eBay Find: 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati – Italian Apparel


American Apparel, which is apparently a clothing company that was so successful that they filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy, are trying to bounce back from the blow to their image by any means possible. One of these means include a raffle where a (un?)lucky person will become the new owner of a classic Cadillac Allante. Not GM’s best effort I’ll admit but if you want the ultimate in failed Italo/American cooperation from the ‘80s ditch the contest and take a look at this.

Unlike the efforts to turn the K-Car into a luxury car with some credibility, which ranged from pathetic to really pathetic, you have to look harder in the TC to get a glimpse of its humble roots. The TC was built on a very modified version of the K-platform, so much so that it was rechristened the Q-platform. Unfortunately all that redesigning didn’t keep it from looking too similar to a Chrysler LeBaron, which was actually longer and had a longer wheelbase but was considerably cheaper to buy.
I can’t help but notice the similarities between this and the Phaeton that I showed to you last time. Both were vehicles designed as halo cars to amaze and surprise the world (through very different approaches) and pushed by the sheer willpower of the CEO of the company at the time. Both were presented to the world with obscene price tags for the badges they were carrying and not enough differences with the competition or even models from the same brand to justify those prices. And they both ended up failing because of that. This must’ve been a personal blow to ‘ol Lido, as he was absolutely sure that this would be adored by all. Even he must’ve started to realize that putting Rolls grills on anything and then giving the interior a mild once-over could only get you so far.


Our featured model is a red 1989 model, one of the first models of the Argen-Italo-American collaboration. It has a lovely tan leather interior. It still has the original stereo, air conditioning, and nobody has misplaced the original Opera-windowed hardtop. The odometer is showing 24,620 miles.
The design really was the strong point of the TC. The oily bits were unfortunately pure K. This is especially egregious in this first-year model, as it has been bestowed with the 2.2-liter turbo that was used on the Daytona and mated to a three-speed automatic. I’m not sure the engine is a good choice for something that could be classified as a Grand Tourer, any more than that gearbox could do in an Italian sports car.

Faults? Read the last paragraph about the drivetrain. Apart from that, there shouldn’t be all that much to go home. As with any car that has been driven so little throughout its life it may run into some trouble as hardened rubber and old wear items are suddenly brought into constant service. Still, at a buck under $8,000 it could be a nice quirky car to drive around. The listing is here and best of all, you don’t need to own anything by American Apparel to make a bid.