Live Auctions

One Family Owned: 1976 Plymouth Arrow

A few years ago, a junkyard I used to frequent had a Plymouth Arrow sitting on top of the stacks. I had never seen one before and thought long and hard about pulling some parts to throw on eBay. Glad I didn’t, as I now know how obscure these Japanese/American hybrids are. That’s why this 1976 example here on craigslist will make you look twice, as it’s not a car that typically pops up for sale. This one looks solid, despite suffering from some major paint fade. It’s listed for $3,500; go here if the ad disappears.

The rear window louvers were a period “must have” if you owned a hatchback or fastback of any kind, along with the louvers over the rear quarter windows. They’re likely original to the car, as the seller claims it was owned by one family since new, bought and sold in or around Tuscon, Arizona. Don’t mind the fact this appears on the Raleigh craigslist; our guess is the Arizona-based seller is trying to tempt us East Coasters with his clean desert sheetmetal. The Arrow likely spent lots of time in the AZ sun with the paint so damaged.

Affectionately known as a “captive import” by the industry, these Arrows were sold under multiple different nameplates in its lifetime but they faded into obscurity once Chrysler moved onto different import-fighting strategies. Fun fact, the 1976 Arrows came with a solitary windshield wiper squirter on the hood, an unusual attempt at cost cutting (or perhaps the windshield was small one enough that one nozzle would suffice!) The interior is only described as “OK” by the seller, but it actually looks like it fared better than the outside if you ask me. Thankfully, this example has the manual transmission.

Under the hood, the Arrow retains its optional 2.0L four-cylinder, which was a step up over the standard 1.6L mill. With under 100,000 miles, it hasn’t seen much use in its life, but the seller is still including numerous spare parts, which sounds like a treasure trove of NOS components for an Arrow enthusiast: new AC compressor, starter, alternator, gaskets / kits, dash cap and more are all included. While it’s not exactly a rush to drive, these Arrows do return good MPGs and are a distinctive choice for the vintage Japanese car enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Wow body is str8 as an arrow.

    I remember these back in the day for sure.

    Like 1
  2. Rodent

    Is $3500 the new $350?

  3. Coventrycat

    Great, now I have that song “Me and my Arrow” stuck in my head.

    Like 2
    • Tiki Vegas

      You do know that music was in one of the ads?

      Like 1
      • sign guy

        Me and my arrow” by Nilsson.

    • normadesmond

      From, “The Point.”

  4. Doyler

    Don’t laugh, but right now words can’t describe how much I want this. It’s also a Mitsubishi Celeste, right?

    Like 3
    • JunkFixer

      Yup, also sold as a Lancer, Celeste and Lancer Celeste in addition to Arrow and Fire Arrow.

      • Car nut from Wpg Member

        Fire Arrow was the 2.6 IIRC. Plus “graphics”. Last couple years of model run? 79,80,81?
        Turbo swap from a Starion
        could be really nice!

  5. Chris Londish Member

    These were a Mitsubishi Gallant here in Australia with only the 1.6 litre motor auto or 5spd we had one customer reupholstered the interior with Kangaroo skins true story

    • Tricky

      Went like stink with the 2.6 litre Astron engine out of the Sigma in them. Straight swap IIRC.

  6. Wayne

    Somewhere in the 1979 to 1981 the top model was the “Fire Arrow” with the 2.6 engine. These cars have a very strong body with lots of suspension travel. They made very good rally cars. In fact Steve Nowicki was SCCA National Pro-Rally production class champion in 1981-82 and I think 1983. I know as 1980 was the last time I beat him with my Scirocco.

  7. jw454

    This body was used by many of the pro-stock race teams. Locally, Billy “The Kid” Stepp racing for Ronie Sox was very successful in one.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      The Plymouth Arrow was a popular funny car, as well. Kenny Bernstein, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Joe Pisano, and many others had great success with these. I believe Hot Wheels came out with a funny car, and was “The Snake’s” sponsor for a while. Here’s proof positive, “Win on Sunday, Buy on Monday” worked.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWp_Cs4pYBk

    • DG

      Its funny, I only remember these cars from drag racing. Either Pro Stock or Funny Cars. It seems weird to me to see one totally stock. These cars were very popular in the 70s.

    • Ram Rod

      Thats what I was going to say. Not to many left because alot of them got turned into drag racing machines. Big block mopars are a tough fit but a small block mopar is right at home in those things.

  8. Charlie Gilg

    I had a 1977 Arrow, maybe the GT model, as it was a copper color with stripes down the side and over the hatch, and cloth seats. In Phoenix cloth seats are a must. It was so much fun to drive. My family got bigger, so I needed a 4-door. Oh well.

  9. sign guy

    I had a ’76 identical to this one and liked it a lot. With the low belt line, the Arrow was much better looking than other mid seventies Japanese imports. Unfortunately, the blue paint failed after about 4 years – and I live in Chicago!

  10. sign guy

    Later added paint, pinstripe and ….louvers.

  11. jdjonesdr

    I really liked the look of these. I had a Black Datsun 200 SX fastback that looked very similar to these.

    That thing was slower than Christmas but looked great!

  12. ROTAG999

    Always liked these a few 340 LA motors where installed by the Hot-Rod crowd one was for sale did not have enough coin @ the time but it sure would have been fun.

  13. gene

    Great cars when they were new, but never 50 mpg

  14. John D

    “You boys look pretty shook up. Been goofing with the bees?”

    -Harry Nilsson

  15. DayDreamBeliever Alan (Michigan)

    Some hot-rodder will snap this up when the price drops a bit.
    The shape works well for drag racing, I guess?

  16. Wayne

    A lot of them found magnetic trees out on the rally roads. Also depleting the supply. I think that Hendrik Blok killed at least 4 by himself.

  17. Wayne

    Google rally Plymouth Arrow. To see several. (Hendrix Blok’s actually had fiberglass doors, fenders, hood and hatch.)
    The fact that Chrysler/Plymouth participation was substantial helped also. But these Hitsubishis were very strong. If I was able to find one close that was decent. It would be mine!

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