Illustration for article titled Save the Crickets!

The Plymouth Cricket is a car that gets a bad reputation, but I think that it deserves a second chance. They were basically re-badged, somewhat restyled Hillman Avengers, and they were only sold for a few years in America before consumers decided they didn’t like them. One of the major reasons why it wasn’t a success in America was that in order to make it lighter and less expensive, they gave it basically no sound deadening. Now, we car enthusiasts can appreciate noisy lightweight cars, but in the early ‘70s, the average American car buyer did not. They complained that, like an actual cricket, it wouldn’t stop making noises until you killed it. However, on the bright side, pretty much everyone who drove one said the handling was superb, and at least one person had some success rallying one. In England, there were performance versions of the Hillman Avenger, and the Plymouth Cricket’s engine also responded fairly well to modifications. It may not have had a good reputation back then, but it sounds to me like it could make a fun enthusiast car now. Sadly, though, they are rapidly disappearing. Last I checked, it seems that there are about 16 running examples left, and the wagon version appears to be extinct.

Illustration for article titled Save the Crickets!
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On the rare occasions when these do pop up for sale, they are dirt cheap, too. So save the Plymouth Crickets!

Illustration for article titled Save the Crickets!

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