Plastic Planking: 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Mark Cross Convertible – Sold?
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May 4, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.
Growing up in the 1970s, my fondness for convertibles saw its challenges as automakers all but walked from the body styles. Pending rollover crash standards that never materialized, combined with the proliferation of factory air conditioning, meant consumers’ tastes for convertibles waned. By the time I turned sixteen in 1980, domestic automobile makers were out of the convertible business for four years, and affordable British drop-tops were also being phased out. With limited new convertibles being offered, prices of late model used examples remained out of my limited budget’s range. Lee Iaccoca changed that in 1982 when he led Chrysler to offer the LeBaron Town & Country, the first domestic factory convertible since the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado.
The fondness I have for K-Car convertibles is due to the fact they are exactly the car I wanted to find when I first started driving: an economical used convertible. K-Car convertibles remain one of the most affordable ways to get into the collector car hobby. Bonus points for the fact these 80’s era cars also qualify for Radwood, Youngtimer, and Malaise-themed shows. Prices, however, appear to be on the rise for well-preserved examples
This driver-quality gold 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Town & County convertible spotted for sale in April 2023 on Craigslist in Penngrove, California (San Francisco) checks the two most desirable options: the 2.2L turbocharged inline-four and the luxurious Mark Cross leather interior package. With only 75K original miles spent all this time in California, this LeBaron appears to be a rust-free example you can enjoy as is knowing everything works as designed.
Last offered for $10,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for second-generation Chrysler LeBaron convertibles produced between 1982 and 1986. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:
As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $7,300 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $12,300 before adding a twenty percent premium for the desirable Mark Cross interior package.
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.
The Random Video Sources YouTube Channel features this 1986 commercial in which Ricardo Montalban pitches Chrysler’s 1986 LeBaron lineup:
Special K-Car models such as this 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Mark Cross convertible for sale are a fun and economical entry into the classic car world. From personal experience owning a LeBaron GTS four-door hatchback, the 2.2L Turbo is a fun little engine to listen to the turbocharger spool up. The plastic planking used to simulate the woodie look appears to be in presentable shape. We would ask for pictures of the engine bay, trunk, and underside just to confirm there is no rust on the California car.
If you are serious about buying this LeBaron, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller via the link provided in their Craigslist ad. When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their K-Car convertible featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
This metallic gold woodie with a white top, Mark Cross interior, and wire hubcaps is a fun car to drive. If you like people looking at your car and giving you ‘thumbs up’ you will love owning this car.“
Show or go: What would you do with this 1986 Chrysler LeBaron survivor? Please comment below and let us know!