Prowler Purple
Agate
3.5 Liter V6
4 Speed Automatic

Prowlers are cool—you know it's true. Their lines, their attitude and the sheer improbability they even got built...what's not to like? They're even getting appreciation from the collector market if they're mint and unusual like this drop-dead gorgeous, 2,064 ORIGINAL mile, one-owner Prowler Purple machine. I get excited every time I see one and I’m still amazed that a large American car company like Chrysler actually had the nerve to build it.

Within Chrysler Corporation, the Viper was a production technique test-bed, to see if they really could develop new methods of manufacturing and assembly to lower the cost of a vehicle. The Prowler was a similar experiment, this time to explore working with aluminum (the Prowler’s real name is Prowler AIV, which stands for “Aluminum Intensive Vehicle”). The corporation did not care if they made money on it—simply breaking even was considered unlikely—but the Prowler was an experimental vehicle testing out even more advanced methods of assembly (aluminum and composite bonding, for example).

Let's start with the body on this car. With only 2,064 miles, you know it’s flawless. I’ve always felt that the purple shade on the early Prowlers was exactly right for the car and the colors that followed just didn’t carry the same eye-grabbing appeal. It’s deep and lustrous on this car—clearly they knew that a lot of eyeballs would be on these cars, so they made doubly-certain that the paint finish was high quality. In addition, on this car, the owner removed many of the exposed suspension components, particularly on the front end, and had them professionally powder-coated for long term durability and a great look. It’s subtle, and if you aren’t familiar with Prowlers you’d never notice, but it’s a smart thing to do. I like it!

Prowler's styling was "heritage-based" (remember that Bob Eaton would not allow the word "retro-" anything to be applied) and was to be the start of a final attempt at revival of the Plymouth brand with its own styling cues to separate it from Dodge or Chrysler divisions. The money saved by dropping the Eagle was to be plowed back into the Plymouth brand. The PT (regardless of what is stated now) was the next vehicle of the revived Plymouth with brand identity. Eventually, all the models under the Plymouth name would have been similar in appearance to the Prowler and PT. Unfortunately, the buying public did not warm to the styling soon enough, and funds for the revised Breeze and minivan were withdrawn. The Plymouth brand died an unsavory death not long after that, leaving the Prowler to soldier on as the Chrysler Prowler for a few more years.

Mechanically, this Prowler is a new car in every way. It has probably had an oil change or two, but beyond that, everything is just like the factory made it. It fires up and runs perfectly, and, well, everything works. On a car with 2,064 miles, are there any questions? It certainly appears that the car has been properly maintained and even driven occasionally to keep everything in top operating condition. It features the second generation Chrysler 3.5L SOHC 24 valve V6 that puts out 253 horsepower and 255 pounds of torque, which moves the relatively lightweight Prowler with real authority. The 4-speed automatic transmission features “AutoStick” which is a manual gear change feature that is more toy than functional performance improvement, but it fits the Prowler’s persona perfectly (hell, far more “real” hot rods are built today with automatics than stick shifts, so who can blame Chrysler for doing their homework and giving the public what it wants?). The engine even has a rowdy, throaty exhaust note coming from two fat chrome pipes out back. Cool!

Inside the Prowler, driver and passenger will welcome the very nicely shaped leather bucket seats. The windows and locks are power, and the superb, 320-watt, seven speaker sound system comes standard with a six disc CD player located behind the passenger seat. Buttons located on the backside of the steering wheel can control the sound system while the cruise control switches are located on the front side.

The dash offers a center-mounted 150 mph speedo with four smaller ancillary gauges, the voltmeter and oil pressure gauge to the left and fuel and temp gauge to the right, all in a body-colored panel that is a great tribute to vintage hot rods of all kinds. The designers got a lot of the details exactly right on this car, and I can’t think of a better homage to the American hot rod than this.

Documentation? Check. The original window sticker is here, carefully taken from the window and perfect. We have an original Prowler brochure, the ORIGINAL title and the original pre-delivery inspection sheet. There's a cool card signed by a Prowler Team leader at the factory. The original Infinity Prowler CD is in the stereo and the case is perfect.

According to the original window sticker, the retail price on this Prowler was $41,000.00. The base price of $40,000.00 included the following: Agate color interior, with leather trimmed buckets seats; 3.5 Liter High Output V6 with 24 valves and multi-port fuel injection; Next Generation air bags with Air bag on/off switch; 4 Wheel Disc Brakes; Rear Window Defroster; Rack & Pinion Steering; 4 Speed Autostick Transmission; Air Conditioning; 6 Disc CD Changer; AM/FM Cassette Radio; Power Windows with One-Touch; Power Locks-Speed Sensitive; Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel; Speed Control; Keyless Entry; Tachometer; Halogen Headlamps; Black Soft-Top, and; P225/4517 front/P295/40R20 rear tires. The Chrome 17x7.5 front and 20x10 rear wheels were still a $1000 option in 1999, and they're reflected in the price. Your only real option was color, and Prowler Purple Metallic Clear Coat was still standard, with Black and Yellow being optional. Rather than rattle on about the condition of the car, let's just say it's factory new.

The car has been stored indoors in a heated/air conditioned facility since the day it was delivered by the semi truck, and has never seen a drop of water. This Prowler has never been washed with a bucket and a hose. There are no defects on the car to be found anywhere.

Now let’s talk about value.  If there was one late model Chrysler car to buy and stick away, what would it be?  The 1996-200 Dodge Viper GTS is a good bet.  How about a new Challenger?  Nope-they made too many of them.  Charger SRT8?  Sorry, four doors.  How about a Neon?  Just kidding.  Based on recent auction sale results, it would seem that the Plymouth Prowler is the smart player’s bet to be a sure-fire investment grade car for the next, oh, five decades or so.  And Prowler Purple is the best color!

Prowlers draw a crowd wherever they go, and their timeless looks will never go out of fashion. This one has been properly stored and protected, with enough exercise to keep it in top condition. If you missed your chance when they were new, don't get caught waiting for the right one to come along again—they are only going to get more expensive!

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