(First posted 7 February, 2017. Reposting today in honour of Tina Turner, who died yesterday.)
The American half of yesterday’s Chrysler/Dodge Spirit CCC raised eyebrows with its yeah-no-that-didn’t-happen factor. Plymouth, not to be outdone, dialled the implausibility up to 11. Tina Turner, as you can see here, shilled for Plymouth. That’s kinda credible in re the Laser, and it’s more or less neutral famous-spokewoman material in re the Voyager and the Sundance, but…excuse you, she said what about the Acclaim, there at the end of the featured ad here? No, she didn’t. Did she?! Yeah, she did. Seriously, what in the literal, actual hell? Yeah, yeah, okeh, sex sells, but c’mon. There are limits. There have to be.
That wasn’t a one-off, either; she did other Acclaim spots, too. Like this one, playing off the name—see, it’s funny because “acclaim” is also sort of a synonym for fame…heheh…see? You see it, right? Guys?:
(As for the headline on this post, you’ll forgive me or you won’t, but “Acclaim” comes irresistably close to rhyming with “the rain”. As in, I Can’t Stand the Rain.)
While I remember the Plymouth Acclaim, I don’t remember the commercials for the car.
…good thing for this post then, eh! ;^)
+1, don’t remember the adds, could be I have tried to block them from my memory. She was able to do it with a straight face and I applaud her for that.
Agggghhh, if only someone had remembered to actually style the car.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hardly ever saw an Acclaim or Spirit loaded up like the ones Tina is pushing.
I can think of precisely one. A girl I was interested in back in college drove what had to be the most well-optioned Acclaim I’d ever noticed. Black with gray lower body, alloy wheels, V6, power everything, the works. I think it even had one of those silly trunk-mount chrome luggage racks (no, don’t know why you’d want one on a sedan). Of course she wasn’t the original owner, so I can’t comment on the purchasing process that led to such a creation.
Sadly, it didn’t go anywhere (the prospective relationship, not the Acclaim, which seemed to go where it needed to just fine.)
My FiL really liked our Acclaim, and bought one for himself – a taupe fully loaded Acclaim, NOT the Le Baron trim, but whatever the top level was.
It came complete with extra bright trim, the V6 and lots of goodies ours didn’t have.
The loaded ones were relatively quite scarce, I agree—I know because I serially hunted for them for a fair lot of years!
The car was styled—or, more correctly, designed. Its design is boxy, sure. It’s also coherent (not a mishmash of random lines and shapes that don’t go together as in ’71-’76 GM B-bodies, ’70s Mustangs, etc). It’s a design that is thoughtfully responsive to the design brief: a practical, utilitarian sedan that maximises space—especially headroom—for occupants and cargo, with reasonably up-to-date appearance. You might prefer other kinds of designs; maybe you like jellybeans or wedges better than boxes and bricks, but a great many people liked boxes and bricks, and some of us still do.
And it worked. Did you see that?! Her hair fits in the back seat of Acclaim!
But, that can’t be the usual amount of rear legroom in the back, is it? …like with the front seat adjusted so that a human can fit in the front and drive? I ask because that 1987 Cavalier I drove for one winter in high school had front seats that could be adjusted so far forward or rearward that you couldn’t sit in them (the former) or where I, at 6’0″, couldn’t press the clutch all the way to the floor (the latter).
Chrysler AA bodies were my favorite rental car in the early 90’s, in its class of “mid-size”, aka compact in the real world. Compared to rivals Tempo and Corsica it was more fun to drive on a biz trip.
Agreed! One of mine, as well.
I forgot about how every commercial for a Detroit car from this era seemed to end with how big a rebate you buy now. Those rebates negated whatever message the ad was trying to instill about the car’s desirability. How good could the car be if they needed to bribe me to buy one? Even Lincolns and Cadillacs had “cash back” rebates. I never saw a Honda commercial that mentioned rebates, much less Lexus or BMW.
I like Tina Turner a lot more than I like the Acclaim.
Better legs, too.
What an Entity. I guess I understand her shilling for Plymouth, it wouldn’t be right seeing her peddling a Rocket 88.
Our beloved 1990 Plymouth Acclaim! I researched these cars for a year and decided we would buy one. We did, and we kept it for 10½ years.
I compared our Acclaim to mom & dad’s 1950 Plymouth – after all, they were both gray and both cars were kept 10 years, besides they had similar profiles! Ours was the 2.5L, more or less basic: Auto, A/C, PS, PB, tilt wheel, cruise, AM/FM radio w/cassette player. That car took us everywhere and helped move us to Ohio. It gave us very little trouble, but it seems Chrysler products were better then, perhaps – unless I just put up with more!
As far as the styling went, I liked it, especially because of the limousine-type doors and the interior spaciousness. Plus, it had some chrome trim, unlike its Dodge cousin. It looked much more refined than its predecessors, the Ks. Overall, I felt then, and still do today, that they were good cars for the times.
The last 2 years it was our daughter’s car, and sadly, she did her best to destroy it.
After a couple of accidents and fixing it mostly myself, and after the third time, I decided it was not that safe and decided to trade it on a better car for her. In August, 2000, We found a nice 1997 Cavalier (!) and bought that.
Interesting that the Chevy dealer gave us $1000 trade for the Acclaim! 138K miles.
Also interesting, the whole time our daughter drove the Cavalier – she LOVED it – she never put a scratch on it.
Oof. The choice between a ’90 Acclaim and a Cadavalier of any year is an utter no-brainer in favour of the Acclaim.
What’s with always getting in the back seat??
»nudge nudge« It’s the back seat »wink wink«; there’s plenty of room back there. »wink wink« If you know what I mean. »nudge nudge« And I think you do.
OMG… the CC effect strikes again, but this time in the comments, not about a car. I just got back from lunch with a very old friend that used to make this Monty Python reference ALL THE TIME! Haven’t heard it in years. Thanks Daniel!
And I guess the back seat is built for comfort in keeping with Tinas comments.
Ms. Turner was (still is!) well-known for her fabulous legs, so the ‘wink-wink’ also highlights the amount of legroom in back.
Odd to have this level of celebrity endorse a slightly above entry level Chrysler.
In reality we all know Tina probably had a Rolls Royce in her drive way…lol.
I liked Toyota’s “Every Day People” adds of the 80’s. That showed regular blue collar workers purchasing their products. Just my two cents.
“…this level of celebrity…”
Celebritation comes in levels?
Why, I guess it does. If I know who you are, you’re a celebrity. If I have to Google you, you’re not. 🙂
The song was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the title!! I remember when Mercury used “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell for a commercial, to this day, I DON’T remember which Mercury it was for, but I DO remember listening to the song each time,LOL! 🙂
Turner had a #39 Billboard Hot 100 hit the same year the Acclaim was introduced with ‘Steamy Windows’.
It would make sense she’d capitalize with some car advertising.
Only, not this car.
What’s interesting is that you’d never see the same commercial today, yet you see far worse on TV shows.
We are both more uptight and lax about sexuality than ever before, it seems.
The Acclaim was one of the few American cars I actually enjoyed driving when I used to rent them for biz-related trips in the early 90s. Seemed to be a decent car.
They were a decent car, especially in comparison to the dreck GM and Ford marketed in the same segment.
The original “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Ann Peebles:
… and the unmatched best.
The original is a great one. Lowell George had a pretty good version too.
Cheers for the headsup on the Lowell George version. Nice full sound.
My favorite cut from that Lowell George album (his last, fwiw) is:
“20 million things to do” has always resonated with me.
Is that album really called “Thanks, i’ll eat it here”? Uh, OK…
I’ve been hungry, but not like this before…
CC effect-I saw an acclaim at work less than an hour ago.
I like these well enough, but the styling says “Suddenly it’s 1985” to me.
Ah yes, the Plymouth Acclaim.
My wife drove a borrowed Accalim one morning to take our daughter to school. Not only did she do THAT, but she ended up taking it to AC Tire too, because one of tires blew out!
And then there’s the infamous Plymouth From Hell, the ’93 Acclaim that I should never have stopped and looked at, let alone bought.
Or at the very least, I should have taken it to our mechanic and HE would have told me to get the hell away from it.
But its Mitsubishi V-6 ran well!
A neighbor has a four-cylinder one of these in silver. I’m OK with the styling, except for that (Ugggh!) ‘formal roof’!
Despite the missing hubcaps, flaking chrome, peeling paint, and droopy headliner, it just keeps plugging along!
Happy Motoring, Mark
This seems much more plausible. Then again, she had to drive something reliable too, right?
I had a 1990 Acclaim LX, bought new, loaded (yes, even with the trunk rack – it came that way). Very comfortable, great performance with the V6, decent fuel economy. I kept it for 8 years and sold it with 128,000 miles when the transmission started slipping. It was the infamous Ultradrive, but I never had any trouble with it until then. The secret was to use Mopar ATF+4 transmission fluid and change it every 30,000 miles. I missed that car for a long time.
I purchased an ’89 Turbo Acclaim last year with 70K on the odometer, It was a hoot to drive but a little lacking in front seat leg room and I’m only 6′.
My favorite early 90’s rental, compared to Corsica and Tempo.
RIP Miss Tina.
Oh holy crap. I was just going to look up Tina Turner after re-reading this piece, as I often do when reminded of someone/something. And she died yesterday… I’m starting to get to that age where I’m as old as the people I often thought were “old” when I was a kid, and those who were actually middle aged back then, are now reaching their late years and dying. Eek.
My mother’s “90 Aclaim” ran on till “2001”; she handed it over to my nephew. He had it repainted, looked quite good actually.
Not long after, he had an accident. The car ran “marginally” for another eight months.
At the time my nephew got the car, it had “54k” on the odometer.
“When I saw a Plymouth Acclaim, I immediately thought of Tina Turner”, said no one ever.
Alright, I’ll admit, you got me with the “acclaim” rhyming with “rain” thing. That’s somehow what I expected in those commercial clips (which I guess I missed in the early 90s).
That, or simply The Best.
If anyone wants to know why hardly anyone buys sedans anymore, just look at Tina gracefully entering the rear seat in the Acclaim in the first video, then imagine the contortions she’d need to do to squeeze into the back seat of this car’s eventual successor, the Chrysler 200. It’s difficult getting into either the front or back seats underneath the steeply sloped pillars, unlike the nearly rectangular door opening in the Acclaim. Modern sedans are not built for comfort, which is a good part of why they don’t sell.
Good Point. The industry has been trying to make sedans into coupes, which is even less popular than sedans.
You’ll never be missed.