11K-Mile 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Two-Door Coupe

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A time capsule is a time capsule, whether it’s a Bugatti Royale or a Chrysler LeBaron. Nice is nice and it’s always fun to see vehicles that look like they just rolled out of the factory no matter if they’re full classics or just interesting cars from the 1980s. The seller has this 11k-mile 1986 Chrysler LeBaron two-door coupe listed here on eBay in Port Orange, Florida, and the current bid is $3,444,55, but the reserve isn’t met.

I think this car really does have 11,483 miles on it. Check it out and read the seller’s description about being the second owner and having gotten it at 10,028 miles from the original owner who put it into storage at that time. The Gunmetal Blue Pearl over Ice Blue two-tone paint scheme is gorgeous and is rarely seen, not to mention this is a two-door, another rarely-seen feature. I personally love the padded landau top era, that’s just my thing and I know that it isn’t for everyone. That’s ok, because as they say, “Last time I checked…” this is still America and we can all like different things and still get along.

The second-generation Chrysler LeBaron was related, of course, to the company’s revolutionary – and possibly the reason why there is still a Chrysler today – K-car. We could spend several nights by the bonfire with cigars and adult beverages talking about who, how, when, and what may or may not have saved Chrysler in the late-1970s. I’m in the camp that says that front-wheel-drive vehicles saved them, even if they made some of them into front-drive luxury cars.

I’m biased because I had a mid-80s LeBaron convertible and it was a great car. Mine had Mark Cross leather, unlike this LeBaron, and the Mark Cross leather package was available on the two-door coupe as an option. These are optional high-back front buckets and they look great both front and rear. The trunk isn’t huge but it’s big enough for a few weeks’ worth of luggage or two or three golf bags.

This is one of my favorite engines of all time, Chrysler’s 2.5-liter SOHC inline-four, which would have had a neck-snapping 100 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque. I had this exact same engine (well, not this one) in a 1991 Dodge Spirit and it went to 315,000 with ease until the car rusted to death. Rust is no worry on this car as there literally is none, and almost everything works like new, other than the cruise and the wipers. The seller has a real gem here, maybe the 1980s car museum that bought my 1986 Nissan Stanza 4WD five-speed wagon would want this one? Have any of you owned a LeBaron of this era? Bonus points for a two-door coupe model.

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    That’s my new goal in life – to own a
    low mileage K car.

    Like 20
    • HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

      Always nice to set ACHIEVABLE goals these days,,

      Like 16
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Oh, I can hear the keyboards clacking away. I think that debate will go on long after gas pumps have cobwebs on them. It’s well known where I stand on certain automotive issues, and put me in the “saved Chrysler” camp. The K car brought out the crybaby in many Americans, like my old man, who steadfastly refused to buy a smaller car, and went with a minivan when his big cars were no more. Denial up the ying yang, and my old man was wrong on a great many things. Denial aside, it was exactly what America needed, and took a while, but for many that still refused to buy a foreign car, this was the future.
    Many elderly folks bought these, and drove them very little. Their long distance rides were over, and for a 2 mile trip to Wallyworld, this was the car. Best seats in the business, good heat/ac, great mileage, someone is going to get a nice car. My only gripe? The timing belt, and an easy to change, but pretty much changes plans WHEN they break. Great find.

    Like 16
    • Mark

      I have replaced these timing belts on the side of the road. Easy compared to cars today. Most people did replace them when it was time and just drove them until they broke.

      Like 2
  3. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Ah, the maligned K Car. A significant milestone in the troubled Chrysler Corporation and accordingly in corporate management success.
    IIRC, Iacocca took the reins of a drowning classic American car company then turned it around-however briefly-by meeting with the factory management. He only did that AFTER first going to the assembly line floor and asking the folks actually doing the work what THEY saw as the problem(s) within.
    When those issues were addressed (with Iacocca’s backing) the company was solvent enough to pay back the government bailout reportedly eight years ahead of time, saving a significant amount on the interest owed therein.
    Iacocca may not have been the first to ask the guy or girl actually doing the job how THEY see it should be done but that approach has been a mainstay for success in those smart enough to use that blueprint.

    Like 12
  4. 370zpp 370zppMember

    It’s in great shape. It’s 37 years old. It’s a two door and with only 11 thousand miles on it. But at the end of the day, it’s still a K car.

    Like 6
  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Scotty’s first two sentences nail this car for me.

    My folks had two K cars. Howard’s comments about their usage fit their situation, thought their “local” trips were a bit longer, plus they made an occasional 100 mile (one-way) trip to visit relatives. Not like me: some days, after running errands, going to grandkid ballgames, etc. I will have driven 100+ miles “without going anywhere” (that’s my quote).

    Like 9
  6. That AMC guy

    I had K-car (Plymouth Reliant) as a company car decades ago. Despite being brand new right off the dealer’s lot it started falling apart almost immediately. In fact it was so un-Reliable that after multiple breakdowns I wound up getting special permission to ditch it to go on the company’s “alternate” plan where they paid a stipend for an employee’s own car. (You weren’t supposed to be able to do that.)

    Maybe mine was built on a Friday. Of course any K-cars still around will have been better made than that one. I still experienced a little shudder though on seeing the photo of this one, which aside from the padded roof and fancier interior looks identical down to the color.

    Like 4
  7. CCFisher

    Some folks swore by their K-cars. Others swore at their K-cars.

    Like 12
  8. Maggy

    I had the exact same car exc ept 4 drs.Had that little 2.5 with about 220k on it and it was a great little winter beater she always started no matter how cold.Bought it from a pastor.Car was super clean Sold it to the lube tech at our dealer in the spring and he ended up driving it thru a supermarket front window driving drunk and totaled it.Dummy.

    Like 11
  9. Troy

    So in the pictures there is a appraisal from a Steve claims to give it a value of $13,650 well drop the one in front and maybe I would consider it. bidding hit over $4k still didn’t hit the reserve auction ended, Add claims NO RUST when you can clearly see the vinyl top bubbles on the left side and paint discoloration means rust is starting hopefully the seller comes to their senses and let’s it go should last someone 100k miles with decent maintenance starting with changing the transmission fluid and timing belt

    Like 2
  10. dwcisme

    If I’m going to buy a K-car, I want an absolutely pristine trouble free car that will last me 300,000 miles for $2! Delivered!

    But, seriously. Nice little 37 year old car with a good engine. Yes, the timing belt as well as all other belts and fluids need to be replaced just from age. This would apply to any car thats been sitting, not just K-cars. CV joint boots probably should be replaced too. They were a weak point and those joints broke down pretty quickly. Wipers and cruise not working indicates the turn signal lever is probably the culprit. it may be something simple like a fuse or relay. I managed a fleet that had hundreds of K-cars with cruise and never had that problem (did have 1 car delivered with the switchgear but not the operating hardware). Dead simple cars to do mantenance on. Almost all service, including oil changes could be performed with the car on the ground. Because the K platform was so diverse, a ton of parts are interchangeable from Aries to Voyageurs and also a lot of later Omni gear.

    Like 6
  11. David Nelson

    I had 2 1986 convertible versions of this car, the 2nd being the Dodge 600 variant. Both had the turbo. Fun cars until I got bored and bought a GTC convertible!

    Like 3
  12. Bick Banter

    Hey, I’m just happy it’s not a convertible and that we can forego the John Voight jokes.

    Like 2
  13. CarbobMember

    I had the convertible.1986. Triple white. Bought it from the original owner in the mid nineties. Elderly gentleman who had to stop driving. Enjoyed it for a couple of years and ended up selling it to a fellow who ended up buying my ‘85 Buick Somerset Regal two door five speed as well. I bought it because it was a convertible not because it was a K car. But Lee Iacocca was the force that brought the convertible back as well.

    Like 2
  14. Carman

    It’s already gone, someone liked it! I retired a year or so ago after over 38 years working at the same family owned Chrysler dealer and sold quite a few of these, in both the 2dr and 4dr versions. Gunmetal over Silver was the hot 2 tone versions around here, probably because it was the owner’s favorite and he did the ordering!

    Like 5
  15. Hank H

    These were great cars. My Mom had an 86 convertible with this driveline. I bought it when she died. It’s my wife’s favorite old car, and with that smooth 2.5 and incredible transaxle it’s tough to beat. We took it down skyline drive and the blue ridge parkway…I thought the gas gauge was broken. We’d drive all day at 45 mph on like no fuel!

    It’s a way underrated car, and driveline. I think it’s sat out 10 nights since it was new and we are getting close to hitting 27,000 miles.

    Like 4
  16. Big C

    80 year old widows are blowing up E Bay this very second! They remember when Harold pulled this beauty into the driveway, back in the summer of ’86! Oh! When the neighbors all crowded around, looking at that crushed velour interior! And, when her brother in law Harvey, was so jealous, because it was newer than his ’85 Chevy Citation.

    Like 1
  17. Stan

    Remember the Caravelle. Our family friends had one…4dr w a stick shift.
    And Howards right again, as usual, great seats 💺 👍 😎

    Like 1
  18. Mark

    I think I had every color Chrysler made and every name they could put on them. I loved the k-cars… After they fuel injection them.

    Like 1
    • Dwcisme

      Yes, the fuel injection made a huge improvement. It’s unfortunate that Chrysler took so long to add it.

      Like 1
  19. George Louis

    Everyone talks about replacing the timing belt, but you also have to replace the head gasket on these “GEMS” as well at about 45,000 miles or so. I had the Dodge version of this color combination as an Account Executive car while working for Mopar Parts Division in 1986. The boys at the St. Louis Assembly Plant did one great job assembling my vehicle.

    Like 0
    • Mark

      After the updated head gasket was installed we never have problems with them. Plus most people never torqued the head bolts correctly or replaced them like you were supposed to. It’s call maintenance.

      Like 1
  20. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    These haven’t reached the 5 digit value area quite yet.

    Like 0
  21. Robert Levins

    I guess you could say that the time to sell the car was right before the timing belt broke, around 45-55k miles. They were great cars up until 60k miles and then the rattling started. Tight when new, just didn’t stay tight. My buddy had a 1985 Chrysler LeBarron convertible and that car was nice, in 1985. By late ‘86 on into 1987 with 70,000 miles on it, he couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Sad, because I really like these cars. In 2007 I bought a used 1999 Dodge Intrepid and same thing happened to that car. You could mark on a calendar when that car would break down. It was reliably unreliable. It fell apart at 70k and I couldn’t believe how much money I kept spending on it until 140k and it blew a head gasket. When it ran, it was one of the best cars I’ve ever driven. Sad. Now they wonder why people go to imports. Good luck to everyone.

    Like 0
    • Mark E Drayer

      It’s called maintenance. Those car are so easy and cheap to repair I never understood why no one would do the maintenance on them. I can do a head gasket in about one hour, 45 mins for a timing belt on one and that is taking my time. Good luck doing that on any import or newer car. I have worked at a Chrysler dealership sense 1986. I would love to have the K-cars back. The new cars suck to work on.

      Like 2
  22. MGM

    I was in the business in those days .Made a small fortune off of those vehicles.

    Like 0
  23. JJ

    My Aunt replaced her ‘75 Cordoba with a new one of these in 1986. Hers was the 2.2 turbo, black with black vinyl top, bucket seats with the center console. I seem to recall there was ALWAYS something wrong with it, including the turbo failing at only a couple of years old, but I still loved it!

    Like 0

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