Oh, the PT Cruiser. I can’t think of any other car that was so hyped and loved at launch, and then bombed into a reputation for being cheap, dated-looking, miserable automobiles.
So let’s take a trip back in time to revisit a couple of ads from the PT Cruiser was being launched and people were actually excited about these little pieces of junk.
This two-page spread appeared in a May 1999 magazine, shortly before the PT Cruiser’s initial launch as a 2000-model-year car (well, Chrysler actually managed to get it to be classified as a “truck,” apparently to help the company meet fuel economy standards).
The ad included a little inserted, 2-page card you could fill out for more information.
This was the front cover of the 2-page card:
Then flip the card open, revealing the 2-page spread inside:
And then, of course, the back of that registration card on the right was the business side of the card:
The card doesn’t have a website on it (I just include the card here for completeness) but the main two-page spread at the top included a unique primary domain for anyone interested in Chrysler’s retro-wagon.
I do like how Chrysler essentially turned the URL into the sentence “PT Cruiser is coming.” But it’s a bit of a risk to go with a unique primary domain like ptcruiser.com because, as we’ve seen, those need to be updated regularly and are often neglected.
And, indeed, this is what we get when we try to go to www.ptcruiser.com/iscoming (or any ptcruiser.com section) today:
Ooooh… that’s bad. This is one of those parked sites that tries to get you click on links of questionable origin and intentions (and your experience may vary — I’ve seen these kinds of sites redirect to things that look like related sites but are, again, trying to get you to click on something you probably don’t want to). Obviously, Chrysler didn’t maintain the ptcruiser.com domain which, I suppose, makes a little bit of sense since they no longer make that hunk of misery.
A few years later, Chrysler introduced the PT Cruiser Convertible. I had the unfortunate opportunity to drive one of these as a rental on a business trip a few years back. I’ll spare you the gory details.
Anyway, to promote the open-top nature of the newest PT, Chrysler ran this ad in December 2003:
By this time, Chrysler obviously dropped the ptcruiser.com domain in its advertising (I’m not sure if the site itself still existed at this time). Instead, we’re encouraged to visit chrysler.com/ptcruiser:
That’s a bit more conventional and certainly more sustainable many years later as Chrysler still has control over the chrysler.com domain. Certainly, Chrysler can point chrysler.com/ptcruiser to something useful for devoted fans of something that is really just basic transportation in the end.
So where does the /ptcruiser site section lead today:
Another miss for Chrysler.
Yes, it’s chrysler.com‘s standard page not Found error (and not really as pretty as the one we saw with Chevrolet earlier this week). But there’s no PT Cruiser information to be had here — just links to the other current Chrysler offerings.
True, they no longer make the PT, but it’s sad to see a brand completely abandon a product that was so iconic when it first launched.