The 14th annual Woodward Dream Cruise revs up this weekend, and just as it's done for the past eight years, Chrysler held a Dream Cruise kick-off breakfast at which it unveiled a special edition of its retro-mobile PT Cruiser. This neoclassic hot rod so lends itself to customization that this one is the company's 14th special edition.
The last three specials to be introduced at the Woodward Dream Cruise were "Street Cruisers" designed to commemorate various hallowed byways, like Route 66 (2006), Pacific Coast Highway (2007), and Sunset Boulevard (2008). But this year's model is simply dubbed the Dream Cruiser Series 5, picking up the numbering scheme that left off in 2005.
Unique paint schemes are a hallmark of these specials, and the Series 5 is resplendent in two-tone Midnight White Pearl Coat (the brightest white ever offered on the PT), with a Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl roof panel and rear spoiler. The blackout top serves to visually widen and lower the car's stance, and looks sharp with the deep-tint rear windows. Body-colored fog-lamp sockets and chromed accent moldings, handles, badging, and exhaust tip further decorate the Series 5.
The most impressive feature, however, is the chromed billet aluminum grillework in front, which Chrysler VP Larry Lyons described as "the industry's most substantial grille." The main radiator grille and those below the bumper start out as flat, 3/8-inch thick aluminum, from which the diamond-pattern holes are machined before being bent to shape and chromed. It feels as strong as any grille this side of a Viking range.
The Pastel Slate Gray interior is accented with Brilliant Black dash panels and black "Momentum" fabric seats. This new material has the slightly shiny look of ballistic nylon or a wet-suit, and its seams are embossed, not sewn, for greater design flexibility. There are numerous chrome accents, plus special floor mats and door-sill plates.
Production of an anticipated run of 1750 cars begins in October, with pricing at $22,700 for the naturally aspirated 150-hp 2.4-liter, and $23,980 for the turbo, which produces 180 horses on regular gas. Relative to a Touring-level PT Cruiser, that's a $2245 more for the base engine, $1620 more comparing turbos.
In case you were wondering about the previous customs, the 2009 Chrysler PT Dream Cruiser Series 5 joins the Flames, Woodie, PT Dream Cruiser Series 1, 2, 3 and 4, PT Turbo and Chrome Accents models, the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible, the refreshed 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser, the Chrysler PT Street Cruiser Route 66, Street Cruiser Pacific Coast Highway Edition and Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Editions.