LeBaron is a venerated coachbuilder name. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe LeBaron attempts to one-up the factory swag in bringing that name’s former grander to the K-car. The effort is applaudable, but is the price as well?
Whether it’s the last slice of pie, the series finale of your favorite show, or praise from your boss, scarcity can and does breed piqued interest. That was sadly not the case with yesterday’s clean 1986 Subaru Brat, which bamboozled by being a rare survivor.
That didn’t translate in its value however, as the little trucklet sadly fell in a narrow 51% Crack Pipe loss. If you think that ‘80s refugee was rare, wait until you get a load of today’s contender.
LeBaron was at one time one of America’s preeminent coach builders. In the 1920s they designed and built luxury bodies for a number of manufacturers out of their Bridgeport Connecticut factory. The company was purchased by the Briggs Manufacturing Company in 1926, and in 1953 Briggs was bought out by the Chrysler Corporation giving them ownership of the LeBaron name.
Chrysler used that name first on their Imperial brand and then later, when that marque went away, as a Chrysler model. The first of those was a tarted up Dodge Aspen, and the badge survived the move from that platform to its replacement, the famous, and famously FWD K-car.
On the K, the LeBaron added every conceivable luxury accoutrement the brand could throw at it, including the melding of models with a woodgrain appliqué and additionally carrying the Town and Country name. For some people however, the factory’s efforts at imbuing the LeBaron K with style and panache just didn’t go far enough.
This 1985 leBaron T&C convertible is described in its ad as being a ‘Custom Mild Modification,’ however, the changes, visually at least, are in fact substantial. The builder has started with the woody T&C body, but has replaced the front clip with a nose from a Plymouth Caravelle and fenders from a Dodge 600. There’s no wood there, which the seller says is intended to give the car the look of a ‘40s T&C.
I don’t know if that works or not, but the rest of the mods - wheel skirts, Mercedes-esque full wheel covers, more badges than you could shake a stick at, and a continental kit, all work to set this LeBaron apart from damn-near any crowd.
That body - with its custom blue paint - seems to be in excellent shape, as does the color-coordinated convertible roof. The interior too has been carefully curated, and features fat, plush seats and a skinny hard steering wheel, just like God and Lee Iacocca intended.
There’s an auto box as you might expect, and that is paired with Chrysler’s turbo 2.2, which is claimed to be 5,000 miles fresh. There’s just 80K on the clock in total, plus power everything and A/C that still blows cold.
An ‘80s LeBaron is an extremely rare sight these days. One that has been shown such love and attention is even more so. It goes without saying that this is a unique car, the question however, is just because it could be done, should it have been?
Actually, that’s not the question as the car’s mere appearance proves the answer to be yes for one specific individual. The actual question is, should anyone else buy this very personally modded LeBaron for its $9,500 asking price?
Los Angeles Craigslist, or check out the ad below.
H/T to FRSure for the hookup!
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