picture postThe 1981 Plymouth Reliant’s unique badging

1981 Plymouth Reliant badge banner

1981 Plymouth Reliant hood ornament

The 1981 Plymouth Reliant was the FWD model that superseded the comparatively voluptuous Volaré. Plymouth had been using an emblem shaped like a rocket ship (others see ‘frog legs’) for years but, for the Reliant’s inauguration, it had been fused with a hollow Pentastar. By 1982, however, the unique emblem was replaced by a garden variety, Chrysler-style Pentastar. These logos were worn as hood ornamentation, through 1983.

1981 Plymouth Reliant Hemi badge

Also worth noting: some 1981 Plymouth Reliants wear Hemi badges. Optional on Reliant was a 2.6-liter, four-cylinder engine which did, in fact, have a hemispherical cylinder head. However, it was the Mitsubishi 4G54 engine, called Astron. Interestingly, having also been used in many other vehicles, it was primarily employed longitudinally, for RWD applications. Though the engine was used in the FWD K-cars through 1987, as best I can tell, the “Hemi” badging was limited to 1981 models.