QOTD: What Was Peak K-car for You?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what was peak k car for you

It was one of those make or break moments. A company teetering on the financial verge which threw a Hail Mary at the right time — and at the right target. The company in question was Chrysler, and the Hail Mary was the K-car platform.

Today we ask you: What was peak K?

I got to thinking about the K-car recently, both as financial savior and platform-sharing wonder. Among its virtues of affordability and flexibility, there was also an aspect of unfortunate longevity. One basic platform, tons of variants, and a timeline stretching between 1981 and 1995.

To put that in perspective, people drove a new K-platform car to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the movie theater. They did the same thing in 1995 when they went to see Jumanji, a film which actually featured the final K variant sold — the Chrysler LeBaron (though an older one, which was not great for giant mosquitoes).

In between, just about every body style was covered by the K: sedan, coupe, convertible, hatchback, wagon, limousine. From base wheel covers to, well, brougham wheel covers, models ran the gamut in price. They all had a couple things in common, though: front-drive and a transverse engine. I’ll try and make a platform derivations list below.

  • K came first, compacts
  • E and H, larger cars in the midsize class
  • AG and AJ, sporty driving cars
  • S, minivans to 1990
  • AS, minivans 1991-1995
  • AP, later version for revised compact cars
  • AC, later luxury midsize sedans
  • AA, later standard midsize sedans
  • Q, one-hit wonder for the TC by Maserati
  • AY, longest wheelbase luxury sedans

Somewhere in that extensive list there’s undoubtedly a peak vehicle, though you may have to look up which particular version of K resides underneath. Let’s hear ’em.

[Images: IMCDB, Steph Willems/TTAC]

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  • THX1136 THX1136 on Jul 26, 2018

    I got to drive a Spirit when my 84 Charger was in for collision repairs (drunk individual ran a stop sign at highway speed). I enjoyed the car and thought that I would buy one when the time came. As it is I kept the Charger way longer so I never acquired a Spirit. Also liked the looks of the Daytona/Laser, but never got a chance to drive one. Those would be my picks.

  • Dodge440391SG Dodge440391SG on Jul 28, 2018

    I owned a 1985 LeBaron GTS Turbo. Absolutely the most comfortable bucket seats I have ever sat in. Good handling and acceleration. Goofy voice alert and fluorescent dash displays worked at the time I sold it. I upgraded the computer to a Mopar performance computer and upgraded the plug wires, distributor and air cleaner element. Turbo worked great; I always let the engine idle down after a drive. Changed oil every 1000 miles. Car required premium fuel, which was a drag, though necessary. I raced the car a few times at the track (drags). Little traction, believe it or not. The sensors (especially the coolant sensor) would fail a lot, along with the hard plastic vacuum and sensor lines. The coolant sensor was critical to the fuel/air mix calculations in the computer. All -all, decent car; but I would not buy another (used).

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  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.
  • Dusterdude The Detroit 2.5 did a big disservice by paying their CEO’s so generously ( overpaying them ) It is a valid talking point for for the union ) However , the bottom line - The percentage of workers in the private sector who have a defined benefit pension plan is almost non existent - and the reason being is it’s unaffordable ! . This is a a huge sticking point as to have lower tier workers join would be prohibitive ( aside from other high price demands being requested - ie >30% wage gain request ) . Do the math - can a company afford to pay employees for 35 years , followed by funding a pension for a further 30 years ?
  • El scotto Human safety driver? Some on here need a human safety thinker.