Fair Flip? 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo Convertible – Sold?

Apr 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

April 21, 2021 Update – while this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s past history we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

April 8, 2021 Update – When we first spotted this ’86 LeBaron convertible earlier this week on Craigslist in April 2021 in Elkton, Maryland for $4,900. something about it seemed eerily familiar as we started writing about it. Sure enough, a check back into our past posts reminded us of a similar white-over-burgundy example we featured in June 2020. As we dug a bit deeper, we confirmed the dealer sticker and broken “LeBaron” emblem on the trunk lid matched that of the car we featured last year!  So, from what we can gather, the current caretaker bought the car last summer from the original owner located in Monroeville, New Jersey. The current caretaker added about 500 miles and a new stereo and is now asking the same price, $4,900, as the original owner priced the car last June!

Here’s our original post from June 25, 2020:

While Chrysler’s various K-Car alternatives equipped with either the standard Mopar 2.2 or Mitsubishi 2.6 Liter weren’t much to write home about, models optioned with the 2.2-liter Turbo I such as this 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible originally listed in June 2020 on Craigslist in Monroeville, New Jersey actually provided decent acceleration. The private seller lists their 62,000 original mile LeBaron as “one owner” for the asking price of $4,900, so we’re not sure from the brief description whether they are one and the same.  Researching the NADA Guides Collector Car Online Valuation Tool confirms that while the private seller’s asking price of $4,900 falls above the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $1,200, $2,309, and $3,600, respectively, this is one of the nicer LeBaron convertible examples we’ve come across.

As part of its rebuilding plan, for 1982 Chrysler moved the LeBaron brand from the aging rear-wheel-drive platform to the contemporary front-wheel-drive “K” platform, where it became the upscale brand’s lowest-priced offering. Part of the launch included a convertible version, bringing to the market the first factory-built open-topped domestic vehicle since the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado.  While the early convertibles featured only door side windows and a plastic backlight, by 1984 convertible production was brought back in-house and featured rear quarter windows and a glass convertible top window that gave the interior a more open feel.  Also introduced in 1984 was Chrysler’s 2.2 Liter Turbo I engine. By 1986 this engine featured electronic fuel injection and a computer-controlled wastegate which provided 146 horsepower and 168 foot-pounds of torque.  While that doesn’t sound like much today, keep in mind the Mustang 5.0 Liter of the period managed only 200 horsepower.

We found this MotorWeek Retro Review of a similar 1982 model posted on YouTube:

The white over burgundy leather is a classic convertible color combination that based on the pictures provided appears to remain well preserved.  Having owned an ’86 LeBaron GTS four-door-sedan with this engine, it was a lot of fun mashing the accelerator just to hear the Garret T03 turbocharger spool up.  Selecting the turbocharged powertrain combined with the leather interior easily had this car pushing $20K when new.  This is a great way to enter the collector car hobby on a budget as parts are plentiful and the 2.2L turbo responds well to performance upgrades.  Given the parade of K-Cars we witnessed and RADWood East last year, you will be welcomed with open arms to those events as well any Antique Automobile Club of America (“AACA”) Touring or Judging event.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“If you see this ad, it is still available.

This is a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible 2.2 turbo engine w/ 62,000 miles all original, one owner. Top Works perfectly.

I do not text or email……..Please call the phone number in the photos!!

Do you have a K-Car story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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