120-Mile Concept: 1982 Plymouth Turismo S-660

Here’s where you sing the Sesame Street song, “One of These Things is Not Like the Others”. This 1982 Plymouth Turismo S-660 Concept is sort of, but not exactly, like a regular Turismo and it’s listed on Hemmings, to be auctioned at an upcoming Mecum auction in early-January. There’s no price listed because it’s an auction, but what do you think this one will sell for? With a supposed 120 original miles, it would be an oddly-cool car for the collection, if a person had a collection.

This almost looks a 1982 Mitsubishi Cordia to me from the rear 3/4 angle. That seems oddly coincidental with Chrysler’s tie-in with Mitsubishi.

The Plymouth TC3 became the Turismo in 1982 and they were basically identical to the Dodge 024/Charger, but the Dodge versions were meant to be a bit more sporty. They were derived from Chrysler Europe’s Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon. Chrysler Europe was a merger of the Roots Group and Simca and they were about as “international” of a car as it got in those days. Now, most cars are made with parts from around the world and foreign manufacturers make vehicles here and US companies make vehicles in other countries; it’s hard to tell what’s what.

The story on this particular car is that it was a concept made to promote the new Firestone S-660 tire and was modified quite a bit from the normal Turismo, on the exterior anyway. The interior looks about as perfect as a 1982 Plymouth Turismo could be. I doubt if the back seats have ever been sat in.

This appears to be a standard 2.2L, transverse-mounted inline-four with around 96 hp that would have been in almost any 1982 Plymouth Turismo. I can’t even guess what this car is “worth” if a non-concept version is valued at around $2,300 in top condition. Any thoughts? Is this something that you could see yourself bidding on?

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Comments

  1. JW454

    The only thing I’ve owned that would compare to this one was a 1987 Dodge Charger. It was a good little car for it’s place in the market. It ran a drove as well as could be expected so…. no complaints.
    I’m not sure I’d be a fan of the rear wheel arch styling of this offering but, maybe others would.

    • Jeff B

      My first car ever was a 1982 Plymouth Turismo. White/Red. I loved the look and interior. The 2.2 was a great engine. Sadly, I wrecked it in 1987.

  2. Blyndgesser

    The look seems to have a little Citroen in it.

    • Jeffro

      I saw that too. To bad it’s not a turbo.

      • The Walrus

        Couple model years early for a turbo…

    • That Guy

      My first thought as well. Interesting car.

  3. Bingo

    Someone please help me here: Are prototypes and concept cars even able to be driven on public roads? Do they have a VIN or title? Just wondering.

    • RayT Member

      Interesting question, and the answer, based on what I’ve seen over the years, is…”maybe.”

      I’ve looked over a fair number of prototypes, “concept” cars and “studies,” and never saw one with a VIN. Of course that may not be true of ALL of them. None were intended to be released to the public, though some have been. For example, Ford sold off a number of prototypes some years ago, and I saw at least two displayed in shows by their new owners later on. So I’d guess the answer varies depending on a particular state’s DMV and how persistent or crafty the owner is….

      One VERY generalized comment about such machines (and I include this Plymouth): They are not necessarily great cars to drive. Little details that engineering and a lot of testing get right before production — such as engine cooling, proper suspension tuning, HVAC, etc. — don’t get addressed on one-off show cars. They function, but not always well.

      And it should be said that many “dream cars” are 10-footers, with materials and finishes that look great on a display stand, but don’t necessarily hold up well in the Real World.

      I well remember one or two that I would have loved to take home, but in hindsight I have to wonder if I could have actually used them, or found replacements for some of their Unobtanium hardware if/when they needed repair.

      • Andy

        This isn’t a manufacturer’s prototype. This was a standard car, lightly modified for a tire company. PAGINATION did a bunch of them a few years later than this. Body kits and fancy paint.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Generally true prototypes and concepts, aren’t even complete cars, often without fully functioning mechanics let alone fully operational lighting or creature comforts.

      Test mules, and/or refined concepts are generally built with VINS but destroyed in short order.

      Of course their are countless deviations from these generalizations and seemingly impossible survivors pop up from time to time. Often these are altered versions of cars that already existed (ie. modified platform or bodywork).

    • Jim L

      No VIN, No Title, No certified emission controls and not even a finished car. Most prototypes I have seen are “really neat looking” but lack all of the refinements of a production car. Most of them won’t even drive. 120 Miles on a prototype is actually a LOT! Most are just rolled around (if they are able to roll) and sent to the shredder after the “wow factor” is gone. I used to work for a large scrap metal recycler near Porsche America headquarters (that should pin it down the location for people that know their way around) Porsche brought in a 959 prototype (that should nail down the year!) and had it shredded. They weighed the car on our scale and then bigwigs in their suits made us clear everything out of the shredder and watched from the control room as we ran the car through. They collected every single piece of the car after it was shredded and weighed it to insure that NOTHING was missing. That way they could be assured that their technology was not compromised.

      • RayT Member

        Jim, in the case of the 959 — and a lot of shredded prototypes — the extra attention paid to making sure the car was totally destroyed had as much to do with customs and emissions laws as with technology. Every part on those cars was considered to have monetary value, so Customs wanted their cut of any surviving bits. Likewise, the EPA wanted to be sure none of those nasty high-power, gross-polluting engine parts were recycled.

        At least back in the day, you could be pretty certain that any drivable prototype — especially the really fun fast ones! — was devoid of emissions equipment.

    • G. Allen

      After looking over the images, I’d wager there’s a very high probability this car has a factory V.I.N. and is a street legal car based on a 1982 model. I appears to have the base 2.2L engine, 4 speed manual transmission, emissions air pump and even cruise control. As-built for demonstrating street tires it also makes sense the car would be plate-able. Apart from the low mileage and Firestone provenance, the fiberglass front and rear aero fascias and deck spoiler are really the only things that make this car unique….

  4. Bob S

    That is pretty neat for an Omni. I’d like to own that.

  5. Bobsmyuncle

    So the writeup calls it a concept yet it states; “modified quite a bit from the normal Turismo”.

    So which is it? Was this a modified version or the precurser?

    • RayT Member

      My guess is that a production Turismo was modified to create this. If it was a pre-production car with altered exterior, that wouldn’t be surprising.

  6. nessy

    Where you stated, the Turismo replaced the TC3 for 82, that is not alltogether true. The Turismo was new for 82 but it was just a sporty new package offered on the 2 door model. The Plymouth Horizon TC3 was still available in 82. One other small note here.. The wheel covers on this neat looking prototype, or whatever it is, came right off a production Horizon TC3.

  7. Jay

    These cars were drafty rattle boxes……….

    Fun to beat on though!

  8. Rustytech Member

    Shame this never made production, it sure is more interesting than any of the production car’s. I would like to see this in Shelby trim!

  9. sir mike

    Looks like an early Honda prototype…

  10. Jon

    This 1982 concept(?) has a 1981 steering wheel, leading me to believe that it is actually a 1981 that was modified and reintroduced in 1982 by the tire company (I had a 1982 charger 2.2 and know the interior well). It is completely stock appearing under the hood, thus probably legal and drivable.

  11. Curtis Easter

    I have seen this car. It started as a Plymouth Turismo and was customized for Firestone to promote the special tires. There should be a VIN, seller can tell you about the title. It’s located in Orlando.

  12. Gagagarage

    Because of the year, make, model, and relative obscurity of these cars in general and this particular version, I’d expect it to bring somewhere around $10k at auction. A relative bargain considering you wind up with a one of a kind car.
    I would suppose that it is now street legal because of its age, but not too many years ago you’d only run it in the driveway .

  13. Flmikey

    …auctioned off by Hemmings? This Frankenstein of a car should auctioned by Adessa….this thing is gonna fall flat on it’s face….

  14. John Demers

    I just saw this car driving in Virginia Beach. Spoke with owner who said he bought it for $5K and it only has 164 miles on it.

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