Back in the early 1980s, and not long after Lee Iacocca became Chrysler CEO, the ...
Back in the early 1980s, and not long after Lee Iacocca became Chrysler CEO, the American automaker launched the car and platform which saved it from death.
And no, it wouldn’t be the last time Chrysler had the near-death experience. That model was the Chrysler LeBaron, built on a new front-wheel-drive K platform. The LeBaron was also sold as the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant, and as well as the Chrysler Town And Country (pre-minivan). All of them were terribly, yet almost wonderfully, ugly.
Hey, it was the early 80s. Well, standards were different. But the fact of the matter is that it was Iacocca, soon to also introduce the world to Chrysler minivans, who saved the day. The K vehicles were so successful they managed to stick around until 1995.
They were also influential in forcing Ford and GM to ditch a larger, rear-wheel-drive platform in favor of FWD platforms of their own.
And the Chrysler LeBaron, made famous once again in Seinfeld when George Costanza thought he bought actor Voigt’s old LeBaron convertible, has earned its place in the automotive history (George did buy John Voigt, the dentist’s, old vehicle).
Motor Week has just republished its original 1982 review of a LeBaron convertible and it is just so 80s-tastic. For the record, host John Davis is awesome.
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