Junkyard Find: 1979 Chrysler Cordoba

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1979 chrysler cordoba

Examples of the Chrysler Cordoba continue to show up in the self-service wrecking yards I frequent, though I tend to skip the ones that are particularly wretched and break out my camera only when I’m in the presence of a Cordoba that still has a certain personal luxury aura.

So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’76, this ’78 (which provided me with a classy Corinthian Leather couch), this ’79, and this ’80, and now we have this fairly straight ’79 that I saw in an icy Denver yard last week.

From the plastic “gold coins” on the door panels and taillights to the world’s phoniest-looking faux-wood dashboard trim, the Cordoba says a lot about the state of the American automotive industry during the late 1970s.

This one has Whorehouse Red Velour seats, not the optional Corinthian Leather.

It’s in pretty good shape, in fact.

Oh no, not the dreaded “Lean Burn” system!

Sold in Boulder, will be crushed in Denver.

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  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Jan 05, 2016

    Detroit didn't know how to deal with CAFE standards and tougher emissions, because they didn't want to spend money on technology such as fuel injection, 3-way catalysts, OHC engines, or 5 speed gearboxes. So by the late 70s you had Chrysler and Ford products that had not yet been downsized but packing smaller smog-choked engines to boost the fleet average fuel economy (i.e. 302 or 255 instead of 351 ci, or 225 or 318 instead of 360/383). GM was a little better because they were ahead on the body downsizing, but they also used conventional technology in smaller engine sizes which decimated performance. In contrast the Germans, Swedes, and Japanese were offering way better technology and much better build quality, and it is not surprising that Big 3 market share went quickly downhill.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jan 06, 2016

    Here is an insightful comment from a '78 Cordoba find of Murilee's from which he pulled the magnificent Corinthian leather front seat. Kudos to 'VanillaDude' for originally posting this. VanillaDude January 26th, 2012 at 10:29 am These cars were bringing the finest in luxury home furnishing of the period, into a personal luxury car. Walnut paneling was very popular at this time. Wood veneer was quite the fashion. So filling the interior of a personal luxury car with faux wood trim was considered quality. Also, the Cordoba copied some styling themes from the Jaguar. Wood IP panels were considered exotic. Chrysler slathered faux wood upon everything, even upon knobs and buttons. Plush thick carpeting, especially in the trunk and on the spare tire was the height of luxury touches. The very idea of finishing the trunk with these touches seemed so elegant in an era when trunks were forgotten black holes filled with wires, unadorned structural braces, smelly fresh rubber full sized spares, and cold hard metal surfaces. Air conditioning changed culture, including car culture, a great deal. These kinds of interiors would not have been offered in the age before air conditioning. No one wants to sweat all over these materials within this kind of decor. One of the reasons we have this personal luxury car interior happening is because drivers could sit in air conditioned luxury within a car, as they could their homes. Car interiors couldn’t be glamorous except in luxury cars with air conditioning. When a/c became standard, we can see a demand for similar luxury touches in smaller, more affordable, cars. The personal luxury car begins a chapter best called “affordable luxury”. That was not done before. It was new. And buyers ate this crap up with a plastic spoon. Women were buying cars during this era at a never-before rate. Ladies are more comfortable within a comfortable car interior, than within a car interior built for spills, families and dogs. Women were working and the second car was hers. This created a new marketing niche filled with profits. It is simply amazing how one can take a dated Road Runner and turn it into a silk purse filled with profitable options as a personal luxury car. I know these cars don’t appeal today to most buyers. Considering their build quality, performance and design features, these cars appear insane. So, it is important to respectfully understand how sane and rational folks would spend their hard earned wages on this kind of vehicle. People weren’t crazy. To them, a Chrysler Cordoba was something to desire.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.