Jon Voight’s Woody? 1984 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country

It’s been said many times: the ’80’s were a wild decade for fashion, music, and of course, automobile design.  Enter the 1984 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country “Woody,” the result of Lee Iaccoca’s directive to his company to make the dull but ever-popular K-Car exciting.  Slap some faux wood applique on the side, add wire spoke hubcaps, and offer up the option of a convertible model and voila…sit back and watch as sales surge!  Believe it or not the idea actually worked.  Chrysler would hold the top sales spot in the four-seat convertible category for decades after the introduction of the LeBaron convertible and continuing with the Sebring line.  This LeBaron, for sale here on craigslist for $2,200, is the wagon model.  And unfortunately the teeth marks on the pencil in the glove box are not from Jon Voight.

The seller provides lots of facts and details in the ad which is refreshing on one hand, but perhaps excessive on the other.  For example, the list of recent work done to the car is extensive and definitely useful information, but explaining how the “mirror fell off when I was prying my EZ Pass off the window” is probably TMI.  And the tips on how to make repairs are a nice gesture, but not always necessary.  Isn’t it funny how Craigslist sellers often point out how easy and cheap it is to repair something?  If it’s so easy then why haven’t you gone ahead and “re-glued the mirror,” “soldered the wires,” and bought and replaced those rockers that you can get “for $74?”

The seller says the car is “running and driving now” and offers potential buyers to “come take it for a spin.”  Pictures show a decently clean engine bay and everything looks to be intact.  It comes with  a 2.6 liter, 4 cylinder Mitsubishi motor that could hit 60 mph in a blink under 12 seconds.  Chrysler offered a turbocharged version for the LeBaron as well or, like a high school buddy of mine did with his K-Car, you could just put a fake plastic switch on the dash that says “Warp Speed.”  K-Cars weren’t known for proficient handling, and those of us having had the opportunity to drive one can attest to the fact that they steered like a flat bottom skiff with one oar.  The column-shift on the automatic provided some trepidation when putting the car in gear.  I remember having to be alert and keeping my foot firmly on the brake pedal because after what seemed like a 2 second delay, the little beast would give a giant lurch forward much like my lawn tractor does when I press down too hard on the hydrostatic foot pedal.

Pictures of the car’s interior are not so great but do allow for an appreciation of its signature K-Car square lines from the inside as well.  I can’t resist loving the presentation of the instrument cluster fitting perfectly beneath the flat-top dash and surrounded by fake wood trim accents.  It looks like those are bench seats and that lush maroon upholstery is inviting too, but the over-filled ashtray in one of the pictures is a turn off to anyone who doesn’t prefer cigarette stench velour.  Selling tip #12: clean the interior!  Can anyone identify what that thing is clamped to the steering wheel?  Overall this car is all there minus the original “wire spoke fancy hubcaps,” but the seller points out that rust is a problem and “34 years have taken a toll.”  $2,200 might be a bit steep for this “Woody” but love for the K-Car is undying and many will argue that the ’84 LeBaron Town & Country is a legitimate collector.  Is there a George Costanza out there willing to shell out some cash (“NO CASHIERS CHECKS”) for this jewel of the Iaccoca Chrysler era?

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    Wrong wheel covers…..deal breaker

    1
    • Mike

      Is there anything on it that isn’t a deal breaker?

      5
  2. hatofpork

    Needs Borranis!

  3. Mountainwoodie

    Jon Voight had a cheezeball wagon too? Dont tell George.

    1
  4. PK

    It’s a remote control on the steering wheel ;)

    • Wrong Way

      I think that it’s the base for a spinner knob actually! Just my guess tho the knob is broken off?

      • davew833

        Nope. Clamp-on remote control for the aftermarket stereo. You can buy them on ebay and other places online.

        1
  5. grant

    This is a K car. They weren’t cool then, they aren’t cool now.

    7
  6. Joe Defelice

    I must be getting older. I miss having a woody. lol

    I had an ’85 T&C wagon, picked it up in ’05 with about 85K on it for a grand. Got about 6 years out of it before it started nickel and diming me. Best 1000.00 I ever spent on a car. Not a speck of rust on it, which was really odd for a 20 year old car in upstate NY. Mine was pretty much a duplicate of the Mom’s wagon from Ferris Beuller’s Day off.

    1
  7. CanuckCarGuy

    It would be a good foot in the door for someone getting into the hobby…but the rust is problematic..at this price I’d want a near-mint example.

    1
    • grant

      Driving crappy 80’s cars that haven’t aged well is a hobby? Live a little, man. Have you tried collecting toenail clippers?

      • CanuckCarGuy

        Not everyone has deep pockets or the talent and tools to take on a project; different opinions on what constitutes a classic will keep the hobby and the vehicles going. I’ve lived thanks, collected vehicles that I like and still do…I consider myself fortunate and open minded, but not everyone is.

        3
  8. Will Fox

    Call me out of touch; I don’t understand the remarks about John Voigt. Did he do a movie where he drove one of these, or…..?

    5
    • grant

      Its from an episode of “Seinfeld.”

      1
  9. Jon

    It’s a reference to an episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza buys a car that belonged to Jon, er, John Voigt.

    1
  10. Maestro1

    First of all, what’s with no Cashier’s Checks? Did it ever occur to the seller that he can verify the paper the amount is written on with a simple phone call? Second, with the ridiculous wheels its a, rust, and other potential issues it’s a $1000.-$1500. car and ever those are strong numbers. I owned one of these and the production quality was so poor that it spent a lot of time in the shop. Upside:
    You want a small wagon to haul things, if this one has A/C more to the good, also I’ve never had a Mitsubishi Engine I didn’ t like.

  11. Cris Carver

    There’s something to like about small 80’s wagons. I’ve got a 1984 LTD II wagon, with an aniemic V6 that’s crying out for a stout 302 or LS when the time & money lines up. But until then, it’s fun clean cheap hauler!

  12. ACZ

    Planes, trains, and woody K cars.

    1
  13. Glen Riddle

    I don’t get the Jon Voight reference at all. Please explain.

  14. Superdessucke

    Kind of limp for a woody. I think a later 2.2 Turbo II and GLHS suspension would stiffen things right up.

    1
  15. hatofpork

    At the risk of seeming repetitive, it would seem that the general thrust of the commentary points mostly toward flaccid performance.

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