By on February 17, 2020

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, RH side view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe New Yorker name goes way back for Chrysler, running from the 1940 model year all the way through a series of K-car- and Eagle Premier-based front-drivers in the 1980s and 1990s. To me, though, the greatest of the Chrysler New Yorkers were the ones built on the majestic C-Body unibody platform for the 1965 through 1978 model years, and I have the most affection for the “we don’t care about oil prices” cars of the Middle Malaise Era.

Here’s a (nearly) two-and-a-half-ton ’77 Brougham hardtop sedan, which met its doom in a Denver self-service yard last fall.

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, seats - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAll 1977 New Yorkers were Broughams, because 1977 was the most Broughamic of times. The standard New Yorker interior included crushed-velour bench seats, but the original purchaser of this fine machine paid extra for the pillow-top leather split bench option.

My impossible-listening band of the late 1980s, Murilee Arraiac (yes, there’s a connection between the band name and my pen name) recorded several songs as homages to full-sized Chryslers. The best-known of those was Chrysler Imperial (a Mighty Pleasant Sound), which got some airplay on Japanese college radio in 1989, but we also recorded one entitled Chrysler Town & Country and one called Chrysler New Yorker. In honor of today’s Junkyard Find, I digitized the latter song from its cassette master and put it up on YouTube just yesterday. Enjoy.

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, radio - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsStrangely, while this car came from the factory with a generous helping of luxury options, the audio “system” here is the cheap AM-only two-speaker radio. That still cost you $99 back then (about $437 in 2020 dollars), because this car didn’t come with any sort of radio as standard equipment. If you wanted the top-end AM/FM radio with 8-track — just the thing for listening to New Yorker-appropriate tunes — you’d have had to shell out a staggering $349 ($1,540 today) for it.

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, HVAC controls - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsIt does, however, have the Auto-Temp II HVAC option.

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, clock - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsBecause I’m a real gone cat, I had to buy this lovely chronometer for my car-clock collection. It makes some noise but still tells reasonably accurate time.

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, 440 engine - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsPower numbers from 1977 seem depressing today, and the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 in this car had a rating of just 195 horsepower to haul all 4,739 pounds of New Yorker steel. The torque figure for this engine was a respectable 320 lb-ft, however, so off-the-line acceleration was acceptable.


Jack Jones sang it best:

Gleaming luxury.
All a car can be.
And what’s also nice
is that soft New Yorker price.


Of course, the ’73 New Yorker was more or less the same thing as the Apollo Command Module, but expectations had diminished by 1977.

You’ll find links to nearly 1,900 additional Junkyard Finds (including 55 Chryslers) at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

71 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1977 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham Hardtop Sedan...”


  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    ” the audio “system” here is the cheap AM-only two-speaker radio. That still cost you $99 back then (about $437 in 2020 dollars)”

    Well, that certainly puts Porsche’s options pricing in perspective, doesn’t it?

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    I see FM on that radio. But the two enormous buttons below it are hilarious.

    • 0 avatar

      I would concur. Aside from the AM and FM freqs noted on the radio, there is also an AM/FM switch on the radio just to the left of the “dial”. The 2 buttons for “local” and “distant” are overkill for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        no they’re not. that’s back before automatic gain control (AGC) was common in car radio tuners. If you were close to a transmitting tower you’d set it to “local” to prevent over-loading the tuner, and when reception got poor further away the “distant” button would increase the tuner sensitivity.

        AGC in anything reasonably modern handles that all on the fly.

        • 0 avatar
          roger628

          That’s not at all what those buttons are. It’s an AM-FM Stereo search tune radio. It’s an analog signal seeker.
          Local tunes strong stations, distant picks up weaker ones.
          It may also have a foot switch.

          The band switch show AM because that what it’s set on. Flicking it reveals FM.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @roger628 is correct. Move that switch to the left of the radio tuner down and it will reveal FM.

            The local and distance buttons are for ‘auto seek’.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Arthur, as a kid I remember hearing from my parents about ‘auto seek’ on their first (50’s-era, old at the time) car. My sister and I were skeptical.

            The way they explained it, you pushed the button and it would go to the strongest station, you pushed it again and it would go to the next strongest, and so on.

            Is that the way this ’77 seek function works? Or is it a motorized scan which moves up the dial progressively and stops when the signal exceeds some threshold? Genuinely curious.

            Best wishes to you with your health situation – you are in my thoughts.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Please have your eyes tested.
    The radio is AM FM.
    The bottom row of numbers are clearly marked.

    Clue- spend more time on basic facts than on the cute snark lingo.

    Peace out.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Although this was top of the line for Chrysler, the Imperial having been discontinued in 1975, it just wreaks of cheap plastic and vinyl. The big Chryslers had a long descent into oblivion, this being the last full-sized

    The subsequent New Yorker/Imperials were nothing but rebadged versions of lesser Chryslers

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The 69-73 fuselage full sized Chrysler products were far better than these 74-78 models quality wise. An uncle of mine owned a 69 Fury III coupe and my grandpa had a 72 Fury III four door hardtop. Both were well built with excellent fit and finish. Apparently you could see the decline in the quality during that time these new models were introduced. Plus they became uncompetitive due to the oil shocks.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Whenever I see a car of that size, from that generation, and especially in that color, a whole flood of smells comes rushing back from my childhood – the stench of tens of thousands of cigarettes burned into the upholstery, perfume that could double as bear mace, cheap scotch, and pure, unrefined exhaust pouring in through the windows.
    Ahh…kids these days don’t know how good they have it!

    And to add my 2 cents to the radio comments – while there are FM numbers on the dial, FM is missing from the frequency switch. Maybe it’s like the non-functional A/C button that was on so many 80’s Japanese cars – it (kind of) was there, and teased you that it was there, but unless there was some dealer prep work, it really wasn’t there.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      This is an actual AM/FM radio. The AM/FM switch is just to the left of the dial. When it’s in the up position, it reveals the legend AM, the AM band is selected. When in the down position, the FM legend is revealed and then in the FM band.

      A buddy of mine had one of these back in the day. It was a good sound system. Of course, this is all before we had the sound systems with 3000 tiny buttons…

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        Thanks for the catch – I expected the FM to be above the switch, not hidden by it. 2 whole speakers…get some old Billy Joel or Rush crackling through the killer sound system!

        I hear ya with the lead exposure – during my heavy travel days in some places that would not be considered for the next hot spot in all the latest travel sites, there was nothing but leaded fuel still being sold. If we brought our cars with us from the US, we had to remove all of the emissions equipment if we wanted to return with the car and stare at a check engine light. Why it’s OK to sell that poison in the third world when it’s been banned here for several generations is still beyond me.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Why it’s OK to sell that poison in the third world when it’s been banned here for several generations is still beyond me.”

          same reason the Sacklers are trying to expand opioid sales in other regions now that the US is clamping down: someone stands to make money.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Ahh…kids these days don’t know how good they have it!”

      sure they do, they’re not addled by long-term exposure to lead.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “they’re not addled by long-term exposure to lead.”

        Thanks, I now have a good excuse for when I do older stupid stuff…

        “I’m sorry it’s the lead exposure” ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Hey, this one would at least have a catalytic converter (and EGR and everything else), so it wouldn’t be unrefined.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    Brougham-A-Rific!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Just because we’re on TTAC, the brochure says the 440 made 200hp in ’77.
    The 400 and 440 both had lean burn as standard this year. The 360-4 (170hp/270tq) without lean burn was the standard engine in CA/high-altitude states and was apparently available nationwide, although I doubt many people went for it.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I love it.

    But I’ll never understand that era of engineering with emission laws at the time, but it looks like to me you could have gotten decent power out of a 440 and also had way better tailpipe emissions with improvements like catalytic converters, EGR, unleaded gas, smog pumps, etc. But instead, you got 190hp out of 440 cubic inches.

    There should have been a longer timeline for the automakers to get into compliance, no wonder they almost died in the 70s.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Catalytic converters aren’t magical, there’s a limit to how much pollutants they can clean up. Plus this was before three-way catalysts, so what this car would have had was only capable of lowering HC and CO emissions; the engine would still have had to be strangled to limit NOx production. even after three-way cats hit the market, carburetors were still too imprecise. a three-way cat has to have the engine oscillate between slightly rich and slightly lean because the oxidation cat (which cleans up HC and CO) works efficiently when there’s more oxygen in the exhaust, and the reduction cat (which cleans up NOx) works efficiently when there’s little oxygen in the exhaust stream. Too rich all the time and the oxidation catalyst can’t handle it (and may melt down,) too lean all the time and the reduction catalyst won’t do s**t. they couldn’t really do much to boost engine power output while still relying on sloppy carburetors; it took the much higher precision of EFI before they could both increase power and reduce emissions at the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        You’re only locking in one thing, the catalytic converter. Things like EGR also reduced NOx and a host of other devices. And a catalytic converter can still work on a car making another 50 hp.

        But regardless, it just illustrates my point that improvements could have still been made that greatly reduced emissions, but still allowed cars to have acceptable power. The regulators didn’t understand the engineering. So nothing has changed. DC bureaucrats think they can just make a car get 100mpg by passing a law.

        • 0 avatar
          Jagboi

          They were chasing lowering NOx emissions. The main way to do that is by lowering combustion temperatures, so that why there was a lowering of compression ratios. That had the side effect of lowering power as well. Limiting spark advance also limits NOx.

          The computer technology didn’t really exist then, EFI combined with much better combustion chamber and valve design resulted in lower emissions. In that regard, legislation pushed the development of EFI – GM considered that all the emission reduction that was possible had been accomplished by 1971, so they needed a regulatory push to keep technology moving.

          Most of the US automakers were not willing to invest in new engines at the time, so stuck bandaid solution on their dirty engines, rather that designing efficient engines like the Japanese did.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        JimZ,
        You nailed it. carburetors could never meet both HC and NOX regulations without serious de=tuning

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Man now that’s a luxury car, I spent yesterday at the auto show in Raleigh, there was nothing as far up into the $150k range that could touch this level of luxury and prestige.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Serious? It’s all plastic and tufted vinyl encased in acres of sheetmetal over 20 year old technology

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        You had me at acres of sheet metal.

        That plush soft ride quiet ride, with that slow turning engine, lazy boy seating, Chromed steel bumpers that define the corners with certainty. It’s a piece of art.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          What, huh?… Sorry, dozed off half-way through your comment ;-)

          I will admit that these, Lincolns and full sized GMs were the ideal way to criss-cross the country in silent isolation

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’m with you – I fail to see how this is remotely “luxurious”. Nausea-inducing was more like it- my grandparents had boats like these when I was a kid, and I DREADED riding in them. Particularly the tailgunner seats in the wagons.

            I guess if you live where the roads are smooth and flat, and the is only one turn every five miles they might be fine. But in frost-heaved Maine, ugh. And that’s not even going into the horrid tackiness of it all.

            A big Mercedes was luxurious, this is just a tacky land whale.

          • 0 avatar
            Roberto Esponja

            A big Mercedes was luxurious how? I lived that era and, their merits notwithstanding, the interiors of Mercedes Benzes were far from luxurious. Plus, their climate control systems sucked.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      “Man now that’s a luxury car, I spent yesterday at the auto show in Raleigh, there was nothing as far up into the $150k range that could touch this level of luxury and prestige.”

      Is this a F*&(ing joke?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Oh no I’m full on serious, what qualifies as luxury today is crap to what semi-premium meant in the 1970s. Is quality, materials, technology better today? Hell yes. Ride quality, value for your money, luxury sized, and slow turning engine? This beats those qualities in spades.

        But without a doubt if I was given the choice between a fully modernized example of the car above or brand new all options 7 series, I wouldn’t hesitate to take the former.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          I am starting to get the appeal of these – what Hummer/Dan/Arthur et al are saying.

          Example – check out the accelerator/brake/e-brake pedals in “picture 2” here:
          https://www.volocars.com/vehicles/11844/1977-chrysler-new-yorker

          That’s chrome with non-slip rubber on a substantial piece of steel.

          Now compare the amorphous blob of plastic over stamped steel pedals from a current luxury vehicle:
          https://www.carscoops.com/2019/12/2021-cadillac-escalade-this-is-it-straight-from-the-factory/#lg=1&slide=2

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Hummer, serious questions (not mocking):

          When you say ‘ride quality’ do you mean primarily isolation from bumps in the road?

          When you say ‘luxury sized’ – exterior size? interior room? both?

          ‘Lazy boy seating’ = primarily thick cushioning?

          (On the topic of ride quality, I have temporary custody of a 2003 DeVille [Base not DHS or DTS] which has a different ride/handling profile vs. most vehicles I have owned. I can see the appeal, but the suspension is overly-floaty for my tastes, and crashes hard on a demanding section of one of my close-to-home ‘test loops.’)

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Called “New Yorker” because (choose one):
    a) Incredibly tight turning radius makes it easy to navigate tight congested streets and alleys
    b) Compact overall dimensions make it easy to park in small lots
    c) With that departure angle, you better keep it on pavement – mostly flat pavement

    [Filming inside the CSM simulator and then switching to an outside shot of a completely different property – pretty sneaky.]

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    New Yorker Brougham with Chrysler Road Wheels and full instrumentation.

    Replace lean burn with a TBI.

    Go coast to coast.

    Heaven.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1

      +Increase timing

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Coast to coast? LOL…my grandpa and my aunt’s family had a bunch of Chrysler luxury cars from this era, and you’d have been lucky to cruise from your house to the mall without something important falling off.

      American cars were pretty much all junk during this era, but Chryslers were in a category all their own.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Tighten and check every nut.

        Any one that you found in drivable condition 40 plus years later would either have been completely gone through or been one of the “good ones”. There used to be an old Granada and an old Dart cruising around Gallup. You figure by that point the post poorly assembled ones are all off the road and in the scrap yard.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        But what are you comparing them to?

        French or Italian or British were even less reliable.
        Japan produced/exported nothing that could be considered luxury at that time.
        BMW was still primarily competing with the likes of Saab and Volvo for quirky autos that did not meet North American standards/tastes regarding ‘luxury’ appointments.
        Mercedes perhaps but except for their top line products, they were considered underpowered and too austere.

        If you got a D3 luxury vehicle from the Brougham/Malaise Era and took even a modicum of care of the driveline they were relatively long lived.

        The rest of the vehicle as you noted would require diligent care.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Here’s the difference, Arthur – imported luxury cars may have been somewhat mechanically temperamental, but in terms of build quality, there was no comparison whatsoever. Things didn’t fall off a Mercedes of that era. A Mercedes didn’t rattle and squeak constantly. You couldn’t feel a Mercedes’ chassis flexing over bumps. What the D3 lost sight of was that luxury car buyers wanted something that was built with care, and nothing they made during this time fit that bill.

          We can be nostalgic about the “good old days” of road boats like this, and yes, they had their charms, but there’s no mystery to me why the D3 lost the luxury-car wars – they built stylish, smooth-riding junk.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Well said, nothing like an American lux-o-barge of this era to run poorly for a long time and repairs were cheap and easy compared to the European luxury offerings.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            I believe that there were a few reasons why the D3 lost the domestic luxury market.
            1) During the Malaise/Brougham era they spent more time focusing on marketing/styling than on engineering.
            2) When they downsized/modernized their offerings they ceded the enormous RWD, large engined, market which they previously dominated.

        • 0 avatar
          ========Read all comments========

          Right around that time you could get a pretty nice Honda Accord or top trim Toyota Corona. They were well designed, comfortable and would get at least twice the gas mileage (maybe triple) that of this bloated, overweight, underengineered land barge. They would probably beat it in a drag race, too, and handle much better around the corners.
          And the Toyota, with a hundred K on the odometer was just getting started. (It had reinforcements in the doors for side impact protection, too!)

          Maybe it’s just my age, but two-ton plus V8 sedans have never interested me. One of my friends had a hand=me-down ’74 Torino. What a pile of junk! Or it could be because all my 45+ cigarette smoking, overweight neighbors drove them. Or maybe because they were pretty much just crappy cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        This!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Only if you put some decent European seats in it would I want to go for more than a cruise around a short block.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      PrincipalDan, please help me understand. Presumably this dream ride would go around on/off ramps differently than your current daily driver. Is that an acceptable compromise, or would you want to modify the suspension to strike a different balance?

      (I would think that modern suspension tuning would allow for relatively good ride isolation without too too much body roll on turns, but am genuinely interested in how you are viewing this. Or would the ‘coast to coast’ vehicle be separate from the daily driver?)

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @ToolGuy

        My idea garage has say a Yukon for the wife that would be utilized for all family road trips. Quiet isolated V8 power with handling being very low on the list. (And for her that’s an ideal daily driver).

        For me there would be something with European ride and handling and a good power to weight ratio (as I have now) – I only chose the TourX wagon because my wife’s current ride is unsuited in my opinion for coast to coast travel. The cargo room and turbo power made the 3000 plus mile summer trip rather comfortable.

        If my wife had the size XL CUV/SUV she wanted I would have looked long and hard at cars like the G70, Miata, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, Jetta GLI… etc.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    My (step) grandfather was a dedicated Chrysler luxury car guy, and bought a new one of these every two years. It was garbage, and the “downsized” one they did a couple of years later was hot, steaming garbage.

    He switched to Lincolns and stuck with them until he passed away.

    (And, yes, that is an AM-FM radio – I remember a similar unit on my grandpa’s cars. He used to tune in to the easy-listening station in northeastern Missouri. Cruising around listening to Mantovani in a road-crushing land ark like this was…fascinating.)

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Wasn’t there some type of timing “card” or something to that effect that constantly blew on this era ChryCo products, I seem to recall someone mentioning that you can find extra “cards” in the glove boxes of all Mopars from this era as they went bad with regularity.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Do you mean the ‘ballast resistor’? Anyone who drove most late 60’s to late 70’s Chrysler products knew to keep a spare ballast resistor.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I believe you are on the money Arthur.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          And you just proved my point, Arthur – why the heck would someone who just dropped something like $45,000 in today’s money want to bother with nonsense like spare ballast resistors?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If this was $45k today, and had the current crop of modern competitors that are also in this price range, I would hop on this and accept replacing a $5 ballistic every 50k miles.

            A 45k Alfa is nice but cramped and has a tiny engine saddled with a turbo, the same goes for the rest of the industry.

            Fire sale pricing on luxury cars makes small issues like the ballister livable.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Because it was still more reliable and durable than a points ignition system? ;)

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          My dad always kept an extra ballast resistor around for my moms 72 Dart Swinger. (Odd but timely model name when you think of it) and his 70 Valiant. Most owners knew how vulnerable that part was.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        My mom’s side of the family (my aunt and uncle, grandma and step-grandad) bought any number of late-’70s and early-’80s Chryslers, and they did nothing but complain about all of them. I don’t recall anything about them being mechanically unreliable, but the quality control was non-existent – s**t literally fell off these cars. Switches would break when you touched them. They rusted.

        As I recall, they were buddies with their local Chrysler dealership, so they were constantly trading them in for new ones. My suspicion is that they never kept them long enough for any serious mechanical issues to crop up.

        Just complete trash…so bad that Lee Iacocca complained about them in his autobiography.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Just complete trash…so bad that Lee Iacocca complained about them in his autobiography.”

          not that the 1981 Imperial he pushed for was much better.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You don’t mean the Frank Sinatra Imperial? What a pos. I often wonder what he did with the one Chrysler gave him, probably locked it in the garage until his contract was up then gave it to his maid

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Looks like someone already snagged the intake manifold and the Thermoquad. Looking at the speedo, it’s doing 50 while standing still.

  • avatar
    eng_alvarado90

    Looks like a deja Vu, but it was yesterday when I was watching one of these on a YT video next to a vintage Mercury Marquis, both restored to its former glory:
    https://youtu.be/f0hyLTwpqLQ

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Faded glory .

    I don’t like driving land yachts either but they have their place, don’t knock those who cherish and preserve them .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Although this particular car is not my choice of the prior land yachts I do get what Hummer is saying. My mother’s 72 Cadillac Sedan Deville had a smooth ride with lots of room and the 472 cubic inch V8 was ever so smooth and under stressed. The ride quality and the interior comfort along with the large trunks were wonderful and we will never see the likes of the comfort of these cars again.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Mr. Lahey, what happened to the roof of our car?

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    U could probably find one of these New Yorkers at Ralph Spoilsport Motors.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Art Vandelay: Definitely was thinking mid 90s Bonneville.
  • Art Vandelay: I ran GPR in an urban environment looking for “burried structures” that were made to...
  • Art Vandelay: Sorry. It most definitely is. Maybe they could put the Blackwing in the Blazer and call it...
  • Art Vandelay: The newest Magnum is 12 years old and I don’t think any of them had easy lives. This is a buy it...
  • blppt: “Yes. It’s painful to admit Alec Baldwin did Jack Ryan better than both Harrison Ford and Ben...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber