There was a time in the early 2000s when automakers decided it was time to start making vehicles styled like they came out of the late 1950s. Chrysler and Plymouth were the worst offenders, with both the PT Cruiser and Prowler on sale at the same time. General Motors ended up falling into the pit as well, with the SSR and later the HHR. This 9,000-mile SSR is peak retro-awkward and may end up selling for a reasonable price. Bidding ends this afternoon, though, so get your wallet ready if you’re interested.
Believe it or not, the SSR actually offered a slice of truck life with a real bed, though to be fair, it was carpeted and featured real wood runners. So while you might not want to load up with cinder blocks at the local home store, you could toss a golf bag or groceries in the back without much worry.
Under the hood, there’s a 5.3-liter Vortec V8 that produced 300 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque when it was new. That engine turns the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential helps keep things planted.
Make fun of it if you wish (I do), but many cars reach a point in time when they have outlived the ironic and ugly stage and reach a friendlier retro-cool stage. Whether the SSR reaches that point or not is yet to be seen, but there are people in the world that fervently believe vehicles like the Chrysler PT Cruiser have already hit that point in life, so it’s more than possible for the SSR to do the same. Besides, the PT Cruiser didn’t have a V8 and didn’t look anywhere near as cool as a convertible.
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