Unlike in the Navy, the PT in today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chrysler doesn't stand for Patrol Torpedo or Physical Training. Considering its price and custom de-lidding, you'll need to decide just what it does stand for.
Hey, how's your LUV life? Are you getting any? If you happen to be the seller of yesterday's soft top 1980 Chevy LUV then what you got was 60% Nice Price win, which is almost as good as sex, and almost as rare around these parts.
You know, I liked that custom drop top enough that I wondered what would happen if we did another- and one that's not a car considered as lovely as an old LUV? Would the result be anywhere in the same neighborhood? Well, here's a 2002 PT Cruiser that's been convertiblized, so let's see.
Chrysler initially planned the PT Cruiser as a model under the Plymouth brand, but seeing as new boyfriend Daimler seemed adamant about giving that value nameplate the heave-ho, it was introduced as a Chrysler. Now, PT Cruiser was and is a weird name, and while many of you may consider the PT to stand for Pretty Terrible, it did in fact officially mean Personal Transport. Oh, and Cruiser.
Based on the Neon platform, the Toluca Mexico-built PT arrived with a 150-bhp 2.4-litre four and a choice of 5-speed stick or 4-speed Ultradrive automatic. A cool feature of the manual-equipped cars - like this purple people eater - is the cue ball shift knob, yet another nod to the past.
Back when it was new, the PT Cruiser was a hit, and people who bought them tended to love the style and space that the small but tall wagon afforded, as well as all those retro styling cues. The buff books liked it too, Car and Driver adding the PT to its Top 10 list for 2001. More than a million PTs were built during its ten-year lifespan, most in Mexico, but a few too at the Eurostar plant in Graz Austria.
During that decade, a hotter turbo mill was made optional and, in 2005, a second body style became available, that of a two-door, basket handle convertible. At no time during the car's model run however was a factory four-door drop top offered. Thanks for today's car obviously go to the aftermarket, and of course to the crazy people of Florida, without whom we'd likely not have such wonders as this, nor pretty much any sort of news-worthy weirdness that just plain makes the rest of us feel better about ourselves.
The seller notes in the ad that he bought the car when it was two years old, at which time it had only done 1400 miles. Since then he's put another 70,600 on it, which speaks volumes about its ability to keep from folding under its own weight due to the lack of a hard roof. Adding a further eff-you to the naysayers, this custom job also has a tow hitch allowing you to drag around, I guess, a modest-sized trailer.
The conversion to convertible on the PT is more common than you might imagine, as there are shops that would cut the top off an 18-wheeler if given enough cash. This one seems - from the pictures at least - to be reasonably engineered, and maintains the cross-over bar at the B-pillar to provide seatbelt mounts and a modicum of structural support. The bris of the formerly roof-wrapping doors does look weird however.
New brakes and tires, plus some shiny alloys are plusses in the mind of the seller, and overall the car looks to be in fie shape with only some clouding of the headlights and an odd fade line on each bumper to belie its age. Well, those and the fact that its a PT Cruiser, which is kind of played if you ask me.
Of course you didn't ask me, but it's now time for me to ask you what you think about this custom PT's $4,500 price tag. Do you think that's a deal for this unusual four-door convertible? Or, does that price make this PT totally Past Tense?
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