1989 Plymouth Speedster (Concept Car)
No one could quite put their finger on this mysterious concept car: half-motorcycle, half-automobile, the 1989 Plymouth Speedster was designed with youth in mind. Unfortunately, this model never made it into production due to lack of funding. The vision for this vehicle was to take teenagers and young adults to and from parties, beaches, etc. Had this whimsical design made it into the streets, we may have seen the first-ever car with no doors driving around our streets (yes, Plymouth expected to aim their marketing efforts at teenagers and drivers in their 20s, because analysts believed that being young meant an avalanche of pocket money that could be spent on the 1989 Speedster).
This unique blend of a sports convertible with a motorcycle-style feel was, for a lack of better word, unconventional. The steering wheel reminded you of a fighter jet joystick type of control, and the criss-cross seatbelts made you feel like you were on a rollercoaster. The 1989 Plymouth Speedster concept car had a sexy interior, with yellow seats and a front dashboard unlike any other. Since you’re used to moving your seat closer or further away from the front of the car, the 1989 Speedster had to defy that; instead, the pedals would move closer to or further away from the driver. The dashboard was also on a movable fork, to suit drivers of different sizes (although seeing a rather large teenager try to hop over the side of the car where the door is supposed to be would have been… well, hilarious).
Even the seats joined the body of the Speedster as a one-piece plastic mold, with wet suit material covering the foam pads that were installed for comfort. So if you came straight out of the ocean, or had to drive home from a community pool, there was no need to worry about changing first. Being an “ideal” car for the youngsters, cleaning the interior was made easy: throw out any garbage that you can see, then vacuum or hose away loose particles. Yes, you could actually put a hose inside the 1989 Plymouth Speedster to just blast away the dirt and grime of our youth (spilled sodas, fries that fall under the seats, and so on).
Clearly, the 1989 Plymouth Speedster was all about fun-to-drive. And despite the fact that this concept model was developed so long ago, manufacturers already knew that fun-to-drive cars didn’t need to be as hefty as full-size coupes or SUVs. This miniature model was only 130” bumper-to-bumper, and had a major motorcycle-esque drawback: it didn’t have a roof. Had this car made it to production, it would have been nearly impossible to drive comfortably in the rain, hail, snow, or dust storms.
The 1989 Plymouth Speedster concept car was a 2-person car; there was no back seat, which is sort of a setback, considering that their target market – young people – like to socialize, so therefore a back seat would allow more passengers to hop in. Because the 1989 Plymouth Speedster was a conceptual design and not even a prototype, the execs never even considered actually getting this car to an assembly line. There was no proposed engine, transmission, or anything like that, so we don’t even know how fast this concept vehicle may have been.