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Guilty Pleasure: Plymouth Cricket

 

Plymouth Cricket

Plymouth Cricket

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While Ford and GM both slapped Detroit badges on various captive imports and overseas-division products, neither came close to matching Chrysler of the early 1970s for sheer weird variety of off-brand imports showing up in American showrooms.

During this era, car shoppers could drop into their local Chrysler/Plymouth dealership and drive off in a Dodge-badged Mitsubishi Colt Galant, a French-built Simca 1204 with Chrysler emblems or--get this!--a Hillman Avenger with Plymouth badges.

Plymouth Cricket

Plymouth Cricket

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The folks at Allpar have done their usual excellent job on the Cricket's history, so head over there for the complete story.

Plymouth Cricket

Plymouth Cricket

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With Ford and GM coming out with the Pinto and Vega, respectively, Chrysler execs were sweating over their lack of a subcompact offering. Rather than design their own, they went to Japan, Britain, and France.

You still see quite a few first-gen Dodge Colts and it's even possible to find a Simca 1204 hiding out in North America these days.

However, the Avenger-based Cricket appears to have gone just about completely extinct (some Colts were sold in Canada as Plymouth Crickets, Chrysler apparently figuring that nobody would notice the changeover from a Mitsubishi to a Rootes Group product). I've been searching for a true Cricket for quite a while and haven't yet found a single example for sale.

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Plymouth Cricket

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Why would anyone want a car that was so terrible that not a single one appears to have survived? If you have to ask...

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Plymouth Cricket

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Oh, sure, I could find an Avenger in the UK and have it shipped over, then hope to find proper Cricket emblems for it, but the first car I bring over from Britain is going to be a Humber Sceptre.

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Plymouth Cricket

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Ideally, my Guilty Pleasure garage would have one apiece 1970 Cricket, 1970 Colt, and 1970 1204. Then I'd have to add a (Simca-derived) Omni and a (Mitsubishi Forte-based) Plymouth Arrow pickup.

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Comment (1)
  1. I used to have one of those Mitsubishi Galant/Dodge Colts!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19ycF3wHEUc
     
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