Plymouth Arrow

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Plymouth Arrow
1977 Plymouth Arrow
Automotive industryMitsubishi Motors
Also calledDodge Arrow
Production1976-1980
SuccessorPlymouth Sapporo
Car classificationCompact car
Car body style2-door Fastback coupe
Internal combustion engine1.6 L Mitsubishi Saturn engine Straight-4
2.0 L MCA Jet 4G52 or 2.6 L Mitsubishi Astron engine Straight-4 (Plymouth Fire Arrow only)
Transmission (mechanics)4-speed manual KM110
5-speed manual km
3-speed automatic
RelatedDodge Colt
Mitsubishi Lancer

The Plymouth automobile Arrow was an extension of the Mitsubishi Lancer/Dodge Colt known as the Mitsubishi Lancer in Japan. It was also known as the Dodge Arrow in Canada and as the Dodge Celeste in Puerto Rico. It was a small 2-door fastback coupe with a hatchback instead of a conventional trunk.

The Arrow was released in September 1975 as a 1976 model. The Arrow was a rear-wheel drive car utilizing a solid rear axle and Leaf springs in the rear, with MacPherson strut in the front. Transmission types included four and five-speed Manual transmission and a three-speed Automatic transmission. A 1.6 L Straight-4 engine was standard with an optional 2.0 L I4. It was produced in various trim levels including the 160, GS and GT. For 1979, the styling was freshened and a sporty variant called the Fire Arrow was offered, which had special decals, sporty interior as well as a Mitsubishi Astron engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Fire Arrow had one of the best horsepower/weight ratios among U.S. production cars at the time because of its light weight.

Other sporty exterior finishes were offered, such as the Arrow Jet package. The Arrow Jet paint package was an eye-catching two-tone finish, typically in spit-fire orange and black. The entire car was spit-fire orange, but the entire bottom half of the car was covered in a solid flat black stripe with the words "Arrow Jet" stenciled out of the stripe on the doors so that the underlying body color showed through. This color combination of spit-fire orange and flat black seems to pay tribute to one of the design inspirations for the Plymouth Arrow, that being the Plymouth Barracuda. In 1971, the Barracuda was offered with a "billboard" decal option, which was a large, solid flat black decal that covered the entire back half of the car on both sides (often in a red and flat black color combination).

The Arrow was discontinued in 1980 and was replaced by the Plymouth Sapporo/Dodge Challenger which was larger, heavier and had more amenities. The Sapporo/Challenger retained rear-wheel drive and was itself the forerunner to the Mitsubishi Starion. A pickup version of the Arrow was released in 1979 which was also available with the 2.6 L engine, but they shared few, if any parts. The Arrow's styling influence can clearly be seen in the Plymouth Arrow Truck and its cousins; the Dodge D-50 and Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickups.

The Arrow was also sold in Australia up to 1980 (with some 1980 imported stocks still available in 1981) in fully imported right-hand drive form (Japan like Australia is a right-hand drive country) as the Chrysler LB and LC Lancer Hatchback Coupe, where it only came fitted with the 1.6 L 4G32 engine. The LC only came with a 5-speed manual transmission (the LB had a 4-speed manual). The Australian cars still had arrow decals on the hood and stripes on the flanks, but these were less flamboyant than on those sold in the North American market. Australian cars also had different bumpers and steel sports wheels. It was one of the last imported Mitsubishi vehicles sold in Australia under the Chrysler name; in 1980, Mitsubishi took over Chrysler's Australian operations [1]and the LC Lancer was replaced by the Mitsubishi Cordia.

The Celeste was also assembled in Mitsubishi's Philippines factory [2] and sold in large numbers in the Philippines from Complete knock down (CKD) kits.

Although the Arrow was a Japanese product from Mitsubishi, it borrowed styling cues from various European and American cars including the Bricklin, Alfa Romeo GTV and Plymouth Barracuda. Because of the Arrow's long, narrow, aerodynamic, lightweight design and rugged suspension, it was used extensively in various types of racing including SCCA road racing, Rally and Drag racing. The Arrow body design was used on Funny car in the late 1970s by racers such as Don Prudhomme.

The Harry Nilsson song, "Me and my arrow" (from The Point!) was used in television commercials in the United States promoting the Plymouth Arrow during the 1970s.

One of the more interesting options available for the Arrow was a small tent. When the rear seats were lowered and the tent was clipped over the open hatchback, it would allow the back of the car to be used for camping.

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