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Stephen Stills wasn’t thinking about the American automotive “Malaise Era” when he wrote “Love the One You’re With,” but for enthusiasts of the time, the sentiment was apt:
Plymouth became a stand-alone brand in 1929. For a year prior, said vehicles were branded Chrysler-Plymouth and sold as more affordable alternatives to the pricer Chrysler cars they were sold alongside.
I think it’s fairly typical of people to group memories into convenient categories. Most people probably look back at their lives thus far and see periods of time easily identified by markers such as childhood, high school, post-acne, and marriage—or something akin to that. But, our memories can play tricks on us.
When Chrysler Corporation rolled out its redesigned big car for 1979, it did so without including a Plymouth in the lineup. New for 1979—though arguably not new enough—were the Dodge St. Regis, replacing the Royal Monaco, and the Chrysler New Yorker and Newport, the latter of which was intended to be the affordable big car in Chrysler/Plymouth showrooms.
For folks not in the know, Consumer Guide Automotive dates all the way back to 1967. It was at that time a man name Lou Weber published the company’s first automotive price guide. For the record, Lou is still running things from behind the scenes.
Folks are fond of recalling epidemics. We all know about the Black Death plague of medieval times, but do you recall hearing about the Great Plague of Vienna (look it up) or the Russian Plague of 1770?
Having been born in 1965, I can’t claim to have been very aware of the vehicles of 1970 when they were new, nor can I claim to have experienced them from behind the wheel.
Illustrations by Frank Peiler
Since the turn of the century, U.S. car sellers have been shedding brands faster than the cable TV networks have been creating reality shows.