Plymouth

Plymouth Logo

Plymouth was founded in the 1920s by Chrysler as an effort to make “low
price” cars that the average American could afford. While they sought the
American middle class, they offered more options and power than low-priced
Fords. They were thus more expensive than the competition, but also better
built and much more comfortable. This led to their success in the Roaring
20s, especially as “fleet vehicles,” wherein many were purchased for use as
company cars, delivery vehicles or rental cars.


Five Remarkable Things about Plymouth

  • This company was the first “discount” car company ever produced in America.
  • Plymouth was the last company to use wooden paneling on the sides of its
    cars, earning the nickname “Woody” in folklore and song.
  • Their cars were the preferred mode of transport for surfers in the 1960s,
    as the exceptionally large interior enabled them to carry surfboards as
    well as cooking and camping gear.
  • From the late 1970s until the 00s, all Plymouth cars were badge-engineered
    cars made by Chrysler, Dodge or Mitsubishi.
  • In the early 1950s, the vast majority of their sales were badge-engineered
    trucks and vans built for commercial use.
  • Plymouth Car Models

    Plymouth suffered badly in the 1930s and early 40s, as the depression
    eliminated the wealth of the very people who would otherwise purchase their
    cars. The car model was too cheap for the luxury market and too expensive
    for the average consumer, the brand languished until the 1950s. At that
    time, the Coupe and Station Wagon (the first car so-named) found a market
    among the emerging lower classes, being an excellent “first car” or “family
    car” for students, industrial workers, and especially returning GIs. While
    neither powerful nor capable of great performance, the Plymouth car was
    affordable and reliable and was prized for their ability to endure long
    trips.

    However, these vehicles were produced by cutting corners, most notably in
    their steel. This led to the vehicles rusting out very badly in wet
    climates, especially in New England and the Midwest where roads were salted
    each winter. The backlash from these rust problems led to the brand dying
    as an independent entity and existing as an outlet for badge engineered
    models licensed from other companies.

    Chrysler revived the brand one last time in the late 1990s, using it as an
    outlet for the more eccentric and experimental cars. The Plymouth Prowler
    was the most notable of Plymouth car of this period, with a huge front
    bumper and unconventional layout meant to imitate classic roadsters and hot
    rods from the 1920s and 30s. While exciting to look at, it lacked power and
    performance when compared with other vehicles in its price range. Only
    selling about 11,000 units, its failure doomed the marque, which was
    discontinued in 2001.

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