Dodge Dynastys on the assembly line, Lee Iacocca and Bob Lutz high in the offices. Revitalizing Chrysler in 1992? Oh, absolutely. No, seriously, stop laughing for a moment. Yes, this is the dawn of the Neon, the cloud cars, the LH sedans. This is the dawn of the 1994 Ram, the ZJ Grand Cherokee, the end of the K-car. It’s simple: this was Chrysler at its best. Chrysler was shedding the K-platform once and for all. After acquiring AMC in 1987, one of the benefits was the acquisition of Francois Castaing, the man who destroyed the top-down method of vehicle creation and managed to get teams to work together instead of fighting like kids who were all going to go straight to the top and cry to upper management anyways. Chrysler was on a roll during this timeframe. Nothing was off-limits. This was when the company seemed hell-bent to put every last concept they could come up with into production, because why the hell not. It worked for the Viper, and it would prove to work for the upcoming vehicles, including the “PL” car that you see being tested as a mule. That PL car? That’s the new-for-1994 Neon.
With rumors swirling that the Chrysler nameplate will be binned following the approval of the Stellantis merger, it seemed necessary to look back at a truly positive time to be at Chrysler. Maybe the arrival of the rear-drive cars in 2005 was a good point, but it seems more appropriate that going back this far needed to happen to capture the right feeling.