Thursday, June 30, 2016

Missour-uh Plum: 1987 Chrysler New Yorker Turbo

In all my years of surfing craigslist for used cars, I can't say I've ever seen a car described as "1-owner Missouri" before today.  Sure, we've all seen cars described as California owned, or an Arizona car...but Missour-ee? Is the starting point of the Oregon Trail really a good place to keep a car?  Or do the cold snowy winters and hot humid summers mean that only the best Ziebarted and garaged cars will survive the EF5 tornadoes that sweep through the area on an annual basis?  I dunno...but I do know that this is one cherry turbo Mopar.  Find this 1987 Chrysler New Yorker Turbo offered for $3,900 in Atlanta, GA via craigslist. Tip from Matt.

The New Yorker name was first used on a Chrysler in 1939 and it was (before its discontinuation in 1996) the longest running American car nameplate.  By 1983 the New Yorker was in its twelfth generation and based on Chrysler's K-car in something designated the E-body platform....and yes, you could still get a landau top from the factory.  Nice.

Under the hood is Chrysler's Turbo I inline-4, and in hindsight it was probably a terrible engine to put in something designed for octogenarian buyers.  Remember, in 1987 these were people who served in World War I and were not expecting turbo lag or maintenance associated with a boosted engine... which is probably why they flocked to Japanese imports in subsequent years.

The Barcalounger inspired interior is a thing of beauty and is probably still a comfortable place to float over pot holes in the underdamped chassis.  This car comes from the era of American cars where you replace the shocks because you are sure they were shot, only to discover that you didn't need shocks as much as you need Dramamine.  Getting queasy just thinking about it...

See another plum from your local Craigslist?


  1. Those and others of that flavor were a common rental car back in the day when I was doing a lot of business travel, and they were loathsome junk.

    What Chrysler did with the K-car is shrink everything like those Box Prop TV sets and computers you find in furniture stores. So you open the door and the proportions look like an old big car, then you get in and realize the seat ends three inches beyond your butt, the dash is too close to the steering wheel, all the knobs are sized for Foxconn assembly-line workers' hands, etc.

    It's also the only car model I can recall where, from the day it was new, the driver's butt (well, this driver's butt) would routinely bottom out against the seat frame in normal driving. I'm not that big and certainly not THAT heavy.

    1. Interesting, I remember my '89 LeBaron Turbo as having some of the most comfortable automotive seats I've ever sat on (and I'm not exactly lightweight). My grandmother had a Dodge Dynasty that had much softer seats, though - I could imagine bottoming out on one of those seats on rough pavement.

  2. As much as I respect you fellas, how can you introduce such cool wheels without discussing the "crystal" hood ornament? It is the very essence of these cars.

    Can you help solve a raging argument? Are those Borrani wires?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. - A look back at simulated wire wheel covers. Part 4: the 1980s

      1982 - Chrysler created a new 14-inch wire wheel cover to use on all the company’s smaller, front-wheel-drive cars coming to market for that year. After being a popular option on 1982-88 LeBarons, they were soon offered 1983-1988 New Yorkers, 1984-88 Dodge Caravans, and other sister Plymouth and Dodge versions of each.

    3. In other words, they're the kind of thing that used to detach itself from the car and go whizzing off into the canyon if you pumped up the tires and got jiggy with some piece of twisty road.

  3. 10 to 20 years ago, I'd buy a car like this for a $100 to $400 at the auction; they really were good cheap transportation,, and dang comfy too.

  4. Needs whitewalls.

  5. Drop in a slightly modded Turbo II for an entertaining sleeper!


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.