Junkyard Find: 1969 Chrysler Newport 4-Door Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
Chrysler redesigned the big C-Body cars for the 1969 model year, calling the vaguely airplane-ish curved-panel look the “ Fuselage Style.” Although the prole-grade Fury and middlebrow Dodge Monaco looked distressingly similar to their upscale Imperial and Chrysler New Yorker/300/Newport siblings in the 1969-1973 Fuselage era (further blurring the Snoot Factor dividing lines among the Chrysler divisions), these cars offered plenty of Detroit steel at a good price. Here’s one of the most affordable Chrysler-badged C-Bodies available during the first year of Fuselage Styling, found in a Denver-area car graveyard.
At the top of the 1969 Chrysler C-Body pyramid ( the Imperial was its own marque during this period) stood the New Yorker, which came with all sorts of Michigan Plushitude and high-tech features. Below that came the 300, and then several increasingly-affordable versions of the Newport. Today’s Junkyard Find is a bottom-of-the-food-chain Newport four-door post sedan.
MSRP on this car started at $4,252 (about $31,240 in 2021 clams), which compares favorably to the $6,772 sticker on the very similar Imperial LeBaron but seems like a gigantic price jump over the also-very-similar $2,744 Plymouth Fury I. Sure, you got an amusingly underpowered Slant-6 engine and three-on-the-tree column-shift manual transmission in your Fury for that price, but the two cars would look nearly identical from a block away.
Like the Fury, the Newport features phony “stitching” molded into the plastic of the dash and door panels.
However, this car has the upscale power-seat option, available in theory in the Fury I but almost never ordered; strangely, the original buyer didn’t get the power-window option as well.
Smoker vent windows went away from the Newport after 1970.
Air conditioning was a $406 option (close to three grand today), and this AM radio got rung up for $92 (about $675 now). Even in another year with nuttin’ to do, the hip Newport buyer desired refrigerated air and driving music.
No lowly six-cylinder or small-block V8 was available in the 1969 Newport. The base engine was the 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) big-block V8, rated at 290 optimistic gross horsepower. Your Chrysler dealer probably could have arranged to have the New Yorker’s 350-horse 440 installed in a Newport, but it would have made more sense to just buy a New Yorker.
The 1969 Newport’s factory brochure lists the three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission as an option, which implies that the base transmission was a three-on-the-tree manual. I have a hard time believing that any big-block/three-on-the-tree ’69 Newports ever saw the light of day, but stranger things have happened in the automotive world.
This is the “elegant sheath of Jacquard-weave cloth-and-vinyl upholstery” gushed over by Chrysler’s enthusiastic copywriting team, 52 years later.
I don’t recall seeing factory-applied decals referring to Public Law 89-563 on any other cars in my travels.
A Warranty Validation sticker from the day Georgia approved the 19th Amendment will go to The Crusher with this car. These stickers were applied by dealers after performing warranty-mandated repairs.
This starship’s days of cruising the galaxy are over, sadly. Non-hardtop Detroit sedans of this era don’t get rescued by enthusiasts.
Doug Sanders drove a ’69 Newport, and its interior matched his golf shoes and socks; just a year after he did this advertisement, he achieved lasting renown for missing a three-foot putt at the 1970 Open Championship. Doug passed away last April.For links to more than 2,000 additional Junkyard Finds, Junkyard Gems, Junkyard Treasures, and Down On the Junkyard posts, visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Mdoore Mdoore on Mar 12, 2021

    In those days Bigger meant safer

  • Newport 80 Newport 80 on May 14, 2021

    It is really really sad to see somebody just gave up on this old girl personally I'm a Mopar guy I've got two of them my collection I have a 68 Newport and a 78 Cordova I can't see them going to the crusher or sitting some junkyard. Sickens me and breaks my heart to see that rolling art.

  • Billccm I think history is repeating itself. In the late 1980s the French acquired AMC. They discovered no easy money in that deal, Chrysler took AMC and Jeep is all that remained.Present day the French acquired FCA, discovered no easy money in the deal, and some Asian manufacturer will take what remains of Chrysler, and Jeep and RAM will be all that survived.To understand the future study the past.
  • Jalop1991 "why did the governor veto a bill to give me free gummint money?"
  • Jalop1991 absolutely. I'm probably coming into a 31 Model A, and there's a great retrofit system for that. It makes a bunch of sense.
  • TMA1 Been thinking about getting one of these for my mother. Skip the AWD and DSG, the FWD comes with an 8-spd. Good size vehicle for a woman who wants a SUV and has a small garage. Much better view outwards than the Mazda CX-30 I was looking at. Wish it had a power tailgate though - she's short.
  • Ajla Mustang.