Concours Quality? Low-Mile 2001 Plymouth Prowler

Most of you are overly familiar with car companies re-booting old names and styling cues from years past. The Challenger, Camaro, Mustang, Charger, Dart, and others have been brought back (or retro-styled) over the past decade or so. The modern-retro craze began over twenty years ago and one of the first cars to fall into this category was the Plymouth Prowler. The styling cues were certainly outrageous for the time and were followed by the slightly less jaw-dropping Chevy SSR roadster pickup, the PT Cruiser, and the Mini Cooper. This Prowler is from 2001 and can be found for sale here on eBay with an asking price of $39,000! Located in Hercules, California, according to the classic car insurer Hagerty, the average value on this car is $24,700. Cars in “excellent” condition are valued at $36,600 and “Concours” quality vehicles at $46,900! After looking at the photos, I bet you’ll think the asking price isn’t out of line…This is a really nice car!

These cars are really striking! I remember when they debuted and people went crazy for them. The removable hardtop, the pointed front end, and fenders that moved with the tires (like a motorcycle) were completely outlandish. The big knock on these cars was the cargo room. Well, that was solved with a matching trailer! According to the seller of this car, the color is Orange Pearl and there were only 669 made in that color for the U.S. market in 2001.

The plastic-shrouded engine is a 3.5 liter 6-cylinder that puts out 253 horsepower. While the HP rating isn’t great at face value, the car only weighs 2883 pounds, giving it a great power-to-weight ratio. Zero to 60 times were in the 5.9-second range, but the quiet smoothness of the V6 left true hot rodders a bit disappointed. According to the ad, this car runs perfectly and the fluids have been changed every year despite not being driven much. In fact, the odometer only shows 25,297 miles!

Every Prowler featured an automatic transmission and center-mounted gauges. Overall, the cockpit layout is pretty handsome and the retro styling is evident with the gauge pod. The seller has upgraded the gauge cluster with a chrome bezel as well as aftermarket tunes from Infinity Kappa.

This car has been customized a bit, but its nothing that is permanent or really hurts the value of the car. The top is a custom fiberglass unit that is painted to match the car (obviously). The original tires have been replaced due to age. The front A-arms have been polished and there are some chrome grille treatments. The car also features orange under-glow lighting, which probably looks pretty sharp. So, after reading about this car, what do you think? Is $39,000 too much, not enough, or just right?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great looking color on this car. Man, the 5 MPH bumpers have come a long way.

    3
  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    One of my favourite Mopars I expect that price is close and will only go up with time. I’d buy this car in a minute if I had the means, but that’s not the case. This was a bold move on Chrysler’s part and I’m surprised that if didn’t sell better. I really like the colour on this one too. Maybe down the line I’ll find a beater one that I can buy and fix up.

    3
  3. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Bold move on Chrysler’s part to build it, yes. But it turned into just a styling exercise. The cars have the appearance of sportiness and performance. But they lack power and handling to back that up.

    Moderate get-up-and-go from the V-6. Automatic transmission only. Understeer is the dominant driving characteristic.

    If what’s desired is a “Look”, then a Prowler can fill the bill. If anything beyond that is expected, seek it elsewhere.

    10
    • TimS Member

      Ditto. All sizzle, no steak. Bold styling & otherwise forgettable to mediocre. This from someone who cannot drove a stick so the transmission is irrelevant.

      1
    • Grandpa Lou

      5.9 seconds to 60, seems pretty zippy to me. Perhaps with a deafening muffler it would seem more the part, maybe add in a rough idling engine to boot. Car was just not practical and the intended buyer wanted the whole package, this was not, but still, I can think of worse ways to spend a nice Sunday afternoon drive in the country.

      6
  4. Rex

    Now that’s a car that will greatly appreciate in value over the next 25 years!

    5
  5. Al

    It would probably appreciate more if it included the optional trailer.

    4
  6. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I would like this. Nice car and i have a thing for Orange too.

    2
  7. Arthell64 Member

    The engine kills it for me but it does look better than the SSR Chevy.

    1
    • Superdessucke

      It has the 3.5 liter 24-valve V-6 engine cribbed from the LH-cars of the era – Concorde, Intrepid, 300M, Vision, and LHS. It made a decent, but not great, 214 horsepower. Later cars (1999 and up) had an aluminum version that made 253 horses.

      The later cars could hit 60 in less than 6 seconds, as pointed out, which was faster than many 1960s muscle cars. But the fact it was a V-6, and the so-so performance of the pre-1999 cars, definitely hurt it among the American hot rod crowd.

  8. Alex

    I was approaching driving age when these came out. As a kid who had grown up with a subscription to Hot Rod Magazine I was in love. They still look great, but how are you going to ape a hot rod visually and then throw a puny v-6 as the only engine available? I remember some company was putting v8’s in them and badging them as Howlers. I’d be interested to see where prices on those are.

    1
  9. S Craig MacDonald

    I always liked the looks of the Prowler and this one is especially eye-catching. But a new Miata can be had for about $10k less and is a good looking 2-seater with all the modern amenities, plus much better performance and handling. That makes this a tough sell IMO.

    1
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      This is a better investment though? Price only heading one way on a miata.

      5
      • S Craig MacDonald

        I agree, UK. I also dislike the shift from cars as experience to cars as investment. It has ruined the “hobby” for people like me who don’t have the funds to invest. Back in the day you bought a car – an old car – because you wanted to drive it, not because it would go up in value. Now profit potential has cut out the hobbyist in favor of the deep pocket investor who cares only minimally about the car itself. It’s the same thing that happened with art.

        9
    • DavidL

      I LOVE this car!!! From the first time I saw it I wanted it. Still do but not at this point in my life. This is the car I would’ve loved to have had when I was younger. Design-wise everything about it is just plain … great. It’s an idealization from when I was a kid in the late 50’s, early 60s’.

  10. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    A very fair point. It has got out of control.

    3
  11. Tempo Matador Ray

    A couple of comments mentioning buying a car for the fun of just driving the car. A point well spoken…However, it seems that the majority of folks here are partial to big block, huge horse-power performance. If that is the case, I think it is highly overlooked that this extra power can also be sourced through cleverly selected, designed and installed super chargers and turbo chargers. Again, if you’ve never experimented with these performance enhancement devices on 6-cylinder or 4-cylinder displacements, you’re overlooking a whole area of untapped hp. In fact, just to give an example, for “novelty” sake, I run a vintage supercharger on a 36hp air-cooled engine. At its peak performance capabilities it achieves what a 50-55hp. would produce. I know that will seem comical to most, but in the simplest terms this represents what possibilities are achievable with more modern vehicles, as in this case with the Prowlers 253hp output. Personally, for a driver, I think this is adequate. But I understand the need for more power. And as always…Think outside of the box and “Continue to innovate not duplicate.”

    1
  12. Coventrycat

    These sold new (list) for $39,000 and the local dealer was selling them for $70,000. Most I see advertised are at or below the original cost, so no one is making money on them. I do like them, but the wow factor for me didn’t last long.

    1
  13. Tom c

    I don’t see these going up in value, not much of a demand then or now.

    2
  14. moosie moosie

    Back when these came out I was very much considering buying one, or a a Z06 Corvette, the V6 didnt bother me, But being a single Dad with 2 kids , 9 & 11 years old calmer heads prevailed and I bought a Chevy pick up instead. I still want one but now I’m broke & cant use my legs. This one is nice, I hope it goes to a good home.

    3
  15. Comet

    This car is to 30’s hot rod coupes what vinyl siding is to real siding. I know I’m probably in the minority about my love for these, but I do believe they will probably increase in value.

    3
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      I think they will too.

  16. DavidL

    I LOVE this car!!! From the first time I saw it I wanted it. Still do but not at this point in my life. This is the car I would’ve loved to have had when I was younger. Design-wise everything about it is just plain … great. It’s an idealization from when I was a kid in the late 50’s, early 60s’.

    2
  17. Tom Bell

    A good concept but they shopped short of making it great. Lack of engine options and no manual trans made a bold idea mediocre.

  18. Eigil

    This is a fabulous looking car minus the Walt Disney version of volvo 240 bumpers. Rip thouse horrible bumbers off, add a row of YASA motors and added front wheel drive and it would get Atom X1 performance..

  19. bpass

    Prowler was a experiment on the use of aluminum. Aluminum frame and many body panels.

    Imho, the prowler handles very well. 26,000 plus miles on mine, many miles pushing it on twisty roads and never had an issue with traction or steering.

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