Rare Rides: Be a Real Businessman With the 1983 Chrysler Executive Sedan
The demand for executive limousines in North America was once satisfied by OEM-lengthened versions of domestic sedans. The Detroit Three built them in-house, or sent regular cars to a domestic coach builder. The lengthened cars were then sold via the regular dealership network. The desired buyer was a wealthy customer who’d have a driver for their daily conveyance. By the Eighties, the limousine market shifted in favor of coming with length: Stretch limousines were in demand. Independent companies built super-extended wheelbase cars for livery-type needs. The factory limousine car market faded away as business magnates chose standard sedans, or long-wheelbase offerings that were not limousines.
But there were one or two holdouts in the factory limousine marketplace, and today’s Rare Ride is one such car. It’s the Chrysler Executive from 1983.
Chrysler developed their limousine on the K-car platform in the very early Eighties, and debuted two prototype models in 1982. The prototypes were of extended Sedan, and more extended Limousine styles. The Executive was based on a contemporary Lebaron coupe, and used two different wheelbase lengths. Sedans had a 124-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 203 inches, while the Limousine utilized a 131-inch wheelbase and had an overall length of 220.5 inches.
Like other K cars of luxury designation, power for Executives was sourced from a 2.6-liter Mitsubishi inline-four. The front wheels were driven via three-speed TorqueFlite automatic.
On the smaller Sedan, a center console provided ventilation for rear seat passengers, who lounged in comfort with footrests. Chrysler pulled out a few more stops for the Limousine. There, a center divider separated the driver from passengers of the luxury class with a pane of glass. There were also two additional fold-out seats, which increased seating capacity to seven. The rear compartment received a separate stereo, and an overhead console with conversion van-type lighting.
Production for the first model year in 1983 was very low; just 11 total vehicles. Of those, nine were Sedans and two were Limousines. The Sedan was available through the 1984 model year, which was the Executive’s best at nearly 800 cars produced. For ’85 and ’86 the Limousine soldiered on alone. In those final two years, Chrysler made the Limousine a compromise offering between its former self and the Sedan by chopping 10 inches from the overall length. Around 1,700 Executives were produced in total before the longest K rode off into the sunset, replaced with absolutely nothing in the Chrysler lineup.
Today’s Rare Ride is a very rare ’83 Sedan, in pristine condition. With 94,000 miles and luxury drapery mounted in the middle of the cabin, it sold on the Facebook Marketplace in two days for about $4,950.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.
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