Bargain 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country?

With only six photos in the listing for this 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Town and Country convertible, it’s hard to tell really what condition it’s in. It sure looks good in those six photos, though, and at $2,975 this could be a bargain. The seller has it posted here on craigslist in Mundelein, Illinois and we’ve seen them sell for much more than that asking price so let’s check this one out.

Just to get it over with now, no, this car wasn’t owned by Jon Voight. I don’t think he would have had one black wall tire on the left front wheel… That’s not really a flaw as tires are a wear item and they just plain need to be replaced every few years whether a vehicle is being driven or not. As with all rubber parts, now that I think about it. I have a car in storage that’s almost 20 years old now but only has 24,900 miles on it. Yet, the original CV joint boots are showing cracking and I’ve had to replace one of them already. Damn, I need to use that thing more often.

This is the only flaw that I see in this car inside or out, what appears to be a rip in the convertible top on the lower right corner. For $450 the next owner could have a brand new top with a glass rear window and be done with it, probably forever. Under that luggage-rack-adorned trunk looks great. The second-generation Chrysler LeBaron was based on the uber-popular K-car and they were made from 1982 until 1988. I had a regular LeBaron convertible with “Mark Cross” leather in non-Town & Country trim (i.e., not woodgrain) and it was a great car. It was boring silver which three of my cars are now. What is it with me and silver cars?!

Sadly, this is the only interior photo but it sure looks good inside. That fat armrest is like an ottoman without a padded top that lifts off to show the storage within it. It’s literally almost a foot thick of just armrest, there is no storage there at all which even 35+ years ago with my LeBaron I thought was a waste of space. The seller does mention that this was a Florida car and it has under 75,000 miles, but the odometer went blank so they don’t know for sure how many miles are on it now. Replacement dash pods are available used if a person wanted to take a chance on one. I would if this were my car, and don’t think that I haven’t thought about buying it because it’s fairly close and I’d love to own another one.

Here’s the engine, if you have x-ray eyes. It’s under that vented hood and it should be Chrysler’s 2.2L inline-four with a Garrett turbo which was good for 146 horsepower. Mine had a Mitsubishi 2.6L four which was great but in this era, turbos got all of the press. With no rust and looking this great, I think this is a bargain. Have any of you owned a LeBaron convertible?


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  1. Bick Banter

    You did it belong to John Voight?

    Like 3
    • Ralph

      I believe that Jon did own this car, but had it repainted at some point. The teeth marks on the pencil prove it.

      Like 3
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    Hey Scotty. That Mitsu engine was known for blown head gaskets. How many did you have to replace?

    My 85 Dodge Lancer was a real dog with its 96 (?) BHP non-turbo 2.2. I replaced just about every engine seal at least once. It looked nice (for its time) but was slow and high maintenance. Even with the 5-spd, it was, without a doubt, the worst car I have ever owned. To this day, although Chrysler makes some appealing vehicles, I still think “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on….”

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Mike, I haven’t had a problem with that engine. I had a 1987 Dodge Mini Ram Van with the same engine and it lasted years and years. I have the same engine in my 1980 Dodge D-50 Sport pickup and it’s still perfect now with 116,000 miles. I’ve heard about the head gasket issue but haven’t been bitten by it yet.

      Like 5
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Scotty, knock on wood. 😉

        Like 1
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Ha! It’s inevitable, like Subaru 2.5L head gaskets, they’ll blow eventually.

        Like 2
  3. Ed VT

    Years ago a friend in the Florida used car business gave us one of these to use on a vacation down there. While it was fun to have the convertible the car itself rattled and shook like I couldn’t believe. I don’t think they went out of their way to reinforce the chassis when they cut off the roof. I learned what cowl shake was on that trip.

    Like 7
  4. Steve Clinton

    Chrysler’s failed attempt to recapture the look of the 1947 Town & Country.

    Like 1
  5. Steve Clinton

    According to the Craig’s List ad, this is the very rare “Lebanon convertible”

    Like 9
  6. David Scully

    I had the 1985 edition of this (LeBaron/Mark Cross interior), standard 4-banger. Not an exciting driver, but it had the best heater of any car I have ever owned. I popped the cam belt while cruising Interstate 5 at about 70 mph, and managed to pull over to the side safely. A local Chrysler agency changed the belt in a few hours with zero interior damage to the engine – the lead mechanic told me those engines had zero horsepower but had LOTS of valve clearance.

    Like 3
  7. princeofprussia

    Why buy Rick Nelson’s Avanti when you could have George Costanza’s and John (with an “h”) Voight’s LeBaron? LOL!

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Jon Voight the actor or “John” Voight the dentist?… ha!

      Like 4
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I clicked on the link because of these comments, I could care less about this car model.

      Thanks for not disappointing me.

      Like 1
  8. princeofprussia

    I had the ’82 version with the Mark Cross interior. I remember when the shop put it up on the lift to change the oil; the nose and tail drooped like the car was an inverted sway-back nag. I hope the later versions had better reinforcement to increase the convertible’s rigidity.

    Like 3
  9. Carbob Member

    I had the standard LeBaron with the Mitsubishi four cylinder. I wanted a convertible and I enjoyed the car for a few years. The only repair I remember is I had to replace the radiator.

  10. Kevin Jordan

    Looks like that LeBaron needs a new Johnson Rod.

  11. Ken Carney

    My MIL had a base Le Baron rag top with the Mitsubishi turbo
    engine in it. It was a very nice car until it burned to the ground
    while parked in her driveway one morning after she took one
    of my BILS to work at the Scotty’s warehouse not far from
    where she lived. Her insurance adjuster told her what I already
    knew– the turbocharger was poorly designed and would catch
    fire after do much unburned gas collected in the bottom of the
    unit itself. In the end, the insurance company bought her an
    ’86 Dodge 600 rag top with the more conventional engine in it.
    They got her the one with the throttle body EFI and stopped
    writing policies for Le Baron models equipped with a turbo.
    If this were my car, I’d have the engine redone and lose that
    defective Mitsubishi unit and replace it with a safer, more
    modern unt. Then I’d take her for a ride with the top down
    knowing that it won’t blow up our carport!

    Like 1
  12. frank Orzechowski

    I own a 84 lebaron convertible ( not the woody model )It has the 2.6 engine and 25 K miles. I go to a local car show every Saturday and I get many comments as to the car ( all good ). So when I see the comments here I smile. So if you like them find if you don’t oh well. One sold on Bring A Trailer auction about a month ago for $8000.00 So I am happy with it and love all the good comments I get about it.

    Like 3
    • Johnny

      You better keep a close eye on the rubber hose going to the carbeurator. They will crack and spill gas onto the manifold and catch on fire. Happened to my dad,s .


    I think LeBron James owned this fine car. I wonder how he drove it.

    Like 1
    • Claudio

      Many moons ago , bought one for my girlfriend and the kids to drive around on warm days .
      What a pos ! K cars were bad and the topless was worse !
      Ho handling , plenty of cowl shake ,no power , malaise era car for sure
      Would i want another one ? No fokin way ! There are so many cars out there that you can actually enjoy driving so why bother spending time and money on such an ugly jalopy !?

  14. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    The bulbous armrest says it all.

  15. Steve Weiman

    OMG, A woody K car convertible(?) Now there is a car with all the appeal of a rusty ball peen hammer. Thems was some DARK times………

    • Frank

      Like I said one sold for 8 grand and what do you drive ?

      Like 1
  16. ramblergarage

    I had 2 of these one with the chrysler engine and one with the other. Chrysler blew the head gasket twice. I also had a Renault Aliance at the same time (still have it). At 70 mph the Alliance was just crusing, the LeBaron got scary!

    • princeofprussia

      @ramblergarage — My ’82 Lebaron convertible was a rattley bucket of bolts and on the interstate, well, it was scary. I also had a 1985 Renault Encore, the hatchback version of the Alliance; had it for over 6 years, during which the shift knob came off in my hand, the window crank knobs came off in my hands, and the vibration from the engine shook the screws in the sunvisors loose so they’d plop in my lap while driving. Basic, primitive motoring, but it never stopped running. I WANTED it to, so I had a reason to get rid of it, but it wouldn’t quit. Finally got fed up enough to sell it to a kid for his first car. I saw him and his mother driving it around town for probably another 5 years. Like Christine, no one could kill it!

  17. Lothar... of the Hill People

    This car reminds me of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

    “You’re going the wrong way!”

    Like 1

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