Junkyard Find: 1980 Plymouth Arrow

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1980 plymouth arrow

Chrysler imported and rebadged quite an assortment of Mitsubishis during the gloomy years of the Malaise Era, and we have seen a good sampling of those cars in this series so far. There was the Mitsubishi Colt Galant aka Dodge Colt, the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda aka Plymouth Sapporo/Dodge Challenger, and the Mitsubishi Mirage aka Plymouth Champ, among others.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste aka Plymouth Arrow was never a big seller, but this one managed to outlive nearly all of its brethren, only washing up at this Northern California self-service yard after 36 years.

Japanese imports had acquired a reputation for reliability by this time, so Chrysler didn’t try to hide the Arrow’s Japanese birthplace.

The 1,597cc G32B Saturn engine came with the “MCA-Jet” three-valves-per-cylinder system. 77 horsepower made this 2,100-pound car something of a poky little puppy.

However, this car does have a vivid Whorehouse Red interior. 1980 was the last year for the Arrow, which was probably just as well.

And one of those early car alarms that could be set off by excess neutrinos, harsh language, and powdered sugar.

There was much optimism among Plymouth dealers when the Arrow first hit these shores.

The Arrow’s slick body shape made it successful in drag racing. The Snake endorsed it!

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3 of 43 comments
  • Davew833 Davew833 on May 03, 2016

    There's more than a few of these that have been turned into dragsters. Just Google "Plymouth Arrow drag car."

  • OzCop OzCop on May 03, 2016

    One of my favorite cars I ever owned. Divorced in 1975, I bought a base Chevy PU truck to haul a couple of kids dirt bikes...Yamaha Y50s. That was one thing that kept me and my 3 sons occupied during visitation. But alas, in 78 injury caused me to sell the pickup and dirt bikes, much to the chagrin of my sons. My replacement was a new 78 Plymouth Arrow GT, silver with light interior, 2.0 with 4, or was it 5 speeds...can't remember. Loved that car, drove it all over the country, even in the huge snow storms that blanketed the midwest/northeast that winter. I drove the car two years and sold it to my sister with only 45K on the odo. She drove it another 4 years and finally, the rust got to it and she sold it for near nothing with 98K miles on odo. During that period of time, the only major cost was tires and battery replacement. It had never had an engine or drive line failure during that time, but rust reared it's ugly head when it was about 4 years old. Great car, and always wanted a Fire Arrow. Tried to find one in 85 when I began autocrossing, to no avail. I'd still buy one if the right deal came along...

  • SCE to AUX Welcome to the most complicated vehicle you can buy, with shocking depreciation built into every one.And that tail - oh, my.
  • FreedMike Can these plates be reprogrammed on demand to flash messages at other drivers? If so, I'd like to flash "Is your insurance paid up?" to tailgaters.
  • SCE to AUX The profile looks a little like the Faraday Future FF91, but choosing the P3 would be easy.https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod/images/fl-keynote-v2-230527-005-02-default-64774f0cc7345.jpeg
  • Scott When it comes to looks it SUV's big time. (??? can I type that here?)
  • Carson D Republicans open probe into Biden's energy secretary after police called on her EV road trip (msn.com)