Well, I didn’t actually, but in the not so long tradition of this Curbside Recycling series there have been multiple cars that look just too good to have been casually tossed adrift in the currents running toward the crusher. This may be the best of the bunch so far and if it really were possible to “rescue” cars from the junkyard, I can’t think of many that would be much more comfortable to drive the 900-ish miles from Phoenix back to my town or anywhere else in North America for that matter without needing any obvious work or parts grafted back on from other denizens of the yard. So let’s just continue this little flight of fancy and see what’s making this so compelling.
The LHS has been a popular topic over the years here at Curbside and there are numerous posts and even a COAL or two. Of course as we mostly all know there was a natural progression of the LH-platform cars in the early ’90’s and the LHS was introduced a year after the Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, and Eagle Vision as a 1994, so ours is a first-year car (but second-year as far as the platform is concerned).
It’s Phoenix so this was likely someone’s last ride and when the time came perhaps the heirs couldn’t figure an easier way to dispose of it than bringing or sending it here in the time of Covid, another hidden example of the continuing economic losses suffered. There certainly doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it from a casual viewing. For a mid-90’s car the shape still looks pretty fresh, while the first generation Intrepid has aged a bit along with the Vision and the Concorde, the LHS’s shape seemed to bridge the gap or at least foreshadow the second generation a bit which seems to keep it fresher.
Of course the LHS also saw a second generation but if anything all of those cars got a touch too balloon-shaped and perhaps started to verge on Rubenesque. This here still works for me, even with the semi-formal roofline, thank goodness the backlight isn’t starkly vertical, that was tres passé by 1994.
I have no idea what LHS actually stands for. LH Sport? Last Hope Sedan? Large Heavy Sedan? Lansing High School? Lawrence Howard Sullivan? Loofah Her Side? Love His Sc….alp? Does anyone out there know for real?
The wheels are especially attractive with enough dishing out to make them less boring than many other front wheel drive ABS-equipped cars of the era. Behind those wheels is the same performance tuned suspension as in the Intrepid ES and Vision TSi so it had some handling chops, as least as far as a large American car is concerned. And someone clearly took good care of this car, with not-cheap Michelin Symmetry tires replacing the original equipment ones. And how do I know this?
Well, taking a peek in the trunk shows the spare with the untouched original tire in it, a Goodyear Eagle GA. Just tuck that bad boy back under the rug, re-install the cargo net for whatever small items you want to bring along, then load up the luggage back here and slam the lid closed, we are ready to go!
The new New Yorker was introduced at the same time as the LHS but as a driver’s car, the LHS was better simply due to its bucket seat interior. Who wants to sit three-abreast up front all the way across the country, no thanks. As a matter of fact, maybe I don’t want to drive, just get in here, recline all the way and take a nap. If the AC would fire up that might be a good idea, but in the 111 degree heat of this particular day that’d be a hard prerequisite.
The black leather and dash work well with the ’90’s plastiwood that’s fairly restrained both in usage and patterning when compared to some of Detroit’s more egregious sins of years past in that regard. Console shifter for a more “yoooropeeen” feel but there wasn’t a manual shift mode on these as with some of its stablemates as I seem to recall. The keys are even in it, the weather has warmed the engine halfway to operating temp, it doesn’t get any readier than this.
The Chrysler Infinity sound system was pretty good back in the day and I could probably scrounge a decent CD collection from various trunks in this yard to get me home entertained. I don’t mind a good touchscreen but I do admit that the equalizer knob sliders and joystick balance/fade control here are mighty tempting. And the HVAC controller with that temperature knob looks very useful too. However how anyone thinks they can adjust or select any of that without looking way down to the bottom of the console is beyond me, this is more complex than in a very basic car too.
But perhaps letting a different family member drive might be even better, just look at that back seat! Arm rest, air vents, no cupholder but I guess there’s a reason humans have two hands and like to man-spread…Or look into a few other cars and find one of those center hump cupholder tray things in black to blend in here.
72,683 miles! This thing still smells sort of new. That’s a good-looking set of gauges, shared with the Eagle Vision as seen here in one that ran out of gas just prior to the 200,000 mark. I’d be happy to push those dials toward the right.
The venerable 3.5l 24V V6 put out a healthy for the day 214hp and 221lb-ft of torque, all routed through a 4-speed automatic while using regular gas. No problem chirping the tires or climbing the grades on the way home while slicing through the thin air without much noise.
Never mind the splash of yellow yard-paint, that’ll come right off with five minutes and a claybar while filling the tank to leave town. Better leave early though as it gets mighty dark in the desert and those stylish headlights sucked so bad they were redesigned for the next model year.
Our neighbors to the North (that’d be Canada for those of you learning remotely and thus not learning much at all) are pretty good at building Chrysler’s big cars up in Brampton, Ontario, where they currently build the LX-platform cars (300, Charger, Challenger). This one was even built toward the tail end of the model year just in case there were some bugs to be worked out.
A full tank of gas, then run’er through the gas station’s $5 with fill-up car wash and this beauty is ready to hit the open road right after you go inside and stock up on a 64ouncer of ice and sweet tea to nurse during the drive home. Like I said, I know I wouldn’t hesitate based on what I’m seeing here and I doubt you would either. This thing’s a creampuff.