61k Original Miles: 1986 Chyrsler LeBaron Convertible

While not exactly a “barn find”, you’d be hard-pressed to find one of these 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Convertibles anywhere anymore, particularly a turbo one, with the woody trim, and with 61,000 original miles. This one is listed for sale here on craigslist in New Jersey and is nearly identical to the one featured in the Hollywood movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” where Steve Martin and the late John Candy drive a green one. The listing is a bit light on details, but the seller says that the tires are new, the title is clean, and it is in roadworthy condition.

An upscale variant of the famous (or infamous, depending upon your viewpoint) K-Car platform that saved Chrysler in the early 1980s, the LeBaron was a step above the base-model Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries. They were built In one of four factories: two in the U.S., one in Mexico, and one in Chile. This being a 1986 model, it was the first year of the new, rounder facelifted exterior.

Particular to this car is that it has the simulated woodgrain paneling and trim, which makes it the Town and Country package, and therefore very likely to be 1 of only 1,105 ever made over a course of three years. It may also have the then-revolutionary computerized voice module that would inform the driver of important conditions, such as “Your door is ajar” or “Engine oil pressure is low” The seller doesn’t state the mechanicals, however, the turbo engine in the second-generation LeBarons was a 2.2 liter transverse-mounted inline-four, mated to a choice of Getrag 5-speed manual or, in the case of this car, a 3-speed Chrysler automatic. This setup produced somewhere between 140 and 170 horsepower which, for a small car of that day, was impressive.

Overall, this particular car looks to be a nice, driver-quality car that may very well become highly collectible, if it isn’t already, and probably worth every penny of its asking price.

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  1. NotSure

    Posting already taken down…

    • XMA0891

      The Jon Voight car is no more.

      • Nick

        Glad I wasn’t the only one. Check the glove box and call a dentist/future meth lord.

  2. Kenneth Carney

    Watch the ones equipped with a turbo!
    My MIL had one and hers burned to the
    ground while parked in her driveway just
    after she took my BIL to work. The
    insurance adjuster told her that there was a defect in the turbocharger that allowed
    too much unburned gas to accumulate
    in the bottom of the unit which caused the fire. Still would like to find another one for her as she liked the one she had
    but in this case, I would replace the factory turbocharger with a more modern
    unit for safety’s sake. From what I see here, this one’s pretty nice and priced
    fairly. Too bad I’m broke.

  3. John Candy

    The radio still works. Clear as a bell!

  4. Neil G.

    Pet Peeve continues. Posting has been pulled down with no mention of the asking price from the seller anywhere in the write-up. Writers, PLEASE put a price in the last paragraph; especially when you say it’s “probably worth every penny of its asking price.”

  5. A

    142 hp not 170. Getrag geared a555 trans was not available in 86 and never available on Turbo I cars. Turbo I cars got the a525 manual trans or a413 auto.
    Only the intercooled Turbo II cars got the a555. Those didn’t arrive until 1987.
    Fact checking is complicated.

  6. Carl van Kesteren

    I had recently watched Planes Trains and Automobiles a few weeks ago and I was thinking the woody LeBaron was a movie studio modification …
    I had never seen a Town and Country convertible before.

    Learn something new every day

    • Chebby Member

      Theirs was the same color as the Family Truckster…coincidence or consipracy?

  7. Martin

    Hard to believe a Chrysler stylist glued all that fake wood to a buck and said “oooh ya. That will sell!”

  8. Bakyrdhero Member

    This is one of those cars that I secretly want, but don’t really want to be seen in it..

  9. Fiete T.

    Tacky ’80’s Chrysler “Class.” If you want an ’80’s Chrysler convert, LeBaron GTC or TC by Maserati are much, much better choices.
    This is just trash

  10. PDXBryan

    I wonder if this was from that massive K-car collection of a few years ago. I’ve got eclectic tastes but man, a giant K-car collection’s a real head scratcher even for me!

  11. Miguel Member

    The wheels look like they are from the LeBaron 2 door.

    I don’t think those were available on this model.

  12. Clayton Bryant

    I laid eyes on a stash of close to 25 of these el primo a couple years back. Very, very nice collection.

  13. Stevie G Member

    I had one of these, a black 1984 with the Mark Cross interior. By the time I got it, it was pretty crusty underneath but looked good outside.
    Being raised in Milwaukee, surrounded by beer, bratwurst & cheese, I am not a little feller. For the most part, neither are my friends. About 20 years ago, when I had this car, I had a friend that had some SEVERE weight issues. We were not even 30 yet & he was over 600 pounds. I used to love to go bar hopping with him. Chicks would stare & I would be “the skinny guy” lol. Anyhow, he & I took a road trip in that poor little convertible. I didn’t realize how rusted it was underneath. By the time we got to our destination, the doors wouldn’t open lol. I don’t recall how we got him out of that car, but I do recall medical personnel being involved in that alcohol fueled weekend, & they were there for him. R.I.P Dave!

  14. tbone

    George has parked his car on the street, and gets out. An elderly guy is on the

    porch of his house and recognises George.

    POP: Georgie!

    GEORGE: Hey, Mr Lazzari.

    POP: Back in the old neighborhood, ah?

    GEORGE: Yeah, yeah. Just delivering some presents to my folks.

    POP: Oh, snazzy car. Le Baron?

    GEORGE: Yeah, eighty-three. Used to belong to John Voight.

    POP: The actor, right?

    GEORGE: Something like that.

    POP: Mind if I look under the hood?

    GEORGE: Oh, no no no no. Go ahead, Pop, you always knew your cars.

    A young woman has exited from the old guy’s house, and approaches.

    POP: Oh, Deena! Deena, Deena, l… look who’s here.

    Pop lifts the hood of the car, and leans into the engine compartment.

    DEENA: George Costanza, is that you?

    GEORGE: Hey Deena, come on, give us a hug. (they hug) Oh my gosh, you look as

    pretty as you did back in high school.

    DEENA: Boy, those were some crazy times.

    GEORGE: Yeah, yeah. Speaking of crazy, did you hear about Lloyd Braun?

    Deena and George are still talking. Pop is under the hood of George’s car. Bangs

    and clanks can be heard as he fiddles with the mechanics.

    DEENA: Poor Lloyd.

    GEORGE: I know. Completely bonkers!

    DEENA: Sorry I can’t be so flip about this kind of thing. You know, after what

    happened to Pop.

    GEORGE: Pop? What happened to Pop?

    DEENA: I thought you heard. He had a nervous breakdown last year. That’s why I’m

    taking care of him.

    Pop comes out momentarily.

    POP: Oh, I tell you, they don’t build ’em like this any more.

    He goes back under the hood.

    GEORGE: (a little worried) He uh, he doesn’t have the auto shop any more?

    DEENA: Uhn, it was too much for him.

    Pop is thumping away at part of the engine with a spanner.

    GEORGE: (very worried) Uhm, I, I gotta go.

    DEENA: What?

    GEORGE: I just remembered, I gotta be someplace. Yuh-hu-hur, that’s enough. Pop.

  15. Bakyrdhero Member

    Great transcript Tbone!

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