25 Years In Storage: 1980 Chrysler Cordoba LS

Normally, we think of barn finds as being vehicles much older than 1980, but the older I get I realize that 1980 was 38 years ago already. That’s older than many of the readers here are. In 1980, a 37-year old vehicle would have been from 1943 – probably before most of our readers were born. This 1980 Chrysler Cordoba LS is a fairly rare model and the seller has it listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $2,499.99. It’s located in Webster, Pennsylvania, just southeast of Pittsburgh.

Ok, this is more like it! Yes, this is the same car. Chrysler made the unusual LS model in 1980 and 1981 as more or less a replacement for the 300 package, a 1979 Cordoba model that proved not to be too popular. If any of you remember the classic Chrysler 300 letter series cars you know why it didn’t work. By now you’ve noticed the unusual grille treatment, that doesn’t look like any Cordoba that most of us remember. It was borrowed from the Dodge boys parts bin – it’s from the Mirada.

The second-generation Cordoba was about six inches shorter than the first-gen cars but they still look long and elegant to my eyes. The seller says that they “got this from an elderly neighbor who was the original owner.  I still have his original receipt.  I am the second owner.  I’ve had this car for two years now sitting in my garage.  I work on it every now and again but I have another antique car that deserves my attention so I’m ready to let this one go.” There is no mention of rust at all and it sure looks great, other than the rear bumper filler panels which they do have replacements for.

Yes, this is “fine Corinthian leather”, just to get that out of the way. And other than the split on the bottom of the driver’s seat it looks like new: rich, supple, puffy, perfect. The back seat looks like it has never been sat in, other than by gorilla stuffed animals. And, again, no power windows. I mention that a lot because it’s so unusual to see any vehicle today without power windows and the Cordoba was a luxury model. I also don’t see an AC compressor in the engine photo, do you?

It’s hard to tell under all of those wires and the black, red, and (unfortunately) blue-painted hoses, but this is a 225 slant-six which would have had 90 hp. This one is reported to run fine but the seller has only taken it on very short drives and they recommend having it trailered rather than driving it until it can be checked out thoroughly. Have any of you owned a second-generation Cordoba?

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  1. Dean

    I didn’t know the six was available for this model. 90 HP might explain lack of AC

    • CJM

      I had one with slant 6 AND A/C. And I can tell you it was pretty much a dog. Never wanted to go much about 55 mph. Also the seats in this one are vinyl NOT Leather! There officially was no 1980 LS model. They do not appear in the brochure. They came out late in the model year unofficially. They appeared officially in the 1981 brochure and continued into 1982. They were the base Cordoba, offering a Mirada like interior with no woodgrain trim and less exterior trim than the regular Cordoba.

  2. Pete Kaczmarski

    My 1980 Cordoba got 14-16 mpg and was a dog. Years later I went back to a ’79 Dodge Magnum GT. Man what a difference.

    • Ken

      Great looking Magnum. Real bad ass looking. The taillight treatment is a bit weird, but still. Nice car!

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Always liked this and the Mirada over the first gen design… reminiscent of the late ’70s Tbirds. I’d even be good with keeping the slant six…wake it up with a few mods, a turbo perhaps?

    • Billy 007

      Around town, troublesome, but on the open road, just fine. Maybe yank the lean burn and put a proper electronic ignition in it, or even a 2bbl!

  4. Rock On

    I had a 1980 Dodge Mirada CMX dealer demo that I bought with around 5,000 miles on it. This car looks almost indentical except for the grille and taillights. Mine had the 318 and it could barely get out of it’s own way. This slant 6 would be downright scary the way that people drive today.

    • Oingo

      I had an 81 base with the leaning tower of power not sure if it was converted but when I got in 88 with 60k miles it had the 1 bbl. It was leisurely especially compared to my bike but not to the driving school’s late 70s Dodge Omni with the 4 of us weighing it down with about 750 lbs.

  5. Nick

    Clean car, but not a desirable year, especially with the reliable but underpowered slant 6 and no AC. Good luck finding anyone willing to pay $1000 for it.

  6. Qabbott

    Sharp car, but, that is fine Corinthian vinyl upholstery!

  7. Maestro1

    I think it’s bizarre; no Air and a 6 cylinder makes it liesurely to say the least, but it’s interesting and unique. I’m in the $1500.00 club as well.

  8. MIKE

    car was nevwe made with a slant six. came with a V6 3.7L, or a choice of 2 V8’s a 5.2L or a 5.9L

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      MIKE, they absolutely came with a 225 slant-six, it was the standard engine for both the Cordoba and Mirada in this era.

      • Bill W

        The 3.7-litre is the 225 slant six, which had a one barrel carb in 1980 and 1982-83. The 1981 was a 2-bbl carb.

        Chrysler wouldn’t get a V6 until the Mitshubishi 3.0 litre unit in the late 1980’s for FWD models.

        The 5.2 V8 (318) was 2-bbl in all years with a 4-bbl option in 1980-81 and the 5.9 (360) only in 1980.

        Have always had a soft spot in my head for the J body models. Same platform, wheelbase and engines as the M body models, but much better looking and laid out.

  9. Kevin McCabe

    This is about as base an LS as you could get. Standard engine, standard automatic transmission, standard power steering and brakes. Column shift, no console,no a/c no amenities beyond the basics. Yes, the /6 and torqueflite are bullet-proof but with the car partially disassembled, and needing not just reassembly but also some paint work, this is rapidly heading towards being a parts car. And buying Mirada road wheels for a Cordoba (they’re different) is another non-starter. I love these cars, but even the starting price is above this car’s as-is value.

    • nrg8

      Paint and reassembly of the the filler panels leans it towards parts car? Yes, undesirable power train but an afternoon of taking care of the deferred maintenance on the brakes front end etc and another for the reassembly of the back end. You havea nice driver. Provided the PA salt hasn’t eaten the bottom of the car. Really it’s a revamped Dart so pretty simple. Parting down wouldn’t be my first choice. Be in the hobby for what entry should cost.

  10. Brent in Winnipeg

    Isn’t that the a/c compressor in front of the air filter housing?

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I believe that’s a smog pump, Brent.

      • Brent in Winnipeg

        Thanks, Scotty. No a/c isn’t a big deal for me. I drove a slant six Volare with no a/c for 10 years.

      • nrg8

        And we have 10 months of winter….. So fresh air is nice too

  11. Gay Car Nut

    Awesome looking Cordoba. I remember this generation of Chrysler cars. I find this more attractive than their larger predecessor.


    Hey if this is still for sale, let me know. I had the burnished silver metallic, with the slant 6, a/c and pretty much the same interior. bought brand new in Aug 1980 from Denny Hecker’s Central Chrysler Plymouth, Roseville mn.

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