The Plymouth Prowler was a 'hot rod' for the new millennium. Tom Gale was head of design at parent company Chrysler. He had long been an aficionado of Thirties 'rods'. Gale picked up his pen - and drafted a modern variant on the classic Hot Rod theme. Fast forward to Chrysler's stand at the '93 Detroit Auto Show. Gale's sketch had been turned into 'dream car' reality ... so to speak! Public reaction to it was favourable - to say the least. Chrysler's top brass saw an opportunity to reinvigorate the Plymouth brand. They figured the hot rod was deeply embedded in the American psyche. Lots of folk would like one ... but did not have the time - or know-how - to build it. Why not build it for them? The feasibility study having given it a thumbs-up, the Prowler project was given the green light.
To proud owners of this new 'retro' package, they were getting the best of both worlds. The Prowler provided the practical benefits of cutting edge technology - alongside 'custom' good looks. Whopping 20″ rear wheels were wrapped in 295-section rubber. The front pair were 17″. The nose of the car was iconic hot rod - high cheek-bones, jutting jawline, and a slimline grille. Only the 'prominent' bumpers on some Prowlers gave the chronological game away. They were a plastic concession to modern-day safety legislation. Consummately-crafted suspension components were on open view. Bodywork was steel and aluminium.
The Prowler was powered by the Chrysler Vision V6. The 3.5-litre engine produced 218bhp. Purists would have preferred it to be a V8 - but you cannot please everyone! Top speed was 125mph. 0-60 was reached in 7.7s. The car's light weight helped - just 2,900lb of it. 11,702 Plymouth Prowlers were sold - in a five-year production run. Chrysler had been right that the 'hot rod' was still a part of the American Dream!