At $4,500, Could You Do Some Grand Touring in This 1990 Chrysler LeBaron GT?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

While listed in its ad as a “LeBron” there’s no evidence that today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chrysler has any connection whatsoever with hoops legend, LeBron James. Let see if its price is another of the seller’s devious misdirections.

Yesterday’s 1995 Toyota Previa S/C Alltrac was cool. It was also old, and when you’re looking to tool around in an old car you usually don’t want to take the whole family along for the ride. That’s why we buy fun classic cars—to get away from the people we love just long enough so that we can keep on loving them. Too few of you loved the Previa however, and with its 62 percent Crack Pipe vote, even fewer were smitten with its $5,000 price.


I was thinking the other day about the passing of Lee Iacocca. I had the opportunity to meet him on a couple of occasions a few years back, both times at events that feted cars Iacocca was instrumental in bringing to market. When you think about it, there are few individuals in modern auto industry history who have been as influential as was the cigar-chomping Iacocca. He did, after all bring us the Mustang—creating a new category of car while he was at it. He gave us the modern minivan too, which became an iconic part of the suburban landscape throughout the latter half of the 1980s and well into the ‘90s.

Lee also gave us the K-car, a model line that upon its launch saved the Chrysler corporation from financial ruin, and that served as the basis for about 80 percent of the company’s model line for the following decade and a half.

Today’s 1990 Chrysler LeBaron GT is one of the last hangers-on of the K-car line. This is actually built on the derivative J-platform, a fact that annoys me since it came after the K but is named for a letter that proceeds K in the alphabet. I’m just weird that way.


The LeBaron name is a venerated Chrysler cognomen going back decades during which time it was applied to various high-end Chrysler and Imperial models. The name originates from a Detroit area coachbuilder obtained by Chrysler in the ‘20s, and was initially adopted for the top model of the company’s then-new Imperial line.

This LeBaron GT is far more modest in its aspirations and its presentation. A smallish but fairly stylish two-door convertible (something else that Iacocca reinvigorated) the LeBaron was, in its day, still positioned as one of Chrysler’s top models, just for a new era.


The bodywork here, in Flash Red, carries a body kit that extends its rockers and both bumpers in what’s meant to be a sporty look. I’d say it’s hit or miss, but is at least all in very decent shape. Usually extensions like these fall victim to curb incursions and poor assembly. This generation of LeBaron also features cool hidden headlamps. The later cars had narrow fixed lamps that were adopted for their lower weight and money savings. In exchange for that, they performed extremely poorly and, in my opinion, gave the car a look like it was squinting to facilitate a particularly difficult dump. The black-painted basketweave wheels are factory and look to be in great condition.


The top and interior also look to be in great shape. Of course there’s not much of a luxury feel to either. The top does have a glass back window which is nice. The interior is a sea of ‘80s design and hard plastic surfaces. It’s depressing in the way an empty dorm room feels upon first exposure. It’s probably perfectly serviceable but likely everything here feels somewhat crude in operation.


Power comes from a Mitsubishi sourced V6 engine. The seller describes this as a “High Performance Engine” however that’s hyperbole that the 3.0 six would probably not want to have thrust upon it. The turbo fours were more interesting, but the 141 horsepower V6 would prove the one with staying power, being the only mill offered in the LeBaron for its final two model years. A four-speed automatic transaxle backs that up.

The ad says that the car comes with an amazingly modest 40K on the clock. It’s also claimed that the car has never seen a winter and is a “Clean Car” and a “Fast Car.’ The pictures provide conformation of that first assertion. A test drive would be needed to corroborate the second. I’m going to suggest that its verification would be open to interpretation.


The price is apparently also open to hedging. The ad lists the car at $4,500 or BO. Now generally we use the abbreviation OBO to denote ‘Or Best Offer.’ BO on the other hand implies body odor and I don’t think that showing up to view the car after not having showered for a week would engender the seller to give you a killer deal.


We’ll keep it clean and just consider that $4,500 starting price. Do you think that’s a fair asking for so clean and tidy a classic Chrysler? Or, is that too much for what’s basically just a Special K?

You decide!


Eau Claire, WI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Jim C for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.