Leaping Lion Edition? 1961 Chrysler New Yorker

The majestic lion lends an image of power and regal confidence, and Chrysler adorned its 1961 New Yorker with lion imagery in the side trim and also in its “Golden Lion” V8. Of several models, only the New Yorker’s exclusive top-line 413 cid (6.8L) version made 350 HP. This 1961 Chrysler New Yorker four-door hardtop in Hurst, Illinois seeks a new owner for the first time since 1974. The listing here on craigslist asks $10,000, and the 33 words describe a no-doubt-loved but long-abandoned and non-operational classic. Thanks to reader Ikey H. for spotting this interesting Chrysler.

Chryslers flaunted fins from 1957 through 1961, ending with these ’61-only chiseled versions before going flat for 1962. The optional Flight Sweep Deck Lid recalls luxury cars of the past, and tends to polarize onlookers into camps of Love or Hate. Check out this lesser Newport showing alternate trim. Without the carport coverage, this Illinois New-Yorker might be destined for the crusher. Still, an inspection of the undercarriage might reveal frightening ghosts of Christmases past.

The seller calls the car a “Leaping Lion Edition” something I could not document, but only the New Yorker sports this leaping lion detail in the door trim. With unibody construction and torsion-bar suspension, big Chryslers of this era are known for their rigidity and competent handling. You’re virtually guaranteed to have the only ’61 New Yorker at your local show ‘n’ shine.

The seller is a person of few words and a taker of a few pictures. The photographs are either oddly composed by accident or taken from intentionally obtuse angles to disguise the car’s four doors. Considering the handsome four-door hardtop design, it should be celebrated! A lack of interior or engine compartment shots leaves many questions unanswered. What would you give for this lion-themed New Yorker?


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  1. Stevieg

    Certainly not $10,000 lol. I don’t think they sell for that as running, driving vehicles. This is obviously someone who has no clue what he has.
    About 10 years ago, a young college student who rented a flat down the block from me had a really clean one for a “winter beater”. It broke my heart watching him drive it through the slush, snow & salt. He was still driving it when he moved. I tried to rescue it from him, but he wouldn’t hear offers. He said it was too reliable to sell & risk getting some piece of junk.

    Like 8
    • BIG D

      Good luck finding one! Lol

  2. Stevieg

    Those Illinois plates are not that old, by the way.

    Like 2
  3. Paolo

    Neat old Chrysler but way overpriced and way too little information to make an accurate assessment.

    Like 8
  4. Gary

    Advertiser made a mistake naming the engine series. Chrysler advertised their engine family as Golden Lion, not Leaping Lion, from 1959 through 1962.

    Like 2
  5. BarnfindyCollins

    Well leapin’ lizards, it’s a big ole luxury liner. Didn’t know they called their engine a golden lion as I was only familiar with the golden commando moniker. The seller ought to follow the golden rule of lowering the price so someone can afford to buy and put back on the blacktop ribbon. I like the idea of the lights mounted in the back window. Is that for rear visibility when backing up or one- upmanship for tailgaters with their bright lights on?

    Like 1
  6. stillrunners Stillrunners Member

    Actually has a sticker on the valve covers 413 Golden Lion….

  7. Andrew Franks

    Overpriced and garbage on the back shelf. Yes, the Illinois Plates are new.
    If the Seller is hiding something try him at $400.00 and see what happens.
    When he’s off the ceiling personally inspect the car, put our hands on it, and
    get it in the air so you can see its bones. Then make him an intelligent offer.
    These cars were strong, handled really well for their size and weight, the Power Steering was a little dumb but you get used to no feeling and will love it when you are parking the car, and when in tune they are surprisingly fast for their size. Enjoy.

    Like 3
  8. JudoJohn

    Wow- Haggerty lists a condition 4 at $17,600. Condition 3 at $26,300. So, maybe he’s not that far off. My first car was a 64 Newport, so, I like the ’60’s Chryslers. If the engine isn’t locked up, it shouldn’t be too hard to get it running. To get it Looking good, however, is another story.

    Like 1
  9. BR

    Put the drivetrain in a Willy Knight and send the rest to the crusher.

  10. benjy58

    This kind of photography is from the lipstick on a pig school of photography.

  11. Richard Douglass

    Nice looking car(what you can see),seems overpriced, not running, maybe he meant $1000,not $10,000
    . The listing does say condition: Salvage. I bought a yard driving ,running,stopping 1960 Imperial for $4000 3 years ago.

    Like 1
  12. Pete Phillips

    Way over-priced, and if Haggerty thinks a 4-door ’61 New Yorker is worth $17,600 in #4 condition, then either their value guide is useless or someone made a mistake. I love this car and it is very rare, but my running, driving, ’63 New Yorker 4-dr. with 75,000 miles, the same 413 drivetrain, factory A/C and recent paint is worth about $7000 on a good day. This one is more like $2000 and that’s being very generous, with it not running and needing new paint.

    Like 1
  13. J

    Back in 71 I owned a big black 60 Chrysler Saratoga 4Dr Hdtp with the Golden Lion 383, push button 727, it drove like a big boat, was very comfortable, I got it for 50$.

    Like 1
  14. Johnny

    My brother bought a 61 New Port with a 383.He was straight out of Viet Nam . Used to driving 2 and 1/2,s. He went to take off fast and change gears. Throwed me up into the windshield. His had bars going up and down on the cross bars. He took them off and laid them down at this gas station and forgot about them. Years later I was their and spotted them. I told the guy what they were off of and would buy them of HIM. Like a ass.He wouldn,t sale them. It was a 4 door sedan.

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