(By Tom Lohnes) – The 1980’s were a tough time for the American car industry. Coming straight off the oil crisis of the 70’s all of the American companies had to downsize engines, decreasing performance, and basically making the concept of a muscle car as relevant as doo-wop music . The Chrysler corporation had been hit the worst, with all of their pre-crisis cars having an optional V8 engine, none smaller than 31 cubic inches. They basically had to scrap the entire line of cars they were known for and start making cheap econoboxes. The most popular Chrysler econobox was the Dodge Omni, a weird little hatchback only saved by the Shelby GLH and GLH-S variants. The Omni also had a cousin, the slightly less weird Plymouth Horizon and I found a very interesting one for sale on Cars.com
Yesterday I was scrolling through AutoTempest.com , a website that combines all of the large car-shopping websites into one search and I was searching for cars under $2,000 with manual transmissions. The normal Mazda 626s and Honda Civics and Accords came up, but then I saw something very interesting. I saw a very abandoned looking 1981 Plymouth Horizon so I decided to take a look. I was still pretty happy with my find of a 1-of-50 Contempo Cantara Camaro the other day and it was at that moment I knew I had struck gold. I just found a 1-of-70 factory electric test mule Plymouth Horizon. This was the most neglected car I’ve basically ever looked at and as it turns out, one of the most rare. The Horizon in the pictures has 20 six-cell batteries. Five in the front and 15 in the rear. This car also has a 5-speed manual transmission and front wheel drive. My question is not how this thing was created but how to know when to shift your electric car from 3rd to 4th. The Plymouth is converted to a more modern charger set-up and has a claimed 40 miles of range.
This one of 70 electric Plymouth is for sale for $2,100 in Murraysville Pennsylvania. It needs some or all of its batteries replaced and has been up on Cars.com for 2 months. I would pick this thing up before it whirs away into some Mopar collector’s hands.