What If: Chrysler R-Body Wagons and Coupes?

As it was mentioned during the recent 1979 Newport post, the Chrysler R-body lacked both the station wagon and 2-door coupe body styles of its predecessors and competitors. Given Chrysler’s lack of funds and diminished interest in the R-body, additional body styles beyond the 4-door “pillared hardtop” sedan were out of the question. They probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference in R-body sales either. But it’s always fun to imagine what could of been, so I present to you, my interpretations of R-body station wagons and coupes.

The first picture is of the Newport wagon. Chrysler already was making the LeBaron and Diplomat wagons at the time, but these M-body wagons weren’t as roomy as those from GM or Ford. They also lacked a third row seat, limiting their passenger capacity to six. An R-body wagon would have been a viable competitor to the B-body and Panther wagons. The M-body wagon’s roofline served as the basis for making this Newport sedan into a wagon.

Or if a Newport wagon was too plain, a wood-trimmed Town & Country was always a step above. The di-noc pattern on this one pays homage to the original Town & Country from the 1940s. If there had been a woodgrained R-body Town & Country, it likely would’ve used the New Yorker’s front clip. I left the Newport’s here simply because I like it better.

As for the 2-door coupe, I played around with several different treatments. For the first, and most basic, I used a Plymouth Gran Fury. This would’ve been the standard window for the 2-door R-body, and it’s pretty self explanatory.

The New Yorker, with its more intricate features likely would’ve had its own roof treatment. This first photoshop I did is a little busier, including both a small rear and opera window. It may be a little too much, but I rather like it. Chrysler was already applying similar treatment to the Mirada and Cordoba LS, so I don’t think it would’ve looked too out of this world.

I decided to also play it safe with this New Yorker coupe. The opera window is larger, making a middle window unnecessary. I don’t like it as much, but multiple vinyl roof and window treatments were still common among coupes in the early 1980s. This could’ve been the standard New Yorker roofline, and the previous picture the Fifth Avenue.