Straight As An… 1978 Plymouth Arrow

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One of the cars I’ve discovered in the junkyard that still stands out to me is the rarely seen Plymouth Arrow. I know where a gold one is still sittng, rusting away, atop a pile of junked cars. This 1978 Arrow here on eBay is in much better shape and the seller is an expert in used Mopars. It sounds like this oddball hatchback could make for a cheap, vintage in-town driver, and the seller invites interested parties to visit his shop just north of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and take her for a spin. 

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The Arrow was yet another example of Chrysler’s long-standing history of model swapping with Mitsubishi Motors, as this was essentially a Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste with a different badge. From what I’ve read, they actually weren’t bad cars, and they were light enough that the diminutive power plants moved the Arrow along OK for an entry-level hatch (while returning much-needed MPGs). Of course, the hot ticket was the rare Fire Arrow GT with the 2.6L mill under the hood.

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Speaking of the engine, the Arrow came stock with a 1.6L four-cylinder or an optional 2.0L I4. This example has benefited from some proactive tinkering, as the seller is a retired Veteran who specializes in old Mopars. He and his wife spend some time fixing them up before selling them on (check out their ’72 Duster, also here on eBay); in this case, the sale of the Arrow will go towards the purchase of new tires for his race car. There’s some smoking when the Arrow idles at an intersection, but is said to otherwise run well.

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Interestingly, the seller re-listed this car overnight and edited the listing to mention he’s getting calls far and wide about the Arrow – but that he also can’t promise it will make the drive from North Carolina to Des Moines without issue. That’s such a silly question to ask a seller, isn’t it? “Will this almost 40-year-old oddball hatchback drive straight through the night to Iowa without a hiccup?” No matter how much you may want a car, there’s a simple rule: when in doubt, ship it out.

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  1. Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

    I’ve liked these since I tried to find one in a junkyard to rob it’s rear side window covers to make a poor-man’s imitation factory rally car fender vents on my daily driver Austin-Healey 100-6. TMI, I know. Anyway, this is one town over from me, which makes it tempting but not too tempting as I spent the day moving some new finds home. Good luck to both seller and buyer.

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  2. Bob

    Uh oh, that Me and My Arrow song they used in the Plymouth Arrow commercials is still stuck in my head 40 yrs later! I was afraid that was going to happen.

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

      I’m glad I’m not alone. 30 minutes in my head so far…and counting!

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  3. Brad

    My first car was a 77 Arrow. Loved that car. I wonder how hard it would be to swap in a 5sp trans.

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  4. Blindmarc

    I miss the rear wheel drive days……heavy sigh…..

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  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    …. the Sunbeam “Alpine GT” that was Rootes/Chrysler , the ‘Baby Barracuda’ , was moved to Japan to produce this.

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  6. sir mike

    very good rallye car back in the day…..with the 2.0 or the 2.6…really miss those days…

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  7. Don Dimble

    Is it just me or does this favor the Alfa Romeo GTV-6 more than a little bit?

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    • Paul

      Other than it was the style of the day, not really. Having driven both back in the day, there really isn’t a comparison.

      My best friend’s Dad had one of these (2l) when we were in high school. Great fun car. It’s hard to believe that we used to think that those rear seats were fine for 2 people. But rarely were they empty. We SO wanted that Fire Arrow.

      A few years later, my brother bought a GTV-6. Having always been a 4 cylinder guy; that opened my eyes to what performance cars could really do.

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  8. Leon

    It seems Mitsubishi has a reputation of burning oil. My Mighty Max needed new seals at 100k even with routine care and I still had to keep a quart of oil on hand.

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  9. JoeT

    Listed as “Certified-Preowned”. Must be the strangest dealership ever from the pictures. Just call Jr at BR-549.

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    • Don Dimble

      Is the barrel fire included?

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  10. Terry

    I had an Arrow in the 80s. Tough little car. I managed to kill a deer with it and did not damage the car. Hit the deer in the rib cage with the front of the fender as it crossed in front of me at a 45 degree angle. I was doing about 30. The deer made it to the opposite side of the road and fell over dead.
    I had a pension for MitsuMopars including a Ram 50 4×4 that I used to trailer a 1946 Ford 4 door home 200 miles on a homemade trailer with no brakes.
    Also had a 92 Plymouth Colt I put over 100k on before selling it. That car got 40mpg at any speed under 80.

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  11. paul lehman

    Anyone know where I can get some headrests and the rubber bumper end caps for one of these?

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    • Charlie Gilg

      Try Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix, AZ. They have over 10,000 junk cars.

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  12. TJP

    Awesome cars back in the day, the auto kills in IMO though. Cheap, RELIABLE cars that turned in 30 or so MPG. Easy to work on, The only car’s that were better IMO were the Colts, A bit more finished which was typical of the Dodge vs Plymouth line. I’d buy a new one today with a stick unfortunately, they’re not available.

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  13. Jubjub

    Easily as cool as any Jap tin in my book. Always picture a copper Arrow GT with white stripes and vinyl top. This was the other popular color as well as gold and metallic green.

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  14. YellowjaxMember

    Wow!! What is this …..1950? …. Jap? Really?

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  15. Rick Briggs

    Hey all. I had a 1978 Arrow Jet (red &black graphics),looked like a scaled down mustang fastback(67 or 68). I put 240,000 on that little 2.0 and would stil be driving today if it would have passed CA crappy smog laws. Would love to get another but for CA smog has to be pre 76. Guess I’ll stick with my 65 mustang fastback. Have a Arrow Jet or FireArrow for sale?

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  16. Phil Powell

    It was my first new car. It looked just like the photo in the dealer book. 1978, black GT with the arrow decal on the hood. I miss that car. Got married and traded in on a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo with a tee top.

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