Plymouth served as the Chrysler corporation’s low-tier brand which was simultaneously the most successful in terms of sales. At the time, the two other members of the “Big Three” US manufacturers, Chevy and Ford, had a stranglehold on the low-priced market. Despite being slightly more expensive than their competition, Plymouth cars often featured more standard features. The Plymouth brand helped the Chrysler corporation at large weather the Great Depression, becoming one of the largest auto brands of the day.
The Plymouth Fury became one of the brand’s most successful vehicles in the late 1950s, equipped with a 303 CID V8 under the hood. Despite declining build quality and overall finish, Plymouth introduced an entirely new styling language for the 1960s which put them ahead from an aesthetic perspective. The early 1960s were a difficult time for Plymouth due to a lapse in brand strategy that caught them on the back foot in comparison to their competition. That would quickly change mid-way through the 1960s with the introduction of some sportier models with larger displacement engines.
The Plymouth Barracuda was released in 1964, initially featuring either a slant six-cylinder or a 273 CID V8. It would later be offered with the 426 Hemi and 440 CID V8 as well. The Belvedere GTX was next to follow, featuring the “Super Commando” V8 or a 426 Hemi V8. In 1968, Plymouth introduced the Road Runner, which was a more barebones version of the Belvedere. The Cuda and Roadrunner would go on to see massive success in multiple racing circuits. With emissions standards tightening and the Oil Crisis of 1973, Plymouth was forced to eliminate most of their high displacement models going into the 70s.
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