Plymouth is a brand of automobile manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation and marketed as part of the Dodge Division from 1928 to 2001. The company began as the division of Dodge Brothers Company that built cars and trucks.
By 1928, the company was manufacturing its own line of vehicles, with all engines and transmissions produced in-house. It was also building DeSoto and Plymouth branded cars for the mid-price market. The DeSoto brand was discontinued in 1952, while the Plymouth brand continued until 2001.
In 1962, Chrysler purchased American Motors Corporation (AMC), and placed the former company’s name on all former AMC products after 1965 (e.g., Rambler became American Rambler). However, it continued to produce its own cars with “Plymouth” badges through 1975 (the last full year for the Fury line) and its own trucks through 1980 (the last full year for the Champ pickup). Chrysler sold off AMC in 1987; it retained only Jeep-branded vehicles until selling that brand to Fiat in 2014.
For much of its history, Plymouth was a division of Chrysler, sold alongside Dodge and DeSoto automobiles at Dodge dealerships. After Chrysler’s sale of AMC to Renault in the late 1980s, the brand’s image was still closely associated with AMC, and this perception continued through the end of the Plymouth line in 2001.
During the 1960s, Plymouth was a popular export brand sold in many countries, including Australia, South Africa, and parts of Asia. In some markets, particularly New Zealand and Australia, the brand was merged with Dodge cars and marketed as a Chrysler product. This was because the company’s name had negative connotations for Americans.
The Chrysler Corporation’s partner Mitsubishi Motors began selling a large car in 1983 called the “Plymouth Gran Fury” that was essentially a rebadged Mitsubishi Sapporo. The Gran Fury began to be sold in Japan as well as other markets outside North America after Mitsubishi became an official Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth dealer network in 1989. As part of this relationship with Mitsubishi, Chrysler sold rebadged versions of several Mitsubishi models (e.g., Plymouth Colt) as well as leasing plant space to Mitsubishi to allow them to produce cars for their home market using Chrysler technology developed during their association with AMC.
The most popular models in the 1980s
The Plymouth Caravelle was a full-size automobile produced by Plymouth from 1959 to 1976. It was based on the Chrysler C-body platform and built in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Mexico.
The car was first introduced as a model for the 1959 model year and was the last American-made car to be named after a ship. The Caravelle name was also used on full-sized Plymouths produced in South Africa until 1982.
The Plymouth Belvedere, Fury, and Satellite were based on the same platform as the Caravelle and were essentially luxury versions of it. The four-door hardtop Satellite Custom variant of the Caravelle series was one of Chrysler’s most popular models during this period. In fact, sales were so good that Chrysler kept making it through the 1960s (after it had been discontinued as a two-door hardtop) until finally phasing it out for good in 1970.
In total there were 8 different versions of this car; all were very similar except for minor changes over time. These changes included a redesigned grille, taillights, side trim, wheel covers, etc., but all retained the same basic shape with few exceptions.
The Plymouth Fury was a full-size automobile produced by Plymouth from 1950 to 1976. It was based on the Chrysler C-body platform and built in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. The Fury was a mid-priced car intended to fill the gap between the lower-priced Belvedere and higher-priced Chrysler New Yorker. The Fury became its own series in 1968 when it was given its own chassis code (P24).
The Fury shared much of its basic design with the Chrysler New Yorker, which was the highest trim level of the Chrysler C-body cars. The Fury, however, was less expensive and sportier than the New Yorker. For example, the Fury came standard with a V8 engine while the New Yorker came standard with a straight-6 engine. The Fury also had a different dashboard than that of the New Yorker; while it used the same steering wheel as its more expensive counterpart, it did not have a tachometer and did not have a glove box door (the door simply opened into an open space in front of the dashboard).
The Plymouth Satellite was a mid-size automobile produced by Plymouth from 1955 to 1976. It was based on the Chrysler C-body platform and built in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. It was also built in Brazil from 1971 to 1975 under license by Willys-Overland do Brasil as “Chrysler Fúria”.
In Australia and South Africa it was marketed as Chrysler Valiant. In Argentina it was marketed as Dodge Polara between 1970 and 1976.
The Satellite was introduced in 1955 as a four-door hardtop body style, essentially as a higher trim level of the Plymouth Belvedere. It replaced the Plymouth Suburban, which had been based on the Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue and sold in a limited number of export markets. In 1959, the line was expanded to include a four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, and convertible body styles. The Satellite Custom was added in 1960 and was the base model for all future Satellites. The convertible was dropped after 1961, while the four-door sedan body style lasted until 1963 when it was replaced by a two-door hardtop that featured rear quarter windows instead of side doors. In 1965, the Satellite became its own series and no longer shared its platform with any other Plymouths (although it did share some styling cues with other models). In 1968, Plymouth moved away from using names for its models (i.e., Belvedere) and began using letters to denote its models (i.e., Fury).