Droptop Woodie! 1984 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country

Remember the Chrysler K-Car? The first of two vehicles to keep Chrysler afloat in the 1980s (the other was the creation of the minivan)? Most K-Cars under the Plymouth and Dodge brands were thrifty econoboxes that came along in 1981. That platform was also used for a rework of the upscale Chrysler LeBaron which included the Town & Country station wagon and convertible that used simulated wood panels as a throwback to the original Woodies of the 1940s. This ragtop is a nice survivor from 1984 (Hello, George Orwell!) when just 1,005 were made and it’s located in Lake Forest, California. You can find it here on eBay where a no reserve auction has seen little action so far at $2,075.

The LeBaron nameplate dates back to the 1930s when it was introduced as a luxury car to compete against the Lincoln and Packard. The bodies were manufactured by LeBaron, while each chassis came from Chrysler. Chrysler would end up buying LeBaron the company and the name would become one of the longest running nameplates in Chrysler history. Once completely under Chrysler’s purview, the LeBaon became the top-line Imperial from 1957-75. It then morphed to a mid-size luxury car until it was reborn once again as part of the K-Car extended series. That incarnation would run from 1982-88. For 1984, a little more than 100,000 Chrysler LeBaron’s were produced, with just one percent being the T&C convertible like the seller’s.

Every time I see one of these cars, my mind goes back to the Steve Martin/John Candy holiday film, Planes, Trains & Automobiles where at least one of these wood-paneled marvels in green were destroyed in the boys’ thwarted attempts to reach Chicago by Thanksgiving. This T&C from 1984 looks to be in exceptional, but well-used, condition as it has 88,000 miles on the odometer. We’re told it’s a rust-free Southern California car, and it certainly looks the part. The seller reminds us that these LeBarons were the last Woodies made since no one else has attempted to go in this direction again.

The interior of this car apparently has been redone and the power top looks just as good. It seems the car was featured in the December 2008 edition of Hemmings Classic Car magazine where a small snapshot of it also appears on the front cover. Along with a plethora of other documentation including the window sticker, a copy of that magazine will come along with the car. We’re told the LeBaron wears a set of add-on wheels that are hard to find today, although I did not look around.

Under the hood resides a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged, so it should give this smaller rendition of a LeBaron plenty of get-up-and-go, even with an automatic transmission. Sadly, no photo of that is provided. Prior to the car being put up for sale, a new battery was installed. As this auto is being offered by a dealer, trades and arrangements for shipping at the buyer’s expense are part of the sales pitch. Even though the LeBaron is in great condition and has the novelty of the Town & Country look, these are still considered K-Cars and their resale values are reflected as such. NADA says its worth about $3,000 while we one for sale on Hemmings for $12,000. So perhaps this particular car is destined to sell somewhere in-between.

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Comments

  1. DanaPointJohn

    Offer the dealer $2,500. Not much more value in it, other than it being an oddity in good condition. I live 15 miles from where this car is located, just in case anyone wants me to kick the tires.

    Like 4
    • JCA

      Yes, how much would you charge me to buy it and then send it off a cliff on the PCH?

      Like 2
  2. Eric

    John Voight’s car has been on barn finds quite a bit this year. Happy Festivus to all!

    Like 9
  3. Stephen Coe

    I had the Mark Cross version of this car bought for $400,replaced the alt,& 1 axle car had 84k when I got it, drove fro 6 years and 100,000 miles then sold it for 1200😁😁😁. Fun

  4. frank orzechowski

    The bidding is up to 3800 with 5 days to go , shows how much you know about cars.

    Like 3
    • matt grant

      an ass for every seat, they say.

      Like 4
    • Stephen Coe

      The car was 4 years old when I bought it for $400 paid 120 for parts. Drove 6 years and sold it when 10 rears old for $1200. The car I had was 1982 sold I. 92 so 18 years ago. I pit was fun and easy to own.

  5. Casares

    All I can think of is John candy and Steve Martin driving in this in the movie planes trains and automobiles movie… lol

    Like 2
  6. Tim

    Having owned a K car back in the day it’s hard for me to imagine them as
    “Collectible “ but to each his own.

    Like 2
  7. frank orzechowski

    It is a CONVERTIBLE and it was made when not alot of convertibles where made.

    Like 1
  8. Marathon06

    So the owner has the interior redone and goes with cloth instead of the original leather? Just looks wrong!

    Like 2
    • frank orzechowski

      I have a 84 lebaron convertible ( not a woody ) with 25k miles and it has the original Mark Cross interior, they ruin it by replacing it with cloth .

      Like 1
  9. davew833

    Shoot. Someone beat me to the John Voight joke.

  10. frank orzechowski

    The auction ended early either the seller must have had a good offer, the bidding was up to over $4000.

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