Chrysler PT Cruiser: What were they thinking?

This is a PT Cruiser:

And this is a TXII:

I am really curious, how on earth did Chrysler come up with that design? And how did it make it all the way to production? And who in their right mind is going to buy a PT Cruiser? Is there a strong market for black cabs in the US?

Are you aware that the PT Cruiser has been selling in the States for several years, and is doing pretty well? It’s a pretty practical vehicle, all the seats fold flat and there’s lots of room inside. It’s built on a Neon platform, so they get to reuse lots of parts. The styling is different, but not that far out there, and many people love the styling.


Is there some reason you come into this forum about twice a day and whine about the dumbest, most inane crap ever? Seriously, these “What was so-and-so thinking when they did such-and-such? What’s with this/that/the other obsession? Why do people like this/that/other, because it’s really crap”, threads are getting tiring.

The PT Cruiser, as mentioned in the reply above, has been sold in many incarnations on America for getting on probably 6 or 7 years now. I personally think they’re crappy little cars, but it’s plainly obvious to me why Chrysler is marketing it-it’s the “cool” sub minivan. It’s for people who want room and economy and efficiency, something more interesting to drive the kiddies to and fro in.

If you had any experience with the subjects you’ve chosen to post on recently, I wouldn’t be so harsh with you. Unfortunately you seem to not have the foggiest clue about American cars, American journalists, or Ikea, Etc. and you just come in here and post on them.

Not for the Straight Dope, but for his own personal Edification

My Grandma calls it ‘the hearse’ but having ridden in one recently I can say it’s rather nice and roomy inside. Not the greatest storage space if you have a carload of people, but if you need that you can get something else.

It could be the most practical car on the Universe. But there’s no way I’m gonna buy something that looks like a bloody taxi.

Did you ever stop to think of what a Taxi looks like in the bloody USA? It certainly don’t look like a TLI or a PT Cruiser…

THIS is a cab in the US:


The hipness quotient, whatever there is of it, of the PT Cruiser derives from its having been consciously styled to evoke American, '40’s-era station wagons and panel vans, which in turn underwent a revival as hot rods and surfer’s rides in the '60s. I personally think Chrysler’s stylists botched the front-end look badly (I guess it wouldn’t have been Chrysler enough if they made it look more like the classic '40 Ford), but from the A-pillar back I find nothing to criticise in the design.

As someone else said, they’ve been fairly popular in the US, a) because they have a somewhat ‘hot rod’ look with greater refinement and at a price much lower than one would ever pay for a custom job; and b) because they are fairly roomy inside for what, in the US, is considered a small vehicle.

I drove one once as a rental and it was OK, but nothing special, to drive and quite posh inside; really just an economy car with stylistic pretentions. Other than general shape, there is no correspondance whatever between a PT Cruiser and a Black Cab; the PT has a FWD drivetrain, for one thing.

I take it the OP is not in fact located in the UK, as this car has apparently been available there for some time.

Wow! Somebody is pissed today! :smiley:

I humbly apologise for polluting your beloved BBQ Pit with sub-par threads. :wally

It’s a monday, you do the fucking math.

:wally: yourself.

Hey, thanks! Now I know the rationale behind the picture here.

I think the concept would have worked better if they had been a bit bigger. They look like '37 Dodges that shrunk in the wash!

Who the fuck cares what you would buy? They’ve sold millions of them so they must be doing something right.


Bob Lutz, the Chrysler executive responsible for the PT Cruiser, the Prowler, and the Viper among others, left the company after Daimler-Benz took it over and imposed their own culture. He’s now at GM, and so far has brought the GTO to market.

My wife hated PT Cruisers. Every single one she saw got a comment about how stupid it looked. That was until we test drove one. After that she wanted one because the interior design is excellent.

The main problem here is why you felt the need to post this inane shit in the pit?

Had then been about how fugly the Convertible PT Cruiser is with the top up, I could have gotten behind that rant.

From Chrysler’s site:

'Cause that would have been, you know, too flashy.

That’s better than the clown-car look of the hardtop. The old convertible Beetle OTOH…

I am in complete agreement with your Grandma. That’s what I’ve been saying they look like since they were concept cars.

Aren’t those qualities also shared by actual hearses? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not sure if you’re just being deliberately obtuse or not, but “apologise” is the correct spelling in British English. If, on the other hand, you are being deliberately obtuse, then stop it. You’re much better than that.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it obtuseness, and yes, I realize why he spelled it that way.

I will apologize for being a dick, however. I’ve been up since 5:40 AM this morning when my wife discovered that our precious little doggie has a digestive virus/issue and decided to paint the downstairs with gallons of shit. That also explains why I have very little patience for these threads of Dog80’s.


The couple times I’ve been in London, I thought the cabs looked pretty cool, really. I think it’d be pretty slick to own one and drive it in the States, although having the steering wheel on the other side would probably really mess me up.

Two things: First, in addition to the above, I think the car attempts to recreate the appearance of not just station wagons and personal vans, but the higher, narrower look of sedans of the 40s also. I think they did a pretty good job of it, but wish they had put real running boards on, instead of vague indentations that merely suggest them.

Second, I’ve never been to England so I’m surprised to hear that taxis still look like that.