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No Corinthian Leather? 1979 Cordoba Survivor

We at Barn Finds have poked fun at the Ricardo Montalban “rich, Corinthian leather” TV ads for the Chrysler Cordoba before, but I honestly didn’t realize that there were non-leather interiors offered as well! This super-clean 1979 model is sadly being sold due to the owners’ deaths here on craigslist, with the asking price being $4,000 or best offer. It’s located in Yukon, Oklahoma.

The Cordoba was created to compete with the Thunderbird, Cougar, Monte Carlo, Regal and other “personal cars” and shares the general formula of two doors, a vinyl roof, lots of chrome, a huge engine under a long hood and what at the time was considered an opulent interior. The only thing this example is missing is whitewall tires, but you could easily fix that. The Chianti Red paint looks original and I don’t see any rust, but a personal inspection would fix that. If you hurry you can still fit it — ok, maybe it wouldn’t fit under the Christmas tree. Heck, at 215.8″ long, it might not even fit into all of your garages! “Check fit and application before purchase” is very applicable in this case!

What a grin! How could you not be happy looking at “such great comfort at a pleasant price” as Mr. Montalban said! I think that certainly applies today to this example as well!

Sure, the seats are a little faded or dirty, but I don’t see any rips. And how many 1979 Cordobas have you seen without Corinthian leather? For that matter, how many have you seen on the road lately at all? This car has been sitting since 2017, so some careful re-commissioning will be in order.

While the cracks in the dash and steering wheel won’t be easy to fix, they are both repairable by experts and would be worth doing on an original car this nice.

I have mixed news for you under the hood. On the bright side, the 318 2-barrel looks complete and the car has that “maintained properly” look with all components still functional, or at least rotating with the belts. On the other hand, there’s a lot of dirt there, and if you don’t find cleaning an engine as therapeutic as I do, you might be intimidated by the dirt. But at $4,000 OBO, I think a professional detail might be worth it! Let us know what you think of this leatherless luxury coupe in the comments!

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I prefer the earlier round-headlight versions of the Cordoba, but this car looks pretty darn nice. And the price is really good. If it were only closer, and if I only had more money. Or both.

    Like 9
  2. geezerglide85

    My father and I both had ’76 Cordobas, neither one had leather. His had crushed velour and mine was cloth . Both had the 360, his got 12 mpg’s and was a slug, mine got 16 and you had to be careful or you be over the speed limit in no time.We never knew why. But both were really good cars. Both were dark blue, blue int. and white vinyl tops

    Like 7
  3. Dave

    My Dad’s had a 76 New with leather ..a manual sunroof..and the 360.. used to pull the boats on trips.. was an awesome

    Like 4
  4. Stevieg Member

    My grandparents had a 1977, last year for the round headlight style. I would LOVE to find one like theirs. It was white with maroon top, maroon vinyl buckets with the buddy seat. 400 V-8, pretty basic car but it had air conditioning and FM radio. I really miss my grandparents & would like to get a clone of their car in honor of them.
    This looks like a decent start. I seen more base interiors like this in the 1979 model year than “Corinthian leather”. I would drive it until I could find the right 1977.
    I suspect the doors are maybe a little rusty. Often times the missing chrome that used to be on the bottom of the doors near the rockers is an indication that there is rust there. However, those are long doors & there is also the chance that the chrome got hooked on something when the doors were swung open, and the chrome then could have been tore off when the doors were shut if the chrome wasn’t unhooked from whatever might have caught it. Still check for rust there.
    Trunk floor too. Springs are attached right to the trunk floor. When they rot away, the spring will be bouncing off the trunk lid. That’s what killed my grandparents Cordoba, literally a month after Grandma passed away.

    Like 4
  5. Sanityfactor@outlook.com

    weird combo…has the halo light bar which wasnt cheap option, but base hubcaps…my dad had that interior in his 76, was heavenly…miss that car…

    Like 2
    • Gransedan

      If examined closely, it can be seen that this car has the standard opera lamps, not the halo light or ‘Crown’ roof as Chrysler called it. Too, the opera windows were shaped differently with the Crown roof treatment.

  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    My late brother had an earlier model Cordoba with round headlights, green on green, that he acquired used. Very used if I recall; rusty and rough on the outside but pretty nice inside. I never got to drive it but he seemed to like it well enough. In the late ’70s, gas hogs like that were plentiful and cheap. I know he didn’t pay a lot for it, it was basically just a beater and treated as such. At some point, third gear in the auto trans gave out but as he only had to drive a couple of miles to work on city streets, he drove it like that for a few months before he got rid of it. Whenever I hear “Cordoba” or ““Corinthian leather,” it reminds me not of the car but of my brother. Thanks for that, Ricardo.

    Like 5
  7. Bob C.

    No Corinthian Leather AND no Lean Burn from what I can see. Was it removed or did some come without?

  8. Karl

    I know the 400 and 360 had the lean burn system in them not sure I ever saw a 318 with that? I remember when these came out and thought they looked SO boring, to big to slow so run of the mill, I was in high school then but still think the same!

    • Kman

      I was in high school and bought one. Same color even. Mine had the halo lights, the cyclone hub caps, 360 and Corinthian leather. Would love to get this one.

    • Bob C.

      Hey Karl, my dad had a 79 LeBaron with a Lean Burn and a 318. What a dog that thing was. It also had a high gear rear end, but that failed over time. He replaced it with a lower ratio and it was a lot better performance wise. His mechanic recommended that.

  9. Karl

    Thanks for the correction on the 318 Bob I was not aware of that. The 318 was a pretty good little engine that got used in every thing from trucks to combines I think they lived so long is because they never made enough HP to hurt themselves.

    Like 1
  10. Miguel

    If they haven’t been replaced I bet the U-Joints are ready to fall out of this car.

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