10 Plymouth Vintage Cars To Avoid At All Costs

Plymouth is a name synonymous with classic American muscle cars and vintage car culture. The brand has produced some of the most iconic vehicles of the 20th century, including the legendary Plymouth Road Runner and the Plymouth Barracuda. In the late 1990s, Plymouth struggled to keep up with changing consumer preferences and industry trends. Sales declined and the brand struggled to differentiate itself from other Chrysler brands. The last Plymouth Neon rolled off the assembly line in June 2001, marking the end of an era for the iconic American brand.

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There are several collectible Plymouth cars based on their popularity, performance and durability. But not all of Plymouth classic cars have stood the test of time. Some models, especially those produced during the “bad era”, were considered poor in performance and build quality and best avoided by collectors and enthusiasts.



10 1971 Plymouth Cricket

James Plummer

The Plymouth Cricket was a badge-engineered subcompact car produced by the Rootes Group and marketed in the United States under the Plymouth brand. It was meant to compete with other small cars of the time, such as the Ford Pinto and Volkswagen Beetle, but it turned out to be one of the brand’s most epic failures.

The small four-door sedan had a criminally underpowered 70bhp 1.5-litre engine and a number of quality control, reliability and styling issues that failed to win over critics and consumers.

9 1983 Plymouth Gran Fury

1986 Plymouth Gran Fury Sedan
Greg Gjerdingen

Chrysler originally developed the Plymouth Gran Fury as a police car, but it soon became popular with taxi companies and fleet buyers. It proved to be a reliable and durable car that suited its intended use, thanks to its spacious interior and large trunk, making it ideal for transporting passengers and their equipment.

But it had some drawbacks. It was a large, heavy car, which made it less economical than smaller, more modern vehicles. It also had an outdated design with boxy styling and limited interior amenities.

8 1983 Plymouth Caravel

1983-1985 Plymouth_Caravelle

The 1983 Plymouth Caravelle was a midsize car produced by Chrysler Corporation to compete with other popular midsize cars of the time, such as the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Celebrity. It was a well-built and reliable car that offered good value for money.

But it had bland styling with a card design that lacked the flair and excitement of some of the other midsize cars of the era. It was also underpowered and struggled to keep up with some of its rivals, and the car has been largely forgotten by collectors and enthusiasts.

7 1983 Plymouth Champion

1981 Plymouth Champion
Todd Fitch

The Plymouth Champ was a subcompact car produced from 1979 to 1982 as a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Colt. The Plymouth Champ was a competent and reliable car for its time, but it wasn’t much of a champion in terms of performance or style.

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Although it was an option for drivers looking for an economical and reliable vehicle, its maximum output was only 70 horsepower, making it slow and sluggish on the road. Furthermore, it had a simple interior and lacked modern features, making it look dated even at the time of production and is far from desirable today.

6 1997 Plymouth Prowler

Purple 1997 Plymouth Prowler on the road
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The 1997 Plymouth Prowler was a retro sports car built as a tribute to the classic hot rods of the 1930s and 1940s, and was instantly recognizable for its unique styling and distinctive design. It was a head turner with a sleek, low body, long hood, short deck and exposed front wheels.

Reviewers criticized its V6 engine and lack of manual transmission. It also attracted relentless attention while driving due to its slightly ugly appearance, and its limited space and hard-to-reach boot made it very impractical.

5 1961 Plymouth Valiant

1961 Plymouth Valiant

Plymouth built the Valiant to compete with popular compact cars like the Ford Falcon and Chevrolet Corvair. The Plymouth Valiant was a well-built car equipped with a variety of amenities that offered good value for money. But it had bland styling with a boxy design that lacked the flare of the competition. The Valiant’s biggest drawback was its reputation for rusting quickly, which affected its resale value and long-term durability.

4 1958 Plymouth Fury “Look Ahead”

Third quarter front view of a 1958 Plymouth Fury
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The 1958 Plymouth Fury was a stylish and distinctive car that was part of the “Forward Look” design movement that characterized many American cars of the late 1950s. It was a real head turner with its long, low body accented by sweeping lines, sophisticated chrome trim and the distinctive tail fins that were a hallmark of the Forward Look movement.

But underneath the cool exterior was a notoriously unreliable car plagued by mechanical problems that would leave you stranded on the side of the road.

3 1979 Plymouth TC3

Scott Gillertson

The TC3 was a subcompact hatchback based on the Dodge Omni 024, a modified version of the Omni produced from 1979 to 1982. Chrysler designed the car to offer affordable transportation to budget-conscious buyers with a focus on fuel economy and practicality.

Although the TC3 was known for its nimble handling and driving dynamics, it wasn’t particularly powerful. It also had a comfortable and utilitarian style and was prone to rust and other corrosion problems.

2 1978 Plymouth skyline

1986 Plymouth Horizon - front right angle
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The Horizon was a subcompact car that was produced from 1978 to 1990 and was considered one of the least inspiring cars of the era due to its basic design and mediocre performance. It was part of the Horizon/Turismo family of cars, which included the Dodge Omni, which was available in hatchback, sedan and station wagon body styles.

By 1985, Horizon was nowhere near cutting edge. It was underpowered and decidedly dated, with a plain interior and lacking the amenities found in more expensive cars.

RELATED: 10 Plymouths That Defined the Muscle Car Era

1 1980 Plymouth Volare Road Runner

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Just five years after Mopar performance peaked with the 440 Six Pack V8 boasting over 390 horsepower, the compact Volare/Aspen twins hit the market with 5.2 or 5.9 liter V8s capable of producing just under 150 up to 170 horsepower. No amount of decals, blinds, vinyl stripes, and spoilers could help hide the lack of performance of these Chrysler Malaise Era muscle cars.

The Plymouth Volare and its Dodge Aspen twin once claimed the title of the most recalled car in history after endless problems.

Sources: Hagerty, Edmunds, Road and Track

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