Junkyard Find: 1991 Chrysler TC by Maserati

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1991 chrysler tc by maserati

With The General offering a costlier-than- an-S-Class Cadillac built in Turin and Hamtramck (the two assembly lines connected via custom-built 747 freighters) as well as Italianate Buicks and Oldsmobiles in the late 1980s, Lee Iacocca decided to leverage Chrysler’s investment in Maserati to create a K-Car-based Italian sports car: the TC by Maserati. Like the Allanté, Troféo, and Reatta, the TC hasn’t held its value so well over the decades, and I find the occasional example during my junkyard travels. Here’s a crashed ’91 in a yard near Denver, Colorado.

Chrysler made a big deal out of the TC’s Italian origins, but it was as closely related to the LeBaron as was the Allanté to the Eldorado. Actually, much of the suspension came from the related Dodge Daytona.

Still, the TC was built in Italy, and those LeBaron-ish bodies were handmade by Italian craftsmen.

The TC was sold for the 1989 through 1991 model years, and all the ’89s had a 2.2-liter turbocharged Chrysler four-cylinder (making either 160 or 200 horses, depending on whether you got the base engine or the Cosworth-headed DOHC version). For 1990 and 1991, the TC could be purchased with a 3.0-liter Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 engine, rated at 141 horsepower. That’s what’s in this car.

Unlike owners of the Allanté, Troféo, and Reatta, buyers of Chrysler’s TC by Maserati could get a manual transmission in their cars… but only if they selected the four-cylinder engine. All of the Mitsu-ized TCs got a four-speed A604 slushbox.

This car appears to have been a well-cared-for low-miler.

Then it got into a crash, and it’s a lot cheaper to buy a nice TC than it is to fix a wrecked one.

These stickers are never good news on a crashed car.

I keep hearing that these removable hardtops are worth big money, but this is the third one I’ve found in a cheap self-service yard. I hope some local TC aficionado grabs it before it reaches The Crusher.

A blending of Italian craftsmanship and American engineering!

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Sep 13, 2021

    One of the car mags described this car as the result of too many wine soaked lunches in southern italy with Lee Iacocca and DeTomaso. Some poor engineers were then tasked with making...something, and to a price. This was the result.

  • Jo Borras Jo Borras on Sep 14, 2021

    Terrible cars. I love them!

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.