Do you like to get personal with your coupes? Well, today Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a Canadian Chrysler trying to pass for a hot Latin, and you can totally get up in its grill.
Monday brought a lot of love for the little Subaru 360- enough, in fact, to push it over the Nice Price bar in a 55% to 45% squeaker of a contest. While the 360 might have been the cause of the mischievous twinkle in the late Herve Villechaize's eye, he may have felt lost in the car his boss was promoting at the same time he was granting B-grade celebrities one more paycheck on Fantasy Island. That's right, we're jumping off the Autobahn and onto the Montalban for a personal coupe with soft Corinthian Leather and a 4-barrel.
Chrysler had always averred against building anything smaller than the Graf Spee, but the wild popularity of GM's A-body coupes and Ford Thunderbird had them pining for those big profits a heavily-optioned mid-sizer can bring. The result was the Windsor Canada-sourced Cordoba, which was smaller than anything Chrysler had built previously, and featured styling that was solidly American, despite the Latin flavor of its name and advertising campaign. The Cordoba (and how many times have you heard it pronounced cordova?) was a car built around fallacies, but nobody seemed to care. While the name is shared with the historic city in southern Spain, its badge is taken from an Argentinean coin. And soft Corinthian Leather? No such stuff. Turns out the Corinthians are made out of regular skin just like the rest of us. But when invoked by the swarthily tanned and baritone-voiced spokesman Ricardo Montalban, it got the Latin lovers all fired up, making the Cordoba Chrysler's best seller.
See if you can avoid buying one after watching this ad!
This white over red first year car still brings the south of the boarder sensibilities despite the American Wheels mags and craptacular parts-bin steering wheel. The 3987-lb curb weight means that the 230-bhp/300 lb-ft 360 has its work cut out for it, and fuel economy is going to be more malo than bueno. But with the acres of soft Corinthian leather, you could enjoy this car even while just standing still. Aside from those wheels, it's all original and in good shape even if the driver's seat is suffering from a little corintheitis. The rest of the interior is unblemished and awash in ‘70s-era baroque detailing. And as you know, if it's not baroque, don't fix it.
Externally, the nose is blessed with the Monte Carlo-like round lights and mesh grill, rather than the later cars' LTDII-mimicking nose, with its stacked rectangular sealed beams. Up top you get a white vinyl landau roof, opera windows and opera lights, and out back is a trunk that'll hold all kinds of your junk.
So, for your $4,995, you're getting a car better known for its advertising than for its execution, but who cares? This is a piece of Mopar history, and, as they say in the biz - they ain't makin' ‘em any more - so if you want one, you had best grab a good one.
And is this one good enough to grab $4,995 out of your bank account? Or, is that price getting too personal?
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