Traditionally, when Detroit mass-produces luxury, it stamps out heraldic crests and classy-sounding names by the ton. Back in the day, the East Saginaw Lux-U-Ree Works worked three shifts belting out chrome-plated pot-metal emblems for the Big Three, but everything had gone to plastic by the Reagan era. I had forgotten about Salon-edition cars until last week, when I spotted this one at a Denver wrecking yard.
The Chrysler New Yorker of the late 1980s and early 1990s wasn’t quite up to the snob-appeal level of its early-60s predecessors, since it was based on the proletariat-grade Dodge Dynasty (which was itself a K-car derivative) and packed Mitsubishi V6 power under its hood. The Salon of this era was the base model, which shows the cheapening of the once-proud New Yorker Salon designation since its debut in the 1960s. Chevrolet did the same thing to the late-80s Camaro RS, which became the name for the El Cheapo base model instead of a pricey option package.
However, Ricardo Montalban was still pitching New Yorkers, and that helped. Check out that Crystal Key™ (and if you want one today, you must pay). Chrysler was willing to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the d’Elegance Cadillacs, no doubt about it.
The final owner of this car clearly was a man of the world, if we are to judge by the reading material I found on the passenger seat.