Paxton-Blown Prowler

“Be sure it’s pointed straight before you get on it.” Now, we’ve heard these words before when we’ve sat behind the wheel of some very hot muscle cars and “fastest street car” type dragsters. But in a Prowler, the V-6-powered, wanna-be hot rod from Plymouth? Yeah, right.

This was no ordinary Prowler, though. Paxton had seriously massaged this factory street rod with a number of performance upgrades, not the least of which was the one-two punch of a supercharger and a nitrous oxide system. So when Paxton’s David Adams, Jr. gave us those words of advice as we slipped into the driver’s seat, we listened.

Good thing, too. Hammer the throttle in this red beast and it takes just a little half-step sideways while the fat rear tires hunt for traction. (And we do mean fat: those are 295/40VR20s baloneys back there.) Then it’s jump-to-hyperspace time. You’re pressed back into the seats as the Prowler leaps forward, chirping the meats as it finds second, and chirping again going into third. You can’t really feel either power-adder kick in. There’s just a massive surge of power that seems to go on forever. But you know the laughing gas is working because the button is on the floor and your right foot is buried, man.

The power may go on forever, but the clear road ahead doesn’t. When the traffic light a few hundred yards ahead of us goes yellow on its way to red we lift, the nitrous feed shuts off, and the Prowler becomes a more docile animal. It idles smoothly at the light, giving no hint of the violence that had just occurred between the rubber and the road.

We flip a U-turn and travel back down the same street, this time at only part throttle. The blower whines from under the long hood, but otherwise the car feels as streetable as any of the BMWs and Camrys that surround us. When putt-putting through town, this car is a sleeper—well, as stealthy as you can be in a bright red Prowler with silvery ghost flames on the nose. But it only takes a blip of the throttle when the road clears to feel the power on tap. And even when the nitrous system is off and you’re getting boost from the blower alone, this Prowler is still a pretty stout piece, probably what the Chrysler designers imagined when they first penned its retro rod lines.

We realize that the Plymouth Prowler may not be at the top of every hot rodder’s list, but these project cars do show what you can achieve in a 3.5-liter V6 with some clever engineering and good ol’ hot rod tricks. So how did Paxton turn V-6 Prowler into a potent road missile? Just follow along with the captions and photos, and don’t miss the video of the black Prowler shown below.