$1,795 No-Brainer: 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

Bargain hunters, check out this mind-blowing 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue! Sure, it’s from the mid-80s, not exactly the “classic” era, but it’s over there decades old, it’s rear-wheel drive, and it has a V8 engine. ‘Nuff said. This gorgeous black car is on Craigslist in West Allis, Wisconsin with an asking price of just $1,795! No, really, that’s it. Here’s the archived CL ad in case someone snaps this up in the next day or two..

I have no clue how this car is still for sale, it looks absolutely drop-dead perfect in these photos. This is such a formal car anyway, with that Iacocca-approved (more like mandated) padded landau vinyl top, wire wheel covers, and that perfect-looking black paint. I’m in Chicago as I write this and I always jump on CL when I’m on the road to see if anything interesting pops up, and this one hit me right in the gut. I literally had dreams about getting an M-body Fifth Avenue in the early-mid-1980s but there was no way I could afford one, not even close. Now I can afford one, especially this one, and I may sneak up and check it out tomorrow on my way home. Like I need another vehicle..

I seem to love the cars that are in the love-it-or-hate-it category, with most other folks being in the hate-it camp. That’s ok, I’m not out to please anyone but myself with the vehicles in my fleet/collection/hoard. Life is too short for that nonsense. Chryslers fall into sort of a third-wheel category anyway. It’s usually Chevy vs. Ford, and then there’s poor Chrysler, the underdog. Maybe that’s why I prefer them. The seller, a dealer in West Allis, WI, doesn’t say one word as to how this car looks or functions, they just basically give a list of the features and options that it has and list the mileage as being 75,000. I haven’t heard back from them, I sure hope that they’re open tomorrow.

As if a formal black car isn’t cool enough, this one has the, yes, rich, Corinthian Leather interior! A lot of these cars had velour, which was nice, but come on, leather! Look at the condition of this interior, it has to be as close to looking like new as any 32-year old car that I’ve ever seen. A person could get lost in those puffy seats. And those crazy in-a-row power window and lock buttons! There can’t be a lot of side bolstering going on here, not that this car was meant to take corners too hard anyway. The dash looks perfect and is that a “mobile phone” (even though it has a cord?)?! I got my first cell phone in 1987 and it cost more than $1,795! In 1987, my fresh little business was going well enough that I also got a Chrysler LeBaron convertible, you know, the talking K-Car one? This dash light “Door Ajar” reminds me that mine used to say that when a door was open. What a crazy era.

Since there wasn’t an engine photo included (usually at least a small red flag for me), I added a back seat photo. And it looks at least as nice as the front seat area does. I know that this car is basically a Dodge Diplomat / Plymouth Gran Fury with chrome, but it really is luxurious for the era. It even has a sunroof. This car only came with one engine and one engine only: a 318 V8 with 140 hp when new, and these are carbureted cars. I swore that I would never buy another leaky, smelly carburetor-equipped car again, (I still have at least three now) but I’ll see how this one starts and runs, and if it smells or leaks! What do you think about this one? $1,795 is an absolute no-brainer for this car if it’s even close to being in the condition that it appears to be from the photos. Or, is it one to stay away from?


WANTED 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne Looking for a 1961 Biscayne in decent shape for an everyday driver. Will also consider Bel-Air Contact

WANTED 1966 Ford Fairlane GT $ Speed 390 s code, must have good body, can work on Engine if needed, probably going to put a litte Contact

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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Well, after looking at the car this morning it appears to be in really nice condition but there will be a couple of rust repairs to do so I’m out. Maybe one of you could take it on?

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      Thanks for the update.

      The rust was probably why the condition of the paint and body wasn’t mentioned in the ad.

      Due to the price, it still might make a good fair weather beater for someone that is looking for something “different” that they can pile a bunch of friends into.

      Steve R

    • Jdjonesdr

      A couple of fotos would have been great

    • jerry

      what in gods green earth do you want for 1700 bucks allready? a rust free show car! wish you luck with that, go buy this generation caddy that the rear bumpers fell off with rust or that junk 4-6-8 v8 they come up with!dont like this one? gesswein motors in millbank south dakota has one for $10,000, go pick it apart and it is mint!

  2. Rock On Member

    I hope that you at least took it for a spin around the block while you were there!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I didn’t but I regret not at least hanging around until they opened. I was there an hour before they opened.

      • Roger

        Back in 1990 we bought a twin to this car,only difference was no sunroof and it had the alloy sport wheels,looks like this one has the aftermarket sound system,probably remote control is the gadget on the hump,anyway not long after we bought it the clear coat started coming off so we had a local guy repaint it in black with a clear coat on it,after adding a set of white letter tires to it was a pretty nice car,another problem these cars had was the cloth covering on all the posts and the headliners tended to deteriorate over time and the 318 was cursed with the newest edition of the old Lean Burn system and it seemed pretty anemic for a 318 but a few years later drove an ’88 model which I assumed had the throttle body injection and it seemed a little more peppy,if I had the ’85 today I might be tempted to do away with the electronic system and put a small 4 barrel intake and figure out a way to put dual exhaust on it (a little tricky on these bodies)

  3. Rock On Member

    Black is a great color for hiding rust. Spray bombed one of my cars with Tremclad black rust paint every six months and nobody was the wiser.

  4. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Here’s a camera phone pic from behind the LR wheel. It isn’t horrible rust but it’s more than I want.

    • jdjonesdr

      Thanks Scotty

  5. David R.

    There’s one of these down the street from where my grandmother lives. It’s sat under a carport the entirety of my life, and I’m 18. It’s covered in pollen from sitting in the one spot for so long, but it’s black with the vinyl top also. Beside it is a 1995 Buick Lesabre that is absent on occasion. I figure the Chrysler is one of those “My husband bought it and then he died” stories, so I’m sure its got low miles. Being from Mobile, Alabama, the only rust on it would be from taking it to the beach, but judging by the demographic of who would buy this car new, I’d doubt it ever left the city. I look for it every time I go by, and if I’m around when the time comes for the kids to liquidate, I might try to buy it.

  6. Melvin Burwell

    That is a gorgeous car. Cant beat the price. I know that beauty is gone already.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      It’s still there, Melvin! It’s parked in the back of their car lot, just sitting there waiting for someone to give it the love and attention that it deserves. It really did look fantastic to me other than just not wanting any more rusty cars, I have enough of those already! If I could have talked them down a bit (lot) I most likely would have grabbed it. They had some nice looking late-model cars, but none of them were even approaching this age so it really stood out. It’s one elegant car compared to anything else on their lot, or even on the road today, in my opinion. I’d better quit or I’m going to talk myself into buying it.

  7. RoKo

    I don’t know why people bought the front drive New Yorker when these were available at the same time. This was Chrysler’s pinnacle of luxury during those years. My father bought a new one in ’87. Wonderful car. I wouldn’t mind owning one of these. Ideally, mine would be two toned black and silver with a blue velour interior, sunroof, and those cool alloy wheels that were an option.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Oh boy, those two-tone models were the best, RoKo! The fifth-generation Buick Riviera had a similar two-tone scheme and I always loved that look.

    • Chris

      These were fantastic cars I own a 1985 very similar to this and put over 250,000 miles on it and sold it to a guy who’s going to do a full restoration he loved it that much

  8. Dirtymax

    Looks like a nice ride just a heads up, auto dealers can’t sell cars here in Wisconsin on Sundays

  9. Darryl

    Had the exact same car but (burgundy in and out) only difference.
    Even had the same cell phone receiver mounted in the same place, microphone clipped to sun visor and the phone was bolted in the trunk.
    Drove the car for over 10 years as a taxi cab here in Ontario, Canada
    sure beat the old Volre’ (?spelled wrong) I had before the 5th. Ave.

  10. Alan

    2 years ago I bought All original 1980 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Av with 15K original miles. Its the cream exterior with light beige leather interior. 360 2V , Factory AM/FM , Factory AC , dual power front seats , wire wheel caps . Asking price was 14 I got it for 13K. This is seller pic of my New Yorker before I bought it

    • Andrew not amember

      Alan I ask again a museum?

      • Alan

        What Museum ??

    • Chris

      Congrats Alan that’s a beautiful car keep that one for sure

    • grant

      I think he wants to know if you have a museum?

      • Alan

        I have a Classic car collection. I Dont know if being described as ” Museum ” is correct.

  11. Allen Member

    I’m a Mopar lover – embracing all of them – from at least as early as 1930 – on up to the modern 300s. I had a ’79 LeBaron wagon (same car) and an ’85 Plymouth Fury (also same car). Like all my cars, these were old when I bought them. I’ve always believed in buying cars that have flattened out on the depreciation curve. If you know how to pick ’em, wait for the right one, and can tolerated some antiquated, sometimes downright silly styling, you can have more darn fun buying-selling-swapping cars and always have something dirt-cheap that attracts at least your own attention, while proving over and over again that a car need not be new to be reliable. Nothing silly about the styling of these Fifth Avenues. They look as elegant and formal today as they did 30 years ago.

  12. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Sorry for the odd infusion of photos, I was traveling today and I couldn’t get the photos to load from my phone for some reason. Here are the last two that I took of the Fifth Avenue.

  13. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    And, seeing this photo for the first time on a computer instead of on my phone makes me realize just how solid this car appears to be!

    • Buick Fan

      …that wheel well opening looks pretty crusty.

  14. mpower

    I had one of these, grey with dark blue leather. Still regret selling it.

  15. John D

    Mine was white with the burgandy interior. If I had it today, I’d swap in a Gen. III hemi and a newer transmission.

  16. Mark S. Member

    Last good car for Chrysler before the K car crap came along. It was the kind of car that you could travel in comfort any where you went. They were under appreciated and will be true classics at some point. I personally would pull that lean burn crap off and install a conventional carb, distributors, and do maybe a slightly hotter cam. I’d put duel exhaust on it and gut the insides of the catalytic converters. Leaving the outer shell in place. Up hear above the 49th you can still get away with that trick on an older car. I miss working on cars like this where wheel bearings were repackable and the word tuneup still ment something. I could never afford one of these when they were new, now I’d have to sell my 51 dodge to make room for one. I can’t do that to much heart and soul has gone into the 51 besides its been in my wife’s family since the early 60’s.

  17. Brad

    When is a door not a door ? When it’s ajar.

    Thanks for the photo of the rust. I was going to take my last 2 vacation days and take the ride to
    WI to buy this beautiful NY, but the pics of the rust turned me off. Still, it’s a wonderful ride, but the rust is a deal breaker for me, regardless of the price.

  18. Troy s

    My ’87 half ton Dodge had a 318 with the feedback 2V carb and all kinds of other smog junk on it, if the engine in this car is anywhere near the same set up run away from it, quickly too, unless you plan on ripping all that stuff. A complete slug and in the shop all the time, too bad ’cause a proper set up 318 will start and run just fine!🍋

  19. Buick Fan

    My friend had one of these with T-tops, what a cool car…never saw another one.

  20. David Miraglia

    Worth every cent as a daily driver

  21. Rock On Member

    T-tops on a four door? Are you sure that it wasn’t a Dodge Mirada or Charger or perhaps a Chrysler Córdoba?

    • Buick Fan

      Rock On: my friend passed away long ago, so I couldn’t ask him, but searching the interweb, turns out it was a Lebaron (which I always kind of identified as a 5th Ave?), but in fact, is a 2 door car. Thanks for the brain exercise!

  22. R L Fry

    We had an ’85 LeBaron 5th Avenue that was a Creampuff. Had less than 10000 a year mileage when we bought it in ’05!
    Our son used as a daily driver, for school and work, but someone with a Bonneville, hit him as he was pulling out of a gas station. Broke the wheel off the tie rod area. Other driver’s insurance company “found a witness that said he cut through station and was racing!”

  23. Lisa P.

    This is our ’89 Fifth Avenue. No rust, and 135K miles. We love her!

    Like 1
    • Matt

      beautiful car. I think there were only 26k 1989s made. Is the motor fuel injected?
      Any trouble finding parts for your car? Do you have any other photos of the engine and interior ? What interior do you have cloth or leather? Love the exterior

  24. Steve

    When it was a late teen early twenties a friend of mine had one of these. Seeing one of these brings back memories.

  25. Allen Member

    lFAIK, the LeBaron was just an earlier version of the same car. I had a ’79 LeBaron station wagon: what a great car!!!

  26. Matt

    Nice Car, but there always seems to be more rust than what you see. To bad it wasn’t closer, I would like to check it out myself. Hope someone buys it and fixes it up. I would hate to see it end up in a demo derby

  27. jdjonesdr

    I’d like to buy just to put the seats in my Cherokee

  28. billy baker baker

    is this 85 Chrysler still for sale call 501 530 0929

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