Junkyard Find: 1982 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 chrysler lebaron convertible
While Chrysler developed endless variations of the original K Platform, adding branches to the K-car Family Tree through 1995, only the Dodge Aries/400/600, Plymouth Reliant, and Chrysler LeBaron were true Ks. The K-cars saved Chrysler from near-certain bankruptcy, with the first Dodge and Plymouth versions rolling off showroom floors as 1981 models; the LeBaron came the following year, and the luxurious LeBaron convertible stood tall as the K-car King.Here’s a well-preserved 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible in a Denver-area self-service yard.
I have photographed numerous Ks during my junkyard explorations, including this ’85 LeBaron woodie convertible, this ’86 LeBaron Town & Country wagon, this ’81 Dodge Aries Hemi wagon, this ’82 Dodge Aries wagon, this ’83 Dodge Aries sedan, this ’86 Dodge Aries sedan, this ’88 Dodge Aries wagon, this ’81 Plymouth Reliant wagon, this ’86 Plymouth Reliant woodie wagon, and this ’89 Plymouth Reliant sedan. I may have some personal animosity for the K-car, which I will attempt to keep out of this post; I have good reason to loathe the K.
There’s a bit of rust here and there, but nothing that would have prevented a full restoration… that is, if anyone wanted to invest $10,000 and get a finished result worth $3,000.
It was purchased new a few miles from this yard, and it will be crushed here.
The F-4 Phantom was flown out of a couple of nearby Air Force bases through the late 1980s, so perhaps the original owner of this car went Mach 2 when not managing the 84 horsepower driving the front wheels of this car.
Yes, just 84 horses moved this luxury convertible; the 140-horse turbocharged 2.2 engine became available in the 1984 LeBaron.
The interior is in great condition, and the original owner’s manual and ignition keys were still in the car. My guess is that this was a dealership trade-in that proved unsellable later.
Lee Iaocca offered a dazzling convertible that put a little fun back in driving.
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2 of 35 comments
  • Duaney Duaney on Sep 25, 2018

    Well I could use the interior, but what yard is this in? U-Pull and Pay doesn't list this car.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 27, 2018

    Also, that's a nice-looking interior for its day (or ours!) especially given that it's decades old and was presumably sun-exposed. These little guys were advertised in "Town & Country" magazine alongside Range Rovers at the time, so they probably weren't cheap, despite the shortage of hamsters underhood.

  • Kwik_Shift Regardless, I have a good variety of on-going and current topics to scan through. if nothing, back to my USB stick of music. CB radio can be entertaining as well and useful when travelling a highway in inclement weather or bear traps.
  • Kwik_Shift If I'm in that situation of being in an unfamiliar area looking for an address/parking, I'll put on my hazards. If you want to pass, then pass. Otherwise you have warning.
  • Tassos Strictly a collectible, nota daily driver. Way too old. Even the Awesome S class from 1991-99 is getting to old to be a daily driver these days.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird The small van segment is quite popular in Europe. Many business owners and crafts people buy the Transit, the Renault Kangoo or Peugeot Partner since it fits their needs and can navigate the narrow streets. They should have done better here for folks whose Ranger or S-10 with a cap is getting old.
  • Kwik_Shift So well-used ones can be further overpriced.