The Dodge Daytona/Chrysler Laser twins once reigned as the hottest-looking of all of Chrysler’s K-cars. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Laser is a survivor of that era, but will its price make it worth taking a second look?
Last Friday we contemplated a 1992 Ford Escort GT that — to be fair — had delusions of grandeur. Fat fendered and turbocharged but immodestly exposing its intercooler, that Escort was certainly an acquired taste. At $4,500, few of you were interested in acquiring it, and the car fell in a decisive 70 percent No Dice loss.
The Escort was Ford’s first domestic attempt at a truly small car. The Pinto that preceded it was, to be honest, little more than a compact car cut down to small-car size. The Escort rejected the whole smaller version of a big car feel, leaning heavily instead on Ford’s European branch for a modern front-drive design. It offered far more room inside than the Pinto in a body that was smaller overall than the earlier car.
Ford wasn’t alone in moving to smaller front-drive cars in the ’80s; General Motors and Chrysler introduced their own FWD family cars. In the case of Chrysler, the K-car platform spawned an entire generation of models, from plain-Jane family sedans for people who had given up on life to hot turbocharged and gregariously styled coupes for those who still had a heartbeat.
This 1986 Chrysler Laser XT Turbo is an example of the latter. The Laser, and its Dodge Daytona clone, were based on the G-platform, an update to the original K-car design that had pulled Chrysler up by its bootstraps at the start of the ’80s. The model was positioned as Chrysler’s first-ever sports car, and when you consider the Conquests and Crossfires that have followed, it was an auspicious beginning.
This is the top-of-the-line XT, which features the standard turbocharged 2.2-liter SOHC four. That engine was able to muster a factory-claimed 142 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. Here it’s matched with a five-speed manual to make the most of those numbers. The ad claims the car to have a clean title and but a mere 34,251 miles under its belt.
The car wears medium blue metallic paint and, more importantly, fabulous louvers on the back glass. Ahead of those is the T-top roof, which features smoked glass panels.
The bodywork looks to be in decent shape with only minor dings and dents apparent. Factory wheels are in place and wear tires of indeterminate age or manufacturer.
A leather interior with four bucket seats greets those bold enough to open a door, and it all looks to be in great shape. The dashboard features cool ’80s graph paper backgrounds on all the dials, along with a futuristic digital readout for the clock and date.
This is a dealer-offered car, though that dealer doesn’t seem to offer a CarFax or much in the way of history on the car. Both the ad and dealer site, in fact, offer just the basics of age, mileage and color. What we can glean from the pictures is that the car appears to have some new air-conditioningcomponents under the hood, at least based on the obvious difference in shininess seen on some of the pieces. There’s also a good bit of oil staining on the cam cover, which is a bit alarming if only for the fact that the seller couldn’t be bothered to clean it up any better. What else has been potentially half-assed here?
If you’re ok with that lack of detail as long as the price is right, then we should probably get on with talking about this car’s asking price. The dealership is offering the car at $8,995 on Craigslist but asks fully a grand more for it on its own site. I guess that’s the price one pays for not being Craigslist savvy. Fortunately, we’re all down with Craig’s classifieds so, for our purposes, we’re going to stick with the $8,995 price.
With that in mind, what’s your take on this incredibly low-mileage Laser and that $8,995 asking? Does that make it a laser-sharp deal? Or, will that price just shine a harsh light on the car’s inequities?
H/T to glemon for the hookup!
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