Junkyard Find: 1989 Plymouth Acclaim Turbo
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 Turbo, spotted in a Denver self-service yard a couple months ago.
The 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.
153,632 miles, which is about average for junkyard-dwelling Detroit cars of this era.
You could still get a column-shift automatic on a bucket-seat-equipped midsize sedan in 1989.
The turbocharged 2.5 engine in this car made a fairly decent (for its time) 150 horsepower.
Curb 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.
Futuristic cassette-deck technology!
The 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!”
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I graduated HS in 1996 so that gives you a timeframe reference. Several family members had either the acclaim or spirit and they lasted a long time. I had a 95 Neon and considered trading it in on one of these used as I commuted and wanted something bigger. I drove a dozen of these models so I knew it was comfortable for a car from that era. They had some real fans out there my Grandfather had a 93. Just washed and waxed it in the summer of 1995, parked it under his deck (basement garage) The next morning my grandmother says to him where’s the car. It was gone. Her second comment was “see I was right for not letting you get rid of her old car”. She liked her 85 Caravel better and would not let him sell it. He a few weeks later got a 95 Stratus. Then found the stolen car in Philadelphia about 90 minutes away sitting in a tow lot torched. Insurance already paid himHe did miss his Acclaim though and eventually the stratus As My grandmother on the other hand gave him the Caravel as she preferred the new one. He drove the caravel till 1997
We drove these cars for drivers ed in high school!