Home » A Dozen Facts About The Chrysler PT Cruiser That Aren’t True At All

A Dozen Facts About The Chrysler PT Cruiser That Aren’t True At All

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Man, what a long, tedious day of truth! And not only that, it was a day without a single mention of PT Cruisers in a major story. How did that happen? What are we coming to? This is a huge, huge problem, but, panic not my sweet, sweet, Autopians! Uncle Jayjay Torch is here to solve both of these problems at once, by providing you with a dozen fascinating facts about the glorious Chrysler PT Cruiser, not one of which is true even in the slightest. They’re all lies, filthy filthy lies, lies I’m telling you right to your beautiful face without even blinking! Lies, lies, lies! About the PT Cruiser! Cruiser, cruiser, cruiser!

Off we go, mothergrabbers!

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  1. The “PT” in “PT Cruiser” stands for Pneumonia Tsar, which was what Lead Designer Kiefer Sutherland called his mom due to her strict rules when he was sick as a child. Sutherland also acts occasionally, when not designing cars for Chrysler, and is best known for playing Han Solo in 1974’s Star Wars.
  2. Due to persistent wildlife issues around Chrysler’s Everglades Assembly Plant that built the majority of PT Cruisers, it was estimated that between 2002-2006 nearly a quarter of PT Cruisers left the factory with one or more baby crocodiles trapped behind door cards or in the spare tire well.
  3. NASCAR racing legend Kyle Durndell was obsessed with PT Cruisers and was in the process of preparing a PT Cruiser bodyshell for his car when he was killed in a crash in July 2002. His will stipulated that no effort should be spared in making his dream of racing his PT Cruiser a reality, so his team reached out to the Vatican who was able to arrange for a 48-hour Return To Life voucher that was used to allow Durndell to race in the March 23 race at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500. After the race, to make up for the 48 hours of life, Durndell had to spend 48 hours in Catholic Hell.
  4.  The original directive of the PT Cruiser, first written by Lee Iacocca in 1983, was for Chrysler to build a car that looked as much as possible like the car on the cover of Action Comics #1, the comic book that introduced Superman, while still being acceptable to a modern market.Actioncomics1
  5. All temporary donut spare tires were originally shipped filled with helium, which saved over $75 dollars on the shipping costs of PT Cruisers over their production run.
  6. The comparatively high average age of PT Cruiser buyers was the reason why many large cities trained Paramedics to seek out any PT Cruisers first when they got a call for an elderly person in medical trouble in a car, where the type of car was not specified. After PT Cruisers were Lincolns, then any type of Buick.
  7. To save money on initial tooling, only the right side front fender had a stamping machine; left fenders were made by a worker beating a right fender “inside out” with rubber mallets.
  8. The crash-protection “knee bar” underneath the dashboard was made with specially calcium-fused femur bones from cattle. The tensile strength was about ideal for the application, and the bone would “give” in an impact in such a way as to transfer energy away from the passengers effectively. It was also light and relatively cheap, being sourced from byproducts of the beef industry. The structural bone industry has grown significantly since the PT Cruiser’s pioneering use of the material, and now most modern cars are 0.7% animal bone by weight.
  9. The “PT” In “PT Cruiser” is an homage to Preston Tucker, creator of the famous Tucker 48 car.
  10. In an attempt to attract younger buyers, in 2006 Chrysler introduced the Juicy Couture Edition PT Cruiser, which sported a special two-tone paint job, a rhinestone-studded dash, terrycloth seats, and a coupon for a chihuahua from your local animal shelter:Juicypt
  11. Factory original PT Cruiser oil filters used a woven filter made with 100% American-sourced barbershop floor hair, and while initial results were excellent, over time the residual mousse, gel, and conditioner content proved too high and contaminated the oil, causing excess foaming.
  12.  Stellantis has announced that, by 2024, its Chrysler division will drop the Pacifica to make room for a new electric PT Cruiser, to be called the PeT Cruiser-E-Tron ReCharge Evo. The Chrysler 300 will remain in production as currently planned until the year 3807, with a major facelift expected in the late 2800s, at which time USB-D connectors will be fitted.

 

 

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Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
11 months ago

In CA. Crystal coaches in OC was turning these things into Limos….. no kidding, there was enough demand for these that they made them into Limos.

World24
World24
11 months ago

A new electric PT Cruiser would be sweet though.

Ben
Ben
11 months ago

You should turn this into a trivia series where you make up nine fake facts about a car and then include one real one that sounds fake and see who can figure out which one it is.

Parsko
Parsko
11 months ago

THank you, I needed this today.

Paul B
Paul B
11 months ago

The funny thing is how ugly it is, but, the look still holds up after all these years.

Der Foo
Der Foo
11 months ago

I remember looking at one back when I was in college. Fairly practical and not terrible looking. Thank God I dodged that bullet. It seems for everyone that had great results with them, I would hear of 3 others that were constantly dealing with one issue or another.

JDE
JDE
11 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

Strangely I never heard many issues with them, they were basically a Neon underneath. But I do recall them being similar to the Maverick right now. Their was waiting lists for them. Then reality set in I suppose or tastes just drastically changed.

Idiot_with_a_garage
Idiot_with_a_garage
11 months ago

Torch, you should have trolled everyone and had it open into a slideshow.

Maymar
Maymar
11 months ago

“The “PT” in “PT Cruiser” stands for Pneumonia Tsar, which was what Lead Designer Kiefer Sutherland called his mom due to her strict rules when he was sick as a child.”

No, no, it was his *grandfather* that was the Pneumonia Tsar. Tommy Douglas (Keifer’s grandfather) is widely accepted as the father of single-payer healthcare in Canada, a very real fact I love in conjunction with his grandson probably being best known for pretending to shoot and torture people (really putting that healthcare to work).

Another lesser known fact is that an early design brief referred to it as the “Poodle Transport,” after someone at Chrysler got inspired watching Dumb & Dumber, and thought mobile dog washes would be the next big thing. That idea was quickly abandoned, but it explains why they’re so roomy for a relatively small car.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
11 months ago

Waiter, I’ll have whatever the gentleman with the hallucinations is having.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
11 months ago

When my kids were little, they called these “toilet cars”.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
11 months ago

Smart kids!

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
11 months ago

You know what I find truly incredible about this? The 2003 Food City 500 did occur on March 23rd, at Bristol of course. Why did you look that up? Why did I look it up to verify?

Gene1969
Gene1969
11 months ago

That last part about the 300 sounds legit.

Erik Hancock
Erik Hancock
11 months ago

I think Hunter S. Torchinsky did one too many shots of DOT 3 while trying to write a Mercury Monday. Someone go to his hotel room and roll him onto his side so we din’t lose his beautiful mind.

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
11 months ago

“After the race, to make up for the 48 hours of life, Durndell had to spend 48 hours in Catholic Hell.“

Catholic Hell is full of all the things Catholics aren’t allowed to do, so is actually a sub-division of Everybody Else’s Heaven.

What me?
What me?
11 months ago

Now I want a baby crocodile with my next car purchase.

Art Lynch
Art Lynch
11 months ago

Funniest thing I’ve read all day! Had a mason that did some work for me. Drove a PT Cruiser. Beat the shit out of that thing loading it up with mason stuff. How it ever kept on going baffles me.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
11 months ago

Wait, is it March 32nd again already?!

Greg
Greg
11 months ago

Fun Fact: In right-hand-drive markets like here in Australia, the original plan was to market it as the TP Cruiser, but market research flushed that idea.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Greg

They determined after little research, it was indeed, a crappy idea

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
11 months ago

All lies, perhaps, but still more factual than all the combined speeches given at CPAC this weekend.

Ike
Ike
11 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

and less genocidal!

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago

“In an attempt to attract younger buyers, in 2006 Chrysler introduced the Juicy Couture Edition PT Cruiser, which sported a special two-tone paint job, a rhinestone-studded dash, terrycloth seats, and a coupon for a chihuahua from your local animal shelter:”

You said none of these facts were true, Torch!
I’m pretty goddamn sure that one actually is. Though maybe you got the wrong year? Honestly, who knows at this point. The Challenger has been in production since John Riccardo was CEO and it still has fewer ‘special editions’ than the PT Cruiser!

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

So much so that I was about to come comment the same thing. I’m not entirely sure #10 was a lie.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
11 months ago

Fact, the PT Cruiser originally needed leaded gas for a truly retro feel, but a write in campaign from a young David Tracy convinced Chrysler that would exhaust the limited supplies of lead additives he needed to keep his “holy grail” Jeep Cherohawk’s straight 8 engine’s valves from imploding.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
11 months ago

Two more myths:

1. The PT Cruiser was just a Neon with a more practical, but uglier body. It wasn’t it was a light truck. Do your research!
2. The PT Cruiser will make a comeback in 2028 on Chrysler’s 100 year old Mercedes derived RWD chassis with a Hemi V8 and seating for seventeen.

Sadly, that last one might be true.

Matthew hupp
Matthew hupp
11 months ago

Hate to mock myself, but I had one and I really loved the damn thing. Added fake chrome on the front grill. Had moon hub caps that I had to caulk to the rims so they’d stay, even though I knew I’d have to replace the rotors whenever I did the brakes because they’d warp all to hell. But back then, I had no money and I liked they way it looked. Plus, I’d enjoyed the surprised looks from people when I’d have to do a Home Depot run, open the back, and load a bunch of 2×4’s in the back and close the hatch. The looks of surprise were hilarious. Granted, it was a Chrysler product, which means I eventually it gave it up because they can’t seem to build a front end that doesn’t need a major overhaul every 22 miles.

Charlie Lindstrom
Charlie Lindstrom
11 months ago
Reply to  Matthew hupp

I’m with you. The very first new car I ever purchased was a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT Turbo w/ 5-speed Getrag manual in electric blue (or whatever name of the color it was – but you can all picture it). I’ll admit I had a few issues with it under warranty but man was that thing fun, fast, & practical. It would regularly shock people that I could pull on in a race (on a closed course track of course). I’m not ashamed to tell people how much I loved it. The only regret I have is I didn’t get the convertible. As silly as they looked with the top up… it more than made up for how AWESOME (in my opinion) they looked with the top down with that basket handle. Tell me I’m wrong… go ahead, I dare you. 🙂

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago

13. The original name was “PT Loser” but Marketing nixed it, citing discouraging pre-launch survey results.

Drg84
Drg84
11 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Unfortunately due to a printing error several car magazines got the early draft naming.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
11 months ago

True, but hard to believe: When the PT Cruiser was introduced, demand was so high that people (OK, boomers) were paying OVER sticker price for them. Additional Dealer Markup on a PT Cruiser? You betcha!

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
11 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

Oh wow, I forgot about that. I recall seeing one on display in my local mall and it had a $5k markup listed on the windshield but no monroney sticker to say what it was marked up from! Talk about the truth being stranger than fiction…

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

$5k was the low average until like 2006. The place I worked never sold a single PT at or under sticker.

And it’s honestly not hard to understand why if you look at the buyers. They needed something easy to get in and out of, that could haul the kids or grandkids, often on a fixed budget, and the PT Cruiser extremely ticked all those boxes in a package that they considered very cool.
Remember that a brand new PT Cruiser with pretty much every option stickered at just $18,920. A Buick Regal LS with zero options stickered at $23k, and was nowhere near as cool, and definitely wasn’t nicer inside.

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
11 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

A friend of mine’s wealthy father bought one when they first came out and loved it so much. His kids were welcome to borrow his 7-Series BMW but the PT Cruiser was off limits.

JDE
JDE
11 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

And Now we have Millennial’s scrambling for the Pseudo-BEV, psuedo-truck Ford Mavericks. its is kind of interesting to watch trends rise and fall for sure.

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