If you wanted a cheap car in 1928, you had quite a few options. Ford’s first all new car since 1908, the Model A, could be had that year for around $500. A similar sized Chevrolet could be parked in your driveway for less than $100 more. Or, if you wanted something your neighbor didn’t have, you could drive off in a Plymouth for around $675. Chrysler launched Plymouth, one of the first engineered brands, in July of 1928 to compete directly with low priced Fords and Chevys. Though about $175 more than a Ford (roughly $2,500 in 2021), Plymouths did have features its competition didn’t, such as hydraulic brakes. Are you sold yet?
When the Great Depression began the next year, it would be Plymouth that would ensure Chrysler Corporation‘s survival. By 1931 the budget cars ranked number three in overall US sales. It’s success remained steadfast for decades, but never quite hit the number 2 sales spot.
Plymouth in the 1950s
Plymouth had a slight hiccup after introducing its all new post war models in 1949. Unlike the new Fords, Chrysler cars appeared taller and fatter, said to leave enough room for men to wear their hats while driving. Despite the criticism, the cars continued to roll off the assembly line. Then, in 1955, Chrysler executive Virgil Exner introduced the Forward Look MOPARs, giving sales a much needed boost.
By 1957 the Forward Look cars ran with the marketing tagline, “Suddenly it’s 1960!” That same year Plymouth hit a milestone. On this day in 1957 a Plymouth Belvedere rolled off an assembly line, marking the 10,000,000 Plymouth automobile ever produced. I wish I had 10 million Plymouths, but one will do for now!