Seeing the success Dodge was enjoying with the Dart Swinger, Plymouth
decided in 1971 to release their own version of the 2-door hardtop and named
it the Plymouth Scamp. The Scamp was targeted at the
conservative buyer who wanted the sporty look of the 2-door without
getting into a larger car. The Scamp was offered only as a 2-door
hardtop and no convertible was offered at any point. Scamp
production ran from 1971 through 1976, being replaced by the Plymouth Volare'.
All Scamps are based on the
"A-Body" classification of Chrysler vehicles. During the
Scamps short run, the A-Body also included the following cars: Dodge
Dart, Dodge Dart Swinger, Dodge Dart Sport, Dodge Demon, Plymouth Valiant
and the Plymouth Duster. These cars were based on a sub-frame design
rather then a full ladder frame, one at the front of the car and one at
the rear. The floor pan and roof maintained the rigidity of this
design. When looking for some interior and exterior parts for your
Scamp, you may find them on any of the cars listed above.
Plymouth kept drive train options simple. Engines included the trusty
198 or 225 in-line 6 cylinder (known as the "slant 6") and the
318 cubic inch V8. Most Scamps were delivered with a 3-speed
automatic transmission. There are reports of Scamps with 340's and
4-speeds, so you never know what you'll run into. Customers
interested in additional horsepower would need to look toward the Duster
340 for enhanced performance.
For the most part, the Scamp remained the same from 1971 to
1976. Different grills, interiors and rear end treatments were used,
but the basis of the body did not change. Here are some of the
changes through the years:
1971: First year
for the Scamp. To associate the new Scamp with the old and trusty
Valiant, Plymouth placed a "Valiant" emblem above the
"Scamp" sticker. The original 1971 brochure shows a
surreal looking hand-drawn version of the Scamp that lacks the
"Scamp" sticker on the truck deck and fenders. Plymouth
model lineup drawings on the back show a drawing of a Dodge Dart.
1972: Not much
changed in 1972. However the gas vent tube was relocated from the
trunk to the engine compartment. Also, the rear side markers
changed to a more protruding design.
1973: For 1973,
the grill was changed to a more open design. A new hood design was
required to match up the the new grill. Scamp stickers were
replaced with metal Scamp emblems. New front side markers appeared
to match the rear design introduced in 1972.
1974: The entire
rear of the car was redesigned, taking the taillights out of the bumper
and moving them above. The electronic ignition also became
available in 1974. The Valiant Brought 2-door was introduced as a
more luxurious version of the Scamp.
1975: New front grill
design again. Also, first year a cat. converter was required.
1976: Last year of
the old A-body design... Enter the Plymouth Volare, and the news just
got worse from there. Production count was down around 8500 units