1978 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham: Curtain Call For The C-Body

Sometimes, a name can be more important to success than the actual thing itself-at least when it comes to cars. Chrysler’s premium Cadillac fighter, the Imperial, a separate marque from 1955-1975, is such an example. Intended to move Chrysler Corporation more into Cadillac and Lincoln territory, it never really took off despite attractive design and plenty of luxury features. But for many, it was always a “Chrysler Imperial,” and thus not as prestigious as a Continental or Fleetwood Brougham. That was what ultimately brought the Imperial as a marque to a grinding halt in 1975. Funny thing, though. The car itself continued. As the ‘new’ Chrysler New Yorker Brougham.

The chronic Mopar misfortune held steady through the ’70s. In 1974, all their new full-size C-bodies, from the Plymouth Fury to the Imperial LeBaron, were redone with more formal and Broughamier sheetmetal. Although not drastically different size-wise from their fuselage predecessors, they looked bigger. And when the gas crisis hit in late 1973, just as the ’74s were debuting, Chrysler got screwed–again. Despite the company’s continuing bad luck, all their new models were attractive despite styling cribbed directly from GM–something especially noticeable in the Plymouth Fury’s Oldsmobile 88 cues, and in the Dodge Monaco, which looked suspiciously like a 1973 Buick LeSabre.

At the top of the heap was the C-body full-size Imperial LeBaron, arguably the most attractive car of the bunch–as well it should have been, considering its premium $7,200-7,800 pricing. The Imperial’s 124″ wheelbase was the same as lesser New Yorkers and Newports, but the car itself was longer overall and featured exclusive hidden headlights; button-tufted upholstery, in velour or optional leather; and four-wheel disc brakes.

But it didn’t sell: After selling just 14,483 1974 models and a mere 8,830 ’75s, the Imperial finally left the building. Well, until 1981, but that’s a story for another time. Continue Reading →

1978 Chrysler Newport Custom: Red, White and Brougham!

During the late ’70s, Chrysler Corporation found itself in dire straits. They were losing money hand over fist, their newest models, the 1976 Plymouth Volaré and Dodge Aspen, had serious quality issues and rust problems, their midsize Coronet and Fury were popular only with little old men, taxi operators and law enforcement, and there would be no relief in the form of a new product—in the form of the FWD Omni and Horizon–until 1978. And then there were the full-size yachts.

The redesigned full-size Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler never really got a chance. Production was still in its early stages when the “oil shortage” caused by events overseas caused the sale of Big Three biggies to plummet rapidly. GM and Ford did not get hurt as bad as Chrysler due to their overall better shape and subcompacts like the Vega and Pinto. Stop laughing, they sold! If not for the tried and true-and stone reliable-Darts and Valiants, Chrysler Corporation may not have lived to fight another day. But at any rate, the C-body Mopars never regained the popularity they had had in the 1965-73 period.

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1976 Chrysler Cordoba: The Small Chrysler!

The Chrysler Cordoba, introduced in Autumn 1974 as a 1975 model, was probably the most famous Chrysler of the ’70s.
Its advertising campaign was not only a stroke of genius as the Muscle era gave way to Broughamville, it was highly memorable. Seemingly overnight, Chryslers went from a big-car only company to cranking out personal luxury coupes at a rapid clip!

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1961 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible: 0.35 Percent Of Production!

The Chrysler New Yorker was, once Imperial became a separate marque in 1955, the top of the line Chrysler. The most chrome, the flossiest interior trim, and the most standard features-and available options. And naturally, the New Yorker convertible was the flashiest of them all.

In 1961, the New Yorker convertible was the flamboyantly finny and fine glamour queen. Fantastic. And rare. Exceptionally rare, as a matter of fact. To the tune of 576 convertibles built.

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Hershey 2018: Broughamtastic!

Hershey is always a big deal to car nuts. Friends of mine have been, but not me. Well, my comfort zone, living in the Quad Cities, is a circle roughly between Des Moines, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee. Within that circle, I can drive to a car show, concours, model show or whatever and still have time enough to attend, enjoy myself, have lunch or dinner, and get back home, all in the same day.

Fortunately, I have friends all over, and Dave Smith, a good friend of mine who lives in Connecticut, made the drive to Pennsylvania. As a result, he took many excellent photos. As a result, I was able to do a virtual tour from the comfort of my own home. As will you. This is, quite simply, a photo tour, short on text and long on great pictures! So sit back, scroll, and enjoy. And many thanks, Dave, you’re a gentleman and a scholar.

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1961 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country: Simply Fintastic

Back in June of 2013 the Antique Automobile Club of America decided to have their Grand National Meet right here in the Quad Cities, in downtown Moline. I was excited, because in general, AACA shows have some pretty cool cars, and no hot rods or customs. Ha ha! No 2016 Mustangs, Resale Red 1969 Camaros, and restomod Challangers would be there! Excellent. There were many fine cars at this event, but my favorite car is the subject of today’s post: The fin-tastic 1961 New Yorker Town & Country.

61 chrysler

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