The K-car family is a highly prolific one. We’ve covered several in-depth already (with plenty more to come), but in order to keep the CC files from backlogging, I’ll trickle out some of the posts as CC Capsules and let the pictures do most of the talking.
The Le Baron appeared, as a gussied-up Reliant/Aries, in 1982. Lee Iacocca’s first (and most obvious) step was to increase the profit margins on them, and having seen firsthand the magic of vinyl wood-tone applique during his years at Ford, he quickly gave the K-car the full Squire treatment. By 1983, the T&C woody convertible had appeared; I’m still waiting to find one, and it remains the only member of the K-car family missing from our files.
While I’m not certain that this is a 1982 model given that I’m not a VIN reader, but if there are distinguishing marks to place its year elsewhere, I can count on you all to set me straight. (Update: it’s not an ’82; I was a bit sloppy today, but come on, it’s Sunday. That said, maybe I’ll start reading them.)
The price premium for the T7C wagon over an Aries version was about 20%. Besides the side vinyl, the interior was another obvious upgrade, although it hadn’t yet merited the loose-pillow look of the New Yorker K-car soon to come. If you were an early T&C adopter, you were stuck with the Mitsubishi 2.6-liter four; turbos and V6’s were still in the offing. That’s it for now, but rest assured there are a lot of proper K-car CCs to come.
I always liked the K wagons, they seemed like the right size. I wish they still made a car like that. My HHR comes close, but the styling well, you know…
FWIW, this car is either an 86 or 87. The front clip was redesigned for 86, and, it has the CHMSL.
Of course, and those faired-in bumpers. I was rushing…
Glad you liked the K wagons… but being a former owner, a revel in the knowledge that they DON’T still make a car like that anymore… I still have nightmares about MY Dodge Aires wagon… I mean, was there ANY part on that car that didn’t break, or wasn’t cheaply made? From the absurd plastic radiator (it saved Chrysler $50 per vehicle) to the notoriously weak aluminum head, pretty much every part was designed to be as cheap or as poorly constructed as possible. And the interior of the Aires made a FIat seem high quality (my sister’s buddy owned a Fiat). To this day, it still amazes me that the K car was the automobile that “saved” Chrysler!
This car looks like a daily driver that seems to be in pretty good shape.
As Supremebrougham mentioned, it does appear to be an ’86 or ’87, because it has a more roud-ish grille, and the later steering wheel. My fam was afflicted with several k-car variants, including a pale green woodied ’82 reliant that ate head gaskets for breakfast, and an 82 Lebaron coupe. It was a really nice car, but its woeful 2.6L Mitsu’s oil pump went out to lunch after about 3 months…
I’m always reminded of the chase scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when I see one of these.
We inherited a K-Car New Yorker – don’t remember the year – it was that pale “champagne” color with the same fuzzy burgundy interior as my wife’s clarinet case. It seemed a nice enough car but the daughter wanted something more sporty. Went and drove a comparable-year Daytona, and decided that I wouldn’t have known the difference from the NY’er if my eyes were closed. A week or so later it interrupted the music on the radio to let me know that the water was low. That was when I found out that the radiator was made out of plastic. It got traded as soon as the radiator was replaced.
For a car that wasn’t designed to be a head-turner this T&C holds up pretty well to the contemporary eye (minus those vinyl wood decals, of course). It’s amazing how much roomier older cars look and feel without a massive center console, especially if you get into one of these after, say, a previous-gen Outback. Obviously some of it is eye deception, but even that counts for something after you’ve been cooped up in the car for a couple hours.
Definitely an ’86 or ’87. That more grounded grill is a give away. Here is the earlier style: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveseven/4241762110/
I owned a ’86 LeBaron sedan (sadly not T&C) for about a year. Cost me all of $160 and I did no maintenance on it. Used not a drop of oil around town but I took it on the highway once where it revved like a madman because of the three speed automatic and used up all its oil somehow. Broke down and refused to start until the next day. I poured in some used oil from our minivan’s recent oil change and it ran (in town) like a champ for another few months before I traded it on a Lada Niva.
Paul, Why do you insist on pushing my buttons?? No story here.. I could but I won’t.
Best memory ever of the “Woodie” Chryslers is Planes, Trains and Automobiles..
“We had a small fire the other night, but we caught it in the nick of time!”
Those aren’t two pillows… http://micksgrill.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/john-candy.jpg
I was a passenger in one of these one Christmas eve (1990?) on a drive from Dallas TX to Victoria TX. I remember nothing much about the car, or, there was nothing about the car worth remembering apart from it being a dark red wagon. Every so often the driver was ever so kind enough to pull off the freeway into a Diamond Shamrock or 7-11 to enable me to buy more beer for me and my fellow passenger. The beer made the ride more bearable I think.
I own a 1983 Chrysler Le Baron Wagon. I haven’t found many still around, here in Alberta, or anywhere else for that matter. This picture was from April 2011. I might add it drives great in the snow and I ran it threw some big drifts. Has less than 60,000 km on it. It’s in fairly decent shape but needs a new motor. It had sat in someones garage for 4 years before I got it and it ate oil. Didn’t leak anywhere, just ate it. Took me awhile to get used to the little voice to begin with. Given that I’ve only driven trucks until this car, it was a unique experience. Considering my options to replace the motor or just get rid of the car. I can certainly see with its space how it was a common vehicle once upon a time.
Hi everybody greetings from Spain., MAKES TWO weeks bought my Chrysler LeBaron T & C, 2555cc. Mitsubishi G/156 Ci, enrolled For the 1st Time on 30/12/1982 in Pennsylvania., and has been here the fourth of Spain four years, is in perfect condition, the problem is here in Spain Locate parts, and I know if anyone wanted to have the user manual and workshop manual for this model and where I could find or buy one, thank you very much and greetings to all.
Hola a todos les saludo desde España., HACE DOS weeks adquirí mi Chrysler LeBaron T & C, 2555cc. motor Mitsubishi G/156 Ci, matriculado Por 1 ª Vez el 30/12/1982, en Pensilvania, EEUU., y lleva aquí el cuarto de España 4 años, está en perfecto estado, el Problema es Localizar aqui en España recambios, y queria sabre si Alguien Tiene el Manual de Usuario y Manual de taller para Este Modelo y Donde podia localizar o comprar uno, muchas gracias y saludos a Todos.
¡Felicitaciones y buena suerte con su nuevo automóvil
Thank you very much greetings
That is a very nice wagon. You are welcome to join the club for your car, the Chrysler K-Car Club at http://www.chryslerkcar.com. You also have a near extinct model as only about 100 of these are left in the world.
The Chrysler K-Car Club
Otra fotografía mas.
I saw an ad in Hemmings selling one of these owned by the chairman of the board himself Mr. Frank Sinatra. I can just see Frank, Deano, and Sammy D rollin’ up to the Copa in one of these babies.
I just get today I love I have 88