43k Original Miles: 1974 Chrysler Newport Custom

The owner of this 1974 Chrysler Newport Custom purchased the car from its original owner in 2018. His intention was to continue the tradition of long-term ownership. However, a change in circumstances means that he must now part with the car, so his loss could potentially be someone else’s gain. It isn’t perfect, but it is a clean and honest, low-mileage survivor that should have many years of faithful service left in it. The Newport is located in Allen Park, Michigan, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN on the Chrysler has been set at $8,000, but there is the option available to make an offer.

Dark Sherwood Green was one of Chrysler’s premium colors back in 1974, and when you look at how well it presents on the Newport, it is easy to see why. It is a color that has a multitude of personalities, depending on how the prevailing light hits it. The paint on this car looks quite good, but it is not perfect. This is a 46-year-old car, and the paint is said to be original. That means that we should expect to see a few marks, chips, and nicks around the place. This is true of this car, but all of these are very minor. The Dark Green vinyl top is also original, and its presentation is close to perfect. As far as rust issues are concerned, there is a small spot of surface corrosion visible at the bottom of the driver’s side front door. However, the emphasis here has to be on the word “small,” and addressing this should be easy. The wheels have recently been removed, stripped, and painted gloss black. At that point, they were also fitted with new tires. This was only the third set that the Chrysler has worn since new! The trim, chrome, and glass look good, and speaking of things glass; The current owner has recently replaced the wiper blades because the originals that were still fitted to the Newport were getting a bit tired!

When you look inside the Newport, it’s pretty hard to find anything significant to fault. The original owner must have been meticulous about the level of care and attention that he lavished upon the car because everything looks so well preserved. I think that there might be a minor blemish on the driver’s seat, but it could also be a trick of the light. If the front seat is good, then the rear is even better. In fact, I doubt that anyone has ever sat in the back of this car. The remaining plastic and upholstery are flawless, while the carpet is in remarkable condition. The current owner was serious about maintaining the Chrysler’s condition and has gone to the trouble and expense of having custom floormats made for both the front and rear of the vehicle. Luxury and comfort features in the Newport include air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, remote driver’s exterior mirror, and cruise control. The A/C system is complete, but it doesn’t blow cold. There is a pretty fair chance that it will require a re-gas. The remote adjuster for the exterior mirror is also missing, but replacements for these are both surprisingly easy to find, and inexpensive.

Powering the Newport is a 400ci V8, backed by a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The vehicle comes equipped with power steering and power brakes. The owner indicates that the Chrysler has covered a genuine 43,700 miles since new, but not whether he holds any evidence to verify this. Since 2018, the Chrysler has had its carburetor and air cleaner assembly rebuilt, while the exhaust manifolds have been ceramic coated. It has also received a new thermostat and coolant, while the transmission mount has also been replaced. There is some evidence on the top of the radiator that tends to indicate that the vehicle may have suffered from some overheating at some point, although this is not mentioned by the owner. He also admits that the Newport does suffer from a minor oil leak, but not where this is coming from. He says that the motor runs nicely, with no smoke or odd noises, and that the car drives smoothly, floating down the road.

This ’74 Chrysler Newport Custom isn’t perfect, but it is in impressive condition for its age. It is a car that could be driven and enjoyed immediately, and for someone with a growing family who is searching for something practical, it could be a reasonable sort of alternative to consider. With some cars from this era, it can be very hard to label them as true classics. These are also the cars that you have to look at and try to remember not only when you last saw one in your travels, but whether it was a nice as this one is. For me, the sticking point is the BIN price. It is on the high side, and that’s why if I was considering buying this car, I would be inclined to go in with an offer first.

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Comments

  1. Weasel

    So ugly it’s….well…. ugly.

    Tubing/hose manufacturers must’ve made a fortune in this era.

    Like 3
  2. Classic Steel

    Driver has to sneak up on to to drive it
    with a blind fold due to homeliness 😂

    Why do i always think flipper when i hear a change of plan after buying from original owner… the time on this ownership is longer at least 😏

    Like 6
  3. F Again

    Magnificent. Has “’70s TV cop show” written all over it.

    Like 4
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      That’s a pretty good description. When I saw the car I was trying to think of what it reminded me of. Maybe also: what the mayor of a medium-sized town would drive, or school superintendent’s car. Middle-of-the-road, no-nonsense people of authority and their cars.

      Nice example. I think whitewall tires would perk it up quite a bit.

      Like 5
  4. normadesmond

    Compare a Chrysler product of this era with a comparable GM model. Chrysler dashboards looked cheap, plastic-y.

    Like 2
    • blyndgesser

      But the Chrysler will have much better handling and steering feel than either the full-size GM or Ford models.

      Like 2
  5. John Wilburn

    I wouldn’t have given this car a second look as a teenager, but now I think this is a handsome touring barge. What a great vehicle for travel. These are harder to find than you might think with most of them having given up their big blocks and junked long ago.

    Like 7
  6. Ken Cwrney

    Almost bought one off the parents of a
    friend if mine 30 years ago. Their car was
    as nice as this one. But the dealbreaker
    for me was that their car had that god awful Lean Burn carb on it. They parked it
    five years earlier when that carb began
    giving them trouble. Living in Polk County
    Florida didn’t help much either as the
    mechanics at the local Chrysler dealer
    wouldn’t even touch it and Chrysler parts
    here are almost impossible to get. Sad
    to say the car was scrapped a few years
    later when they bought a ’91 Crown Vic
    and wouldn’t use the Newport for a trade
    because the Ford dealer here in Winter
    Haven said that they don’t take Chryslers
    in trade as they have no value here in Polk
    County. Had a friend of mine who waited
    2 months to get a water pump for his ’91
    New Yorker Brogham. Nice car though,
    but not my cup of tea.

    • John Wilburn

      To fix the Lean Burn garbage, it’s just swapping the distributor. $20 at the junkyard and 30 minutes of your time to swap.

      Like 2
  7. Howard Kerr

    A VERY similar car was recently profiled on the website Curbside Classics.Com as possibly being a Chrysler Corporation “Deadly Sin” in that it heavily tarnished the brand. Look at the window/door frames…no chrome. This was Chrysler’s attempt at something like a Ford Custom, or Custom 500 and even Ford had stopped selling cars to the general public that were stripped/taxi cab spec looking cars.
    That said, this is a reasonably well kept example with good optional equipment (though it may or may not be cheap to fix the A/C). My friends had a Plymouth Fury III of this vintage that I got to drive a few times. Handling was better than a contemporary Ford, though it is possible a non-Chevy GM car is better. Brakes were outstanding but the power steering (as per most Chrysler products of that era) was without any feel.
    Finally, this exterior color was applied to 90% of the late 60s to mid 70s cars from Chrysler…making it cheap looking by its ubiquitousness.
    Buy a similar Plymouth if you can find one…it’s an honest cheap car.

    • Rusty

      I got to drive a ‘74 Fury several times and really liked it. Mine was a GM family, but thought the Fury drove better than any except for a couple of Buicks with HD suspension. The steering was more heavily filtered on the Plymouth, but also more responsive. The chassis communicated better, though, and body roll was better controlled. Visibility was excellent and the seats were comfortable. If I were to have a 70’s full size sedan, I think it would be one of these. I even preferred it to the down-sized Caprice and 88 sedans with standard suspension (but not to the ‘77 Electra 225 Limited – what a car that was!)

  8. Mike Wick

    Needs whitewalls!!

    Like 1
  9. Sam61

    The car brings back fond memories of my grandmother. She had a “77 Newport in green with green vinyl top and green paisley interior.

    It was a big deal, being a new driver, when she would let me drive her to a store. I would navigate using the hood ornament and fender repeaters. The brakes were very touchy and Chrysler starters had a unique sound.

    My best memory was driving her to the liquor store to stock up the cottages for the summer.

    Yes it’s not the prettiest car or its lack of collectibility but emotion, feelings and memories that are a big driver with this hobby.

    I will concede $8,000 grand is crack pipe money. I have my eye on two very nice driver Reattas I could buy for $9,000….again its emotion.

    Like 3
  10. Bob C.

    I’m sure that 400 still has some guts to it. It’s a 74, which is pre catalytic converter, yet unleaded fuel friendly. Oh, and disconnect the smog stuff if it isn’t already done.

    Like 1
  11. Cliffyc

    Hi from the UK. Not an expert on Newport model. I am guessing it is old skool body on frame,going off the gap between fenders and wheels ?. Did they use a smaller chassis from another model and drop the bigger?,Newport shell on ?. I am sure Mopar fans over there will know. Thanks. cliffyc.

    Like 1
    • SG Member

      Yeah, believe it or not, this is a unibody construction. A huge, really heavy duty unibody! They rode like a cloud, and if you could get over how numb the steering is on these, they handle excellent! I would love this car, for about $3,500.

  12. John Wilburn

    I’m thinking it was a unibody since 1965 with the introduction of the C body.

  13. Del

    Its just a box.

    SpongeBob Square Pants car.

    Nice condition but worth Zippo

    Like 2
  14. Mitchell Ross Member

    When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Florida, maybe 1974 or 75. Being a car nut even then, I noticed a lot of these Newports onthe road with us. Most had dog dish hubcaps or the covers like the one in the profile. All had Canadian plates. In fact, I sow loads of base model, full size cars with Canadian plates on that trip. Lots of Pontiac Laurentians, Mercury Meteor Montcalm (Monterey) Not so many Fords, Chevys and Dodges. Higher end brands with little to no options. Just the observations of 14 year old me.

    Like 1

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