• Aug 22, 2007
Scott Kissinger knows a thing or two about Chrysler's PT Cruiser. In fact, he knows enough about it to have started ptenthusiasts.org in 1999, before the the PT was even for sale.

So as one who loves the PT Cruiser and who also has an investment of time and money in the nameplate, we imagine Kissinger pretty much freaked out when he heard Chrysler might not continue producing a retro wagon. So he started a petition to encourage Chrysler's new owners to bring the Cruiser back for a second generation. And he's got several good points.

You can read the entire petition on Kissinger's site, savethept.com, or after the jump, but here are a few of the most insightful points it makes. First, the PT continues to be Chrysler's second-best selling vehicle. Second, the car's distinct styling has inspired legions of dedicated fans and enthusiast groups who would be about ready to replace their first Cruiser with a newly re-designed one. Third, not only should Cerberus continue Cruiser production, the company should retain the 1930s hot-rod look, but also introduce more variants including a two-door coupe much like the original Pronto Cruizer concept, as well as a two-seat roadster akin to the Prowler, but with a usable trunk.

I have to admit some bias here. I've owned a PT Cruiser since 2001, when I drove more than three hours to buy an Inferno Red 5-speed PT. Since then it's been the best car I've ever owned and I, too, find it hard to believe Chrysler is considering abandoning seven years of success, and 2006 sales of almost 140,000 cars. I've signed the petition and I encourage those who appreciate highly usable utility, packaged in distinct sheet metal to do the same.

PETITION LETTER:

To:
Cerberus Capital Management L.P.
Chrysler LLC

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned, would like to respectfully present the following.

1. The PT Cruiser has done exceptionally well in the marketplace.

a. Sales of the PT in North America, even in the 7th year without major updates are second only to the much newer Chrysler 300, exceeding the sales of even the brand new Sebring.

b. Over the course of the 7 years the PT Cruiser has been on sale, by Chrysler's own admission, sales have totaled well over 1.2 million copies world-wide.

c. Sales have remained strong, even with little investment on the part of Chrysler to provide updates or more than token special editions.

d. The PT Cruiser, in a time when Chrysler is pushing to become a player in markets outside North America, has found success in dozens of countries.

e. The PT Cruiser has generated such incredible enthusiasm from its owners, that numerous national, international, and regional clubs; several aftermarket vendors and customizers; and many web sites have been devoted to the car.

f. Many PT Cruiser buyers were conquest buyers - coming from cars not built by Chrysler or its affiliates.

2. The market is ripe for cars like the PT Cruiser

a. Small cars are making a come-back in a world of ever increasing fuel prices.

b. Previous owners of large utility vehicles are looking for replacements that do not sacrifice utility even in smaller packages.

c. Sales of similarly themed vehicles (Chevrolet HHR, for example) are strong and growing. This signifies that the market for heritage-themed vehicles is strong even among buyers that have not already purchased a PT Cruiser.

We would like to suggest the following.

1. A new PT Cruiser should be built.

2. It should be offered in a retro-themed form similar to what is currently available.

3. Chrysler should, as finances allow, consider building more variants of the PT Cruiser as have been requested by the PT Cruiser community in the past.

4. We, the undersigned, would be interested in buying at least one and would recommend them to family and friends much like we have in the past 7 years.

Respectfully yours,

The Undersigned


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  • 55 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you need a Chrysler wagon, buy a Magnum.
      • 7 Years Ago
      140,000 units last year...how many to Dollar, Budget, National and other rental car agencies?
      • 7 Years Ago
      About time.....anyone notice that the people driving these crap cars are the same ones who finked on you in grade school, always could have used a boot to the head and just generally acted "Flanders-esque"?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Stupid Flanders... always smiling and waving at everyone.... wish more people were bitter, mean-spirited misanthropes..........
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd rather have families drive that and buy them for their 17 year old daughter to crash around in rather than a Escalade.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why don't they just invent some other car that middle-aged women will drive?
      • 7 Years Ago
      That car absolutely, positively does not drive "pretty nice". It drives like a rolling brick. Comments about the horrible looks have already been made but I concur. It actually makes me happy that I now am renting a Pontiac Grand Prix.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I work at a Dodge dealership, and although we do not sell new PTs, I have seen hundreds of used ones come and go through the years. I have seen a few p.o.s. rattle traps, but I've seen plenty of Hondas and Toyotas that fell into that category too, due to neglected maintainance and/or abuse. The vast majority of Cruisers we get in on trade are drum tight and drive extremely well even with well over 100k on them. We even retail most of the high mileage ones because there is a strong market for them. I personally would not be a player for a PT, but I certainly would not laugh at anyone for buying one. Basically the PT was a niche vehicle that swept the mainstream because of its useability - somewhat fuel efficient, very versatile, and distictive looks. (whoever commented that the PT is almost Aztec ugly, get a life) It's looks, though not for everyone, have aged well, and it has certainly held up in sales numbers. When Daimler was still at the helm, I was for Chrysler pulling the plug on the PT, giving their penchant for f**king re-designs up. Now, however, I think the right people at Cerberus could make a worthy successor - the market timing is certainly spot on - they just need to keep it small and efficient and use it to spin off some nice niche within a niche vehicles.
        • 7 Years Ago
        yep, I think you pretty much hit on what the PT cruiser is, along with a few other here.

        People can blabber away about what it isn't,...

        So it's not fast, overly pretty, great handling, built like a bmw,... etc,....

        What it does do well is carry people on a budget relatively well for a price that is a pretty good bargain. It's utility is pretty good. If you don't like the "retro" looks, buy something else. That's what's great about having a choice.

        Would I buy one? No, but I know a few people that have and are happy enough with them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      people who hate on the Cruiser just don't have any real experience with one. We've had a 2002, bought used with 1200 miles on it, for 5 years now. It's got 82,000 miles without any real hiccups, short of a problem with the power steering system - which was either a TSB or a recall, i can't remember.

      Here's the down-to-earth truth on the PT Cruiser, since so many of you obviously have no idea.

      You're looking at it from the wrong perspective. From the perspective of a driver's car, our PT Cruiser is... a PT Loser. 2.4 non-turbo, 4 speed automatic, completely loaded with all the options. it's slower than frozen dog sh*t. The handling is awful. The brakes (even the 4 wheel discs on our limited model) are mediocre. The seating position leaves something to be desired.

      HOWEVER, as a real world car, the PT is great. it seats 4 in comfort, the A/C blows ice cold on hot carolina summer days, you can REMOVE both rear seats in about 2 minutes, they fold every which way - we can haul more stuff in our PT Cruiser than in our Dakota.

      So let's see... extremely useful, reliable, spacious and comfortable, and the fuel economy isn't too bad.

      Now, are you telling me that bad acceleration and tippy handling are problems that can't be fixed with a new generation model?




      Sure, if you're used to driving an Evo VIII MR, driving a PT, even the 2.4L Turbo HO (SRT-4 motor, btw) would suck. I drive a non-turbo Jetta 2.5L with a 5 speed and a few mods, which is hardly one of the fastest cars around, and even i hate driving the PT. but i'm not so narrow-minded as to not realize it's upsides. I think that's the problem with the vast majority of car enthusiasts: they think that a car is only a good car if it can go, stop, and turn well. I think the definition of a good car is that it does what it was designed and intended to do well. the PT Cruiser does what it was designed and intended to do very well, and it does it with a little bit of character - something you can't say about competitors like Matrix, Vibe, HHR.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ah, a voice of reason.

        Cars are designed for different purposes. If I'm a mother of 3, a Ferrari is a poorly designed p.o.s no matter how I look at it.

        While underpowered (in my mind), it is a better contender than the Matrix/Vibe for carrying capacity and you can probably get it cheaper, and the remaining MAtrix/vibe hp are lower.

        Guys, not everyone needs a little rice rocket and not everyone can afford a M3/ 911/ DBS. Dont hate a car because it doesnt do what you want, hate it for not doing what it was designed to do (at which point nobody will like it).
        • 7 Years Ago
        "They think a car is only a good car if it can go, stop and turn well."

        Yes, and they're right. Most people (especially us Americans) treat driving as a chore. Cars like the PT Cruiser reinforce this with their stubborn mediocrity. Notice all the positive things said about the PT are given with qualifiers- "pretty good" fuel economy, "some" practicality, "a little bit" of character. Everything middle-of-the-road, everything uninspired.

        Why would you buy a car that's simply inoffensive when you could do a little homework and get a car that you actually enjoy driving?
        • 7 Years Ago
        is there a car in this segment that you can actually enjoy driving, that offers all the practicality and character of the PT Cruiser?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thanks for helping get the word out, Chris.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The PT Cruiser is a car?? When did that happen? ;-)
        • 7 Years Ago
        The pt cruiser is based on the now discontinued neon chassis. No more neon no more pt cruiser. Simple as that.
        The dodge caliber, compass, patriot, all share the same chassis. Likewise the liberty and the nitro, jeep grand cherokee and the commander. lately DC, Chrysler / dodge / jeep seem to have been more focused on making vehicles that share 90% of the same parts rather than vehicles that people want to buy.

        I own several jeeps but would not buy any of the current models.

        The 4 door wrangler, maybe if it had a decent engine (ie diesel) and had a frame made by Dana or a reputable manufacture ... ie not Hyundai Mobis.

      • 7 Years Ago
      im thinking to buy one, tune it, modify it, get on the P.W. race some hondas,bmws,scions,etc and laugh at them after they get smoked like I usually did with my neon-srt4.

      hey,be your self by your self and stay away from me.

      pt just needs a makeover. it is a kick ass already
      • 7 Years Ago
      If chrysler can not get the fat fender look down on the new JZ platform. Why not just give the platform to pt easer and let them figure out the fender line and interior look. Just give them a few chassis to let them play with.
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