By on May 24, 2021

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWhen 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.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, Mitsubishi engine - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe 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.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, DOD parking permit - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsLike 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.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, console - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsOne 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.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, landau roof - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe padded landau roof and electroluminescent opera lights were standard equipment, though air conditioning and power windows were extra-cost options. Priorities.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, interior - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe blue crypto-velour upholstery still looks good at age 38. If you wanted leather, you had to get the Mark Cross Edition.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, gauges - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThanks 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.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker in Colorado junkyard, radio - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsIt’s hard to get classier than radio-preset buttons that spelled out numbers.

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

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43 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1983 Chrysler New Yorker...”

  • avatar

    That poor K-Car platform was stretched and pulled in so many directions and actually cumulated in a limousine version. Chrysler sure got their money’s worth out of it

  • avatar


  • avatar

    The oil burning head gasket popping lump under hood no doubt why its in the scrap yard! Its comical how many rag on GM for its downsized C-body cars 2 years later for being too small and shrunken when these so called luxury cars with luxury names attached were smaller and narrower still with uncompetitive 2.2 and 2.6 junk engines under hood and K car 3 speed transmissions. The turbo 2.2 helped with the power but a set of ear plugs or a blasting radio was almost a requirement. Early 80’s malaise at its best!

    My parents were car shopping around this time and dad spotted one of these and thought it was a dealer trying to turn a K car into a Brougham. That said it all!

    • 0 avatar
      Add Lightness

      How could the 2.6 be junk ????
      Most K cars with it had a badge that said “2.6 HEMI” …. must have been great. LOL

      • 0 avatar

        The Mitsu “silent Shaft” engine had a very troublesome Mikuni carb. We also experienced exhaust entering the center tube in the air cleaner when the car was old. I plugged it with a copper cap.

  • avatar

    Cars like this are why people that were driving in the early 80s aren’t especially critical about anything that is being built today.
    At least it had fuel injection.

    This is also why I claim the biggest automotive decade jump in terms of quality, performance, safety and basically anything good was 1980 to 1990.

    • 0 avatar

      As a survivor of the era, I’d say the “better times” really began in the middle of the decade. There was still a TON of awful, awful stuff being pumped out early in the ’80s. It took some time for all that excrement to clear itself out.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      You’ve got a good point there. While every decade brings improvements (even the 70’s), it’s the late 80’s/early 90’s when cars finally achieved the safety and reliability we deserve.
      Case in point: in 1980, any car with 70,000 was used up. Today, a ten year-old car with 70,000 is worth at least 5 grand, maybe more, and will probably make it to 200k if cared for.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The Mitsubishi 2.6 in the K-car like this one had an electronic carburetor, not fuel injection. The 2.2 turbo had fuel injection standard and was by most measures a far better engine putting out roughly 150hp which was about the same as V8’s of the era.

      • 0 avatar
        Add Lightness

        ‘but the Mitsu 2.6 was marketed as a HEMI.

      • 0 avatar

        The turbo 2.2 was good but no comparison to era V8s. Torque figures paint a clearer picture. I had the turbo 2.2 in a four-eyed Laser. My friend had a 2.3 turbo SVO Mustang with 200+ HP and that one was more similar to era V8s but no.

        Luckily his wife got pregnant, hated the car and driving a stick. I gave him a Colt Vista wagon and the Laser for the SVO that I still have today.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d put it half a decade later. The late ’80s brought a complete switchover to the first generation of EEC and fuel injection, which was incredible in its own right. But then the process was completed by the transition to high-silica tire rubber and the second generation of EEC, which both came to fruition in the mid-’90s.

      The ’87 Taurus I bought as my high school car was my family’s first car with an EEC fuel-injected engine (everything else was older). The way it just started and ran with no fuss when cold or hot seemed like something out of the future at the time.

      • 0 avatar

        The Goodyear Eagle GT came out mid 80’s and it was the game changer for street tires…anything worthwhile was shod with them. Cheap speed, expensive speed, cop cars…all on Eagle GT. I had a GLH Turbo, which had the 150 hp 2.2 turbo and a 5 speed For the malise era it was an amazing car…the only thing missing was an intercooler as when things got hot spark advance went away and power did too. A friend had the two door coupe sportscar with the intercooler, and rated at 175 hp but way more usable because the 175 hp stayed with you the whole time. I recall torturing a 911 with my GLH in holes and slots traffic because the runs weren’t long enough to lose top end power. Once the road really opened he ran away but when it was tires and brakes we were more matched than you might think. I got kudos at a strip running a 16.1 quarter once. Today my ace of base Jetta is probably as fast and the Michelin AS/4 it sits on are better tires.

        • 0 avatar

          I put Eagle GTs on my Fury, replacing Goodyear Blue Streak cop car tires. What a transformation – GY made leading edge HiPo tires back then.

          Eagles went on my 87 K car as well, plus lots of G24 suspension pieces. Chrysler made DIY parts bin engineering real easy. I was able to use the leather seats, overhead console with temp/compass, dash parts, and door panels from a wrecked NYer and they all bolted right in. I had the Luxury K!

  • avatar

    Why is the “fasten belts” warning light in a fake 7-segment LCD font?

    Did anyone actually use those “travel computers” so common in early ’80s cars?

    BMW ran an advert in the mid 80s stating their cars demonstrated “advanced technology, not advanced gimmickry”; by advanced gimmickry I take it they meant cars with a disembodied voice saying “all monitored systems are functioning” every time you started the car. I’m guessing the novelty wore off after the first week and by year’s end most owners ripped out the voice box.

    • 0 avatar

      Same reason why automakers feel the need to add black plastic cladding to hatchbacks today – “style.”

    • 0 avatar

      “Did anyone actually use those “travel computers” so common in early ’80s cars?”

      Sheepishly raises hand… Hey, that was pretty heady stuff in the 80s. I had a Riviera with a touchscreen that would display the animated car traveling across the screen with all the data below. That stuff blew me away. I was desperate for tech

      • 0 avatar

        My jagoff former stepfather had an 87 Rivera with that system. To 8 year old me it was the coolest thing in the world. In the 4-5 years he was around I only remember it needed some sort of factory reset once and no other issues. In retrospect that’s pretty good for how advanced it was compared to the general state of consumer electronics.

      • 0 avatar

        I used mine in my Mark VII LSC when I went on road trips. For the era, it worked pretty well.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I remember “the door is ajar”. I would always reply “no it is a door not a jar.”

  • avatar

    You mentioned Lowrey AFB. I was stationed there between mid 1964 to early 1965 at nuclear armament school before I went overseas. Loved Denver at that time!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay


  • avatar

    1983 Chrysler New Yorker: The Official Vehicle of a Cigarette Smoke-stained Headliner.

  • avatar

    This car was loved. The landau roof is in stunningly good condition for Denver.

    Looks like grandpa or grandma died, or dad got too old to see and drive, and the car just ended up here because someone didn’t want to deal with it.

    These are the finds that make me sad.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I agree. This was not a ‘good’ car. But somebody loved it enough to maintain it and drive it for a long time. Much like loving your dog, you don’t care what she/he looks like and overlook her/his quirks/flaws.

      Just a few years later Accords and Camrys were available which were light years ahead in quality and driveability.

  • avatar

    Talking about the 80s, one thing to mention is that the first galvanized car body was introduced in 1986 in the Audi 80. The roll out of that technology to other car makers made a huge difference in terms of a vehicles lifespan. It marked a major difference between cars of the mid 80s and before and the cars of the mid 80s and after. Especially for those of us living where road salt is used.

  • avatar

    Credit to Chrysler for the interior fabric back then. The back seat looks immaculate.

    Today, what you get looks like woven rat fur.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    What a timely JY find. I just finished season 1 of a “City on a Hill.”
    Kevin Bacon, who absolutely delivers in his role, drives a mint convertible K car convertible.I wonder how hard it was to find.

    • 0 avatar

      Probably easier than you would think. There were no (as in zip, zilch, zero) convertibles available in the US from ’76 to ’82, when Chrysler brought them back. Given the frequency I see these online, I believe they were snapped up by a large number of older men as 2nd cars, and who cared for them accordingly.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar
    pale ghost

    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.

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