with others, having actually owned basically this identical vehicle in this color – the interior looked very nice as did the exterior when not found on a junkyard 30 years later.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually think these looked pretty nice, even in brown.

      I’d actually take this weird brown over the weird greens and oranges on cars these days.

      • 0 avatar

        Weird greens and oranges? Where are those? I remember them from about 10 years ago, but I can only think of about 2 cars available in any bright shade of green or orange right now.

  • avatar

    I was brought home from the hospital in a light blue ’84 Turismo

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