Last of the Fab Fins! 1961 New Yorker Coupe

The silver steel wheels, massive fins, and rake of this 1961 Chrysler New Yorker in Tarzana, California give it a ’70s or ’80s High School vibe that’s hard to ignore. It’s like the Chrysler version of Ron Howard’s ’58 Chevy in American Graffiti. I’m sold already! In addition to a great look, this is an excellent-running car with a finished interior. For $23,000, the same price as a base Honda Accord, you can be driving it tomorrow. Check out the listing here on craigslist.org for more pictures and details.

Holy Space Module Command Center, Batman! Don’t look for the anachronistic gear shift lever, folks; gear-changes are handled by those push button left of the steering wheel. That’s how sophisticated Space-Age drivers do things. The Astradome instrument cluster will wow your friends and neighbors, and provides interest and pride as you enjoy every mile.

Chrysler’s slanted headlights begin in ’61 and the fins vanish for ’62, making this a one-year look. The same torsion-bar suspension that made this generation of Chrysler corporation’s vehicles popular with the law enforcement community gives them confident handling for long trips and two-lane cornering, provided you don’t ask too much.

The 413 cid (6.8L) V8 made 350 HP, and the seller confirms this New Yorker moves out to the tune of a sub-7 second 0-60 time that will embarrass a host of smaller, sportier modern cars. Once you shake out this Chrysler, it should prove highly dependable. You’ll never be taken off the road because of a bad fuel pump or ignition controller module, and spares for key parts could be carried in the trunk and replaced in the parking lot of any parts store in the country. Would you take this Chrysler or the Accord?

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Comments

  1. Buffalo Bob

    This is another of those cars you either love or hate. I like the term “So ugly, it’s beautiful.”

    Like 14
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ugly, Early 60’s – Yes, Ugly – Maybe. You have to admit it has character and room for a boat load of people including the 2 or 3 cadavers you want to squeeze in the trunk. This is the kind of car you wanted to take to the $3 drive-in night at the movies, all you can fit into the car for $3.

    Like 6
    • Buffalo Bob

      At least it doesn’t have the ‘toilet seat’ deck lid.

      Like 5
  3. John D.

    eh – We always put a few guys in the trunk with the beer cooler for drive-ins, plus the lawn chairs We went to a lot of drive-in movies, but I barely remember any. But lots of good memories of everything else.

    Like 5
  4. Miguel

    The price seems really high to me. Even Hagerty, who over prices cars like crazy, has this at $26,000 for a number 3 car and this is nowhere near that.

    Maybe he is charging the mandatory fin charge like people do with the ’59 Cadillac’s

    Like 3
    • Dave

      I’d go with the Chrysler over the Honda for a couple of tons of reasons. The 413 in the 64 New Yorker I owned was more than adequate. I took it to a ten minute oil change place and the kids couldn’t figure out the transmission.

      When my oldest son regaled me with tales of easily burying the speedo needle it had to go if I expected grandchildren.
      Still…the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree…

      Like 7
  5. fcs

    My younger sister bought a ’61 Windsor as her first car. I think its an identical model to this New Yorker other than it was a 4 door.

    We went on a couple of road trips with it and I remember fitting my road bicycle (with panniers) in the trunk without any disassembly. I also fondly remember that dash. I can remember thinking some sort of A/C would have been nice, but there’s also something nostalgic about rolling through rural eastern Oregon with the tinny tunes coming out of the radio and all of the windows rolled down.

    Alas, she had somebody try a rolling restoration on it. Suffered an electrical fire and burned to the ground.

    Like 1
  6. Del

    you are kidding ?

    an Accord ?

    silly

    Like 1
  7. TimM

    This is a true land yacht!! It would look so cool towing a old chriscraft wooden boat to the boat launch!!! They just don’t make them like this anymore!! That whole era from 57-62 when the cars were big and the fins were bigger!!! I loved it!!! It only stopped to make room for the muscle car era!!! I wish it would have lasted!!! Great time in America!!!

    Like 5
  8. Pete Phillips

    The two-door hardtops are extremely rare in the New Yorker series. I love it. Agree that the price is a big lofty, though. Wonderful wide-open road car–will do 80 or 90 or 100 all day long. I have a ’63 New Yorker with the 413. The car is just loafing at a little more than idle speed at 60 mph. These are well-built, quality cars. Chrysler was a little late getting out of the tail fin craze, but that’s what makes these unique. Any ’61 New Yorker is a rarely seen car, but in a two-door hardtop–wow!!

    Like 5
  9. Troy s

    “one two three o’clock 4 o’clock rock!” Yeah, she’s got that vibe. Fun hot rod/cruise night/50’s themed car show ride even if it is a ’61. It’s all good. Watched the Blackboard Jungle last night and can’t get that old song out of my head.
    No Accord shopper would even look here or consider a car like this, or likewise. Maybe the person who buys this already has a Honda Mr. Practical in the driveway,, there’s no comparing the two cars outside of having four tires.

    Like 3

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