So, when’s the last time you saw one of these? Here in the salty Midwest even the once-numerous ’80s Diplomats, Gran Furys and flossy Fifth Avenues are pretty much extinct, so I was happy to see this ’79 LeBaron coupe at the Trains, Planes and Automobiles show in historic Geneseo, IL, back in September of 2012. It looked very nice in black with red interior-a classic combo in your author’s opinion.
As you would expect of a 1970s near-luxury car, ample amounts of chrome, wire wheel covers, whitewalls, and velour upholstery were available. Most people who bought a Chrysler back then wanted to advertise their good fortune to everyone, and that meant adding all the gingerbread they could.
The available alloys, which were also optional on the Cordoba, looked exceptionally nice, in your author’s opinion.
Interiors were suitably plush, especially with the available leather seating. I don’t normally like gray interiors, but the dove-gray leather thrones shown here look very, very nice.
One of these could have been a pretty comfy ride back then-assuming you got a ‘good one’ – past Mopar owners know what I mean, ha ha. As you’d expect, a variety of Slant Six, Super Six and 318 and 360 V8s could be installed in the LeBaron’s engine bay.
Just a few pages past that wire-wheeled, dove gray version in the ’79 LeBaron brochure was this handsome tobacco brown coupe, with a ‘slick top’ and the always-sharp Road Wheels and whitewalls to set it off. And you could make things even simpler–or stealthier, if you prefer.
Which brings us to our featured car, which almost looks like an undercover police car with those vented police package hubcaps.
The LeBaron lasted to ’81 in this form, albeit with a squared-off facelift in ’80. The ‘upside-down’ headlights remained, however. Starting in ’82, the car would become the New Yorker Fifth Avenue, and the LeBaron would fall into a K-shaped hole and remain there for years.
I liked it a lot. But as this was way before smartphones and fat memory cards, I only took a few photos. And despite attending this show most every year, I never saw this car again. Drat.