Straight And True: 1978 Plymouth Arrow

Sometimes a seller provides a very favorable description but little to verify in the way of pictures. Here we have exactly the opposite, the text of the ad states “1979 Plymouth Arrow original”, but 9 pictures showing a pretty decent and well preserved 1979 Plymouth Arrow. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, it can be found here on Craigslist for the hefty price of $8,500. Special thanks to Marc for bringing this unusual car to our attention.

Basically a badge engineering project, it was a Mitsubishi product marketed as Plymouth Arrow in the US and Dodge Arrow in Canada. It has a fastback look to it, sort of similar to that of a 1971-1973 Mustang but smaller all around. Of course, Chrysler would rather have you compare it to an early Barracuda. A quick internet search revealed a performance edition in 1979, called the Fire Arrow which reportedly had one of the best power to weight ratios among US production cars.

What the pictures show is this particular model is likely not any special performance edition. It has what looks to be a 1.6L coupled to an automatic. The engine compartment is in amazing condition, it looks like the engine was pulled, either rebuilt or refurbished and the compartment detailed. As we move to the interior, there are no full shots, just partials. But again the interior looks really good, it looks like it never hauled anything in the back. The mileage is listed as 58,000, completely believable.

The exterior paint looks like a modern two-stage base/clear, pictures show a very nice shine on the exterior. No shots of the underside, but if it is anything like the topside, it would be perfect.

It would be interesting to know more about the history of this little Gem. I don’t know how it was able to survive the elements so well. This was obviously a very good car to start off with, and someone had spent quite a bit of money restoring it. It must have been a labor of love, perhaps the restorer or his family had one in their youth. In would be fun to drive this car but I think you would have to plan ahead your merges with modern traffic. I don’t remember very many of these cars on the road when new in my area of the Northeast. It seems the Colt may have been a little more popular. I can’t imagine the Northeast climate being kind to the arrow, the few survivors seem to be either older drag cars or project cars.

This car is not completely original as the ad says, but more of a restored car. 40-year-old paint wouldn’t shine like that. The price is high but probably reflects the amount invested. You probably couldn’t bring another one to this level for less. And replacement parts like the interior would be difficult if not impossible to find. But is this car really for sale with a limited description like that? Perhaps the owner is just gauging interest.

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Cool funky car, but won’t bring this much money. People take these and stick the bodies on a tube-frame and go drag racing. A DD is isn’t (at this price). A collectible it isn’t. An oddity it certainly is.

    Like 2
    • Douglas Wildey

      Hahaha lol lol

      Like 1
  2. Howard A Member

    Good cars, but without a doubt, the fastest rusting cars made. Some barely made it home from the dealer before the doors fell off,,,kidding, of course, but I remember many of these with no front fenders, and once the shock towers caved in, it was all over, 5 years tops. Didn’t help Mitsubishi’s image none and very few bought another. How much? I suppose being the last one on earth like this, it might be justified,,,to someone.

    Like 3
    • Bill2438

      I purchased a 1978 Arrow off the show room floor it got 40 mpg, was great grocery getter but lousy on the highway. The interior was the cheapest material ever used in an automobile. The fuel pump failed which pump the engine oil out. Hands down the worst purchase of my life in someways but it did get us through the fuel shortages of that time.

      Like 1
      • Lee

        My first car was a 78 Arrow, same color as this, interior BUT mine was a 1.6 with 4 spd! LOVED that car.

    • Brad

      had one untill 1989 in many a Cleveland winter. It was a rusty mess though when I sold it.

  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    When I was running SCCA Showroom Stock,one guy ran
    one of these.It was a huge dissapointment,& wasn’t as aerodynamic
    as it looked.
    I agree that this is grossly overpriced.It’s not like you could go
    to your local Plymouth dealer,& gets parts for it,either.

    • Superdessucke

      It’s a nice example of a car that’s pretty much disappeared but you would really have to want an Arrow to pay this kind of money, especially in this secretary sports car guise.

  4. ccrvtt

    Among her many careers my mother was an antique dealer and estate appraiser. Her comment on collectibility and later value was that, “If it wasn’t good or valuable to begin with time and patina wasn’t going to make it any better.”

    Compare this car and the Subaru to the 1987 M6 featured here.

    I know which one I’d take.

    Like 4
    • Rx7turboII

      I 100% disagree. When the superbirds came out nobody wanted them because they were so ugly and dealers couldn’t give them away for 3k. Now look at their values, that blanket statement isn’t always true. Not a Mopar fan, just an example. I like this car, it may be way overpriced but look at the condition of it. Not many of them around like this anymore I’m sure. People don’t buy a car because of its value when it comes to stuff this old, they buy it because they have a Sentimental attachment to it. He may just get his money out of it from that rare person somewhere on the face of this Earth. Personally, I wouldn’t buy it because it’s way overpriced and also it’s an automatic. If it was a 4-speed and around $3,500 I would jump all over it.

      Like 7
      • ccrvtt

        It’s a bit facetious to compare this car to a Superbird and then cite the depressed prices back in the day. The Superbird may have gone for pennies on the dollar when new but it was definitely unique, unlike this econobox.

        You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.

        Like 1
      • ccrvtt

        You’re comparing a Plymouth Arrow to a Superbird? I don’t care if the wing cars took a while to become appreciated. The same thing happened to E-types. That’s NEVER going to happen with Plymouth Arrows.

        Other than totally missing the point of enduring value, you state you wouldn’t buy the Arrow because it’s overpriced?


        Like 1
      • Rx7turboII

        I get what enduring value is but, I was just commenting on what your mom said about the fact that if it wasn’t good or valuable to begin with , time and patina won’t cure that. My statement still Rings true because nobody wanted a Superbird when they first came out because they were so ugly but yet 40 & 50 years later they’re worth a couple hundred thousand dollars so time did cure that. If she was actually talking about the Plymouth arrow in question, she would have been correct but since you didn’t say which car she was talking about and she obviously just made a blanket statement about everything in this world, that’s where my point lies. Not worth arguing about ,I don’t like talking about people’s moms anyhow! LOL

        And as far as me not buying it because it’s overpriced, I just meant it’s overpriced for me, not overpriced for everybody.

        Not q.e.d., not at all….

  5. sir mike

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

    Like 1
  6. Douglas Wildey

    Hahaha lol lol

  7. Keith

    $8500.00? uhmmmmmmmm NOT!

    Like 2
  8. Keith


    Like 1
  9. JC

    Well, the ad is expired… which means it was on CL for at least 45 days… why do people think every old car is worth a fortune? smh…

  10. luke arnott Member

    I had one of these as a rental car in 1979 in Atlanta.It was an underpowered heap of junk!

    Like 1
  11. Tom

    At first I thought this was a Sapporo….

  12. Bob C.

    I worked with a guy in the late 80s who had one of these. That was probably the last time I saw one.

  13. Derek

    We had these – without the ugly bumpers etc. – as the Colt Celeste. They were nice enough wee cars; a bit like the Celica but much less common. I haven’t seen one on the road in about 15 years.

  14. JoeNYWF64

    Kevin, “40-year-old paint wouldn’t shine like that” – ? I beg to differ.
    I’ve seen a ’74 gm car still with original bucaneer red non clearcoat paint & over 200k miles & just as shiny as can be as when new! Sure it’s got chips & scraches
    & spider webs in some places, but it still shines fantastic.
    Reason? Owner said it was driven mostly at night cruising, never in bad weather & never out in the sun at car shows. Went through a lot of headlites. lol
    Oddly, only turtle wax does not seem to take off the red.

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