$700 Moving Sale: 1979 Chrysler LeBaron (Relisted!)

UPDATE 3/16/17 – The ad was deleted right after we featured this one, but it’s been relisted again here on craigslist. The listing says that the car must be paid for and towed away within three weeks so you’d better hurry. Remember to be careful sending people money long distance though. If this one is legit, it seems like a great bargain!

FROM 3/14/17 – One of the best times to buy a project car is when the owner is moving and doesn’t want to take said vehicle with him. This 1979 Chrysler LeBaron spotted by Barn Finds reader Pat L. is a clean example in stock condition and seemingly loaded with options. The seller is cleaning house and needs the car to sell soon, hence the low $700 cash-only price. Find it here on craigslist near Fort Myers, Florida. 

From the factory, this LeBaron was loaded up. It sports the 318, a power bench seat with armrest, air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and more. The only downside is it hasn’t run in many years and the seller casually references some minor rust, but doesn’t elaborate on where or how extensive it is. The 318 will fire up with a fresh battery and starting fluid, but he recommends it be towed nonetheless. Chrome looks nice front and rear, and the police-style dog dish hubcaps look great.

It also has the very period-correct landau roof and what looks like a factory sunroof. There can’t be too many of those running around, and if it’s not factory, it appears to be a well-done aftermarket install. Still, the combination of the roof trim and sunroof opening may be a possible trouble spot for rust, but I can’t see anything obvious here. The seller says these cars will readily accept a big block motor if you want to swap out the 318, but for a purist like myself, I’d want to keep it stock with the matching mill under the hood.

One of my favorite pictures of any craigslist ad: boxes of NOS parts! The seller will throw in what looks like a healthy amount of parts to get you started on sorting the engine issues, so your trunk will be full if you choose to pick up this LeBaron. Although the price is already very fair, I’d be tempted to show up with a trailer and $500 and whisk it away, which would certainly ease the stress of the owner’s upcoming out-of-state move. How would you handle a project like this – rip out the 318 and drop in a bigger motor or keep it stock and just enjoy the cushy ride?

Fast Finds


  1. DrinkinGasoline

    I like this body style. If I were any where near Florida, it would be sold already….to Me.
    Those are not, dog dish hubcaps but full wheel covers used by Chrysler,Dodge and Plymouth (with appropriate center trim) well into the early 80’s.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Chrysler Police Pursuit Package/Severe Service wheels with hubcap.

      • Skloon

        My brother and I joked that the holes made a siren noise at certain speeds, had a Volare with them and rocks got in them a lot

  2. Rock On Member

    All of the pictures that I’m seeing show full wheel covers not dog dish hub caps. A car this loaded needs white walls on it. It’s not a muscle car, so the 318 should move it along alright.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I think with the stock stance of this one, I would go with the pursuit wheels in black and solid dog dish caps with trim rings and redlines to accent the interior and pinstripe. Dual exhaust with a rumble hint. For $1500 all in, I’d be in !…Dang, I wish I were closer !

      • Nova Scotian


  3. irocrob

    If the rust was in fact minor I think it is a hell of a deal….

  4. Rod

    This is a good deal and if I was anywhere near it I would pick it up. These were nice drivers and had minimal problems. Hopefully the lean burn has already been disconnected but that is not a big deal.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed, the lean burn needs to go if not already and….keep those two wire ballast resistors handy….

  5. Blindmarc

    I am closer set and it kills me that I don’t have the dollars to get it. The 318 would be easy to get running again, but I’d drop the gas tank & blow out the lines too. And,….Florida has no smog laws.

    • Marshall

      Florida has no (state) smog laws? I wonder if it’s because they periodically have hurricanes to blow it all away, thus deleting the need for smog laws. 😜😝😛

      • Blindmarc

        Marshall, it is only 160 miles or so wide, we have some kind of “breeze” all year.

  6. Bob C.

    My dad had a 4 door LeBaron also a 79. It had a nice leather interior, but to me it was a glorified Dodge Aspen. I would remove the infamous lean burn system and keep the 318 as long as it isn’t beat.

  7. Royal Ricci

    Already sold!!!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Surprise, Surprise

  8. Rock On Member

    Royal, I guess that we are not the only ones that know a great deal when we see one.

  9. Manster

    Darn I wish I lived closer. I would get it in a heartbeat ……and KEEP THE 318 V8 IN IT!!! Those engines were bullet-proof! :-)

  10. RJ

    Pretty sure this same car had been on here before.

  11. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Dang. While I was sleeping and all that

    G/F’s parents live in Ft Myers. Shoulda Coulda Woulda!!

  12. Rustytech Member

    Seller pulled add yesterday. What a shame. I had one back in the early 80’s, was a great car. It went through 3 family members, and over 200k before finally succumbing to rust.

  13. TRC

    This one was about as loaded with rare options as I had ever seen. T-tops and a V8 with stick transmission. Then some real odd hub-caps that looked like some form of Mag rims. https://youtu.be/H8HWGQRSSjQ
    Had low miles on it too but, sold to some collector before I could come up with the money to pick it up :(

  14. Ben T. Spanner

    As of today, March 16 this vehicle is back on Craig’s list. Lehigh Acres is just East of Ft Myers, FL

    • Jesse Staff

      Thanks for catching that Ben! We have updated the post with the new link. If this is legit, it’s a great deal. Hopefully someone here grabs it!

  15. Jubjub

    Flip the headlights over, add cop car hubcaps and nix the fender turn signals and it’s about identical to my ’79 Diplomat. However mine was a slant six with a four speed. Sadly, I think the guy I sold it to was a derbier.

  16. Rock On Member

    Nice. Seller even added some new pictures.

  17. Blindmarc

    New listing already deleted by owner…..

    • Jesse Staff

      Maybe it sold this time?

  18. Bryan

    I am not aware of any F-body compact (or derived J or M-body) Mopar that was ever equipped with a big – block V8; nothing larger than the LA 360 small block. I doubt that a big-block would be an easy swap.

    The electric moonroof is an aftermarket install; Chrysler offered an electric metal sunroof (like on my 79 Chrysler 300).

    • John D

      I agree that the sunroof was aftermarket Bryan. I don’t remember any factory sunroofs having any kind of molding surrounding it. At least nothing built prior to June 9, 2009.


    gone again

  20. Cory

    Remove the lean burn/spark control computer..

    Ditch the 2.21 rear axle ,yes 2.21 that high..The should have 3.21 !!

    Add Mopar Orange Box ECU, vacuum advanced distributor and if a 2 barrel get one from a older 318 ensure the cfm is bigger,just that alone will turn this from a 15 second 0-60 to 8 second range and that’s with the 2.21 axle ratio !!

    We did this since the 1980’s with new Chrysler cars..Dads 1986 Fifth Avenue, he ordered it with 3.21 gearing…and dealer removed the computer and it was as quick as a new 1985 Monte Carlo SS 305 4bbl that my Parents also had..

    With this LeBaron remove the lean burn/spark control computer they called them different names ..

    But the engine only could be revved or floored 1/4 of the power of the car ! It was like driving 1/4 throttle the engine wouldn’t rev once you remove this and change the carb you will understand…

    The 318 with no lean burn/better carb We used one from a non smog Dodge Van,the car revved up higher, ran smoother ,induction roar sounded sweet when floored and it went pretty good..

    He later put exhaust manifolds from a Dodge truck as the stock ones were very restrictive,and the sound only got better..He added duel exhaust with quiet mufflers,it was a sleeper as people thought these cars were total dogs and they were when stock !

    This works on every Cordoba,Magnum,Mirada,Charger 75-78,Aspen,Volare,Newport,New Yorker,Diplomat,Gran Fury,truck,van that Chrysler made with this system from 1975-1989.

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