(first posted 9/29/2015) The 1983 Executive limousine and the 1990 Imperial are krazy enough, but no k-car kan more klearly demonstrate just how krazed Khrysler’s kompulsive k-car konundrum was during Lee Iacocca’s reign than the 1989-1991 Chrysler’s TC by Maserati. If anyone needed a sign that the chairman had gone kompletely krazy, this was it.
The very idea of commissioning Maserati to build a grand touring roadster for Chrysler arose in the early 1980s, as Lido was thinking of ways to re-establish some of Chrysler’s prestige that had been considerably lost in the past decade. A result of the corporation’s financial woes from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s, the Chrysler brand had moved increasingly downmarket into historically Plymouth segments, seeking out more sales.
Always a proponent of “halo model” coupes intended to stimulate interest in a brand, Iacocca felt that this type of vehicle would elevate Chrysler’s image. Rather than replicate his traditional personal luxury coupe formula, as was done with the 1981 Imperial, adding a European-inspired roadster to Chrysler’s stable was Lido’s next big idea. Opera windows and copious amounts of chrome still came without saying though.
Back in the ’70s while at Ford, Iacocca and Maserati’s Alejandro de Tomaso had collaborated on the De Tomaso Pantera sports car. They had remained pals over the years and saw it fitting to enter partnership again, with Chrysler buying a 5 percent stake in the Italian automaker. This joint-venture, melding “60 years of Chrysler engineering leadership with 70 years of Maserati coachbuilding mastery”, was meant to be a win-win situation for both men and their companies, giving Chrysler the flagship model it desired and Maserati the substantially higher output (and thus revenue) it needed.
In theory, this didn’t sound like an entirely preposterous idea. Unfortunately, once the finer details of “Chrysler’s TC by Maserati” emerged, they were enough to make anyone wonder just how many martinis were consumed at that luncheon.
Despite its intentions of sporting, luxury, and prestige, this internally named “Q-car” abhorrently (but no less predictably) rode on a modified K-chassis known as the Q-body. While continued spin-offs of the K-car were debatable for economy cars, the humble K-platform was by no means a suitable platform for a theoretical Mercedes SL challenger.
Numerous other components of the TC by Maserati also came right out of the K-car parts bin. Regarding its suspension, the TC featured front MacPherson struts and lower A-arms, rear beam axle on trailing arms, front and rear coil springs, tube shocks, and anti-roll bars, all of which were straight from the Aries/Reliant. The TC did, however, gain upgraded struts and shock absorbers manufactured in Germany by Fichtel and Sachs.
For 1989, the base engine was the same 2.2L Turbo II found in models including the Dodge Daytona. Making 160 horsepower and 171 foot-pound of torque, this output was detuned slightly so it would not compromise the K’s 3-speed automatic. Chrysler replaced this powertrain the following year with the ubiquitous 3.0L Mitsubishi V6 and Chrysler’s new 4-speed Ultradrive automatic. This SOHC 12-valve V6 made identical torque output to the Turbo II, but horsepower of this engine ,which also powered the Dynasty, minivans, et al, was an unremarkable 141.
Thankfully, not everything for Chrysler’s TC was purely carryover. After all, it was “by Maserati”, and in many ways the TC was by more. While most TCs that came off the production line were fitted with either of aforementioned powertrain, 501 examples were produced with a special “Cosworth-Maserati” 16 valve version of the 2.2L turbo making 200 horespower and 220 foot-pound torque. In a true international affair, the cylinder head was cast by Cosworth in England, pistons were produced by Mahle in Germany, camshafts were made by Maserati in Italy, and its turbocharger came from IHI in Japan. Final assembly of this engine occurred at Maserati’s factory in Italy. The only transmission available with this engine, a Getrag 5-speed manual, was sourced from Germany.
The de Tomaso-owned Innocenti was responsible for the TC’s bodywork and final assembly. The TC’s styling was relatively tame if not unremarkable, drawing cues from existing Chryslers and Maseratis for its wedge-shaped profile. Like the Cadillac Allanté, foldable soft-top and removable hardtop roofs were standard, the latter of which featured somewhat controversial circular “portholes”, etched with the “Pentatrident” combined Chrysler-Maserati logos. Unlike the Allanté, Chrysler’s TC by Maserati did not receive special 747 shipment across the Atlantic.
Despite its Italian influence, Chrysler’s TC by Maserati still suffered from the somewhat tin can look affecting all K-cars. It’s hard to exactly explain what this quality was, but nevertheless, the K-car’s early-’80s economy roots were getting ever so difficult to disguise. If my thoughts aren’t making sense, forgive me. It’s just something I’ve always noticed about the EEKs, but have never quite been able to pinpoint.
Of course, beyond the fact that the TC by Maserati was a K-car, there’s that fact that Chrysler already sold a K-car convertible, which was not only considerably cheaper, but arguably far better looking. Who knows how many potential TC buyers were swayed by the “J-body” LeBaron, but with more attractive sheetmetal, a less stubby look, and a price tag under $20,000 when fully-loaded, the LeBaron was certainly a tempting choice compared to the $33,000 TC by Maserati.
It should be noted that the TC was originally planned for a 1986 introduction. Had that been so, it would’ve shared Chrysler showrooms for a year with the outgoing K-body LeBaron convertible, a car which the TC did indeed look far more modern in comparison to. Unfortunately, production delays held up the TC’s launch until the 1989 model year, two years after the more elegant looking J-body LeBaron had bowed.
Entering the cockpit of Chrysler’s TC by Maserati revealed a profusion of padded surfaces swathed in fine hand-stitched Italian leather and accented with genuine burled wood trim, in similar fashion to other contemporary Maseratis. Notwithstanding the leather’s high quality, the thought of parking one’s derriere on those seats is a bit nauseating, their look owing a strong resemblance to a botched tummy tuck.
Though few would mistaken this interior for any ordinary Chrysler’s, few would also mistaken this car for anything other than a Chrysler. In spite of its Maserati touches, all the hardware, from the radio and HVAC controls, to the vents, gauge cluster, door handles, window switches, wiper stalks and automatic transmission shifter were all Chrysler. Because of this, the TC didn’t exude the same kind of Italianate sophistication and elegance as real Maseratis.
So for all that Chrysler’s TC by Maserati was (or wasn’t), just who was the target demographic for this ultimate gussied-up K-car? I’m sure high-up Chrysler execs and investors were on that list, among other friends of Lido. Dealership owners and general managers, and/or their spouses were probably a core demographic as well. Basically anyone who wanted and could easily afford a $33,000 car (roughly $63,000 in 2015), but couldn’t be seen in anything but a Chrysler.
Unsurprisingly, Chrysler’s TC by Maserati was a complete flop. Despite initial sales projections of 5,000-10,000 units annually, production over its three model years totaled just 7,300 units. By that point, Chrysler was once again on the verge of collapse, a result of its aging lineup, an economy in recession, and Iacocca’s reckless spending on ventures such as the TC, among many others.
Simply put, Chrysler’s TC by Maserati was bad, even for one of Lido’s decisions while at Chrysler. Basing it on the existing K-platform and using numerous carryover components definitely saved some spare change, but the K-platform and base powertrain were uncompetitive and inappropriate for a car of the TC’s aspirations. With everything else that went into the TC by Maserati to make it “molto speciale”, total investment sung to the tune of some $200 million. Just think of what Chrysler could’ve built in that time had it not green-lighted this preposterous klassy koupe? A true Taurus/Sable competitor by 1990 maybe?
Curbside Classic: 1989 Chrysler’s TC by Maserati
CC Capsule: Chrysler TC by Maserati
Curbside Classic: 1987 Cadillac Allante
While I can understand any car company feeling the urge to produce a “halo” model, I can’t understand why any car company would produce a halo model that looks too similar to one of it’s “bread and butter” models.
Admittedly, Ford managed to do a decent job of it with the 55 T-bird, but if Chevrolet had styled the 53 Corvette to look substantially like a 53 Chevy Bel Air…..well, I doubt it would have lasted until 1955 or 56.
And icing on the cake? Almost all the drivetrain parts used in the cheaper LeBaron were used by the TC. So basically, you paid a huge premium for roadster styling and the porthole roof.
I’ve seen 2 or 3 of these in the last 20 years. Cream was a popular color and probably the classiest looking on these, and I don’t think it was used on the LeBaron.
” if Chevrolet had styled the 53 Corvette to look substantially like a 53 Chevy Bel Air…”
Great question. I can imagine it immediately. It would have been parallel to the Skylark, Fiesta and El Dorado of the same year. Just add a side-dip to a Bel Air convertible. It’s amazing and sort of miraculous that GM didn’t do it this way.
The group of people behind the Corvette wanted it to become a true sports car. As such I don’t think they wanted it to look like the Bel Air.
Now that you’ve suggested it, some customizer will probably do it!
The timing is the whole reason between the car being a possible success and the abject joke it became. If they had managed to bring it out on schedule and ahead of the LeBaron . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . then again, the same thing could be said for Burnside’s pontoon bridges at Fredericksburg. The plan was good, if it had stayed on schedule.
Then again, we’re dealing with the 80’s Italians here. These guys must have been plastered to think that Alexandro DeTomaso could bring anything off on schedule. Start with the Benelli Sei, and everything he ever did came out late.
The one thing you can say for Burnside: He was humble enough to admit that he lacked ability. That was pretty rare, and still is.
Would that be Civil War general Ambrose Burnside, who gave his name to sideburns?
Was the upholstery just leather, or Corinthian leather? 🙂
Ye gads, basing a halo car on the K-car platform–silk purses and sow’s ears!
I think you’re missing the salient point about this car.
It was originally scheduled to launch in 1986, not 1989.
This would have been the halo car for the LeBaron. But with a workflow as complex as the one for this car was, I’m not surprised that there were hiccups in the process.
Nice article and I completely agree – bad idea, and bad execution. I didn’t pay much attention to them when they came out but my understanding was that the 16V 2.2L engines had a tendency to grenade.
Surprisingly, the black convertible above doesn’t look too bad – it visually lengthens the somewhat chunky proportions.
16v 2.2 engine was engineered by a group of people and many of them were responsible for the Formula One engines too, some of them were pretty Italian. One of the senior member gave a lecture in the campus last year, and he said he was so impressed by the headquarter in Highland Park then, with the newest computer technology connecting all the way to Italy and he had a good time then. And I was the student brought up the question of Maserati TC.
But it was the perfect used car to send your daughter off to College in….
or at least for her father once she has left the nest.
Notable for its lousy looking one-off dashboard and wheel, and exposed Reliant K steering column, nothing more in my opinion.
Brendan makes a great point about what if the car came out in 1986 instead or 1989 and shared the showroom with the boxy early K Lebaron convertible. Then the 1987 Lebaron could have been styled in the Maserati tradition as styling detail work better passed down than up. Then the domestic buyer might have taken to this half priced SL. It is not like the sales goals were that high. And I for one would have liked to see the 16 valve Cosworth head passed down to the Daytona Turbo Z.
Now a fun what if. A drag race between the Biturbo and the hot TC. RWD gets the Biturbo off the line better but can it beat off the TCs high rpm surge before it blows up?
BL did the same with making the 3 litre flagship look like the already old fashioned and not very good Land Crab
BL did seem to have a heck of a time replacing the Farina bodies. Maybe just a new 70s body to replace the 50s one would have worked better. It just may have been that the times were leaving that type of car behind for BMW 5 series and Rover P6
I agree that the execution was a total hash, but think that the concept had merit. Don’t forget what cars looked like in late 1985. You had the jellybean TBird and Tempo (which were not universally popular ) and everything else looked like the Celebrity, Fairmont or Reliant. The styling of this car blended the warring schools of design with a shape that would not have been out of place a decade or more later.
The body of this car was completely unique from that of the 87 J body, and they share virtually nothing on the surface. It is interesting thatstylists could not help themselves from copying the TC so blatantly. Had the TC come along when planned, it would have made a decent splash, at least for that first year. But coming 2 years after the ordinary J body, this thing never had a chance. This timing has colored peoples’ impression of the TC ever since.
I’m also not sure I agree that Chrysler was on the ropes in 1991. They were consolidating the AMC acquisition and selling a snotload of Jeeps and minivans.
“On the verge of collapse” may have been a poor choice of words, as it overstates the situation a bit. 1989-1991 wasn’t as dire as 1979-1980, but Chrysler was on a big downswing.
Between 1985-1989 Chrysler spent over $5 Billion on “diversification” (TC by Maserati, Gulfstream Aviation, etc.) and stock buybacks. Earnings fell by 60% for 1989, and continued to fall in 1990, resulting in an $800 million dollar loss. Stock prices plummeted by about 75% from 1987-1990, and production of Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth was also down, with Chrysler and Plymouth about 1/2 in 1990 compared to 1987 and Dodge about 2/3. Not to mention all the fighting going on inside to get Iacocca out.
Then again, when hasn’t Chrysler been in financial trouble 🙂
Yes, definitely a low tide, but as Chrysler low tides go, this one was pretty minimal. 🙂
I realize that I am more friendly to Iacocca and his term at Chrysler than many others here, but at least he left a company that was decently run, with some workable systems and with the basics in pretty good shape. His team was certainly playing too conservatively around 1990-91, but he had a foundation in place that just needed some better product. Which would soon be there. Considering the shambles that the company was in when he got there (a company that had almost completely lost the ability to competently design and build a vehicle) the Iacocca tenure was a success, all things considered. Agreed that aspects could have been done better, but isn’t that true everywhere?
Very much agreed. It’s definitely easier to hop on the Iacocca-hate bandwagon, and he indeed deserves a lot of credit for saving Chrysler, among his other victories at Ford. He was just too stubborn near the end at Chrysler, not wanting to realize that what worked a decade before wasn’t going to work in a vastly changed market. His whole attempt to buy Chrysler with Kirk Kerkorian in the mid-1990s was also somewhat embarrassing for him. All said, I still do have a lot of respect for him as a businessman. His victories far outnumbered his losses.
The whole attempt to buy Chrysler with Kirk Kerkorian scared Chrysler enough to merge with Daimler ( and Daimler was jealous of their profit too ) and it invited a lot more troubles later on.
Mr. Cavanaugh, you are one of the more level heads in this bunch of Nay-Sayers. Chrysler found out early on that building this car in Italy by the Maserati bunch, was a giant mistake. Chrysler had contracted for 7,300 vehicles and were stuck with that deal. As early as 1988 they canceled any further production of the car due to the slow progress Maserati was making in the production of this car, not to mention the unacceptable body-fit of most of the early built cars.
As for the quality and dependability of the TC, as an owner of one approaching 300,000 miles, I would put my TC up against any other US manufacturers ‘compact’ car of the period.
It was a let down when the TC appeared, I was expecting a gorgeous Maserati look a like with a bullet proof big block Mopar V8. A bit like going to a Pavarotti concert and being told he’s not able to make it tonight so we got Chas n Dave instead.
I still think anyone who wants one should ask the biggest meanest guy in the bar to kick him as hard as he can in the balls after handing over $1000. It’ll be just as painful as owning a TC but won’t cost as much
Ms. Whitman, if you can put aside your desire for it to be gorgeous, your neighborhood Bristol dealer has something just for you.
My favourite all time classic car, Roger did a splendid write up on them.
Laughing on my commuter train home – Gem, I love your way with words!
I always loved the opera windows on these cars and the rear tail lights has finally caught up with time as I see many foreign car tuners implement this type of lighting on their cars with after market parts.
These TC’s are cluttered around the “buy here pay here” lots in Florida in the 3-5K price range in general.
I still can remember 2013’s Classics on the Green car show, a rather large and well attended European car show run every year in the Richmond, VA area, where in the Maserati lineup someone had parked one of these in with all the real Maseratis.
It was comical to see an empty parking space on either side of the TC. There was no way the collectors were going to get anywhere near that car. And there was a lot of muttering that he put it in the show in the first place.
I noticed that it wasn’t at the 2014 show. Guess someone had a talk with the owner.
too funny….would kill for a picture of that
I remember when these were new. NOBODY bought them here in Portland. They sat on lots long after production ended. Maserati’s name was shit after the BiTurbo debacle, to those who even knew who Maserati was…certainly not your average Chrysler customer. Lame!
These sat on lots everywhere! I can remember them being advertised by a local Chry-Ply dealer a year or even two after production had ended. A complete and total debacle. There are a couple of these I occasionally see on the road in my area, which is as many as I saw on the road in the early 90s.
“Notwithstanding the leather’s high quality, the thought of parking one’s derriere on those seats is a bit nauseating, their look owing a strong resemblance to a botched tummy tuck”
That is probably going to pop into my head now every time I see wrinkled leather.
At least it’s not as unpleasant as how the book “Crap Cars” describes the TC’s leather. They wrote “ever wanted to know what your grandparents looked like naked?”
I love that book :-p
+1 Thanks for that one. 🙁
This leather upholstery looks like its right out of a whorehouse.
It doesn’t look that way really. Fifth Avenue looks closer. TC still looks exotic by compare.
Anyone ever wonder what this car would look like if it had four doors, a larger wheelbase and no ridiculous opera windows to speak of? I’m imagining a credible four-door luxury sedan that would had been a halo in its own right.
Then that would be a Lamborghini edition Imperial, as I read in book from Bob Lutz, Lee Iacocca didn’t even like it.
I bet the front clip from a TC would bolt on to a Plymouth Acclaim…
Nothing about the TC was offensive, old-stale, or imitative when it was conceived. The designers really needed to aim way ahead, their aspirations a bit farther advanced than the introduction date for the car, so it would have said, “This is where we’re going.” The TC was much-anticipated. But then came the reputed Italian propensity for coming in late (remember the adage about Mussolini and Italian trains). By then the Chrysler stylists in Detroit knew what the TC was going to be, aimed beyond it, and hit where they aimed. By the time the poor, bedraggled, late TC finally chugged in, like an unkempt Amtrak train struggling in hours late because somebody forgot to fuel it and somebody else didn’t check the fuel gauge, it was greeted with little more than, “It’s about time.”
Ha, I just learned something new.
I always thought that these were just LeBarons with a trim or appearance package tacked on…kind of like Eddie Bauer on the Fords a few years back.
When announced, this wasn’t a bad idea. But the execution was horribly mis-managed.
I wonder what the reaction was when it was finally disclosed that the car would be THREE years late? Was everybody really snorting that much coke back then that they all thought: Oh no problem. People will scoop these things right up…
I know they were aiming for a certain demographic with these cars, folks who remembered 1950’s cars, if I am correct. However, I’ve long believed that the portholes in the removable top were a shot at HFII.
I recall reading about the reaction to the car being so delayed – Iacocca was livid. This was to be the first of several joint ventures between Chrysler and Maserati. But after the botch-job on this project, that was the end of it. Iacocca had worked with Alejandro deTomaso on the Pantera project in the early 70s, and figured that he and deTomaso could put something of a similar nature together, which would give Chrysler some flash for the showroom and Maserati some volume. But Maserati so blew the deadlines and schedules that Iacocca washed his hands of the deal as soon as he could.
Really, how else can you get a mostly hand-built Italian grand tourer for so little money? Problem is that these are disowned by both Maserati fans and Mopar fans alike.
I don’t remember that from back in the day, but that doesn’t mean much… 😉
Lido went on a real spending spree late in the 80’s, he also bought into Lamborghini for a while. IIRC, Mopar may have even funded a Formula 1 attempt back at that time too.
Not to mention the Gulfstream aircraft acquisition, too.
You must understand, I generally like the guy, but there was a lot of wasted money on projects that should have made the LH and it’s successors bullet proof, not just snowball proof.
You are 100% correct about the whole hand-built Italian tourer thing. But unfortunately, you are also correct that both the Maserati and Mopar guys will shun you, too.
Built by the same people who gave you the Biturbo. enough said.
A neighbor of mine had two, a red and a black one (both non-running). He had them for the 7 years I lived there but one day they both disappeared and were never seen again. Shame, they were neat but probably junk…
Once the finer details of “Chrysler’s TC by Maserati” emerged, they were enough to make anyone wonder just how many martinis were consumed at that luncheon.
In Italy it would have been Negronis.
Or Chianti. I have no idea where the big meeting(s) actually took place, but in my mind I imagined it at Chrysler’s suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Towers in New York. I feel like Lido was the type of man who made people come to him, not vise-versa.
Negronis are one of my favorite drinks to order out though. Very classy.
The interior of the TC by Maserati is about as elegant as the Maserati Biturbo’s quite frankly. Not to suggest that it holds a candle to that in the newly released at the time Mercedes-Benz 500SL’s. However, you have to realize that Maserati at the time built only two basic products.
One was, of course, the Quattroporte/Royale. That was a car somewhat worthy of the name, and fairly well built, using a vacation of the old Maserati racing V8 that inspired the (inaccurate) 185 top speed of Joe Walsh’s Ghibili. That was back from the day when Maserati was such a prestigious make that Walsh said “Maserati” when “Ferrari” would have fit in the same line just as well.
The other, though, was the Biturbo, one of the worst cars ever made. Maserati has never recovered from it. Its similarities to the TC by Maserati are striking. Yes, its a unique platform. Independent all-round suspension, their own V6 turbocharged beyond what it could endure, running to the rear wheels. But it was very much like the Chrysler in that it was simply a list of items that people expected in a luxury sports car, hung together in an unconvincing way, to produce a car whose only sane selling point was the Maserati name.
Had I been given the choice of the two, I probably would have chosen the Chrysler, which is a much more reliable automobile- an impressive concept.
Although come to think of it, I’m interested in the interior of a car that Lindamood (Jean Knows Cars) said she “wished I had underwear this good” or something to that effect.
“…the Chrysler brand had moved increasingly downmarket into historically Plymouth segments…”
They had to bring out “smaller” Chrysler brand models. Only making ‘full size’ Chryslers may have worked in the 60’s, but not later on. The brand needed to compete with Olds, Buick, and Mercury in mid size and compact segments. And high end imports too.
Dodge was competing with Plymouth for Ford/Chevy/Japanese low price buyers by mid 70’s, with virtual cloned cars. If anything, it was Dodge that went “downmarket”.
Nowadays I still have hard time explaining why Dodge isn’t a low priced three brand, and Plymouth doesn’t exist anymore.
It still looks like a LeBaron.
Because it was supposed to look like the LeBaron. I was designed by the same individual, just that the car was supposed to show up a couple of years earlier when the LeBaron with that body style was NEW.
The MOLASSES-like building process by the employees of the Maserati plant is the reason the cars were delayed arriving to the USA.
Surely the upgrade to the same V6 used in the prestigious Hyundai Sonata must have been a selling point in later models.
The logistics of how the TC was built is worth repeating. Dodge Daytona chassis’ were shipped overseas to Italy where they were to be retrofitted with the TC bits. Iacocca had them shipped on schedule, but then they just sat. So, Iacocca was between a rock and a hard place. He could have the old chassis shipped back at considerable cost, or just ride it out and hope de Tomaso would get his act together sooner rather than later. The latter was the lesser of two costly choices, and the rest is history.
brendan, i completely agree about the “tin can” look. there was something about all k cars that just said cheap. it’s hard to pinpoint but it’s there.
I think it’s the cheap/tacky look and feel of the interior hardware such as door latches and turn signal indicators
I have no particular opinion on this car; however, if you think the LeBaron is better looking… well, you’re just going to have to step away from the crack pipe.
I’ve always liked the exterior styling of these, but hadn’t seen the interior until today, and what a disappointment it is! The dash looks like a modified badly-moulded Series I Mazda RX7 dash…
I’ve always wanted one of these. It must be a complete hooptie though, mismatched cheap chrome wheels missing the centercaps, and a huge Maserati logo on the grille.
Simply so I can tell people I own a Maserati, and then watch their faces when I show it to them haha
I want one…one thing to note foR anyone thinking of a cheap TC- believe these all came with TEVES II ABS systems – can be $$ to find parts/fix nowadays
In a sort of CC-effect, my Ford Sierra (https://www.curbsideclassic.com/my-curbside-classic/my-unintentional-coal-ii-1989-ford-sierra-2-9i-ghia-4×4-tales-of-sierras-past-and-how-a-17-year-dream-came-true/ is still not on the road. The reason? The Teves II ABS… Everything else wrong with the car (an extensive list) has been sorted but despite the whole ABS system being renewed/reconditioned (at huge $$), it still isn’t working right…
my 1990 Buick ultra has the same problem – Rock Auto has new master cylinders (for GMs) periodically – but no mention on accumulators age on the ‘new’ master cylinders
I also have a used cylinder that no one wants to touch/rebuild
but your car looks to be crazy rare so new master cylinder probably isn’t an option
currently driving with brake light on + I have also had some minor brake work done
Thankfully there was a specialist here who was able to recondition the master cylinder and recondition and re-fill the accumulator. And I just had good news from the mechanic, they finally tracked down the problem with the ABS: an intermittently faulty sensor. It had been crushed and the outer case had popped back to its regular shape, thus hiding the crushed internals from sight. Well that’s what we hope anyway…!
TheTeves ABS is used on the Jaguar XJS. Check out Kirby Palm’s Experience in a book, help for XJS owners. It’s a free download. There is quite a bit of info on repairing the ABS system with compatible parts that were used on other models of cars.
No discussion of this car would be complete without mention of its awkward name – “Chrysler’s TC by Maserati”, and why it was so christened. Apparently, the contract Chrysler had with their dealers stipulated that every dealer had to get at least one car, but they weren’t planning to build enough for every dealer to have one in their showroom. To get around the legal verbiage, the car had to officially *not* be a Chrysler. Thus, it’s “Chrysler’s TC” and NOT a “Chrysler TC”. In retrospect, I doubt the shortchanged dealers would have complained about not getting one of their own….
I always wanted one of these but I am a glutton for punishment. And my wife keeps me in check. Remember the BiTurbo ? I wanted one of those too. But the TCs are quite plentiful down here on the Gulf coast. I see them all time. Mostly Cream colored or white. A lot of northerners who spent the winter down here in their 2nd homes bought them for their winter car. Get em while they are hot. Prices start at $1000 for one with 85,000 miles https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/cto/5798530077.html
and go up to $6000 for with 48,000 miles https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/5810316961.html
Or $5800 for a nice Red one with 90,000 Miles. https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/cto/5752363157.html
Did the timing belt in the Cosworth-Maserati have the tow-roping issues that Daniel Stern wrote about in his Dodge Spirit R/T COAL?
Well–that was emphatic.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that door opener / lock handle set on previous K-cars and minivans. There must be countless examples of that parts bin theft.
The Maserati symbol inside a pentastar is laughable.
Very poor effort from Chrysler.
The symbolism of the Maserati logo inside the pentastar may be laughable, but it’s also fitting.
Such a long and convoluted assembly process makes the debacle of shipping Hillman Imps up and down the UK from Coventry to Scotland for assembly look quite simple and that MMC V6 was installed in mild looking Mitsu sedans for traffic patrol use for NZ apparently they went like the wind but handled not at all
When Iacocca spun off endless offspring from the Falcon, they all somehow had their own look, even if something under the skin betrayed the cars’ origins. Somehow, though, all of the spin-offs from the Aries and Reliant looked like K-cars, no matter how much the sheet metal was massaged into other shapes.
This is the TC in its natural habitat. I feel as though 90% of the ones I have seen in the wild are in this kind of state. The Maserati name and mostly unsuccessful (but partially successful) market positioning when new ensure that a decent number of people think they’re desirable, or will be in the future, so most escape disposition. But the K platform, turbo and Mitsu 6G engines, and Ultradrive transmissions ensure that many reach and maintain immobility.
I don’t have any negative associations to Maserati’s gathered leather seating of the era. It was also popular with expensive Italian furniture in the ’80s, and I loved it. I don’t remember any of the people who had the furniture when it was the peak of fashionable keeping it when the next aesthetic came along, so I don’t know if it held up better in homes than Maserati’s interiors held up when confronted with the sun, humidity, or dry air. I still think that gathered Italian leather looked great in the showroom. I’m more of a keeper than a programmed consumer, so I look for signs that major purchases are built to last. Thirty-five years ago, I was still the sort of optimist that thought there would be better stuff tomorrow.
The worst thing about the TC, and there were plenty of areas of want, was that the 1986 LeBaron convertible looked twice as comfortable in its skin for half the price. The only drivetrain unique to the TC was the Maserati twin-cam/five speed combination that very few sybarites had any interest in. Why not get the better-looking mass-produced four-seater? At least the dealer’s excuse for not being able to fix it wouldn’t involve the word Italy.
It’s funny to me, but it always seems like celebrated leaders in automotive companies always have that moment when it’s clear they’ve jumped the shark, and managed to finagle their personal–and often unique–tastes into a production car that the company then has to build, market and support. For Bill Mitchell, it was the bustleback Cadillac Seville. For Piech, it was the Volkswagen Phaeton. For Iacocca, it was this.
These two have been off and on Craigslist, in the Bay Area, for almost two years now.