Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #94

We're halfway through the 1990s, and things are starting to get better. While I'd really like to include the 1994 Dodge Ram, it's not a new vehicle, just a redesign (an excellent one, one that really brought the Dodge truck back from the grave). However, today's car is a Mopar product.


Dodge Neon (introduced in January 1994, but called a 1995 model). Chrysler had a really bad reputation for the company's small cars. From the Dart to the Omni to the Shadow, Mopar had a bad run of really, completely awful cars. Now, the Dart had its good points, in that the slant six didn't develop enough power to tear itself apart.

But the Neon was different. Oh, sure, it was underpowered and uninspiring to drive, and had a nasty tendency to kill the driver should they crash, but it had an upbeat ad campaign! It said "Hi". The front end looked like a smiley face - if you kinda squinted. The styling was so popular it changed the front fascia of the small car for near a decade.

The only thing missing was a Carol Shelby version...

That is all.

6 comments:

Old NFO said...

The Neon SRT was a killer (Literally)... I had one as a rental, and it scared the crap out of me. Rattles, hunting EVERY dip/hole/ditch... And it could barely get out of it's own way.

libertyman said...

It is amazing that the American car was so crummy for so long. The competition of Japanese car builders spurred the Americans to get going, and now, what is an American car? Components come from all over, but the cars, in my opinion, have improved immensely for it.

0007 said...

Wife bought one back in 2007. Car has 45K miles on it.
Side bar: The SRT-4 was a turbo version of the base car that used the turbo engine from the PT Cruiser along with the 5 speed tranny. Had better 0-60 times then pretty much any of its contemporary turbo competition.

Anonymous said...

I had a '98 Sport model. (the original model). In 2000, they remodeled the Neon, created the SRT and generally fucked over the car's center of balance. (making them EXTREMELY dangerous)

1st Gen Neons are/were a blast to drive, especially if the owner took a little time (and very little money) to tune them right.
Remove this vent, change out the exhaust, and a little tweaking here and there could result in a net gain of 10-20 HP. With that, even the automatics could outrun their contemporaries. there's a reason why First Gen Neons are still popular on the Amateur racing circuit.
http://www.allpar.com/neon/performance.html

Mine was a blue, 2dr Sport model. Looked a lot like a friends' Neon was covered on allpar.com >> http://www.allpar.com/cotm/2009/neon.html

-GROGNARD

abnormalist said...

Agree with Anon here. the first gen neons were a great handling little car. Light very sharp turn in. Great little autocross rides. Power was poor, but hey, it was 94, and thats just how it was.

Very nice little point and squirt cars with the 5speed

Mike W. said...

The drivers Ed car I drove in HS was a Neon. Plymouth Neon IIRC, but still a Neon.