For August 1, 2020, our used car find is this 29k mile 1983 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, which is listed on craigslist by a private seller in the Santa Barbara area for $8950.

Here’s what makes this car special.

Dating back to the 1930s, the LeBaron name has a storied history with Chrysler. The first models were top-of-the-line luxury cars, competing with the likes of Duesenberg and Packard and featuring distinctive Streamline Moderne bodies that were designed and built by New York coachbuilder LeBaron, Carrossiers Inc., later acquired by Chrysler.

In something of a reversal, nearly 50 years later, the LeBaron name was dusted off by Chrysler’s marketing department and applied to some of their malaise-era products, including this K-car based convertible, which debuted in 1982.

Though widely mocked — including famously as George Costanza’s ride in Seinfeld — K-car products sold well and likely saved Chrysler from financial ruin in the 1980s.

This particular example, in top level Town & Country trim, has to be one of the nicest ones left, with just 29k miles and a longtime Santa Barbara area ownership history. It even sports its original blue-and-yellow California plates.

Most of these cars have long since gone to the great junkyard in the sky, and the very things that made it laughable in the 80s and 90s, like the absurd faux wood trim and the lackluster performance, are somewhat charming today.

We especially like the stylish metal- and wood-trimmed dash, which seems to be modeled after a classic Marantz stereo receiver.

You’d have to be awfully charmed, though, to pony up the full asking price of $8950. That’s a lot to shell out for what is, let’s face it, an ironic purchase.

But then again, considering how much attention the car is likely to attract, especially at events like Radwood or Concours d’Lemons, it just might be worth it.

Vehicle Details

  • 1983 Chrysler LeBaron convertible
  • 29k miles
  • 2.6 liter inline 4 cylinder engine (92 hp)
  • 3-speed automatic transmission
  • brown exterior (with wood cladding) on brown vinyl
  • for sale by owner for $8950
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • link to craigslist listing HERE

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About Mark Holthoff

Before joining Klipnik, Mark spent eight years at Edmunds.com developing and running their Live Advice and Consumer Reviews programs. His first car was a 1974 Triumph TR6 in Sapphire Blue, which he bought with his life savings of $2000 and kept running with a combination of spare change, duct tape and dumb luck.

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