Junkyard Find: 1983 Chrysler New Yorker

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1983 chrysler new yorker

When Lee Iacocca’s K-cars finally hit American showrooms for the 1981 model year, the ax that had seemed poised over Chrysler’s neck for much of the late 1970s seemed to pull back. For model year 1983, a stretched version of the K chassis became the basis of such luxurious machines as the Dodge 600, Plymouth Caravelle, and Chrysler E-Class. Just to confuse everybody, the New Yorker line bifurcated that year, with the New Yorker Fifth Avenue remaining on the same platform as the rear-wheel-drive Dodge Diplomat and the regular New Yorker becoming an E-platform sibling to the 600/E-Class/Caravelle. Here’s one of those first-year New Yorkers, found in very clean condition in a Denver-area self-service yard last week.

The base engine in the ’83 New Yorker was a Chrysler 2.2 four-cylinder rated at 94 horsepower and 117 pound-feet of torque. This car, however, boasts the 2.6-liter Mitsubishi Astron; it made just 93 horses but a much better 132 lb-ft. The only transmission available was a three-speed automatic.

Like so many cars I find in the yards around Denver and Colorado Springs, this one has parking stickers for a local Air Force Base. Lowry AFB shut down in 1994 and is now the site of a pretty good aircraft museum.

One of the best things about this car’s interior is this stack of filing-cabinet-styled console doors. According to the brochure, everything from a coin holder to a cassette bin lived there.

The padded landau roof and electroluminescent opera lights were standard equipment, though air conditioning and power windows were extra-cost options. Priorities.

The blue crypto-velour upholstery still looks good at age 38. If you wanted leather, you had to get the Mark Cross Edition.

Thanks to the five-digit odometer, we can’t tell whether this car had 20,287 miles or 120,287 on the odometer. I’m betting on the latter figure and owner(s) who took good care of the car.

It’s hard to get classier than radio-preset buttons that spelled out numbers.

Ricardo Montalban proclaimed it the most technologically advanced Chrysler ever built.

For links to more than 2,100 additional Junkyard Finds, be sure to visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

Join the conversation
2 of 43 comments
  • 71charger_fan 71charger_fan on May 24, 2021

    My parents had one of these. I hated the styling, but it drove and rode nicely and had adequate power for the era.

  • Pale ghost Pale ghost on May 27, 2021

    GM Chairman Roger Smith was filmed at an auto show in a car that had the 'Door is a Jar' voice feature. He replied - 'I know, I opened it'. Never would have figured him for having a dry wit. On the other hand, maybe he thought it was an actual human warning him about the door.

  • VoGhost Reminder: dealers exist to line the pockets of millionaires who contribute to local politicians.
  • Cprescott The pandemic changed the sales game. No longer do dealerships need inventory. After two years people are accustomed to having to order what they want and then extorted on the price by the dealer for that privilege. Now used cars with 75k are selling for $5k more than I paid for my 21k, 2016 model back in January 2019. I pray my car won't get totaled and I have but 13 payments left to make on it. I may never buy another car again.
  • Grein002 I hope you meant "take the Ranger out behind the *barn*" rather than "bar". I think something completely different happens "behind the bar".
  • Cprescott Suddenly there is no reason to buy ugly anymore. The Silverdodo is dead. Long live the less hideous Colorado.
  • Cprescott Portable BBQ's for everyone!