Plymouth Prowler 1997 - 2002
The Plymouth Prowler, was a retro-styled production car manufactured and marketed from 1997 to 2002 and based on the 1993 concept car of the same name. Chrysler engineers were given free rein to design whatever they wanted in a "hot rod" or "sportster" type vehicle. Thomas C. Gale inspired Chrysler's latest design triumph, the retro-styled Plymouth Prowler. An early influence is credited to a Chrysler-sponsored project at the Art Center College of Design that resulted in a thesis by Douglas "Chip" Foose that included drawings of a retro-roadster. Foose "designed it as a coupe for Chrysler to begin with but modified it to a roadster version." One of the most striking design features of the Prowler are the open, Indy racer-style front wheels. The Prowler was equipped with a 24-valve, 3.5 L V6 engine producing 214 hp. For the 1999 model year, the engine was replaced with a more powerful, aluminum-block developing 253 hp. While criticized for having only a V6 engine, Chrysler's High Output 3.5 had a horsepower rating similar to (or higher than) the company's Magnum V8s of that era. While not making nearly as much torque as a V8, Prowler's light weight helped to achieve rapid off-the-line acceleration… but couldn't do anything about the sweet sound of a V8… Other retro-styled vehicles followed the Prowler, including the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet's SSR, HHR, and the 2010 Camaro, Ford's 2002 Thunderbird and 2005 Mustang, as well as the 2008 Dodge Challenger. In 1998, a Plymouth Prowler was sealed in a mausoleum as a time capsule in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While similar in concept to the buried 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that formerly resided near the courthouse, the buried Prowler was sealed in Centennial Park in an above-ground vault and sealed within a plastic box instead of plastic sheets that covered the Belvedere. Experts believe the Prowler has a better chance of looking how it did when it was sealed when the time capsule is opened in 2048, when it will be returned to Chrysler. The Prowler was offered in a single generation with an overall production of 11,702.