Tag Archives: Plymouth

Defining the Gentleman’s Muscle Car

Defining the Gentleman’s Muscle Car

1968 Plymouth GTXIf you have ever looked for information about the Plymouth GTX, odds are that you have seen the car named as the “Gentleman’s Muscle Car.” This left me wondering what a gentleman’s muscle car is and what type of men should be driving the other muscle cars.

According to my research, a gentleman’s muscle car is a refined muscle car with sleek design. This is in contrast to the rugged muscle cars that were for the drivers who did not need to go to work in their business attire. The original Plymouth GTX was created in 1967 under the Belvedere brand. A belvedere is an architectural feature that is designed to look upon a pleasant view, which seems fitting for the original name of the muscle car designed for gentlemen.

Rare Bird Sighting: The Plymouth Superbird

Plymouth Superbird
One of the better stories to come out of the American automobile industry during the latter portion of the 1960s is that of the Plymouth Road Runner. What’s not to like about a real muscle car that could get the quarter mile in under 14 seconds while setting you back less than three grand? Plus, as a bonus, you get a car that is named after one of your favorite cartoon characters. How can you beat that?

The First Generation Dodge Challenger

Dodge ChallengerThe original Dodge Challenger, produced from 1970-1974, was Dodge’s attempt at entering the popular pony car market, epitomized by the Ford Mustang. The Challenger shared its Chrysler E-body platform with the Plymouth Barracuda, although it was slightly larger. Chrysler-Dodge intended the Challenger to compete with the more luxurious pony cars of the time. Unfortunately for the company, by the time the Challenger’s design was complete, it was a bit late and the pony car wave was already beginning to fade. For this reason, it did not have nearly the success that the Chrysler brain trust had hoped for.

1969 Motor Trend Car of the Year: The Plymouth Road Runner

The peak of the the muscle car era is generally considered to have taken place between 1964 and 1972, and the reason for the decline of these cars wasn’t that they were no longer popular. The introduction of unleaded gasoline led to reduction in engine size and performance, and cars were engineered for better fuel efficiency and emissions reduction rather than speed and power. 1969 was one of the last years for the true muscle car, and it was the second year of production for the Plymouth Road Runner.

The Landau Roof

The Landau Roof

 Plymouth BarracudaIn the 1970s and the 1980s, the landau top was a popular, yet confusing design style. But, the original use of the word landau is quite different. It was originally a reference to a carriage and the term is still used in the United Kingdom when referencing the royal carriages. In the 1950s, the Nash Rambler actually came with a removeable landau top that slid back from the windshield and stowed away in the trunk. If you drove past the Rambler with the landau removed, you might not even notice because of the unusual look. Later, the landau was a style design that took the place of the C-pillars in the rear of the car. In the 1970s and 1980s, the landau top became synonymous with a fake convertible. These were some of the cars that wore the landau top with some sort of pride:

Unfortunately Named Cars

Unfortunately Named Cars

As a car fan, I enjoy learning about the significance of the names that cars are given. Many names have interesting etymologies. From the Corvette being named after swiftly moving Navy ships to the Shelby Cobra being named after a dangerous snake, many car makers get the names just right. Then there are cars like the Plymouth Duster, Ford Probe, and the Chevy Nova. These cars have names that are easy to spell, easy to say, but they have no sense of coolness at all.

'70 Plymouth Duster

Masters of Mileage: Car Longevity Standouts

Masters of Mileage: Car Longevity Standouts

Carmakers are in the business of making money by making cars. In order to sell cars, people need to have cars. Cars need to be replaced as the parts of the cars only work for so long. Car longevity has changed over the years. In the mid-century, cars were expected to last for about 100,000 miles. Now, they should last for at least 200,000 miles. Even though most cars will only last for so many miles, there are some people who work hard to be able to drive their cars for an impressive amount of miles.

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

'74 Apollo Buick Malaise: This word comes from the combination of French words mal- and aise (which translates to ease). This word generally means a sense of being uneasy or feeling out of sorts. It usually involves the beginning of an illness or feeling less that healthy. The term “malaise” has come to designate the decade of cars produced between 1973 and 1983.

Cars that Disappointed

Cars that Disappointed

1981 DeloreanIn the world of automobiles, there are hits and misses. Usually the hits last for many years, like the Chevy Corvette, Chevy Camaro, and the Ford Mustang. When the misses arrive, they may not be immediately evident, but eventually, someone will discover the flaws. These are a few of the most disappointing cars to ever hit the showrooms floors:

1961 Chevy Corvair. This car was a hit at first. Who didn’t want a modern looking car that got great gas mileage and was fun to drive? Unfortunately, the car that was designed to compete with the popular VW Beetle was loaded with design flaws. From the dangerous steering mechanisms to the fumes that would leak from the heating unit, the Corvair was a stinker disguised in an adorable package.

1968 Plymouth Belvedere

1968 Plymouth Belveder

1968 Plymouth Belevedere

The 1968 Plymouth Belvedere came close to the end of the life for this model, which Chrysler produced from 1954 to 1970. The first incarnation of the model was the 1951 to 1953 Cranbrook Belvedere. The two-door hardtop came out to compete with the Chevy Bel Air. As was always intended for the Plymouth name, this version of the Cranbrook was a low-cost car. In fact, it was the first, affordable two-door hardtop to come out of Detroit.