Plymouth's Innovative Designs
In its 70-year existence, Plymouth has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of quality cars at an affordable price. It also pushed the boundaries when it came to car design. With so many vehicles looking so much alike, Plymouth's creations clearly stand out and demand attention. Here are a couple of Plymouth's famous, eye-catching designs.
The Plymouth Valiant (1960-1976): The Daytona dominator
Described by Road & Track magazine as "one of the best-all around domestic cars," the idea for the Plymouth Valiant was for it to be both smaller and lighter than a full-size car without compromising luggage and passenger space. It was designed to be a stylish yet affordable car capable of comfortably seating a family of six and their luggage, and neither be an inch longer nor a pound heavier than it absolutely needed to be. The car had designer Virgil Exner's famous "Forward Look" style with a long, semi-fastback hood line. The body and frame, instead of being bolted together (as was common in those days), were welded together instead, giving it a rigid, rattle-free quality. For his work on the Valiant, Virgil Exner was given the 1962 Styling Award by the Society of Illustrators. Not only was the Valiant praised for its looks, it reigned supreme on the racetrack as well. At the 1960 NASCAR compact car race on the Dayton International Speedway, the Plymouth Valiant, with the innovative Hyper Pak intake manifold installed on its slant-6 engine, dominated with all seven Valiant entries taking the top seven spots.
The Plymouth Slingshot (1988): The futuristic concept car
This car would really stand out and turn heads on streets everywhere. Designed by Chrysler Motors designers and young university students, the Plymouth Slingshot had a uniquely futuristic look with an aircraft-like pivoting canopy, sliding sunroof, exposed engine and suspension system, and wheels that jut out from under the car's frame. The rear wheels, in particular, are even extended further behind the vehicle. Instead of conventional doors, the canopy swings upward to allow entry. Produced in 1988, this concept car could easily be considered decades ahead of its time.
Whether it's a domestic family car capable of dominating a race track, or a glimpse of the future on wheels, Plymouth will always be remembered for its innovative style in car design.
The Best of Plymouth
Although the Plymouth brand and its logo allude to the Mayflower landing on Plymouth Rock, this automobile company was actually named after Plymouth Binder Twine, which was a common household item at that time and was the preferred tying implement of farmers. True to the spirit of its name, Plymouth marketed itself as a manufacturer of stylish and good quality automobiles at affordable prices. That mass market appeal made the company shine during the Great Depression of the 1930s while other car companies failed. Through the 1940s and the 1950s, Plymouth was among the top three (with Chevrolet and Ford) most popular automobile brands in the United States. However, a fuel crisis, among other factors, lead to the decline of the company by the mid-1970s and the final demise of the brand in 2001. In its 70-year existence, Plymouth had made a name for itself, both in creating reliable and affordable family cars and in its innovative designs. We give you a look back at a couple of Plymouth's greatest hits.
The Plymouth Valiant (1960-1976): The domestic car that dominated NASCAR
Road & Track magazine once hailed this car as "one of the best all-around domestic cars." The Plymouth Valiant is a compact car that was extremely popular in the US, Canada, and other countries like Australia and Argentina. Not only was it a favorite family car, the Plymouth Valiant, with the innovative Hyper Pak intake manifold installed on its slant-6 engine, proved to be unbeatable on the racetrack as well. At the 1960 NASCAR compact car race on the Dayton International Speedway, the Plymouth Valiant dominated with all seven Valiant entries leaving the competition behind and taking the first seven places.
The Plymouth Reliant (1981-1989): The Plymouth car that saved Chrysler
Along with its twin the Dodge Aries, the Plymouth Reliant is largely responsible for saving Chrysler from almost certain bankruptcy. This front-wheel drive vehicle is one of the first "K-cars," which is a type of car designed by Chrysler to be relatively compact or midsized and capable of carrying up to six adults with three people sitting on two rows of bench seats. This raised the bar when it came to quality family cars. The Reliant was listed as Motor Trend magazine's 1981 Car of the Year and sold over 1.1 million cars in the span of only one generation.
The Plymouth may no longer be in production, but those that are still around are sure to be highly-valued collectibles.