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September 7: Chrysler introduces the Neon on this date in 1993

September 7, 2012

It may be something of a punchline to some, but at its introduction to the Frankfurt International Auto Show on this date in 1993, the Dodge/Plymouth Neon was considered a serious swing by Chrysler at Japanese compact cars, whose sales had weakened due to a rising yen. Chrysler sold the Neon around the world and made some stabs at importing a few thousand into Japan. To this day, a strong vein of Neon fans appreciate the car for its tossability, and the SRT-4 model is almost -- almost -- a collector's item. (The reason it died? Chrysler never made it fully competitive with the best Asia had to offer.) But you can't say Chrysler didn't try hard; comparing your compact to a Lincoln Town Car takes some brass.