Friday, July 16, 2010

Chrysler's PT Cruiser Fades into History


On July 9th, sometime, the last PT Cruiser rolled off an assembly line in Mexico. The car which ran from 1999 to 2010 had a very interesting run. Starting off with a bang, making in roads in a market very much geared to SUVs and big cars, the PT suffered through the merger of Chrysler with Daimler Benz. The car stagnated, without enough interesting changes and variations.


This car generates very big feelings! People either love them or hate them. Some thought them ugly from the get-go. Others thought them terrific. I have one--the black car in the first photo is mine. It has 114,000 miles on it. I do like it quite a bit. I like its versitility, and its size. The engine power problems that many complain about, I have mitigated by my requirement that the car have a manual transmission. It's had its fix-it issues and right now, I have an electrical glitch in the main brain, but generally speaking the car has served me well.

Just think if the car had been able to advance, and kept fresh by an auto company both interested in its well being and able financially to do so. But culturally, the merger of Chrysler and Daimler was a failure, and when Chrysler was bought by a speculator there was no money or will. Today, there might be will but there is no money, so Chrysler decided to discontinue the model.

Right now, people are saying that the car will not be collectible. That may be so, but I think people who see old PT Cruisers as fun rather than investments will keep a number of them going. I am not trading mine in for a new car--it's not worth much anyway--but retire it out of day to day service when that time comes.

Photos, all by the Observer. My 2002 PT Cruiser, 2010 PT Cruiser at the 2010 KC Auto Show, and the Kia Soul, also at the KC Auto Show, a car that may be attracting now the type of buyer that was attracted to the PT in past years.

3 comments:

Bob G. said...

T.O.:
I've always been on the fence about the PT.
I liked the design, but always felt it WAS underpowered.

I mean my '83 Firebird has the non-fuel injected 2.8L V-6 in it, and at less than 120 BHP, it still moves it behind when I need it to.

The PT definitely requires a V-6, and with EFI...all the better.

Chrysler has had recent issues with vehicle "updates"...look at the Town & Country Minivan...pretty much the same as it was TEN years ago!

The one version of the PT I liked was the one with the fake "wood" paneling along the sides...now that looked nicely retro.

With the advent of FIAT getting it's finger in Chrysler's pie now, I don't see much that will look all that nice coming from them.

If it meets your needs, works well, and doesn't have THAT many bugs under the bonnet...it's:
"cheaper to keep her".

Happy Motoring.
And have a great weekend.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
I always thought they looked sort of retro, and liked them.

But I don't know much about motors, so I leave that to you!
Ann T.

the observer said...

Bob:
I think Chrysler's troubles began with the merger. DCX was a company at war with itself, not knowing what it's culture was.

The PT Cruiser was designed prior to the merge and the merged company didn't have a clue. Then it just got worse. The turbo helped, but a six was probably the ticket.

Ann T:
I still think my Cruiser is neat looking, especially all shined up. (Note the shiny aluminum wheels in the photo...still shiny even after a rain.)

Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend...stay cool out there!

The Observer