Spotted: Minty Lebaron Convertible

A suspiciously clean classic of questionable merit

6d ago
4.8K

Back in may of 2020, I came across an incredibly clean second gen (1982-1988) Chrysler Lebaron convertible for sale. I wasn't alive back when these were commonplace, but their reputation proceeds them. I've only seen a handful of Lebarons over the years that weren't totally trashed, almost all of them convertibles. (I most recently saw a well maintained Lebaron in New Orleans).

Back to the car before us, as someone who has no prior experience with these cars, they're not bad looking. Sure, this Lebaron goofily proportioned, generally underpowered, and painfully pretentious things, but I feel enough time has gone by to appreciate them.

Gotta love the center caps aligning to the ground plane by total chance

Gotta love the center caps aligning to the ground plane by total chance

Just look at these basket weave wheels with white walls! They're pretentious, impractical, and arguably quite tacky, but they're so of the time that we can appreciate them.

The front end on these isn't terrible. There's a lot of chrome here to distract from the relatively simple but well proportioned front grille. You could easily miss that the grille continues below the massive bumpers.

Sure, the interior has a little bit of sun damage, but the car's age simply doesn't show inside. You'd never suspect 35 years have passed since this car left the assembly line. Well, other than the tacky chrome everywhere ready to blind you on sunny days, of which we get a lot in Georgia. I've seen 10 year old cars whose interiors have suffered more from the effects of UV exposure than this. Considering most K cars weren't exactly built with longevity in mind, the car's condition is truly remarkable.

So, what's your take on this car that has become a cultural icon for better or worse. Are you ready to change your name from Kitty to Karen and trade your MG for a [b r o w n] Chrysler Lebaron? I'm not sure I'm ready to take the leap, but I love seeing generally unloved older cars that have clearly been loved and cared for.

The original version of this spot got eaten in the great Kinjapocalypse but Oppo is still around and now independent.

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Comments (13)

  • Having seen the "demise" of the Big Three convertibles with the '76 Eldorado and seeing the renaissance of Chrysler via the K-platform, I was thrilled to see the LeBaron convertible come to market. The Mark Cross leather was a bonus, as was the throw-back "woodie" Town & Country version. They weren't built to last, but I sure liked them when they were new. 😀

      3 days ago
    • They get a bad rap for their admittedly poor quality but they were exactly what the market wanted, when they wanted it, and at the price they wanted it. It's one of the greatest automotive success stories and many people were happy to have...

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        3 days ago
    • Absolutely! Like the '49 Ford that pulled Ford's ledgers up after WWII and the much-used Panther platform supporting numerous models later years later, and the present VW modular architecture underpinning so many of their models, that...

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        3 days ago
  • The biggest problem with these was that horrible Mitsubishi 2.6 liter engine that Chrysler considered an "upgrade" over their own 2.2, so it ended up in the more upscale models like this. It was noisy, it leaked oil like crazy, and it idled badly and stalled due to carb issues. The later LeBaron and Dodge 600 convertibles, with the Chrysler-built fuel-injected 2.2 turbo, were a lot better. (Still, you know, K-cars, but a lot better.)

    ETA: Oh, and this looks like the "Mark Cross Edition," which came with its own set of matching luggage fitted to the trunk. If that's still in there (no chance at all), it'd be a collector's piece indeed...

      2 hours ago
    • Was there ever a fast K Car? I don't think so. In an era of downsizing in size, Chrysler definitely also downsized in quality of construction and engineering. The powertrains in these are just so anemic. If an engine is slow, it better also be...

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        2 hours ago
    • Actually, there was a fast K Car. It was called the Dodge Spirit RT. Made 224 horsepower, equipped with a manual transmission, and could do 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, and a top speed of 141 mph. Thats quick by today's standards.

        2 hours ago
  • Incredible! I saw one for the fist time on 6 March 2021, but it wasn't good.

      6 days ago
    • "it wasn't good"

      That describes both the car and the condition ;) You got 2/2, I got 1/2

      There are still a few hoopties littering back lots but even fewer are in even half decent condition. K cars are kind of becoming somewhat collectible...

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        6 days ago
  • I worked at a Chrysler dealership when these were being sold. They and the entire K-Car line was crap. Yes, Chrysler offered luxury at a much lower price - but it came at a cost; trip after trip to the repair shop for the duration of ownership. I don't remember what engine it had, but it was... "less than reliable” as Edmonds put it.

      2 hours ago
    • You could be describing pretty much any Stellantis product. Amazing how little things have changed with that company.

        2 hours ago
  • Like the one Hoovie put underground

      3 days ago
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