By on July 16, 2019

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.

[Images: seller]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

48 Comments on “Rare Rides: Be a Real Businessman With the 1983 Chrysler Executive Sedan...”


  • avatar
    redgolf

    My Father in law was a Chrysler man, he had bought new a black 1980 Chrysler New Yorker and a 87 New Yorker with a turbo the 80 was a much nicer looking car I thought ( leather interior),than the more boxy looking 87 (velour interior) that 83 looks a lot like the 87 (his a non limo ) his 87 was hit in the rear at a red light crushing in the whole trunk area, I couldn’t believe the insurance company fixed it!

  • avatar
    craiger

    What luxury!

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    With the exception of that tasteful blue velour interior, I find nothing to recommend this vehicle. It was sorely outclassed by the offerings from Ford and GM.

    Sorry Lido but a swing and a miss on this K-Car derivative.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I noticed the velour upholstery but I think it lends more of a bordello ambiance, especially with the luxury “draperies” shielding the passenger compartment. Agreed otherwise – a big miss (only eleven sold in ’83? – that had to be expensive!)

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I find it utterly reprehensible to be honest. It’s been stuck in my head all day like a bad song. Yet here I am back again.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    The biggest thing I remember about the K cars is most of them looking like the rear suspensions were sagging an inch or two too low. This limo doesn’t have that problem.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    No turbo, no sale.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e7qVlrHbYE

    At least with the turbo you could turn it into a crazy build.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Am I the only one who gets a “fancy coffin” vibe from all that blue velour in the back?

    And my hat’s off to Chrysler – as ridiculous as this thing is, it was a cheap and creative way to pick up a few sales.

    By the way, this wasn’t technically Chrysler’s last try in the “stretched sedan posing as limo” market – they did a Walter P. Chrysler edition 300 a few years back.

    https://www.300cforums.com/threads/finally-08-walter-p-chrysler-300c-executive-series.247866

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Red Velour gives me the coffin vibe. Especially if the door pulls are of the “casket handle” variety.

      I always liked the Cadillac factory limos, the ones where all the extra length was aft of the rear doors so that the passengers would be deep into a private space.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      The exterior looks a bit coffinesque as well.
      3-spd auto and 2.6 four? I wonder what the acceleration times on this could have been?

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Good news is the prospect of dying in this would really want to make you cling to life!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You don’t want to go fast in this car. You want to accelerate slowly to a stately speed, and wave at people on the sidewalk. At an estimated 0-60 of 14.6 seconds, you don’t have much choice, do you?

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “You want to accelerate slowly to a stately speed, and wave at people on the sidewalk”

          I was always under the impression that it wasn’t a good idea to wave at people who were pointing and laughing at you

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          0-60 in 14.6 sounds more like the straight K Car’s performance. Unless these limos had a different final drive ratio (and even if they did…) I bet they were even slower than that.

          Not that any of this matters when you’re a gregarious Gordon Gecko, gridlocked and going gradually.

          (I admit I had to use a thesaurus for “gradually” but the other words just came to me.)

    • 0 avatar

      Oh that 300 LWB is ghastly. I must find one for sale.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It would have looked better with a vertical rear window and opera lights – vinyl optional. ALL 300’s should have been that long, maybe six inches longer in trunk length. Don’t say that’s too big – the 2008 LWB Chrysler was just under 203 inches long.

        A 1970 Mercury Montego midsize sedan was 210 inches long, and the same width. A full size 1970 Chrysler 300 was 225 inches long, and five inches wider. You don’t want to compare to a 1970 Cadillac! Giants roamed the earth in those days.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        It’s not terrible

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Damn shame the 300C Executive was not marketed to consumers. Six inches makes the 300 into an extraordinary passengers car. Dibs on backseat!
      Only offered from 2007-2009. Chrysler please bring back the six inch stretch 300. For the love of luxury market this wonderful space more effectively.

  • avatar
    SavageATL

    *mind boggles* so what did Chrysler Execs do after 1986 when they needed to ride around in a limo? They couldn’t have been driven around in competitors’ cars. Was there a limo version of the minivan?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Probably just got driven around in a Fifth Avenue.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If you took the 2nd row out of the minivan and sat in the third row…

        Then you just needed a bar and crystal decanter (well and Lido’s stock of cigars.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          For a “grand” minivan, all you need are captain’s chairs, and a bartender/secretary in the third row, mixing drinks. You’ll miss that impressive long hood, though. The other downside is all the kids returning from soccer practice waving at you.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I’m thinking the ChryCo execs donned false noses, beards, non-descript black suits, and hunkered down in the back of a Fleetwood 75.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      +1 for an amusing question and answers.

      Serious answer, though: Execs in this era would have been more likely to drive themselves than present-day execs. Pay was less stratospheric, and society in general was more egalitarian.

      Source: I knew an exec who was fairly high on the food chain in the ’50s and ’60s, and he definitely was driving himself in those years. It’s likely a Henry Ford II and a handful of other industry people had drivers, but most men outside that tiny inner-inner circle were driving themselves. And by “fairly high on the food chain,” I mean someone who was a direct report to the president/CEO at one of the Big Three.

      I imagine things got a little less egalitarian in the Go-Go ’80s, but not by that much.

      An interesting outgrowth of execs driving themselves: The brass hat specials that were created according to the whims of those execs and their wives.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The brass hat specials that were created according to the whims of those execs and their wives.

        Right, like when GM policy said that the executives had to be driving something from the brand the executive worked for.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      The UK version of the apprentice used top spec Chrysler Voyagers for shuttling execs about.

      And when execs visit their UK and Irish offices they tend to be ferried about in top spec Mercedes vans.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Chrysler asked the design firm Lippincott & Marguiles to create the perfect luxury car, and got 800 proposed designs. They chose one: the worst.

    The one whose lines could only be described as immature, undeveloped and could not possibly have been designed freehand…an artistic blackhole, the inverse of high style…perfect for those who want to take their cramped sitting room out on the open road.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Nah. They started with a K-car, and they ended up with a K-car, only longer. You forget, back then Iacocca would have given them a design budget of approximately $23.65 and a design timeline of “by lunchtime tomorrow”.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yes remember that on the Daytona etc one of the test drivers commented about a revised shifter linkage that would have given the manual performance versions better driving characteristics. The change would have cost approximately $4 per car.

        His suggestion was firmly shot down.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    There was a Chrysler Executive in ‘Valley Girl,’ one of the best movies ever made. Between scenes it transmogrified into a Lincoln Continental.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    It sorta looks like a limo from the outside.
    From the inside, it looks like a kit car.
    Now, they are not interested in cars.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    There was a standing joke at the time as to how far they were going to stretch the “K” car before it buckled in the middle

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I don’t hate K cars,I wonder how well / poorly this one drives .

    ALL K Cars are niche vehicles so mindlessly hating something you don’t know anything about makes you look silly ….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I had a Le Baron convertible, it wasn’t the greatest car I ever owned. I can make a few jokes

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    I would go for one of these- the perfect ‘stealth’ limo. Only YOU know that it is a limo.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Kind of reminds me of the Japanese corporate limousines without the V8 and the window covers. I actually kind of like the looks of it and I love the interior.

  • avatar

    Why this? What happened to Imperial?

  • avatar

    Cannot be real. It is like stretching Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Who remembers Chryco labeling the 2.6 Mitsu motor as a HEMI?
    Think most of the buyers don’t even know what hemi refers to.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The amount of tumblehome on this vehicle is about right.

    This was a poor copy of a Lincoln, but with an uglier front end/grille.

    A wise person could have looked at this vehicle in 1983 and predicted that one day Chrysler would essentially be out of the sedan business. But that person might have been surprised if you told them it would take over 30 years to reach that point.

    The car business is funny (not funny as in ha-ha, funny as in strange).


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ToolGuy: The amount of tumblehome on this vehicle is about right. This was a poor copy of a Lincoln, but with an...
  • Jeff Weimer: I think it was US headlight regulations that required the eyebrows. Sealed-beams came in 4 formats and...
  • slavuta: As much as I will never buy a German car, made in Mexico; I feel bad cause I like cars like this, with...
  • Superdessucke: Doubt you’d be successful even if you were serious. I’ve been watching this for awhile now...
  • JimC2: “The birds just turned into dinosaurs this time.” (chuckle) Yep!

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States