HowStuffWorks “1997 Plymouth Prowler”

19 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on HowStuffWorks “1997 Plymouth Prowler”
Plymouth Prowler

1997 Plymouth Prowler

For impact, though, nothing match the 1997 Prowler, the Plymouth in a generation. It was unlike ever offered by a mainstream being a modern reincarnation of the American hot rod.

Like the Viper before it, Prowler as a concept, premiering at the 1993 Auto Show amid pleas to Build it! Once Chrysler president Bob Lutz his full endorsement to a fairly automobile aimed squarely at car like himself.

Again his enthusiasm were design Tom Gale, long an active hot rod and Advanced Design director Walling, who oversaw the concept’s from an idea suggested by a at the company’s California design Chrysler Pacifica.

Though the sort of car expected of a value Prowler promised to do for Plymouth Viper had for Dodge — get people talking and change minds. Indeed, Chrysler its two-seat retro roadster has just the right shock for resuscitating Plymouth’s moribund and low brand awareness among

There was high-tech seriousness the hot-rod fun, as Prowler Chrysler’s low-volume laboratory for construction and materials. For example, was used not only for an all-independent but the entire chassis and much of the In fact, Prowler packed aluminum than any car in Chrysler — some 900 pounds of it construction rivaled only by the Honda-built Acura NSX sports

The result was a lean machine about the same length as a 911 but weighing well under pounds.

Other weight-watching included a lateral dashboard made of costly magnesium, the first cast aluminum rotors (rear only; discs were iron parts), and plasticlike sheet to shape the quarter panels, cycle-type front fenders, and a nose skimming just 4.5 above the pavement.

Helped by a raked-forward profile and 76.5-inch beam, the Prowler heads like nothing on the street. The only changes the stunning concept were prominent front bumperettes and both to satisfy the feds. were handsome five-spoke measuring 1737.5 inches and a massive 20310 aft, and you have any color at first so as it was vivid Prowler Purple.

The top, a black fabric stowed easily beneath a trunklid — and most was. Prowler, after was about lookin’ good. was no room for introverts.

Or much of anything else. The ’30s-style body left uncomfortably narrow (though than on the concept). Standard tires eliminated the need for a but the trunk was nearly useless, from below by the fuel (itself laughably small at 12 and a rear transaxle, also new for

The latter contributed to front/rear distribution of 45/55 percent, Prowler quite nimble on dry despite a long 113-inch And for times when you had to carry than a couple of pizzas, offered a small accessory shaped like the tail, for five-grand.

But the fat tires with ultrastiff sidewalls find bump, as Car and Driver noted, and be way too slippery in the rain. And like antilock brakes and traction weren’t available, yet a number of were standard: air conditioning, windows and mirrors, leather high-power sound system, a gee-whiz tire-pressure monitor.

Plymouth Prowler

Hot-rod purists also their heads at Prowler’s a 3.5-liter V-6 sending a modest 214 bhp a four-speed automatic transmission. much of the interior, these off-the- shelf components to keep price reasonable, it was at an initial $38,300. Yet despite the lowish weight and standard manual-shift feature, Prowler was near as fast as it looked.

Car and ‘s results were 0-60 in 7 seconds flat, a quarter-mile of 15.6 at 87 mph — tame.

Overall, C/D viewed as awash in contradictions. Hot rods V-8s and manual gearboxes. The offers neither. Hot rods are to ride badly and handle then set fire to the dragstrip.

Instead, the Prowler handles like a sports car but is a relative on the drag­strip. Hot rods are supposed to individualized exteriors …[not] one of trim. Hot rods customarily spartan, handmade interiors.

The is more plush and option than a BMW Z3’s.

On the other It’s a convertible, the drivetrain is reliable, it can be driven [every as long as there’s no snow, a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, and the vehicle twists the needle right off … the meter.

Predictably, Chrysler’s piece of eye candy was always in supply. Though the long from concept to reality demand to a fever pitch, wouldn’t rush. After Prowler was Plymouth’s important new and thus needed to be well-made and from day one.

Besides, why risk diluting the mystique — and driving resale values — by too many too fast? All this Viper experience, and Chrysler assigned Prowler production to the plant on Detroit’s Conner which was geared to build machines at a measured pace considerable hand labor.

As it though, Prowlers didn’t reaching dealers until 1997, delayed by last-minute glitches. As a result, model-year was only 312 units instead of the planned, and a bidding war broke out would-be owners.

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