What Does "PT" Stand for in PT Cruiser?

by Jennifer Vally
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automobiles image by Vasily Smirnov from Fotolia.com

When Chrysler's PT Cruiser first arrived on the American market in April 2000 it was an instant hit with consumers thanks to its combination of retro looks mixed with modern features. But what exactly does the "PT" stand for in the PT Cruiser?

The Initials

Officially, the "PT" stands for "Personal Transportation," but the initials also designate the car's platform. The Neon was based on the Chrysler PL platform, or "Platform Low," while the Cruiser was based on the Chrysler PT platform, for "Platform Tall."

History of the PT Cruiser

Originally designed as a concept car, the PT Cruiser was first introduced to America during the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The design was so popular that it went into mass production in April of 2000.

The design

Bryan Nesbitt, a 27 year old graduate of the Art Center of Pasadena and a staff designer at Chrysler, designed the PT Cruiser. Mr. Nesbitt mixed modern designs with the looks of panel trucks from the 30s and hot rods of the 50s and 60s.


Car & Driver Magazine named the PT Cruiser 2001 North American Car of the Year.

End of an Era

Fiat purchased the Chrysler Corporation in 2009. Fiat announced that the PT Cruiser Final Edition will launch in the fourth quarter of 2010 for sale in 2011---the final year of the PT.

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