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The Plymouth Prowler Is A Modern Car For Classic Car Lovers

Upon first glance, the Plymouth Prowler would fit in well in a line-up of classic cars. They’ve got the classic styling and body lines of older generations, but all of the luxury and tech of newer cars, or at least newer cars at the time. You might be surprised to learn that the Plymouth Prowler went into production in 1997, and was produced into the 2000s with a final production model released in 2002.

A true throwback

Although it is technically a Plymouth by name the Prowler was designed by Chrysler to be a new-age hot rod, and many would argue that they succeeded. It’s a two-door, two-seater convertible that looks just as sporty with the top up as it does down. Over it’s few short production years, less than 12,000 Prowlers were produced, a factor that is a big reason for why they have maintained their value, some being sold for as much as a third-generation Dodge Viper (around $40,000).

Plymouth Prowler | Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

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Among the production years, the Prowler was available in 12 colors, but there is no choice of engines. The one engine that was available until 1999 is the 3.5L V6 engine which surprisingly only produces about 214hp. The next engine chosen produced a significantly more fun 253hp, but both engine options shared the same underwhelming 4-speed automatic transmission.

All of the model years had some not impressive, but not boring stats. The first engine choice among earlier model years had a top speed of 118mph that Chrysler claims is the electronic limit rather than the mechanical limit. They could go from 0 – 60mph in 7.2seconds, much slower than the late-model years. After 1999 the Prowler could go from 0 – 60mph in a much-improved 5.9 seconds and Chrysler had increased their speed governor to 126mph.

The Prowler wasn’t designed to be any speed-racer, however, it still offered a pleasant and nostalgic driving experience.

With a modern touch

The Plymouth Prowler had a lot of modern touches that made it a viable option to daily drive, and even if you chose it as a weekend-only car, the amenities were still a nice touch to have.

For convenience, the Prowler was equipped with keyless entry – something that hadn’t become popular until the past decade. It also had powered door locks and powered windows that gave it a more modern touch. Unlike some other hot rods, the Prowler had air conditioning that was less common in classic cars, and it came equipped with an AM/FM stereo for music.

Plymouth Prowler was displayed in the opening Ceremony of Hong Kong’s Premier Motor Celebration | Edward Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

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The Plymouth Prowler is not going to be winning any awards for being the best classic-car knockoff, but it is a great medium between having the well-loved hot rod look and still maintaining modern features we’ve come to rely on.