In-Motion Classic: 1979-’80 Plymouth Horizon TC3

Yesterday was rainy in Vancouver—no foolin’!—and while waiting for the lights to change on Commercial at Broadway I spotted this very tidy Plymouth Horizon TC3. Actually “tidy” isn’t adequate; this looks like a Ziploc example with very low kilometres. The muffler is silvery, the trim’s all as present and straight as Chrysler were able to manage at that time, and the interior, what I could see of it, didn’t look trashed, thrashed, or tattered.

There is no UNLEADED GASOLINE ONLY label near the (original) gas cap, and likely never was; the first few years of Canadian-spec K-cars had no catalytic converters and took leaded gasoline; the same probably applies to these L-bodies.

The plastichrome is still fully present on the Plymouth logo on each taillamp—difficult to make out clearly in these pics, it’s this one:

Anyone know what year Plymouth stopped using this logo? I think it wasn’t long after this car was built. Which would’ve been between the ’79 (first for this bodystyle) and ’82 (last this wasn’t called the Turismo) ’80 (last for amber rear turn signals) model years. But this what is known as the “Swiss cheese” wheel, for obvious reasons, is said to have been first available on ’84 models. I guess these were an aftermarket swap onto this car, to accommodate tires larger than the original steel wheels could take.

The note from the tailpipe was original, too: a hissmuffled 4-cylinder cat’s purr with enough splutter and chuff to remind us that for many years, even well into the EFI era, Chrysler didn’t give much a fig about idle quality in gear; their engine mounts were soft enough to keep most of the shakes out of the body, and only by raising the hood or listening at the tailpipe could the roughness be detected.

I passed the car when the lights went green, and in my rearview mirror noted non-halogen sealed beam headlamps, probably the originals.

Tom Klockau’s substantial CC on these cars is here.

(Amber rear turn signals on a domestic car?! Saints preserve us; fetch me my clutchin’ pearls! No wonder Americans worried about Communists at that time.)