Junkyard Find: 1992 Plymouth Sundance

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1992 plymouth sundance

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.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Sep 02, 2012

    The last of these being 94 model year had the motorized passive restraint on the passenger side only since the drivers side airbag was standard since 90. Apparently Mopar did not want to bother with passenger airbag for one model year since it was being replaced by the Neon.

  • CarPerson CarPerson on Sep 02, 2012

    Purchased a rootbeer-over-tan Sundance 2-dr auto new in 1990 for cash. A couple years ago decided to sell it on Craig's list after calculating we put 100 miles a year on it this past five years. Priced it at $2,500. After 12 serious inquiries in 24 hours, took it back off the market. Just learned Allstate Insurance values it at $1,000 if totaled. We have space in the garage for it, its well maintained and could drive cross-country if needed, it hauls darn near anything, goes, stops and steers just fine, and it's a great backup vehicle for two daily drivers.

  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.