Born amid Chrysler’s 1990s design revolution, the Plymouth Prowler is that rare kind of (more or less) modern performance car whose standout design has kept most aftermarket developers at bay. And while an off-road-biased build of the sort might’ve seemed unimaginable, this rendering seems to tick that box in a way that makes us want to open the maps app and seek the nearest path of rugged land available for mud flinging.
Designed by Tom Gale, who had also penned the Viper a couple of years back, the Prowler was a nod to the ’32 Ford hot rod, a breed that became a hit after WWII.
Underneath the unusual design, the Prowler borrowed around 40 percent of its bits and pieces from the Chrysler parts bin. From the original 3.5L V6, which only delivered 214 hp and 221 lb-ft, shared with FWD sedans like the Eagle Vision and its rear-mounted four-speed automatic, to its minivan rack and pinion steering and its Viper suspension, the open-top two-seater gracefully concealed all these bits, keeping them together via an aluminum chassis.
And while Chrysler did address the lack of power for 1999, the enthusiast-craved V8 never came, with the machine receiving a more potent 3.5L V6 instead. The new engine’s 253 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque meant the vehicle was good for a 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) sprint of 5.7s and a low-14s quarter-mile time.
Chrysler axed the Plymouth brand altogether following the 2000 model year and while it took the Prowler under its umbrella, the merger with Germany’s Daimler only saw the sporty proposal living on for two extra years.
Bet you’ve never seen such a Prowler
Digital artist Timothy Adry Emmanuel (aka adry53customs) took the unusual machine that is the Prowler in an… unusual direction, bringing it closer to the sky via 40-inch Maxxis tires wrapped around beadlock wheels, hence the moniker we dropped in the title.
The standout bumperettes up front are gone, with the nose of the vehicle now being protected via a rugged frame. And, a couple of inches back, we find a 454 giving this Prowler the Big Block motivation it always deserved. And yes, this is one for the stick shift community.
There’s also a bit of Britain in this digital build, with the headers being linked to Caterham exhaust hardware.
The appeal of this “Mud Rod” Prolwer and its original nature, along with the growing popularity off-roading builds are enjoying meant we can offer it a 7/10 as far as the RPM (Real-world Project in the Making) Potential is concerned.
Chrysler only built 11,702 units of the Prowler. And these days, a good one would set you back at least $30,000. Then again, you don’t start this kind of build with a mint-condition vehicle, so you can probably ignore the said number.
Besides, one could argue that Chrysler had prepared the Prowler for becoming a terrain tamed from the get-go. That’s because the early test mules for the vehicle oddly came with Jeep Wrangler body panels, as you can see in the video below, which led to the Prangler nickname for the prototypes.