CC Capsule: 1993 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible – Après le “K”


Lee Iaccoca was a huge fan of K car variants. By the time of his 1992 departure from Chrysler, nearly every Chrysler-, Dodge-, and Plymouth-branded product, from Caravan to Imperial, could trace its roots to the humble 1981 K car. One of the more unique, and arguably best-looking K car derivative was the appropriately codenamed “J-body” Chrysler LeBaron coupe and convertible.

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Introduced as a 1987, the J-body replaced the 1983-1986 K-body LeBaron and woody Town & Country convertibles. Much to my dismay, a di noc woodgrain paneled Town & Country convertible was never offered on the J-body. This LeBaron was also one of the longest-running K offshoots, soldiering on for nine years with minimal external changes, save for new composite headlights and taillight lenses.

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That’s not to say the LeBaron was left completely alone from 1987 all the way up to 1995, the last year for all products related to the K car. Trim, equipment, engine, and transmission choices were shuffled on a yearly basis. Over the course of its lifespan, no fewer than 7 engines and 8 transmissions were offered. The entire interior was redesigned in 1990, loosing Lido’s cherished boxy look in favor of a more rounded, cockpit design. The aforementioned composite headlights replaced the often cumbersome hidden headlights in 1993.

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Despite these minimal advancements, the LeBaron managed to sell a respectable 30,000-40,000 units, even in its final years. Private buyers wanting a reasonably-priced convertible didn’t have many choices – this undoubtably worked in the LeBaron’s favor. Nonetheless, I bet a majority of sales were to Sunshine State rental fleets.


This 1993 white LeBaron was spotted a few months ago by your’s truly. It’s a base model, as indicated by the presence of black bodyside moldings. 1993 was the last year for the base trim; only the monochromatic GTC and chrome-laden LX would carry on through 1995. Its small badge ahead of the driver’s door denotes this one’s 3.0L Mitsubishi V6. As a measure of cost-cutting, traditional rear badging was excluded in favor of tape graphic on many later model LeBarons.

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Considering their modest origins, these final LeBarons weren’t horrible cars. Mechanical components aside, the body lacked proper rigidity to ever handle like a sports car. Much like the later Sebring and today’s 200 convertible, the LeBaron was best suited as a boulevard cruiser (which I’m sure Lee was perfectly content with).