By on March 17, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride was commonplace a couple of decades ago, but it’s one of those cars by and large ruined via neglectful owners, inattentive build quality from the factory, and BHPH lots.

Come along as we learn about the most luxurious Chrysler LH sedan of the Nineties.

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured an LH car in this series, as that honor goes to the extra clean Eagle Vision presented last year. But while the Vision appealed more to the sporty sedan customer with its no-nonsense alloys and monochromatic exterior theme, today’s LHS was all about luxury motoring.

At its debut in 1994, the LHS was Chrysler’s flagship sedan. LHS stood as a direct replacement for the K-car based (or super XL EEK-LX whatever) Imperial, which resurrected the Imperial name at Chrysler in 1990. That model deserves its own Rare Rides entry and was pretty outdated and bad even at introduction.

Chrysler sought to make amends for that with the cab-forward LHS, which was bang up to date. Chrysler also offered two lesser luxury versions of the LH at its dealers, the middle sibling New Yorker, and the cheapest Concorde. The Concorde LH replaced the K-car New Yorker in ’94, and the New Yorker LH took over for the Fifth Avenue K. The LHS and New Yorker shared identical styling, while the Concorde was more Intrepid-adjacent in its looks. Part of that was down to the additional length for New Yorker and LHS: They both had five inches of full-size stretch over Concorde.

The LHS was differentiated from its slightly lesser New Yorker brother (red above) primarily via exterior badging and lack of chrome trim. Inside, LHS customers were treated to leather bucket seats instead of a bench, and standard lace alloy wheels which were optional at the New Yorker level. The LHS always had its shift lever on the floor, and the interior was generally of a higher specification than New Yorker.

While the Concorde was available with either 3.3- or 3.5-liter engines, New Yorker and LHS were all equipped with the 3.5. That EGE engine was good for 214 horses and 221 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic was the only transmission option.

The LHS proved more popular than the New Yorker as bench seats, chrome trim, and column shifters clung to their Eighties customer base. New Yorker was dropped after 1996, and instead, the LHS gained a bench seat option. LHS continued on sale in its initial guise through 1997 and was replaced by the new 300M-adjacent LHS in 1999. LHS lived only through 2001 before it was axed. Chrysler carried on with the Concorde through 2004, before it and the 300M were replaced by the rear-drive 300.

Today’s Rare Ride is located at an auction house in North Carolina. In suitably luxurious white and silver over tan, it has over 150,000 miles yet shockingly looks brand new. It’s the cleanest example your author has seen, ever.

[Images: Chrysler]

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23 Comments on “Rare Rides: A Stunning Chrysler LHS From 1995, Fine Executive Luxury...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Given the competitive landscape at the time, these were a good option. That white one is very clean – good for the discriminating buyer.

    Some of the lesser Mopar family members (like the Concorde/Intrepid) got the 2.7 liter, which was absolute poison due to its tendency to spin bearings and throw rods. A friend had that happen, and he junked a clean car because rebuildable engines were hard to find, and priced accordingly.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I can actually feel myself sinking into those tufted seats

  • avatar
    Zotz

    In ’94 I drove a red LHS rental several hundred miles to Dallas and back to watch the Cowboys lose to the Belichick Browns, viewed from the visiting Dog Pound near the end zone. I was disappointed with the Cowboys loss, my Browns-loving friends were happy with the win, and the beautiful big Chrysler was a roomy and excellent interstate cruiser.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ve seen cleaner but not since 2005 have I think seen one of the first generation. We briefly had a black on black ’97 with tinted windows and a Christmas tree dash. My boss drove it for a while but it developed some kind of actual problem and I don’t know what happened to it. Very smooth ride for something north of 140 at the time, but I am fairly certain it did not have tufted seats as shown above (probably some kind of “sporty” seat). I believe the Chrysler 3.3/3.5 was very stout and could run under abuse for a long time, there was something with that drivetrain used as an auction runner by another shop I knew north of 200K at the time (either a 94ish LHS/New Yorker or Concorde can’t recall).

    I noticed the Crossfire (which I forgot about) on the auction site, do that one next :)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Aunt and Uncle had one, I don’t remember it being much more troublesome than anything else they had owned but it was one Chrysler in an uninterrupted string of GM products. Prior to the LHS there was a late 80s/early 90s Oldsmobile 98 and AFTER the LHS I recall a Lucerne with 3800. They obviously keep cars a long time.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    These with the 3.5 and Buicks with the 3.8 are good low mile (elderly) finds on the used market. $3000 can get you a very clean and reliable cruiser.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Mechanics appreciated the longitudinal V6 – it was easier to work on. Chrysler did that so they could make an AWD model, but they never did.

    • 0 avatar

      And that was a mistake. They could have made themselves a big AWD sedan player in the space between utility Subaru and luxury Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        An Eagle Vision with awd could have pulled in Eagle owners from the 80’s who were trading in their coupes and sedans but didn’t want to go for a Jeep.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Mechanics appreciated the longitudinal V6”

      One could also get a Vision, Concorde, or Intrepid with the 160hp 3.3L pushrod V6, which gives a pretty nice DIY area under the hood.

      tinyurl.com/cpzky59a

      I’ve often wondered why they later gave the lower trims of the LX Charger the 2.7L instead of the 3.8L. Power and fuel economy would have been similar but maintenance and reliability would have been better with older OHV engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I’ve always assumed that Detroit’s long history of redundant engines that went into product at what seems like random was keeping contractually obligated assembly lines open. GM was, as usual, far and away the worst at this but even Chrysler was big enough to have two different eights and three and a half sixes going simultaneously.

        You could expect the customer benefits of using the OHV motor to be summarily dismissed but they were also giving those base motor cheapskates four cams and a timing chain. That should make a bean counter sick to his stomach.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    If anyone wants to experience an early one owner GM10 coupe (its not mine):

    https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/d/hamilton-1990-grand-prxi/7290980379.html

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    My Dad and I both had one of the 1996 LHS’s. Nice cars, but both had failing transmissions at about 60,000 miles. Went Toyota and never looked back. My 2010 ES has about 100,000 miles and has never had an issue. At 74, it may well outlast me.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I was working at an automotive supplier back then and we had some Chrysler mid level domos in for a sales pitch and tour. The 2.7 V6 program was hyped in trade pubs for going from first CAD keystroke to full production in something like 18 months. I asked them how they pulled that off and they just looked at each other and shook their heads.

  • avatar
    C5 is Alive

    “LHS lived only through 2001 before it was axed. Chrysler carried on with the Concorde through 2004, before it and the 300M were replaced by the rear-drive 300.”

    The LHS brand ended after 2001 but it was actually the Concorde that got axed, as Chrysler moved that nameplate over to the LHS body in 2002.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    I still think these are good looking cars. I had the second generation LHS and I loved it. The new cab-forward look and sleek styling was just gorgeous. I miss that car.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Note the rather casual fit of all that plastic lower cladding…if you go to the auction website you will find a 1981 Cordoba for sale in what is considered excellent condition. Go through the photos and see the abysmal fit and detail work…wow. I forgot how bad it was back then. So, scratch my negative comment about the LHS. It’s a Rolls Royce in comparison.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    At the time this flagship was created, Chrysler was in “Build Back Better But Still Not All That Great” mode.

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