Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
You want to know what the real problem is with the luxury car market today? Nobody makes broughams anymore. You know what I'm talking about — hulking land-boat coupes and sedans, typically with vinyl roofs, and cavernous interiors that looked like they were filled with living room furniture. All the American luxury car companies had Brougham editions back in the day. Hell, even Nissan got Bro-tastic for a bit.
This Chrysler New Yorker Brougham edition I ran into on the Hill this week is a superb example of what an American luxury car looked like in the 1970s, right before gas prices made them get smaller and the German competition forced them to handle well and be somewhat "sporty."
Chrysler made the New Yorker for a seriously long time, from the mid 40s up until the mid 90s. The one I found is a member of the eighth generation, the one produced from 1974 to 1978. After this generation ended, the New Yorker began to shrink in size. Probably a good thing, because this one is approximately 750 feet long, if my math is right. And it never is. Available engines from those years included a 6.6-liter V8 or a 7.2-liter V8, because this is America, goddammit.
It's a very stylish car, but it's definitely dated. I for one am kind of glad that the neo-baroque styling of American cars in the 70s (and in the 80s to some extent) went away eventually — it's not my cup of tea, but then again, I'm not my grandfather. Interesting styling cues on this car include the roof, obviously, the pop-out headlamps, the angular front bumper, and the coverings over the rear wheels. And just look at that amazing interior! The car definitely stands out when it's parked on the street now, and I'm sure it did in its day, too.
Do any of you have great brougham stories?