It’s true that PT Cruisers like today’s Nice Price or No Dice candidate have long been polarizing cars. Let’s find out which Cruise crowd you belong to and whether this low-mileage convertible’s price is equally polarizing.
I don’t know whether you actually watched the walk-around video of last Friday’s wild custom 1970 MGB-GT or simply fired up the torches and sharpened the pitchforks after just looking at the pictures. If the latter, then I think you may have missed the bigger picture of the car and the gentleman that built it. Was the end result to everyone’s taste? No. No, it was not. But it was undeniably a mad scientist effort and the dude in the video looks like someone I’d be happy to hoist a few beers with, which is my gauge of a project’s success. His acumen on both pricing and ad creation, however, was apparently lacking, as both came under attack in the comments. The $11,000 asking found little to no favor in the voting as well, dropping in a 73 percent No Dice loss.
As I noted mere seconds ago, Chrysler’s PT Cruiser is a car that people either love or hate. Some people actually love to hate them. Strangely, I’ve never met anyone who has admitted to hating to love them.
The funny thing is, PT Cruisers are not actually cars at all, as Chrysler got the government to classify them as light trucks. That was to help the company meet its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) goals and, honestly, doesn’t mean diddly squat to owners or anyone else outside of the fine folks at Chrysler and a few NHTSA wonks.
Chrysler built the PT Cruiser on the well-regarded Neon platform, giving the car a modern FWD layout that was seemingly at odds with its cheeky retro styling. The model was originally going to be branded as a Plymouth but was adopted under the Chrysler marque when Plymouth was unceremoniously given the Old Yeller treatment.
Under the Chrysler badge, it may have seemed an odd duck in relation to the brand’s other models. The PT Cruiser, however, soon found fans in owners who appreciated the tall retro styling and the interior room afforded by that design. So successful was the five-door model that Chrysler appended it with a two-door convertible baby brother. That model carried the same retro themes and still was a truck.
This 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser offers that roof for the tragically indecisive and, at 92,000, also reasonably low mileage. It looks to be decked out with pretty much all the standard accouterments you might expect as well — electric windows and locks, air-con, and an automatic transmission. That all should make it a reasonably comfortable cruiser, but there’s nothing exciting beyond that.
The thing about it is, for a lot of people, that’s all they ever need or really want. What this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, is an enthusiast’s car. Expecting it to be so will only end in disappointment and internalized fisticuffs for having made such a grave error in judgment.
For those with less of a need for speed or smoothness, the PT should serve just fine and its 150 horsepower DOHC inline-four and four-speed automatic powertrain will be reasonably economical. Add to that the low miles and a fairly decent presentation in the dealership’s ad and there’s a lot to like here. The title is clean and the seller says the car “Runs and drives excellent” and claims it to be “very mechanically sound” with “all maintenance up-to-date.” On top of that is (literally) a top that goes up and down covering a roll bar that allows for proper seat belt mounts.
All this could be someone’s pride and joy (not yours, mind you, you crazy car nut) for a cost of $2,900.
What’s your take on this PT Cruiser convertible and that $2,900 price? Does that seem like a deal for a car you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole? Or, is even that amount too much for any PT?
H/T to Don H. for the hookup!
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