Same State? 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo Convertible 40K Survivor – $6,995

by | Dec 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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January 11, 2024, 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.

Close friends and my spouse shake their heads whenever I go nuts over coming across a mid-1980s Chrysler K-Car convertible at a local car show.  As a convertible enthusiast growing up in the late 1970s, it was a big deal when Lee Iacocca had the guts to relaunch a factory-built American-built convertible. Yes, the 1980s K-Car convertibles were much smaller than the land yachts Detroit produced just one decade earlier, but they were also much more fuel-efficient and could fit nicely in a standard-size garage.

Fast forward forty years and K-Car convertibles remain an excellent choice for classic car enthusiasts on a budget to enjoy top-down summer driving. A prime example is this Red Over White Leather 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo convertible for sale, last spotted on Craigslist in Butte, Montana, in November 2023. Not only does this LeBaron feature the desirable 2.2L turbocharged inline-four, but this survivor-quality Rad Era convertible has just under 40K original miles. The icing on the cake is the desirable red-over-white leather combination that is free of the faux wood cladding of certain other LeBaron models.

Last offered for $6,995, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all second-generation Chrysler LeBaron convertibles produced between 1982 and 1986.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

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 $5,300 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $8,800.

The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible with the 2.2L turbo engine is a notable example of American automotive design from the mid-1980s, characterized by its blend of style, performance, and innovation. This compact convertible, part of the K-car platform, reflected Chrysler’s efforts to create a modern, fuel-efficient vehicle without sacrificing driving pleasure.

The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible exhibits a classic and timeless design that captures the essence of the 1980s. With its clean lines, sleek profile, and well-proportioned body, the LeBaron convertible provides classic American convertible styling in a smaller size. The soft-top convertible features a power-operated roof, and its design seamlessly integrates with the overall aesthetics of the car. The exterior is adorned with chrome accents, giving it a touch of sophistication, while the distinctive square-shaped headlights and the bold grille contribute to its unmistakable presence on the road.

The highlight of the 1985 LeBaron Convertible is its 2.2-liter inline-4 engine equipped with a turbocharger. This engine was part of Chrysler’s commitment to producing fuel-efficient yet performance-oriented vehicles during a time when fuel efficiency was a growing concern. The turbocharged version of the 2.2L engine significantly boosted the power output.

The turbocharged 2.2L engine delivered around 146 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, providing a spirited driving experience. This powerplant was mated to a three-speed automatic transmission, offering a smooth and responsive acceleration. The lightweight body and the turbocharged engine made the LeBaron a nimble and enjoyable car to drive, especially with the wind in your hair and the top down.

Inside the LeBaron Convertible, Chrysler aimed for comfort and convenience. The interior featured well-crafted and comfortable seating upholstered in fabric or optional leather. The dashboard design was straightforward, with clear and easily accessible controls. The convertible top was power-operated, adding an element of convenience for drivers who wanted to enjoy the open-air experience without the hassle of manual operation.

The cabin layout was driver-centric, with a focus on ergonomics. Optional features included air conditioning, power windows, and a premium sound system, catering to drivers who sought a more luxurious driving experience.

In 1985, Chrysler was integrating advanced technologies into their vehicles. The LeBaron Convertible boasted a range of optional features that were considered modern for the time, including electronic fuel injection, a turbocharger, and a trip computer. The electronic fuel injection system enhanced fuel efficiency and throttle response, while the turbocharger added a performance boost, making the LeBaron a versatile and dynamic convertible.

The 1985 LeBaron Convertible excelled in terms of driving dynamics. The combination of a front-wheel-drive layout, well-tuned suspension, and responsive steering contributed to a balanced and enjoyable driving experience. The turbocharged engine provided a satisfying power surge, making the LeBaron a capable performer on city streets and highways.

The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible holds a special place in automotive history as a representative of the compact, stylish convertibles of the 1980s. While it may not carry the same level of prestige as some classic sports cars, the LeBaron remains a sought-after collectible for enthusiasts who appreciate its combination of turbocharged performance and open-air driving. Well-maintained examples with the 2.2L turbo engine continue to be cherished by collectors, serving as a nostalgic reminder of an era when American automakers were adapting to changing consumer preferences and fuel efficiency demands.

Chrysler’s launch of the first American convertible since 1976 was a big deal in 1982. It should come as no surprise that MotorWeek was quick to review the new drop-top LeBaron soon after it launched:

It’s hard to find unmodified, survivor-quality convertibles, let alone one in very clean condition for under ten thousand dollars.  This 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo convertible for sale is an excellent way for someone to enter the classic car hobby on a budget. As a former owner of a Turbocharged mid-1980s Chrysler, it’s fun to listen to the turbocharger spool up as you drive.  Our only question about this LeBaron convertible for sale is what state it resides in.  While the license plates were issued from South Dakota, the seller also shows an unredacted title labeled “Out of State” (note: we do not recommend anyone post a picture of their car’s title. Consequently, we did not include a copy of that picture in this post) provided by the same state.  However, the listing indicates the car may reside in Butte, Montana, so you’ll want to confirm with the seller which state the car currently resides in to calculate shipping and other logistics. Our hunch is that the car may be stored at the seller’s vacation home, but you’ll need to confirm with them directly.

If you are serious about buying this LeBaron convertible, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their turbocharged K-Car droptop featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1985 LeBaron
40k original miles
Time warp and in good condition, hard to find
Drop top convertible
It is kept in a garage with a cover
Nice classic vehicle, must see
Rare find, original, cherry inside & out.

Show or go: What would you do with this survivor-quality 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo convertible for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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