Plymouth Automobile First Introduced July 7, 1928

Plymouth logo

The logo featured a rear view of the ship Mayflower which landed at Plymouth Rock. However, the Plymouth brand name came from Plymouth Binder Twine, chosen by Joe Frazer (a 20th-century American automobile company executive employed in succession by Chrysler, Willys-Overland, Graham-Paige and Kaiser-Frazer Corporation).

The first Plymouth automobile debuted on July 7, 1928, to help Chrysler Corporation compete with Chevrolet and Ford in the entry-level market. The name was inspired by Plymouth Rock and the first Pilgrim colony in the United States, and the Mayflower ship was stamped on the radiator.

In 1928, Walter P. Chrysler took over after Horace and John Dodge died and Lewis Reed became an original member of the Chrysler family.

Plymouth went on to become Chrysler’s top-selling brand from 1930 to 1978.

Some notable Plymouths:

• Barracuda: The muscle car had a decadelong run from 1964 to 1974, though the last generation, 1970-74, is considered the true Mustang and Camaro competitor and remains a popular collector car today.

• Road Runner: Dubbed Plymouth’s “muscle car icon” by FCA, the Road Runner was introduced in 1968. It was based on the Plymouth Belvedere. Plymouth paid Warner Brothers $50,000 for the rights to use the Road Runner and Coyote characters throughout the car’s run, according to Chrysler’s engineering department modified the car’s horn to sound like the cartoon bird’s “beep-beep” as well.

• Superbird: Created to entice stock car racing’s Richard Petty back to Plymouth for NASCAR, the Superbird was a modified Road Runner hardtop with an iconic large wing and nose for aerodynamics.

• Voyager: Plymouth was also at center stage when Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca introduced a new product in November 1983: front-wheel-drive minivans in the form of the Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan.

Plymouth went defunct at the end of the 1999 model year in Canada and consequently, DaimlerChrysler decided to drop the make after a limited run of 2001 models. This was announced on November 3, 1999. Plymouths were sold at Reed Brothers until 1969, when the Plymouth brand was given to the Chrysler dealers.

Plymouth production ended on June 28, 2001, when the last car, a silver Neon, rolled off the line at a plant in Belvidere, Illinois.

Anyone grow up with a Plymouth in their driveway?

Last Plymouth Neon

The last Plymouth Neon — and the last Plymouth — was built on June 28, 2001.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Plymouth Automobile First Introduced July 7, 1928”

  1. Bradley Teets says :

    Interesting article about Plymouth. I never realized they sold Plymouth at Dodge dealers. I know DeSoto was sold in our local Western MD town at the Dodge dealer. My grandfather had the Chrysler / Plymouth dealer. I wanted to post a picture of his garage in 1938 with Plymouth featured in the dealership front window with my grandfather and some local fire trucks parked out front. He always employed a number of local fire fighters (volunteer force) in his dealership.

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hi Bradley, My apologies for the delayed response. The picture of your grandfather’s Oakland MD dealership did not attach along with your comment. If you would like to try sending it to me via e-mail on the “Contact Me” page, I would love to see it!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and share your story.

      My Best Regards,

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