Plymouth Prowler-The Whole Story
In the early 1990s we had begun to hear about an automotive creation in the Plymouth car company that was going to be a fun, sporty car styled after a hot rod. It was going to be called the Plymouth Prowler.
There was hype in all the automotive media and even in Playboy magazine .
Was the choice of “Prowler” for their name a coincidence? Was their choice of maroon (our club’s color) for the color of the first production year another coincidence? You decide.
In the early 1990s the Prowlers Car Club was contacted. The timing and gist of the conversation or negotiation is not known anymore but the end result was Dick Fitzek loaned his hot rod to the Plymouth design studio.
The 1932 Ford hiboy roadster above is the car Dick loaned the Plymouth design group while they were dreaming up their Plymouth Prowler.
Dick, not known for polished words, was relatively restrained as he casually observed when the Prowler was debuted that “all they got right was the color”…the Prowlers club color was maroon!
It would be easy to say that was the end of the story. After all, the Prowler car was produced from 1997 to 2002 with a total production of only 11,702. To put that in perspective, Ford made Model Ts at a rate of 9,000-10,000 PER DAY in 1925!
Nobody gave Dick a free car. Or a free ride. The SD Prowler car club did get a little local publicity.
But you can tell that there is MORE. There is.
In true corporate form the Plymouth Division of Chrysler legal department copyrighted the name “Prowler”. That meant the SD Prowlers Car Club would have to quit using our name. Jim Jenks and Les Hilgers contacted Attorney Craig Correll who worked pro bono for a couple years to get Plymouth Division of Chrysler legal department to back off and let us keep our name.
Since then the Prowlers have legally protected our name and our logo.