Classy: 1982 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue

Classy. I thought that these were such classy cars back in the 1980s. This is a 1982 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue and it’s classy. (classy, classy, classy!) This one is listed on eBay with no takers at an $1,850 opening bid. Which of you classy readers has owned one of these? I know that one of you must have.

This classy Chrysler has been sleeping for 15+ years and has always been a southern California car. That has helped keep the body in fantastic condition, rust-wise. They mention two small dings on the hood from when it was in storage, and also a scratch on the trunk lid.

In 1980, Chrysler moved the New Yorker name down to the M-Body from the bigger R-Body cars. The M-Body New Yorker shared its lineage with the Dodge Diplomat and the former Chrysler LeBaron which moved to the smaller K-Body front-drive platform in 1982. I know, it’s confusing. Chrysler made just 654 LeBaron Fifth Avenues in 1980 in this new, crisper body style and by 1982 these rear-drive M-Body cars were Chrysler New Yorkers. The Fifth Avenue trim was the top of the line. The VIN confirms that this is a Fifth Avenue as does the Iacocca-approved, posh, padded, landau roof badge!

This interior is amazing! And that carpet, it’s like walking on a water bed! A show of hands who had a water bed in the 80s? I thought so. Is that a piece of carpet stuck in the turn signal crevasse there? I haven’t seen that before, interesting. The seats are equally amazing, but the seller mentions that the driver’s seat could use some re-padding and maybe dying the leather where it’s worn a bit. The back seats looks just as nice or even nicer than the front seats do. Even the trunk, complete with contrasting lap blanket, looks like new. Who wouldn’t want to have been dropped off in front of the opera / museum / fancy-restaurant back in 1982 and get out of that back seat? I wonder if a person could have worn a top hat back there, that’s the image that “Fifth Avenue” conjures up for me and I’m sure that it did for Chrysler marketing execs, too.

This is Chrysler’s 318 V8 with a four-barrel and it runs great. Here’s some work that has been done: New electronic fuel ignition computer, new battery, three new catalytic converters, new brake pads, flushed engine, full tune-up, new drip-pan seal, repaired front power windows and turn signal. But, there’s more work to do: the headliner is falling down in spots, missing interior rubber top-of-door molding, AC needs a recharge, RF tire is out of balance, and there’s a crack in the windshield washer reservoir. Those seem like fairly minor things compared to the nice condition that this car appears to be in otherwise. Have any of you classy readers owned a classy New Yorker Fifth Avenue like this? Or, of any generation?

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Comments

  1. Chris

    The first reliable car I owned after high school was a 1986 Dodge Diplomat. An ex police car, it came with the wide black steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps. The best $100 I ever spent on a car that never failed me for the almost 3yrs we spent together.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      I owned a 1980…same car, white with a dark blue interior. Very reliable. Had it for 5 years.

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    • Larry K

      Me too, but alas it’s last mission was in a demo derby.

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    • roger h

      we had a 1987 diplomat ex police car great vehicle very reliable!!

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  2. PaulbZ3

    I’m confused…it has a four barrel carb and a fuel injection computer? The “carpet” around the turn signal stalk is kind of a hair brush thing or possibly styrofoam used to fill the gap between the plastic and the turn signal stalk. I have seen that on other DCPJ vehicles of the era. IMO used so tolerances didn’t need to be so exacting possibly due to different size stalks depending on whether or not cruise control was optioned while also making it easier to assemble, cheaper to make and easier to repair when needed to be R&R…

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    • Dave Wright

      He said fuel ignition computer………..that is different.

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  3. Mike

    Want it so much, but I’m on the other side of the country.they probably mean the electronic lean burn computer. If it only had the 4bbl carb.

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  4. Joe

    I owned a 1983 fifth ave and loved that car..only problem we ever had was with the electronic lean burn computer on the air breather which was a common problem in those cars.i have been seriously thinking on buying another one to cruise if i only didnt already have too many cars/trucks

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  5. Dave Wright

    My dad had one like this for many years only in a kind of maroon-red color. It was a great car. He bought it after riding in my new 78 Lebaron in Germany. Mine was the same color as this. We had no trouble with them, they got great mileage and were impressive cars overall. Tough to beat for the money.

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  6. Paul Hudson

    I rented one just like this in California in the mid 1980’s. I was surprised how much I liked it. It did feel very luxurious for the time. It was old school luxury even when it was new.

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  7. Mr. TKD

    My parents had an ’85 this same color with the light brown velour interior. It was a nice cruiser, if a bit thirsty. I’d be interested if this was a bit closer.

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  8. VR LIVES

    My driver’s ed car was a 1978 emerald green Lebaron. We had a girl who had flunked the course her first time round in our car to try again. The auxiliary brake pedal got a good workout whenever she drove. Do they still have high school driver’s training?

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  9. m power

    I had an 86, it was silver with dark blue leather. The paint was a bit faded but that plush interior made up for it. I sold it to the son of a friend who needed a car to drive to college, and when the thermostat went out, he junked it. If I would have known that I would have kept it, the a/c even worked on it!!!

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  10. Nate

    I bought one of these, an 87, last year for $100 for demo Derby purposes. 318 2bbl, ditched the nonfunctional lean burn for a $20 points distributor from O’Reilly and just let ‘er eat!

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  11. Mark Hoffman

    A friend of mine had one. He bought it one year old. It got vandalized shortly after he bought it. You do NOT want to know what is involved with replacing a busted out rear window. We will just leave it at a trip to the upholstery shop to pull off the vinyl top, trip to the glass shop to replace glass, then back to upholstery shop for new vinyl top.

    A few years later I went to work for his company and the 5th Avenue became my unofficial company car when I had to go out of town.

    Triple black with wire wheel covers. Great highway car.

    I had several other friends that owned 5th Avenues. One friend hit a deer and really messed up the front end. He was able to drive home from 300 miles away and drive it while waiting for parts to come in

    Would love to have this one.

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  12. pursang

    Dad got himself one of these in 1983/4 replacing his 72 Plymouth Fury III that did car pool duty up until the last couple of years of his career. Silver over red leather. Was a very reliable car for him.

    I recall driving the folks home from a country club family wedding reception in Wilmington, DE after a sleet/freezing rain storm hit just as the party broke up. Driving a rear wheel drive auto on Michelin X radials was tricky up and down the back country hills with 90 degree turns at the bottom or top was challenging, but we made it home unscratched, others didn’t. I didn’t want to be the one that wrecked his favorite car.!

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  13. nessy

    A guy in my town has an 82 Diplomat ex Detective car that has been sitting in his driveway unmoved for years now. It’s a loaded car with leather interior and all power options but it also has police radios in it. Here is a photo I took of the car one day. Let’s see if the photo loads up. I guess these are kind of rare to find today. It’s a shame how it never moves.

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    • nessy

      Hmm, no photo, again. Anyone else having a problem posting photos lately? It used to be easy.. The last few weeks, I can’t post photos.

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  14. Joe

    My neighbor had one exactly like this one – nice car !

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  15. Chebby

    My grandpa bought one of these as his last new car, his was that deep red with red velour interior. Sadly he didn’t have much time left to enjoy it. I got the chance to drive it when it was new, and recall being very unimpressed. Not much power from the 318 and overall it felt like the tarted-up taxi cab that it was. While this one looks like a good example, if you want a nostalgic sedan I think the red Buick LeSabre would be a better car in every way.

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  16. Capt RD

    My mother had one like this and kept it until she passed on. A big boat that was fine on the highway and luxurious on the way to the supermarket. I would borrow it sometimes when I was there visiting and always enjoyed the drive.

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  17. HeadMaster1

    For $1850 bucks you can’t go wrong. I would ask the seller if it passes smog test, as if it fails in CA the car is worthless in that state……But if you are outside of the green-curtain, then it’s good to go. If I didn’t already have an 82 Imperial, I wouldn’t mind adding it to my fleet….

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  18. Rustytech

    My father in law and I each bought one at the same time, and at the same dealer ( salesman hit a home run that day ) his was white over white with red valor interior. Mine was black over black with gray leather. Had mine over 8 years, he still had his when he passed in 2012. They were great cars, no major mechanical issues ever, and the bodies held up well even up here in the mid Atlantic rust belt. I went from a 1978 Lebaron to this. I did find it was a bit slower, burned more gas, and didn’t handle quite as good, but I am still considering getting another one as a weekend driver.

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  19. Rob

    I own one it’s in my garage.. no rust runs great.

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    • dj

      Me too. I’ve got an 83, 84 and an 88.

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  20. Bob C.

    These were GOOD bargain luxury cars during the 80s because of amortized tooling cost. Another rwd full sized car a lot craved at the time. My dad had a 79 LeBaron of the same body style.

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  21. Allen

    I had a ’79 LeBaron station wagon and later an ’85 Plymouth Fury III. They were both old when I bought them. They were both fabulous – bulletproof. I drove them both all over the country. I sent my ex-wife from Virginia to Texas in the LeBaron, and damnit, she made it! That car was even more reliable than I thought! Seriously, I sent her with that car because I knew it would be fine. And it was. I drove it from Virginia to Minnesota many times. Same with the Plymouth. I did have the A/C converted to 134 – resulting in the coldest A/C I’ve ever seen! These were exceptionally good cars – high quality. People who complained of quality issues in this era just didn’t know what they were talking about.

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  22. 72_VPD1300

    I remember going to the dealership in summer of 1984 with my Parents to pick up our new one. Gray with gray leather and a black landau top. Had a 2 bbl carb., but did have the optional “Heavy Duty” suspension package. TONS of memories in that wonderful car!

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  23. Craig

    My Dad had a 1988 Fifth Avenue, his pride and joy, except for that lean burn computer ? thing crapping out it served him (& me) well for many years. His was a deep cherry red with a reddish interior loaded with everything including a moon roof. He loved that car as did I,,,, he bought it on 8/8/88 which I thought was kinda unique

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  24. Jubjub

    I had an ’84 Diplomat SE, good, durable and comfortable. Also had a ’79 Diplomat with a slant six-four speed set up. They had good acoustics inside. My usually pretty basic stereos sounded good in them.

    I’ve always wanted to build a Fifth Avenue into a tasteful Baja prerunner.

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  25. Edward

    The R-body New Yorker actually lasted through 1981 (though nobody bought them LOL). Wasn’t until 1982 that the M-body New Yorker was intro’d. It sold well right off the bat, and sales actually increased to the point that Chrysler sold over 100,000 per year (!) in the mid-80s. Not bad numbers for what was basically a very well appointed ’76 Volare.

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  26. Adam T45

    Sold for $2025. That’s peanuts!

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  27. boxdin

    I drove a limousine version of this car w 48 inches added in btwn the doors. Its was the best limo ever drove because of its smaller size, power and ability to get around easily, and being good on gas too. I was told then that only 6 stretch cars were made.

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