Corinthian Contrarian: 1976 Chrysler Cordoba – SOLD!

by | Jun 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

June 27, 2021 Update – We don’t know if it was the unique interior or the low price, but we just confirmed the seller of this Cordoba “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Better known for their rich Corinthian Leather interior made famous by actor Ricardo Montalban, we’re reaching out to our readers to confirm what special edition this 1976 Chrysler Cordoba currently originally listed in June 2021 on Craigslist in Greensburg Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) might be as our typical interior trim research sources restored do not show a similar example of the patterned cloth interior in this car. a low-mileage example that has a mild street machine vibe, the current caretaker is offering their Cordoba for $3,900 or best offer.  The  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $2,900 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $5,900.

With emissions regulations and rising insurance premiums effectively killing interest in muscle cars, by the mid-seventies Chrysler turned their attention to the burgeoning mid-size, personal luxury segment then dominated by the Oldsmobile Cutlass and Ford Thunderbird.  The Cordoba was originally intended to be a Plymouth, however, Chrysler executives decided to seek higher profits by marketing the model under the more upscale Chrysler brand. The car was a success, with over 150,000 examples sold in 1975.  While Ricardo Montalbán talked about “Rich Corinthian Leather” as though it were made from special cowhides, the reality was it simply a marketing term having nothing to do with where the leather originated.  In fact, Chrysler’s leather supplier at the time, Radell Leather, manufactured seat coverings in Newark, New Jersey.  Enthusiasts prefer these first-year Cordobas the most as they featured Chrysler’s 400 cubic inch V8 topped with a Carter Thermoquad four-barrel carburetor in addition to the single round headlights and other features set these apart from GM’s Colonade Hardtops it competed with.

Check out this famous 1976 commercial featuring actor Ricardo Montalban introducing the new small Chrysler, a.k.a. the 1975 Chrysler Cordoba:

While we prefer the classic look of the 1975 and 1976 round headlight Cordobas versus the later model years, we would rather see the next caretaker turn this rare special edition model back to its personal luxury origins rather than continue down the street machine path.  The first thing to go would be the floor-mounted aftermarket B&M shifter, especially when the original column shifter remains in place. However, the sound of the new true dual exhaust system handling the 400 cubic inch V8’s spent gases would likely have us keep that modification.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“42,000 miles
400 v8 with mild cam 4 barrel carb, headers, new dual exhaust, and tires.
B & M ratchet shifter on floor
Runs and drives good could use some tinkering and cleaning
Just don’t have time for it
Asking $3900 or reasonable offer​

Do you know what special edition Cordoba this car might be?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Dwayne Wertman

    I sold these cars new from 1976 through 1979 I don’t remember that interior being offered. It looks like if a sales manager ordered one it would be a quick way to lose your job..


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