By on January 27, 2012

By early 1979, Chrysler was really circling the drain. Lee Iacocca was in, the “too big to fail” government bailout loan wasn’t a sure thing, rebadged Simcas and Mitsubishis weren’t luring many subcompact shoppers into showrooms, and the front-wheel-drive K platform was still a couple of years from showrooms. Let’s follow up yesterday’s Chrysler Malaise Era Death Spiral Junkyard Find with the quasi-luxury car Chrysler hoped would help the company stagger, zombie-like, into the 1980s.
Actually, Iacocca’s strategy was successful, so I can’t be too hard on them; the K Cars sold like crazy, the company paid of the government loans on time, and the Diplomat-based LeBaron was forgotten. Hey, is that soft Corinthian Leather? It is!
Did Chrysler offer opera lights on the K-based LeBaron? I might have to go back and get these units for my A100.
I’ve ridden in a few of these, and they really weren’t terrible cars; the 318 was an unkillable, if weak, powerplant, the chassis gave a fairly decent ride, and the goofy crypto-luxurious interior appointments really added something to the ambiance when you were cranking Motörhead with your loadie friends in a $75 LeBaron in 1987. One thing you could say about Chrysler in 1979 that you couldn’t have said about AMC was that the future offered a dim flicker of hope.
Yes, power locks were still a big deal in the late 1970s. Unless the car was German, they didn’t work after a few years, but check out this classy lock knob!
The question to ask yourself now is: would you take a ’79 LeBaron or an ’82 LeBaron on a cross-country road trip? I think I’d be willing to take the 10 MPG fuel-economy hit of the older version.

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40 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1979 Chrysler LeBaron...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Oh, come on, Murilee, These were some of the best sedans and coupes on the road at the time. I perceived they were almost as good as the GM B bodies. The drivetrain was bulletproof, for sure.

    Lido paid back the loan EARLY, not “on time”. It wasn’t a bail-out, either, merely guaranteed by the gov’t.

    I am an unabashed Chrysler fan of this era, as I believed Iacocca, while admittedly confident (full of himself as many heads of industry are), was honestly trying to do what was best for Chrysler, unless I’m terribly wrong but I don’t think so.

    I owned a 1980 LeBaron coupe the same color as exibit A pictured, but without the padded(!) exterior window sills – what was THAT all about???

    We proudly owned Chryslers and K-Cars all through the 80′s – a bare-bones 1981 Reliant (new), a 1984 E-Class (used), 1980 LeBaron (gift), 1980 Dodge truck (new) and a 1976 Dart Lite (used).

    No – they weren’t perfect cars, but they served us reliably and quite well. Our 1990 Acclaim was doggone near a perfect car. Our current cars are light-years better, however, but that’s another story.

    I really desired a Sinatra Imperial…

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      I get tired of saying this but it has to be said, because facts are important. Chrysler never received government money (aka taxpayer money, aka OUR money). NONE. They did get a guarantee that if the loan package made to them by private institutions was not paid back then we would be on the hook for it. A risk to be sure, but not a direct transfer of funds. And yes, because of the successful turnaround, despite the naysayers at the time (and there were plenty, just as there are today in regards to GM and Chrysler) the loans were paid back early. The truth is the government (aka the taxpayer, aka US) made a PROFIT on this. There were numerous fees that had to be paid to various government entities during this time. It’s all in Lido’s book.

    • 0 avatar

      A loan is a bailout if there’s no reasonable certainty that the company will survive (which there wasn’t by a long shot) and the creditor might have to eat the loss. AMC wasn’t too big to fail and had to go to the French government for help. Granted, AMC had nothing promising in the product pipeline.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        This wasn’t a bailout the way the recent GM bankruptcy was a bailout.

        The loan guaranty allowed Chrysler to negotiate a much lower interest rate, that made it an almost certainty that the plan would succeed and allow Chrysler to continue as a viable company. Without the bailout, Chrysler would still have been able to get the money, but at usurious interest rates that would have attracted vultures of the Mitt Romney type. The vultures would have tripped it up, and then cut it to pieces while it was down….selling off the the kidneys, spleen, eyeballs, and other bits and pieces to the highest bidder. Good or bad? I dunno. Do you think Ford and GM would have built better cars with Chrysler’s bones in the cemetery?

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        So your saying that a loan from private banks and lending institutions is a bailout,just because they might default? Because that’s where the money came from. And the creditor would not eat the loss in this case. If you meant that just a guarantee against default (which the government did do but they didn’t lend or give any money) is a bailout then by your definition money doesn’t have to change hands for a bailout to take place, and I think that is a stretch.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Without the promise by the federal government to pay back the loans in case Chrysler defaulted, no responsible financial institution would have extended any credit to Chrysler in the first place. If the federal government hadn’t agreed to guarantee the loans, Chrysler would have collapsed in late 1980, if I recall correctly. Chrysler’s problem was that financial institutions refused to extend it any additional credit. The same thing happened to Studebaker-Packard in 1956 after a mediocre 1955 model year and dramatically declining sales in early 1956. This made it impossible for the company to tool up for a new line of 1957 Packards and Studebakers, which, in turn, basically killed the company.

        And even with the federal loan aid, there was no guarantee that Chrysler would succeed. The U.S. auto market was terrible in the early 1980s, and even the Ford Motor Company was on the brink of collapse. Its European operations basically kept the company afloat until it could restructure.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Zackman, did your ’81 have chronic carb problems? Ours sure did; it was impossible to keep the idle reasonable, what with that “stop within a stop” solenoid for A/C idle up speed. Did you know your car had an “anti diesel” relay that engaged the A/C when you shut the car off? This was to prevent engine run on when you shut the car off. Our A/C clutch freewheeling bearing failed which burned the belt to a crisp and melted out the electromagnet in the clutch. I popped the hood and smoke billowed from the clutch. I shut the engine off and the relay tried to engage the A/C clutch. This burned up the relay and the fusible link for the A/C, causing smoke to come from the wiring harness. Our 87 Reliant made up for all this and more, cracking over a quarter million miles with anvil like reliability…

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I never had an issue with the carb. This car was given to us in 1988 by my wife’s great uncle.

        It was a 225 Torqueflite, factory A/C, no leather. The only issue I had was a bad fan clutch – which I didn’t find out until I cooked the third water pump – I had a friend check it out and all he did was grab the fan blades and shake – viola’! $40 bucks later I was good to go!

        It was a good car while I had it.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    +10.. I had a later version of this and it was bullet proof. Meaning not only was the drivetrain solid, it also did not rust anywhere, lose its shine and the interior held up very well. Don’t know why there is all this hate towards Chryco. For crying out loud, I owned a 77 and 79 Electra, an 80 Cadillac Sedan De Ville and they were junk man. Come 100k you were replacing EVERYTHING.. and that lousy auto temp NEVER worked either.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      +1 IMO, Chrysler was about the ONLY company offering anything resembling decent looking by the mid-70s. Lean burn had its issues, but so did any electronic offering attempted. (Or did you forget was a sensation Pong was by 1977?) Detroit should not be faulted for trying to deal with the triple threat of EPA, new crash test regulations AND the second oil embargo.
      I get that these junkyard features are interesting, fun even, but to the under 40 crowd, they`d get the impression that only Detroit built crap back then. Perhaps each revisionist history article should carry a disclaimer.
      Newsflash to those under 40: Since Toyota, Honda and the others offered something like 4 or 5 models apiece on these shores back then, it is easy to forget that they sold junk, too.
      Let`s put things in perspective. In 1979, the year in question here, Chrysler clung to 11% market share, even with the bankruptcy news. Honda, Teflon clad though it may be, had 2.5% market share. So while a Detroit legend thrashed around in death throes, the first volleys from Japan Inc were more like wet far…not sure I can say that word on television.
      Even in California, you`d have a hard time finding a first generation Civic in a junkyard. Up here, they dissolved long before the `80s passed into history, yet many LeBarons survived well into the early `90s.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Carbiz: +1

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Our neighbors bought one of the first LeBarons in our town. It was a beautiful dark blue sedan with a gray vinyl roof and gray velour interior. That LeBaron was a very sharp car that easily held its own in the style department with a Cadillac Seville, which sold for thousands more in 1977. Chrysler did a very good job of hiding the Volare and Aspen roots of these cars.

        Unfortunately, that car was constantly at the dealer for various problems. Which was pretty much the same story for most of the people I knew who bought a Chrysler product at that time (my best friend’s family bought a brand-new 1978 Plymouth Horizon, and it spent more time at the dealer than on the road). Meanwhile, the “downsized” 1979 Newport, New Yorker and St. Regis looked as though they were slammed together by those workers who were smoking pot and drinking beer on their lunch break in those notorious videos posted on this site a few months ago.

        Chrysler quality and reliability were very uneven by this time. If buyers got a good one, great, but, unfortunately, too many buyers didn’t. Chrysler wasn’t on the verge of bankruptcy by the late 1970s because customers had been brainwashed into avoiding its products.

        The reasons the Chryslers survived are because mechanics knew how to work on them (most of the components had been in production since the late 1950s), and replacement parts were widely available (just swap an engine or a transmission from another Chrysler Corporation product). It wasn’t necessarily because they were better engineered than a Honda.

      • 0 avatar

        Carbiz, for the most part you’re correct but Hondas were an exception to the rule for Japanese cars. Most Japanese cars then were bad imitations of British sedans. Conventional layouts, the cars rusted badly in much of America, and they couldn’t build an automatic transmission to save their lives. HVAC systems sucked, too, in comparison to domestic units (Detroit has one of the largest temperature swings you can find, from 0 to 100 deg F).

        Honda, which started building cars despite the Japanese industrial establishment’s opposition, embraced front wheel drive and new technologies.

        My car guy buddies and I would have loved to have gotten a Honda 600 coupe or sedan, but compared to Hondas, Toyotas and Datsuns were boring and utterly conventional. That was in the early ’70s. By 1979, Honda was selling the Accord for three years. They still rusted, but they were fun to drive, handled nicely and came very well equipped. Honda’s realization that putting stereos and A/C in every car reduced those options’ costs, and selling well equipped cars as standard equipment very much changed the industry. It’s hard to find a true stripper model anymore. Ten years before Honda sold the Accord fully equipped as standard trim, forget stereos, heaters were still optional.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        In the early 1970s, the Japanese cars competed against the Pinto, Vega and Gremlin, as well as the stripped versions of the domestic compacts.

        The lack of effective air conditioning didn’t matter all that much. Most subcompacts, domestic or foreign, didn’t have it. Even a fair number of domestic compacts were not ordered with air conditioning.

        Many of these cars came with a manual transmission. Most of the domestic manuals at that time certainly weren’t anything to write home about, either. The domestic car makers wanted you to order the optional automatic.

        As for the engines in Japanese cars, by the early 1970s, they were quite reliable and very well made. The Pinto offered several different four-cylinder engines when it was on the market, and some were reliable. But the Vega’s engine…enough said.

        The Vega also easily rusted FASTER than any comparable Japanese car. My father’s 1973 AMC Gremlin certainly wasn’t all that great in that regard, either.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I’ve got an ’88 Fifth Ave with just 78,000 original miles. Nice ride, about the same mpg is our new minivan, and even cooler, more modern opera lights than those on the LeBaron (I know, you’re all jealous). I bought it for a little bit of nothing from the original owner, complete with his medal of St. Christopher. Other than the lean burn issue, this car is solid. No underbody rust issues (does need paint like every other US 80s car), runs extremely well, everything but the a/c that hasn’t been updated works. Yes, everything, right down to the factory cassette player (look it on wikipedia, youngun’s). The heater can bake a pizza when it’s 10º out.

    Funny thing is, I bought it on a whim as a beater. But you wouldn’t believe how often I’m stopped to talk about it. I think non-enthusiasts don’t care that its 318 is a bullet-proof slug or that the headliner needs reglueing. They just see instant nostalgia, and something that stands out proudly square-shouldered in the sea of jelly beans.

    And while I don’t have soft, Corinthian leather, that crushed velour always gets compliments when people sit in those seats. And more important than anything, my 4 year old loves it (but I’ll get rid of it before she enters the teen years, because we all know her perspective will be VERY different then!)

    Deadly sin or not, it’s been a surprisingly good car that’s fulfilling its purpose well.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    If I were standing on a used car lot in the late 80s/early 90s and before me were a mid 80s Cutlass Supreme Brougham sedan with a 307V8, a Ford LTD (NOT Crown Victoria) with a 302V8, and a Dodge Diplomat with one of the uplevel packages and 318V8, I’d be hard pressed to choose for each had it’s virtues and upsides. But if I had to guess which one I might be driving 10 years later with as many orginal parts as possible, I’d pick the ChryCo product.

  • avatar
    FordTempoEnthusiast

    I’m really not feeling the bug deflector. Only some pickup trucks can pull them off… But otherwise, I can appreciate a LeBaron. Cool looking cars. I wouldn’t mind having one. But damn, they’re rare these days.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Looking at these old Chrysler wrecks brings back some memories (my grandfather on my mom’s side had a LeBaron wagon for a time; my great aunt a Dodge Aspen my dad wrecked), but also makes me feel pretty good about the New New New New Chrysler’s current course.

    Sure, there are some nutty things going on with branding and tha marketing is uneven at best, but the fundamentals are strong: powerful, up-to-date powertrains, comfortable interiors where pennies are no longer pinched, distinctive, consistent styling, and sensible pricing that acknowledges Chrysler still has a lot of goodwill to make up.

    Phase One is complete: surviving bankruptcy and an extended period without major changes to any of its then-already uncompetitive product. Phase Two is also complete: a first wave of new or heavily-updated products being met with both critical praise and strong sales. Phase Three will be the second wave: the new Dart and Viper; the new 200 and 100; the new Patriot and Liberty; the Fiat-based Ram vans.

    In short, Chrysler now has things it hasn’t had since the cab-forward craze: pride and momentum. Perhaps junkyard japes will be thing of the past in the post-PT Cruiser era. We know this much for sure: the wood and leather in the 300 is real.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    I have a ’87 Fifth Avenue with a 318. Dang car was practically unkillable. I beat the crap out of it (towing other cars, hauling bags of dirt, six people, etc). I loved it.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the terrible takeoff. But on the highway, it ran fantastic.

    The only thing the finally killed it was a ruptured oil filter and a locked up motor. Man, I miss that car!

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “The question to ask yourself now is: would you take a ’79 LeBaron or an ’82 LeBaron on a cross-country road trip?”

    Bus pass.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “Yes, power locks were still a big deal in the late 1970s. Unless the car was German, they didn’t work after a few years…”

    Often times I think you look at German cars through very rose-colored glasses, or maybe you never had to deal with vacuum-operated Mercedes-Benz locks, which they had until the early 80′s. If anything, I think power locks on American cars tend to survive quite well, and believe me, I’ve owned my share of used and abused cars.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Mercedes used vacuum into the ’90s. The vacuum locks on my ’79 300TD still work perfectly. Not that I have had to, but all you need to troubleshoot them is a mitevac. Simple system.

      • 0 avatar
        WRohrl

        Audi used them well into the 90′s as well, my ’95 S6 still had them…

        The original Audi 5000′s “79-’82 also had “power locks” writ large on the lock buttons, albeit in a slightly more modern typeface and look.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    A HS buddy of mine got a two door version of this car upon graduating. His father worked at Twinsburg assembly, so every kid got a car for graduation.

    The car was a nicer uplevel LeBaron coupe, with 318 and most of the toys. No T-tops and a cloth interior, but had most everything else. Including the “power lock” plungers like the OP car.

    Chuck, (the recipient of the car) was a farking idiot, he abused the crap out of the car in the two years he had it. It met its demise upside down in a small stream, after a pot fueled beer run gone wrong. He survived, but he flushed a really nice car down the crapper.

    I’ve not owned, but had the occasion to drive other versions of these cars, and they have held up pretty well. I still see the descendants of these cars around the upper midwest, although not quite the ones of this vintage. 30 years on, not much survives daily use.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    The parking light/turn signals above-the-headlights styling of these always made me think who flipped the design drawing and how did no one catch it before production?

    • 0 avatar
      fiasco

      My mom had a similar red Diplomat…to me it looks like the LeBaron and Dippy both use the same grille assembly, just flipped upside down. My family sure went through a bunch of ChryCo products in my early years (I’m a late-production 73 model). I seem to remember a 74ish Ramcharger, a 76 Duster, the Diplomat, and a tan Horizon (that was what arrived at the dealer when my dad special ordered a black Omni, go figure). There was a Fiat 124 Sport Coupe mixed in there, as well…

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    These were what the Aspen and Volare were supposed to have been in 1976. It took Chrysler three years to fix the F-body. Three years to stop the recalls and bleeding. Rename the F-body the M-body. Reissue the cars as the Plymouth Fury and Dodge Diplomat.

    Then they had to pimp Chrysler brand further by offering a Chrysler version, called LeBaron.

    So the LeBaron is a Plymouth Volare fixed and renamed as a Chrysler. It got filled with faux luxury touches and strange cosmetic styling such as extending the vinyl roof onto the trunk lid and putting vinyl on the exterior window sills. I think it was supposed to make the car look more luxurious and larger. The front clip and the rear was changed. The difference between the LeBaron and Diplomat front clips were the headlight bezels were flipped upside down on the LeBaron, and normal on the Diplomat.

    With these fixes, buyers discovered a new smaller Chrylser. With the success of the Cordoba, it was not odd to believe that the magic found within the soft Corinthian leather couldn’t also be found in the LeBaron. The LeBaron coupe was especially promoted as a Cordoba spin off.

    So with the LeBaron, Chrysler took a Volare and turned a sow’s ear into a Polyester, Acetate and Nylon purse.

    Frankly, it wasn’t much, but a lot of folks were happy with them.

  • avatar
    roger628

    My father leased a 2 door one of these to replace a ’76 Ford Elite that he ran into a pole and never got fixed right.
    Someone above mentioned if you got a good one, great, If you didn’t…….
    Upon delivery one LeBaron script was missing off the fender, the
    drivers sunvisor was too big to click in place, and there were numerous loose bolts that I went around tightening.
    In the first 4 months, the flex plate came loose from the engine,
    the Lean Burn computer quit several times, rendering the car dead,
    and numerous fit and finish issues cropped up.
    Also, the Lean Burn system never worked right, the car was a slug and the 318 struggled to top 90 mph.
    I lobbied for one on the lot that had a 360, but my father was traumatized by the mileage of the former Elite with a 460,
    so he was on a fuel economy kick. I guess I should have been thankful they had no Slant 6s on the lot.
    FWIW, there was a “Heavy Duty Trailer Assist” option with the 195 HP 360 4-barrel offered for these, but are very rare, likely due to cost and CAFE instigated rationing.
    It include the engine, which was the same as the A38 Police 360 and the Cordoba 300, as well as wider wheels, heavy duty underpinnings,
    rear sway bar etc. What a difference this might have made to the overall character of the car.
    At any rate, the car continued to deteriorate rapidly.
    At one year, paint began flaking off, leaving rust underneath (this being western Canada, not much salt).
    By two years, the puny 7 1/4 rear end was showing signs of wear, the ball joints were shot, rendering the thing unsteerable (more slop in the steering than an old farm tractor), the cruise control and horn didn’t work because the wires inside the tilt column were broken,
    the pin fell out of the shifter, causing it to come off in the driver’s hand, etc. It just never ended.
    At around 40,000 miles, the right front wheel bearing failed, causing the wheel to fly off.
    A temporary downturn in family fortune forced us to buy it after the lease ran out-After a couple of years, dad bought a new Audi 5000 and my brother got this POS.
    Guess what, after some TLC it became a good car.
    A new 8 3/4 Sure Grip rear from a wrecked nearly new Volare 360 Road Runner was procured. New ball joints installed. Some touch-up paint work from an associate of my father’s who owned a body shop.
    An afternoon of tinkering turned up disconnected vacuum hoses that the Chrysler dealer neglected to take care of. Ran very well after.
    The car was better at 4 years of age than when it was new. In my opinion, it was still a steaming turd though.

    • 0 avatar
      tpj527

      “FWIW, there was a “Heavy Duty Trailer Assist” option with the 195 HP 360 4-barrel offered for these, but are very rare, likely due to cost and CAFE instigated rationing.
      It include the engine, which was the same as the A38 Police 360 and the Cordoba 300, as well as wider wheels, heavy duty underpinnings,
      rear sway bar etc. What a difference this might have made to the overall character of the car.”

      There was, and it did – my grandparents bought a ’78 dark gray exterior/light gray leather two-door (with all the options except 8-track and the factory CB) that had been special ordered by a guy who decided he didn’t like it after two weeks.

      Granddad was a car guy and a machinist who made certain everything he owned was always in tip-top shape. So when I got it ten years later, it was better then factory new (spending a lot of that time garaged in FL didn’t hurt, either). Was a blast to smoke Camaros and similar from a dead stop at lights on the Parkway; they never knew what hit them. And those big bench seats made it a date night dream…

      Traded it in after college on a MX-6; while there was still not a spot of rust on it, was depressing to see the gas gauge drop while you drove it. It had also (again) developed a hesitation and a loud “clunk” when changing gears. Still sometimes wish I had stuck it in my parent’s backyard with a few tarps over it, though.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I think Roger628 has pretty well summed up the general experience of Chrysler Co. vehicle owners of the day. Our family owned a series of interesting foreign makes during the early 60′s (can you say SAAAAAAAAAAAB, boys and girls?) but whimisical nature of the vehicles and their service departments led us back into the domestic fold with a 67 Plymouth Valiant. They had a good dealer in our town. THAT car was great. It was as plush as a Valiant could get which wasn’t all that, but hey! It wasn’t a 2 stroke 3 cylinder like the SAABs. The 225 slant 6 and the automatic made a nice combination. When it was passed down to my sister as a college car, my parents got a 73 Plymouth as a matter of course. It was SO BAD that 2 years later we became Chevy people. Wouldn’t start and stuff fell off or broke right and left.

    The quality simply disappeared between 67 and 73.

    As for the Chevy experience, well it was delivered with the rear axle on crooked, and that sort of set the tone. We bought an Accord, and everything worked, all the time. Always. We were in salt country so yeah, it rusted, but so did the domestics. Burned vividly into my memory is a 73 Ford which in 76 had the bottom edge of the trunk lid rusted into lace.

  • avatar
    LTDScott

    My ’85 LTD has the same big proud announcements of power door locks on the knobs, mainly because the locks are actually operated from the knobs. Pull up and all the doors unlocked. Push down (further than you’d normally push) and all lock.

    Mine still work, although they are a bit slow.

    • 0 avatar
      hootbot

      I have a 1980 volvo 244 the “GL” model. Grannnnde Lux it is, leather interior, manual sunroof, ac, clock, am/fm radio, and electric locks that work in the same way as yours. Pushing down or up on the drivers lock unlocks/locks all the doors, the key lock also activates all the doors.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Had an ’89 Gran Fury Interceptor, the last of these.

    Friend of mine I sold it to just got rid of it last year, the Lean Burn 318 had hatched, so he put in a 72ish hi-compression 318. Thing ran like a raped ape. AND, was smooth to drive. :)

    I’d drive one again. If I could find one…

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    My parents bought a ’79 LeBaron in lovely battleship grey in the early 80′s. Despite the blah color, the car was reliable and never gave us any trouble. We traded it in on a dealer demo 1984 LeBaron with the raspy 2.6L Mitsu motor. Personally I’d rather have the ’79….it may have been gutless stock, but at least that could be remedied rather easily. Wasn’t much you could do to coax any more power out of that noisy 2.6L.

  • avatar
    jeffrodigital

    My parents had a ’81 lebaron but it was total barebones. It had the same seats and lack of options that a diplomat or gran fury had. Just had the lebaron grill and tail. Didnt see nearly as many as you did from the other 2.

    My dad had replaced a 72 dart with the lebaron and still talks to this day fondly about how those cars just ran. From what I read they were tanks. the volare/ aspen duo that came between them is to be avoided. I remember a cousin had one of those and we lost touch for years and years but recently i brought up that they had the aspen and they said they still did. Had it professionally restored which to me is kinda crazy.

    I’ve looked up cars like these online and from time to time see the latest version of these- the fifth avenue- pop up in awesome shape from time to time and as new as 1989 models with air bags !! I’ve toyed with the idea of buying one just because even though they are surely big, slow land barges with all kinds of fake luxury touches its so over the top it would be cool to cruise in.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “…and the Diplomat-based LeBaron was forgotten.”

    Well, it got renamed the 5th Ave with more pillowy stuff and sold well in the mid 80′s. I think M body profits helped pay off loans early more than the thin K car margins.


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