The Plymouth Prowler is a "retro"-styled production car built between 1997 and 2002; however, no 1998 model was offered.
One of the most striking design features of the Prowler are the open, Indy-racer-style front wheels. The design of the Prowler was said to have been inspired after Chrysler engineers were given free rein to create whatever they wanted in a "hot rod" or "sportster" type vehicle.
The design for the Prowler took inspiration from famous hot rod designer Chip Foose's Hemisfear.
The Prowler featured a powertrain lifted from Chrysler's LH-cars, a 3.5L SOHC V6 producing . For the 1999 model year the engine was replaced with a more powerful version of the engine. Both engines were coupled to a 4-speed Autostick automatic transmission. The transmission is located at the rear of the vehicle and joined to the engine by a flexible driveshaft that rotates at engine speed; this arrangement is similar to that used by the C5 Corvette and Alfa Romeo 75, and helped to facilitate a desirable 50-50 (percentage, front-rear) weight distribution. The Prowler was the first rear-wheel drive Plymouth since the 1989 Plymouth Gran Fury and was based on the 1993 concept car of the same name.
The car prominently featured aluminum in its construction, chiefly in the chassis. In many cases, the components were adhesively-bonded. The body was produced in Shadyside, Ohio, USA.
The Production figures for the 1997-2001 Plymouth Prowler and 2001-2002 Chrysler Prowler.
Production Figures by Year:
|| 457 |
|| 3,921 |
|| 2,746 |
|| 3,142 |
|| 1,436 |
| Total Plymouth
|| 8,532 |
| Total Chrysler
|| 3,170 |
| Grand Total
|| 11,702 |
At one point or another, the Prowler was available in one of the following twelve colors:
- Prowler Purple Metallic
- Prowler Yellow Clear Coat
- Prowler Black Clear Coat
- Prowler Red Clear Coat
- Prowler Bright Silver Metallic
- Woodward Edition (Two-tone Black/Red)
- Black Tie Edition (Two-tone Black/Silver)
- Prowler Orange Pearl Coat
- Midnight Blue Pearl Coat - Mulholland Edition
- Inca Gold Pearl Coat
- Deep Candy Red Pearl Coat
- High Voltage Blue Pearl Coat - Conner Avenue Edition (only one of which was produced and auctioned at Christie's)
The Prowler was first introduced as a 1997 model, and offered only in Prowler Purple Metallic during the first year. After the Plymouth marque was discontinued in 2001, the Prowler was sold as a Chrysler during its final production year of 2002. The last Prowler rolled off the assembly line on February 15, 2002, and the model niche was later filled by the Chrysler Crossfire in 2004.
The original retail base prices each year for the Prowler:
- 1997 - $38,300 USD
- 1999 - $39,300 USD
- 2000 - $43,000 USD
- 2001 - $44,225 USD
- 2002 - $44,625 USD
- A scale model Prowler carved out of amethyst was made in 1997 to celebrate the car's launch. It was called the Gem Prowler. The finished car had about 9600 karats of jewel in it, which made it the largest cut piece of amethyst in the world. It also included of white gold for some components.
- In 1999, at the Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) annual car show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Chrysler unveiled the Plymouth Howler concept. Inspired by hot-rod trucks, and based on the Prowler, the Howler featured a small, truck-like bed with a tailgate and hard tonneau cover. Under the hood, an adapted version of Jeep's all new 4.7 L PowerTech V8 replaced the production model's 3.5 L V6. A Borg-Warner 5-speed manual replaced the production 4-speed automatic.
- Among the various accessories available for the Prowler, the most interesting was a Prowler Trailer. This tag-along trailer, sold through selected dealerships, functioned as a "spare trunk" and was actually designed to resemble the car's back end, and featured the same styling characteristics of the car, complete with scaled down versions of the stock wheels and matching paint.
- The Plymouth Prowler is Alex Michael's "hobby-car" in Tom Clancy's Net Force.
- The styling behind the Chrysler PT Cruiser is thought to have been inspired in part by the Prowler. The Prowler is credited with starting the retro trend that other manufactures have since embraced with the production of various "throw back" vehicles.
- In 1998, a Plymouth Prowler was sealed in a mausoleum as a time capsule in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While similar in concept to the Buried 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that formerly resided near the courthouse, the buried Prowler was sealed in Centennial Park in an above-ground vault and sealed with a plastic "box" instead of plastic sheets that covered the Belvedere. Experts believe the Prowler has a better chance of looking how it did when it was sealed when the time capsule is opened in 2048, whereupon it will be returned to Chrysler.
- Although he is officially uncredited, car designer Chip Foose's Chrysler-sponsored senior project car at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, which he dubbed the Hemisfear, evolved into the Plymouth Prowler.
- The car 'features' in the 2002 movie Spider-Man, which Flash Thompson receives as a birthday present. It is also featured in the closing scene of the movie Just Visiting starring Jean Reno and Christina Applegate.
- On May 17, 2007, a limited numbered print (100 copies) photobook dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Prowler was released by the ProwlTalk group, entitled 'Commemorating a Decade of Prowlers 1997-2007'. In spirit of the hot-rod crowd, the photobook was available in custom colors and cover materials.
- In conjunction with Woodward Dream Cruise 2007 in Michigan, a limited numbered print (50 copies) 20"x30" poster dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Prowler was released by the ProwlTalk group, entitled 'Commemorating a Decade of Prowlers 1997-2007'. The poster honored the Woodward Prowler with features such as a red/black numbering label and a duo-tone prowler as the poster background.
- The final component of the Prowler 10th Anniversary Trilogy of projects titled 'Commemorating a Decade of Prowlers 1997-2007' released by the international ProwlTalk group is a limited 20 sets run of Prowler Commemorative Stamps featuring 6 different designs (Black, Silver, Orange, Red, Purple, Yellow). An acrylic floating display showcases the 6 USPS commemorative stamps with each display set individually numbered. Each set also came with a Mulholland Blue Certificate of Authenticity. The commemorative stamps sold out in less than 10 hours, earning the designation as the most sought after of Prowler collectibles.
- The car is featured in the 1998 video game Vigilante 8: Second Offense in which it is called Chrono Stinger.
- The car can be seen in Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child PC game as well as seen on their 3d screen doing donuts during the pschyo circus tour.
- An owner from Michigan belonging to the Prowler Owners Association and Prowleronline.com hosted a Prowler 10th Anniversary Celebration in conjunction with Team Prowler and Chrysler Corporation on August 16, 2007. This owner hosts a Prowler Owners Association (POA) event in conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise event every year. The attendance for this Prowler event was 185 Prowlers and over 350 owners, making it the largest Prowler club event ever. Mr. Robert Nardelli, the new CEO of Chrysler LLC was also in attendance at this event with his Prowler. The Prowler Owners Association and Prowleronline.com was established in July of 2000 and boasts almost 5,000 registered members, making it the largest Prowler Club in existence.
- Nightman, the main character in the TV Show Nightman, drove a Prowler throughout the course of the show.