Cheap Arrow: 1976 Plymouth Arrow GS

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In the spirit of 2019 craigslist ads, the seller has only nine words to say about this 1976 Plymouth Arrow GS, but they have provided more photos than usual so that’s good news. It can be found here on craigslist in Salisbury, Maryland with an asking price of $1,000.

Overall, this looks like a straight Arrow, no pun intended. You can see rust in certain areas and rust-through on the top of the hood is rarely a good omen, but hopefully it’s not terminal rust as is often the case with Japanese cars of this era. The 1976 Plymouth Arrow was a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer and they were made through 1980. For my money, a rear-wheel-drive car this small is just cool no matter what it is or who made it. I believe that this is an Arrow GS due to the flip-out rear windows, chrome bumpers, wheel lip and sill moldings, among other things. The GS was a $208 option package on top of the base Arrow 160. The GT would be the top model and you can see one parked next to this car.

There are no photos of the passenger side but maybe that’s because it’s parked next to a sweet Plymouth Arrow GT on that side, is that the seller’s car, too? You can see the two-slat louvers on the car for sale which identifies it as a first-year Arrow compared to a later three-slat louver on the GT parked next to this car. Certain collectors look for those things and they may go for a base Arrow or a GS over a GT if it’s a first-year car. I know, the crazy things that car collectors look for, I’m the same way, I would rather have a first-year GS over a later GT.

In this photo, the only one of the interior, the front looks great other than what I’m assuming are seats that are in need of work. The only other interior photo is this one showing the passenger side door panel, which also looks great. I can see a little rust on the bottom edge of the door in that photo and I’d want to look under this one before popping on $1,200 in shipping costs. $1,000 is cheap, though, you can barely get a set of tires for that for your daily driver. Speaking of that, this car needs tires. It also needs an exhaust system. but it runs and drives. I just used six of the seller’s nine words in their listing. 1976 Plymouth Arrow are the other three, in case you were keeping score.

I see some surface rust inside the engine compartment but it looks much nicer than I thought it might after seeing the hole in the hood. You haven’t lived until you’ve pulled a 90-hp Mitsubishi 4G52 inline-four, restored it along with the engine bay, and then put it back in again. That’s what I would do but you already know that I lost my mind a long time ago. I would really like to get a Plymouth Arrow from this era someday, a tiny rear-wheel-drive car really appeals to me. Have any of you owned a Plymouth Arrow?

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  1. HoA Rube GoldbergMember

    The Arrow was a good car,( a “GS”,,whistles, who was sportin’ that kind of cash) quite popular, for the 3 or 4 years they were around before they rusted. I think these rusted faster than any other car. Once the front shock towers rusted and collapsed, it was all over. I’d have to think replacement parts are non-existent.

    Like 3
  2. Rusty

    There was one of these for sale in the late 70s in Toledo. Low miles and no rust, but the owner had run out without oil and it needed an engine. He kept the price high enough that I couldn’t be confident of turning a profit on it, so I took a pass. Seemed like a nice car, but I was hot for a Sapporo. Might have taken the risk for one of those. As I recall, both the Arrow and the Sapporo were fairly uncommon.

    Like 1
  3. sir mike

    These were great rally cars back in the day….especially with the 2.6 mtr

    Like 5
    • CoDrvr

      Agree. My ’80 “Fire Arrow” with 2.6 and 5-Speed had beaucous torque and more than adequate power. With an LSD (out of a Toyota PU) it hooked up in the gravel pretty well.

      Like 3
  4. Mike Hawke

    Me and my Arrow
    Straighter than narrow
    Wherever we go, everyone knows
    It’s me and my Arrow
    Me and my Arrow
    Taking the high road
    Wherever we go, everyone knows
    It’s me and my Arrow

    Like 6
  5. Skorzeny

    I had a 75, I loved it! Fun car.

    Like 2
  6. luke arnott

    I hired one in Atlanta 40 years ago – awful thing to drive!

    Like 0
  7. Gransedan

    Neat little car. I’ve always liked these. Went with a family friend who test drove a new, red ’77 GS with a white interior in the summer of ’77. She ended up buying a red/white interior ’77 Pontiac Ventura hatchback.
    Just a bit of a correction. The Arrow in the background is not a GT but rather a base model with the “Arrow Jet Package” available in ’78 and ’79 if not ’80 as well. From the ’78 brochure: “This brand new package of youth- and action-minded goodies is limited to the basic Arrow 2-door Hatchback– but lets you get unlimited fun out of personalizing your machine. Order the package and you get eye-catching, two-tone orange and black body paint, black bumpers, the grille in orange and the road wheels, too. Dual black racing mirrors, and 165 x 13″ raised white letter radials. All meant to be seen and admired. Then you can take your pick of 12 different decals that say just about anything that’s legal about you and your Arrow. The decals are available as an option only with the Arrow Jet Package. You’ll get a great kick out of doing it yourself, ‘designing’ your exclusive scene stealer. ( ask your dealer about availability.)” The decals included, “No Step” “Caution Restricted Area” “Hot Exhaust” “Air Intake” “30PSI” “Fuel” “Lift” for over the door handle and circular arrows for around the lock cylinder.

    Like 3
    • Donald Roberts

      Hello folks… I must comment on the Arrows, great, fantastic and fantastic to drive, I have had several cars, hate (no) love to say it the best car I still have is my 1964 Studebaker Avanti “ Granitelli equipped with the R3, super jet thrust engine “ Am sorry got on a different car. My Arrow played out at 225000 miles, but little did anybody know at that time I bought a 2.6 out of a Arror truck that was wrecked, get this it only had 400 miles and the wrecking yard only wanted $400.00 for the engine, I was in heaven. I bought the engine complete. I made a crate and stored it for when my 2.0 played out, the 2.6 would take its place. So the 2.0 finally wore out 15 years later. I installed the 2.6 but had to make a modification to make the block take the transmission, cause the Japanese make blocks for standard trans., and blocks for automatics. Made a couple of brackets and there it was. The one major thing I did was make a mechanical link and adapted it to the carb, the Solex carb is aok, however the seal ports do leak a lot of air so fixed all that. About the link the 2nd dairy opens tooo slow and by the time it does open you already lost out…got it all installed… cranked it two turns and it fired, FANTASTIC!!! I let it run for a few seconds and shut it off, no oil pressure, so where the pressure gauge attaches to the block I had a pressured oil gun and squirted it with Mobil One and STP, got it back together, cranked it and and 1 to 2 seconds I had great pressure, I let it warm to temperature 165 checked everything out and all was great, the 2.6 was as smooth as ice. I adapted a bigger radiator, as these engines had a tendency to run hot if under pressure, this is not good, as the valve seats will have a tendency to crack. I was ready for the test drive, a good friend stopped by and I was skeptical as how it was going to run, I took it slow, and ran it easy for a 100 miles… I told Wade get ready so was running 20 in 1st and nailed it woe, the back tire broke loose WOW, I was surprised, still locked in 1st shifted in 2nd and was at 40 mph and nailed it again, holy smokes the tire broke loose again, 3rd and 4th the same way good night I thought what had I created, shifted into 5th, it immediately passed 120 mph. How do I know cause the speedometer only shows 100 mph? I was using a radar detector that shows mph, it was still building and fast WOW I was thinking my 2.0 ran ok but holy smokes I created a monster. It was one day was entering I-30 in north east Texas, there was a 300zx turbo on my tail, so it was try out time, i tromped it, the back tire smoked caught traction, and speed shifted to 4th again same thing the zx was in the other lane Even with my rear bumper and before I speed shift to 5th I was at 145 mph we were side by side and then I got into the power ban of the engine and I tore his tail end up, was getting nervously afraid, tires could blow, and who knows what cop lurks around the corner, I finally backed off the ZX Turbo was left in my dust, I backed off at 192 mph, I was shaking and trying to get a grip on reality. As time passed it was my work car and all In all it finally shut down at 552000 miles. It was a great automobile and have missed it, I improved the suspension lowered the front end and used special Z rated tires again, am I bragging “ yes “ would buy another one to this day.

      Like 1
  8. ReTired

    I bought a new GS in ’76. Fun to drive 5 speed, with the “silent shaft” engine. Great car, but it just wasn’t build to last.

    Like 1
  9. Louis Q Chen

    This and their brother COLT were really good cars made by MITSUBISHI Motors. Then Mitsubishi was serious about the American auto market! My good friend bought a ’73 Dodge Colt GT which was a good car for the price of $2100 brand new. The Lancer was basically the same as the Colt except for the FASTBACK design. The only bad thing is that they just die of RUST early in life. My friend’s lasted until 1981. The only reminder of his car was the drive train. As I remember the sheet metal must have came from unused sheet metals from beer can, I recall my friend’s came from Schlitz beer!

    Like 0
  10. JIM

    I had the Gt my first brand new car out of the show room .,thought I was pretty cool and I loved this little car . The arrow had a very reliable engine but was prone to rusting

    Like 0
  11. Wayne

    sir mike and CoDrvr, yes, great rally cars! Driven by Steve Nowicki a Fire Arrow was a production class champion for several years in SCCA Pro-Rally. Strong car with plenty of wheel travel. Just like the earlier Dodge Colts. (Mitsubishi Mirage?). I used to race Steve in ice races and a few Pro-Rallies. (He would be faster than me on the ice, but he never beat me on any rally stage)

    Like 2
  12. Andrew Franks

    I owned a 39 year old Arrow Pickup that I had forever and it ran forever. The weakest link was the transmission, which had to be replaced twice. My son-in-law, a Law Enforcement Officer is now the proud owner, and is restoring it. It’s never leaving the family.

    Like 0
  13. Socorro

    I just need a car that can run To go to the doctors appointment do my groceries for that price is perfect I don’t get much from my job I can afford that one I live by my self I will appreciate if you find it in you heart to sell it to me

    Like 0
  14. Chris

    I owned a 1980 Plymouth Fire Arrow and I have very fond memories of that car. The balance and feel were just about perfect. I’d love to have another one, however they are becoming increasingly rare. I can see why racers snapped them all up for rally, SCCA and drag racing.

    Like 0
  15. Ezra

    Hi if you still have the car or not text 765 462 6535 I am very interested pls text to let me know where the car is

    Like 0
  16. Pat

    They only made the arrow from 1976-1980. I had a 79 black and gold GT. Was my first new car and one of the best cars l ever owned. Had 100,000 on it but was t-boned by a drunk driver.

    Like 0

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