Mopar Art Car: 1968 Chrysler Newport

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Do you want to make everybody smile just by virtue of the car you drive? Forget about the Beetle; the seller of this 1968 Chrysler Newport here on eBay says this artfully-enhanced sedan will keep strangers and friends feeling good whenever they see it rolling or go for a ride. Inside and out, this Newport is anything but sedate – but sedatives may have been involved in its creation.

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Compared the custom paint job on the outside, the interior feels like it’s lacking in creativity. But the seats and the headliner are indeed eye-catching, and this Newport feels like it could be right at home at a Woodstock reunion or any other hippie enclave. Color choices notwithstanding, the interior does appear to be in good condition.

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The 318 is said to have been rebuilt and is now “very fast.” I’ll just leave that there. Regardless, the engine does look pretty fresh but I don’t care for some of the attempts at color-matching. The seller does not elaborate on the health of the engine and transmission but both are said to run well. Truthfully, for a car that’s just expected to cruise, I would hope the mechanical systems are top-notch. No word on suspension health, however.

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Since I’m not much of an art fanatic, I have no idea if this Newport’s exterior is supposed to be in homage to an Andy Warhol painting. Does anyone recognize this assortment of colors (and eyeballs) as belonging to a famous abstract artist? The Newport is located near Daytona Beach, Florida, which certainly has its share of colorful characters; I wonder if the locals will miss the free smiles this Newport delivered when it was cruising down the boulevard. What do you think it’s worth?

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Comments

  1. piper62j

    Some people have very different tastes.. This car is huge and quite comfortable on the road.. Don’t look for any performance muscle, just a nice daily driver that needs a new paint job..
    Great find and cool car.

  2. Howard A Member

    Hey Jeff, the banner headline could have read “Mopart”. Personally, I think just the car itself makes enough of a statement without the circus paint job. These late ’60’s Chryslers were just the best cars (for the time) Not too practical today, but it probably wouldn’t take much to repaint it one of the beautiful colors Chrysler offered then. Inside, same thing. I wonder if the person(s) that painted this, woke up the next day wondering what they did to Dad’s Chrysler.

  3. JW

    I’m sure the art student was smoking some really good stuff when composing this creation, I’m not even sure the older hippie culture of San Francisco would buy it today.

  4. CharlieG

    Jeff needs to learn his MOPAR engines. This is a big block. Not a small block. Most likely a 383. Anything bigger or smaller than that in the Newport body, is rare. The 2 doors were a sweeter and better ride than the 4 doors. Even the wagon version’s rode better than the standard 4 door. It was as if Chrysler had used blocks rather than springs on the 4 door body style. My family owned all three body styles.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Jeff just went off what the seller listed it as in their auction listing.

  5. Ed P

    The distributor is in the front making this a 383 or 440. 440’s were rare in Newports so it is most likely a 383.

    • Rando

      There is a 318 ‘big block”. More accurately, it is sometimes referred to as the “wide block” 318. It is the A engine, not the LA series, which is the 273/318/340/360 family. It is also referred to as the “poly head”. In production until ’67. I had to look all this up, as I had always called it a 318 big block since it had the distributor in front.

      Look it up here: http://www.allpar.com/mopar/a-engines.html

      • Ed P

        I visited the allpar site. The pictures show that A block 318’s have the distributor in the rear, same as the LA 318’s. I’ve heard of the A block 318’s called “wide block” due to the wider poly heads.

      • Charlie G

        Small block MOPAR’s never had the distributor up front. THEY were always in the rear. No matter whether it was the LA or A version. B’s and RB’s aka big blocks were the only engines to have the distributor up front. And actually, production of the ‘poly head’ ceased in the latter part of 1966 so the inventory of engines could be reduced for the mid-67 year introduction of the newer version small block design. This according to an article released by Chrysler in 1968. And as far as big blocks go, the one year that the Chrysler didn’t install the 383’s in their vehicles was 1963 due to engineering issues. Some of the 318’s that were installed back in 1960 had an internal design/casting flaw which caused the engine to overheat no matter what you or a mechanic tried to cure it. They were known as the “Franklin” block. Named after the engineer that discovered the problem.

  6. jaygryph

    My absolute favorite part of this is the under dash CD player (seen in the pics on ebay).

    I say leave it as is, the interior isn’t too offensive, I’d go back to stock seat cover colors and detail out the hood eyeballs to look more like Von Dutch winged ones, but otherwise, could be fun. Wouldn’t have been the first artcar I’ve driven.

    People may knock them, but they’re tons of fun to drive. The people you encounter are almost always positive, and the ones who aren’t, eh, F em if they can’t take a joke.

    Besides, it’s a sedan. How much could it possibly be worth restored.

  7. Elliott Member

    SMILE?!? As a true Mopar fan, this abomination makes me want to barf!

  8. Dave Wright

    Do you mean this is not a Janice Joplin car?

  9. Rick

    Nothing close to Warhol. And definitely a 383 , not a 318

  10. Chebby

    The interior does not go with the exterior, the eyes are a little weird amongst the patch pattern, and some brighter wheels would be nice, but overall this looks fun and probably gets two tons of attention.

  11. Joey Enlowe

    Not a 318

  12. Steve

    multi colored camouflage i think was the idea, maybe an urban camo look? Looks like it could be a movie car.

  13. M B

    The Chryslers did NOT have a 318-family motor in them, of either A-block family. The standard motor was the 383-2bbl, with the 383-4bbl as optional, and the 440/375 motor as the top option. From the way the a/c compressor and power steering pump are positioned, it’s a 383 for sure.

    The real “art cars” have “things” glued onto them, hiding the paint under them. Not a “car with art”. Be that as it may . . .

    All it takes to make these great road cars that DO handle better than other similar cars when the roads are not straight and smooth is a good set of HD shocks and good radial tires. Been there, done that. You can’t really appreciate how good they are by just driving them short distances.

    This could be a great car with a good repaint and a few other things for the interior and engine (less chrome).

  14. GOPAR

    OK, I always try to keep my comments on a positive note. We’ve all heard the old saying, “If you can’t say something positive, just don’t say anything at all”. But I just can’t help myself. That has got to be the ugliest paint job and interior that I’ve ever seen in my life!!
    There, I said it and I feel pretty darn good about it.

  15. John b

    My father had a blue 68 hard top- i loved that car when i was a little boy in the late 70’s. I dont know the engine but it seems it could if been a 318 or 383?

  16. Mike

    Absolutely love big Mopars from the 60’s and 70’s, but good god! – I’d have to repaint this thing before I could even sit in it!

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