CC Outtake: 1986 Chrysler New Yorker Turbo With Two Different License Plates and Wheel Covers

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(first posted 5/2/2016)    This Knew Yorker caught my eye, as we walked through the Lane County Events Center. Not because I’m particularly fond of them—which I’m not—but because it has two different wheel covers and the fact that these are starting to get a bit rare on the ground. That might once have been something to celebrate, but like all old cars that are disappearing from the streetscape, it’s a loss (of sorts).

But only just now as I edited the images, did I notice that this car also has two different license plates. Huh?

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Unlike CC reader Teddy, who notices (and interprets) every license plate, I don’t. And I would never have noted except that I’ve (belatedly) started using Carfax to get the right model year for some of these cars when it’s not obvious to my aging memory banks.

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I cropped the rear plate. That’s not going to work.

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I went to the front one; yeah, that’ll do. But wait a minute…is that the same number as the rear plate? Umm, no. I can’t read the whole rear plate, but it’s obviously not the same. Carfax says it’s a 1984 Chrysler New Yorker. I wonder what Carfax would say about the rear plate? We’ll never know, unless I find this car again. But then if the rear plate had been readable, I never would have bothered to look at the front plate. (Update: this is actually a 1986 or later, so the front plate is obviously not the right one).

BTW, as a matter of principle, I refuse any requests to blank out license plates from folks who find their cars here at CC. It only happens very rarely, but the answer is always no. License plates are a public thing, and photographers have been capturing them (and people’s face and cars, and other things)on the streets and public places since they first appeared. I can’t imagine what particular form of paranoia it is to think that ones license plates being photographed and shown on a web site would somehow cause some catastrophe (or less). Of course, if it’s two different license plates…but hey, if they are going to drive it on public streets, it’s my prerogative to shoot and post it.

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This New YorKer sports the 2.2 L turbo four, which was not really a good choice for what was masquerading as a luxury car. But Chrysler had nothing better; their 3.3 L V6 was still a number of years off, and the Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 wasn’t offered until 1988. So Chrysler zinged up the 2.2 four with a turbo, and it made 142 hp instead of 99. The 2.6 L Mitsubishi four, with 101 hp, was also optional, but a lot of these New Yorkers got the turbo. Not that it made them really fast, with the 3-speed Torqueflite transaxle backing them up. It was an expedient solution, and something of a foreshadowing of the current time, when turbo fours are powering all sorts of expensive premium-brand cars. But the technology has come a long way; these 2.2s had notorious turbo lag.

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Interior design has come a long way too, thankfully. ‘Nuff said; not to my taste.

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Lee Iaccoca meets the K car. And the results are inevitable.

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My more detailed (and even more acerbic) CC on a 1985 New Yorker is here.