I’m not going to lie. I like the nightlife. I like to boogie. (And so on.) I always thought that naming this youth-oriented car the “Neon” was a stroke of brilliance on the part of white-hot, ’90s-era Chrysler Corporation. For me, neon signs conjure up images of nighttime eateries, car washes, discotheques, and just being out and about long after the sun has gone down. Given the fun persona with which these cars were portrayed in their initial advertising campaign, the name seemed to signify a certain amount of carefree cheekiness that perfectly meshed with the attractively styled, fun, affordable cars these were. I’ve observed that many people now dog the first-generation Neon, but a college buddy of mine had a new, first-year Dodge version, and it was one of the nicest small cars I had ever ridden in up to that time.
I like the coupes because they’re relatively rare. I’m not 100% on the model year of this one, but my guess is that it’s from one of the final two model years of the first generation cars by the wheelcover design. The two-door configuration of the Plymouth (or Dodge) Neon was never a big seller. In the case of the Plymouth, the coupe never accounted for more than a quarter of total sales in any given model year. If this one’s a ’98, there were just about 18,500 two-doors sold out of about 87,000 total. Just like the gas after which it was named, this Neon was inert in the early morning hours – and seemed perfectly content that way, parked as it was in front of the local Thai restaurant.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
(Early) Sunday, March 10, 2013.