Sunday, October 13, 2013

1976 Chrysler New Yorker - When Size Mattered


The 1974–1978 New Yorkers were the last uniquely designed "full sized" cars from Chrysler. (Later full sized cars were based on re-worked versions of smaller chassis.) "Full size" is an understatement. This car is 44 inches longer than a Hummer H3! Basically, you could take an average 7 year old child, strap him horizontally to the front of the Hummer, and it would still be an inch or two shorter than the New Yorker.

It takes a lot of engine to move that much car, and Chrysler's 440ci (7200cm) V8 was almost up to the task. 60 miles per hour came in a little over 13 seconds. Top speed was around 110 MPH. Gas mileage? About 9.5 MPG if you were gentle with it.

The interior can best be described as "brothel chic." (Not that I've ever been in a brothel, but I imagine the inside of one looks a lot like the interior of a 1976 New Yorker.) Tufted velour and tons of fake wood.


This is a fairly rare car these days. Chrysler's luxury barges were never as popular as those from Lincoln and Cadillac. Introducing a 9 MPG car right around the time of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo didn't help sales either. Rust and poor reliability (although the 440 V8 will run forever) meant that the few that did sell found their way to the scrapyard pretty quickly. This car has a claimed 22,000 miles (check for documents as the old school odometer rolls over at 99,999) and looks to be in amazing condition.

So why am I posting this? Well, first of all, I think all clean examples of old cars should be preserved, whether they are minimalistic European runabouts or giant US land barges. Secondly, Chrysler, with a lot of help from Fiat, is making some interesting cars these days. (The Dodge Dart GT comes to mind.) Maybe for amusement, or maybe as a warning, it's cool to look at the past and see how far we've come.


Located in West Bridgewater, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

3 comments:

cc-ride said...

nice to see you back!

Dan DiBiase said...

Interesting how many of these older luxury cars didn't have leather interiors.... I guess velour was the 'ne plus ultra' of its day...

Larry said...

Thoroughly impractical, 70's period brown-on-brown color combo that hasn't aged particularly well, and a generally bad performer in nearly every respect except girth. For sale at a used car lot, so good luck getting anything approaching a documented history. $7K isn't any kind of bargain either. Yet, despite all that, somehow, it's oddly appealing...