Junkyard Find: 1969 Chrysler Newport 4-Door Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1969 chrysler newport 4 door sedan
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™.
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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.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.