Car Lust: The Plymouth Prowler

19 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Car Lust: The Plymouth Prowler

Excuse me? blog has been in existence for four years and still no

Ye gods, how could we have so remiss in our duties to avoid of one of the biggest bombs in recent Or perhaps that#39;s not strictly while the Prowler has had its fair of ridicule and wasn#39;t terribly successful, it did grab a lot of attention at the and arguably led to something of a renaissance in designs #0160;#0160;#0160;#0160;both within and outside of it.

On top of that, despite shortcomings it may have had, at it was interesting ; a totally new (albeit design from an American that could not be mistaken for else on the road. In addition, it a number of advanced production and materials and was designed to minimize for both performance and fuel And, truth be told, it wasn#39;t a bad car.

Practical? No. im practical? Well. not really. Definitely.

The Prowler came about as of Chrysler#39;s efforts (the as it turned out) to differentiate from the rest of its lineup in of keeping the brand alive. In a it was akin to Dodge#39;s Viper: of a halo car to highlight and test out new techniques and materials for use in their cars.

As a halo, it was probably going to make any money, but it was that it would be received enough to garner some some of which might over into some of other models. In this it was to the Viper. in other ways, eh, not so

The Prowler was based on a concept car 1993 and actually ended up quite similar to that It was designed as a pure 2-seat with a retro. no, scratch heritage-based look to it. Though the of a Chrysler hot rod goes back to Exner, Sr. who in 1953 designed a Indy-car based roadster to be around the Hemi (photo), particular concept never took off.

Later, at an Fair at Chrysler#39;s Pacifica Center in 1990 the concept of a retro-looking roadster got its start*. Tom Tremont started developing the further and eventually Bob Lutz his considerable weight behind the eventually finding its way to Tom Gale who a #39;33 highboy hot rod that to have provided the basis for the styling of the Prowler (it had by 1991 that name).

The concept car wowed the crowd at the Detroit North American Auto Show: not only did it a wild look but it debuted in a deep purple paint. It was to look like a traditional hot rod all the open cockpit, wide end with big (20!) fat wheels, down to a narrow front with the wheels and suspension out in the open. Interestingly, a number of hot enthusiasts were able to their opinion on how the car should and perform.

When it finally into production for the 1997 year, it looked quite to the original concept. There surprises under the skin: the used the same basic components from their LH line (Concorde, 300M) was based around a lowly V6 than the V8 many expected.

Still, it wasn#39;t exactly the initial 24-valve 3.5-liter engine put out a fairly respectable 214 hp, sounds rather anemic but at the time it wasn#39;t too bad, and was competitive with other cars around. And by 1999 the had been upgraded to around 250 hp. the lack of a V8 kinda … that the Prowler was going to be a burner.

Similarly, it was fitted to an transmission, albeit a semi-automatic 4-speed. On the other hand, the was located in the rear of the car in order to the car a better front-to-back weight Between the engine and transmission, think 0-60 times be pretty pathetic#0160;#0160;#0160;#0160;. Not exactly. One of the characteristics in the design of the Prowler was to weight.

Much of the body and were made of aluminum was bonded rather than together — almost 1/3 of the car by was aluminum and it came in at only pounds. By comparison, the same Mustang weighed over pounds and its 4.6-liter V8 was rated at 215 hp. The Prowler also had independent front and rear and four-wheel brakes with vented rotors.

The interior was similarly. unique. The were aluminum-framed (reducing and the dash layout put a single in front of the driver: a tachometer sticks up from the steering giving it that add-on The remaining gauges were around the center console.

The colors were generally but bold. In its debut year it was available in a metallic purple, but the range was expanded to include black, red, silver, and what they termed Gold, among others. but bold.

And noticeable.

Plymouth Prowler

So how did it perform? times were between 6 and 7 depending on the engine, and a drive of a 2000 model revealed a loud, hard shifting, and riding car that was competant in the satisfyingly fast, and above fun . Probably not something you#39;d as a daily driver, but at least to some other 2-seaters of the

Errr, which brings us to the concern: did anybody buy them? As you can it wasn#39;t particularly practical for use: open top, two and very little trunk (though they did have a bitchin#39; little trailer designed for it!). Chrysler the price reasonably low using the bin design, but it still came in of $40k.

Chrysler had expected to sell in its first year, but only hit 457 first year (1997). The years weren#39;t too bad, a tad above 3,000 per year 2002 when Plymouth the way of the Dodo and the Prowler wore the badge and only sold (all figures from#0160;Wikipedia ; include all sales, not just

The poor Prowler has gotten a bad rap because the sales weren#39;t stellar, and most seemed to pin the blame on the lack of a V8 and fairly price. And, you know, the isn#39;t for everyone. OTOH, I it was a fairly competant car and certainly to other similar cars of the even without a V8. Plus, it rise to the PT Cruiser which out to be a decently popular car for Chrysler.

Other retro heritage-based followed including GM#39;s HHR and and Ford#39;s Mustang and Thunderbird. met with variable success, but it that there was at least market for certain timeless whether retro or modern. not one of the 50 worst cars of all time, not a stunning success in and of itself And like most of the cars we here, there are plenty of out there.#0160;

* Some have Chip Foose#39;s Hemisfear as the modern inspiration for the Prowler, and it may have been, though not come across anything regarding the specific connection.

The top photo is a classic from Wheels. The interior and trailer are from the Garage Car blog. The prototype is of a 3/8 scale clay provided by our own Virgil Exner, Jr.

Minor edits made publishing]

Plymouth Prowler
Plymouth Prowler
Plymouth Prowler
Plymouth Prowler
Plymouth Prowler
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Plymouth Prowler
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