1998 Plymouth Breeze Expresso junkyard find

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1998 Plymouth Breeze Expresso junkyard find

When the last of the Chrysler K-Car variants and descendants finally went away after the 1994 model year, they were replaced by the Cloud Cars: the Chrysler Cirrus, Dodge Stratus, and Plymouth Breeze. These cars had the “cab-forward” design introduced by the radical-looking Chrysler LH series a few years earlier, sold acceptably well, and then disappeared without leaving much trace. Here’s a 1998 Plymouth Breeze Expresso, photographed in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard.

The Expresso package was available for just the 1998 and 1999 model years, and it came with a few mildly snazzy appearance and luxury features. These exquisitely 1990s badges, for example.

The Neon and Voyager also had Expresso versions available, and all three Expressos came with this “Rythym” patterned upholstery.

The hood latch wouldn’t work (this is typical of 20-year-old Detroit cars in junkyards), but that doesn’t matter for Junkyard Gem purposes— the only engines available in the 1998 Breeze were 2.0- and 2.4-liter versions of the SOHC Neon engine, rated at 132 and 150 horsepower, respectively. A 5-speed manual transmission was available, in theory, but I have yet to see a three-pedal Breeze in person.

The Plymouth brand was gone after the 2001 model year, and the Breeze got the axe the year before that. Few remember this car (just as few remember the Mercury Tracer Trio), but it’s a highly representative example of 1990s youth-targeted American car design.

This Breeze-owning family seems headed straight to a cheerful over-the-cliff death… but you’ll never believe what happens next!

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