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One of the greatest symbols for the rise of America as an international leader in economics, technology, and culture has been the car. Over a century, American automakers discovered ways to mass produce cars at a rapid rate that reduced prices so they were affordable for the general public. While the car can be seen as a representative of American ingenuity and possibility, the American automotive industry is renowned for being cut throat. With the rise of Japanese automakers in the 1970s, American automakers are at their most vulnerable, which has led to the demise of some of the most historic American car brands. One brand that unfortunately succumbed to the grim fate of the industry was Plymouth.
Plymouth was originally a division of the Chrysler Corporation, which is one of the Detroitís valued Big 3 automakers (the others are Ford and General Motors). The first Plymouth automobile was released to the public on July 7, 1928 and the company would continue valiantly until being discontinued by Chrysler in 2001. Throughout its history, plymouth cars were valued for being stylish vehicles that Chrysler sold in the low-price automobile market.
The Plymouth was Chryslerís introduction in the lower price market but carried the high engineering standards that have been a Chrysler staple. Initially, the Plymouth were sold at a higher price than their competitors but were able to justify the added price tag by including features like hydraulic brakes that their competitors didnít. However, during the Great Depression, Plymouth would be one of the few bright spots in the larger Chrysler Corporation and would even be the second most popular make of automobiles in America during the 1940s. With their stylish designs, low price, and excellent engineer, plymouth cars developed a fantastic reputation as an automaker. However, during the early 1960s, Plymouth would suffer a number of setbacks.
While plymouth cars were justifiably praised for their style early on, in the 1960s Plymouth released a number of cars that were criticized for their awkward style. Sensing the public indifference, plymouth would endure a much bigger setback when Chrysler devoted resources to its Dodge division to produce lower-priced cars like the Dodge Dart. From this point on, Plymouth found itself competing with Dodge for Chryslerís larger support. While Plymouth would continue on valiantly until its eventual demise in 2001, they were unable to receive the proper backing from Chrysler. The last Plymouth car that was produced was the second generation for the Neon in 2001. Although Plymouth may no longer be with us today, plymouth cars are fondly remembered and with good reason.
One of the most popular cars that Plymouth has ever produced was its Plymouth Duster, which was produced from 1970 to 1976. At a time where the Ford Maverick was dominating the sporty fastback market, Plymouth worked diligently to find a way to take a crack off Fordís market share. By this point in time, Plymouth was working under tight funding as Chrysler was dedicating more of its resources to Dodge. Working secretly, Plymouth designers and engineers crafted the plymouth duster to replace the staid Plymouth Valiant.
When the plymouth duster was released, everybody was impressed. Car enthusiasts couldnít get enough of the Plymouth Dusterís stylish design. With its muscle car style, twin horizontal taillights, and its semi-fastback sporty style, the plymouth duster was one of the best selling cars of its time. Engineers were impressed by the plymouth dusterís close-coupled coupe design and its Slant Six engine. Chrysler was so impressed that it acceded to Dodgeís demands to have a plymouth duster of their own, which they eventually sold as the Dodge Dart Demon. Considering its popularity, the plymouth duster is currently one of the most affordable and popular muscle cars on the marketplace today.
One of the last cars that Plymouth produced was its Plymouth Prowler. The plymouth prowler featured a retro style and was powered by a 253 hp 3.5 L SOHC V6 engine. The first rear wheel drive that Plymouth had produced since the 1989 plymouth gran fury, the Plymouth Prowler was produced from 1997 to 2002. Featuring open front wheels that were styled like an Indy race car, the plymouth prowler was available at one point in twelve different colors. The popularity of the plymouth prowler was evident in Chryslerís decision to sell it as a chrysler prowler in 2002. However, the Chrysler Crossfire has since replaced the plymouth prowler as Chryslerís entrance in the retro sportster car market.
One of the most popular plymouth cars in history has been the Plymouth Roadrunner. The plymouth roadrunner was a shrewd creation by Plymouth due to the companyís recognition that muscle cars were changing. Produced from 1968 to 1975, the plymouth roadrunner was designed to be able to run 14 second times in a quarter mile and be available for sale for less than $3000. When the no-frills muscle car eventually hit the market, the Plymouth Roadrunner met immediate success. Lasting until 1975, the plymouth roadrunner continues to make a big impression on pop culture. It is the vehicle driven by Daisy Duke in the first five episodes of the Duke of Hazzard. It was also named Motor Trendís Car of the Year in 1969.
While Plymouth may have lost the support of Chrysler in the 1960s, they hadnít lost the faith of American car lovers. With cars like the Plymouth Barracuda, it is easy to see why Plymouth was such a trusted name for so long. The plymouth barracuda is a convertible muscle car and a two door coupe that was produced from 1964 to 1974. Its innovative design has made it labeled by some as the first pony car. Featuring a large fastback wrap-around rear window, a 235 hp four-barrel carbureted V8 engine, and a flashy taillight design, the plymouth barracuda has been praised for its influential design.
As one of the most popular cars that Plymouth has ever produced, there has been some talk that Chrysler will revive the Barracuda model for 2009. However, as car lovers debate on whether this is just truth and rumor, all car enthusiasts can agree that the plymouth barracuda is one of the most stylish cars that were produced by Plymouth.
The Plymouth Superbird is most famous for being the car of NASCAR legend, ďKingĒ Richard Petty. Essentially a modified version of the Plymouth Road Runner, the plymouth superbird featured an aerodynamic nosecone, retractable headlights, smoothed-out body, a mounted rear wing with tall tailfins, and a wind tunnel. The street versions of the plymouth superbird was powered with either a 440 Super Commando with a single 4-barrel carburetor engine or a 440 Six Barrel engine with three two-barrel carburetors. With its highly styled look, the original plymouth superbird has become one of the most desired collectible cars on the market. One of the rarest muscle cars produced, the plymouth superbird is one of the most lasting of Plymouthís legacy.