It is common for auto manufacturing companies to field the name of a vehicle that have been used in the past into an entirely different vehicle. It is, however, rare that an automobile manufacturing company field the same name for two different cars produced in the same year. Surprisingly, Chrysler did this with the Chrysler LeBaron. This made classifying a Chrysler LeBaron for some model years really difficult.
The LeBaron name was first used by Chrysler from 1959 to 1976 as a trim level for the Chrysler Imperial. After the demise of the Imperial, the Chrysler LeBaron became an independent vehicle model. The first of the Chrysler LeBarons were manufactured from 1977 to 1981. During this period, all Chrysler LeBarons were rear wheel drive M-Body cars, similar to the Dodge Diplomat manufactured on the same period. Classifying a Chrysler LeBaron during this period wasn't particularly hard, but it was for the next generations of the car.
From 1982 to 1986, the Chrysler LeBaron was a K-car available in 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible and 4-door sedan body styles. In 1985 a performance sedan called the Chrysler LeBaron GTS was also introduced and was sold until 1989. This car, however, was not the successor to the K-Body LeBarons. Instead, the successor to the 1982 to 1986 LeBarons were the J-Body Chrysler LeBaron coupes and convertibles which were introduced in 1987 and sold through 1995 (coupes only until 1993). Still, another Chrysler LeBaron was introduced in 1990. Based on the AA-Body platform, these Chrysler LeBaron sedans were sold through the 1994 model year.
With the confusion that Chrysler created with their Chrysler LeBaron models, identifying which Chrysler LeBaron a person is talking about becomes a bit difficult. Looking for Chrysler LeBaron parts that would fit perfectly on a specific year model also becomes more difficult. Owners of older Chrysler LeBarons may not have any problem with their parts, but finding exact parts becomes a major task for those who own a 1980s or 1990s Chrysler LeBaron. That's why it is important for these Chrysler LeBaron owners to know their cars well before attempting to purchase any replacement or repair Chrysler LeBaron parts.
What was the Chrysler LeBaron named after? Why was the Chrysler LeBaron such a prestigious model for the company?
LeBaron was one of the many well-known coachbuilders in the 1920s that provided bodies for luxury cars. Thomas L. Hibbard and Raymond Dietrich founded the firm in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1920.
The company's original name was LeBaron, Carrossiers Inc., and served as design consultants. In1924, the Bridgeport Body and Blue Ribbon companies merged to formLeBaron.
Chrysler adopted the name for its top-of-the-line Imperial in 1957. The first Imperial LeBaron was offered as either a pillared sedan or four-door Southampton hardtop. It remained the top Imperial model through 1975.
The LeBaron is truly legend in Chrysler's automotive history. From its first appearance on a Chrysler Imperial model in the 1930s to its final production run in 1995, the vehicle continued to be customized to fit the needs of American consumers. For the last sixty years, the LeBaron is most known for continuing to combine modern designs with innovative technology all at an affordable price point.
Why does the steering wheel on my LeBaron seem to shake all the time when I step on the brakes?
If the constant front shaking persists when applying the brakes, check wheels, tires, balance, alignment, suspension and steering components. The culprits may be the front calipers and brake rotors. Experts recommend replacing these to put an end to the vibration.
I'm unable to increase my driving speed. What could be the cause this?
The connector on the input and/or output speed sensors on the automatic transmission may be damaged, causing intermittent loss of speed control. There are commercially available wiring repair kits that can address this concern.
I notice my LeBaron is consuming more oil than necessary. Should I be concerned about this?
Brawny engines such as the 3.0L may develop a huge thirst for engine oil. Blue oil smoke may be noted from the exhaust while the vehicle is decelerating (high engine vacuum). We are told by experts that this condition can be caused by valve guides dropping out of position. To solve this problem, you can upgrade the valve guides with a new snap ring grove.
Either there's something alive under my hood, or the engine's making loud knocking sounds. What's happening? Akso, my turbocharger seems to have stopped working.
Carbon buildup on the top of the piston commonly creates anything from soft ticking noises to loud knocking as the engine runs over time. Performing a fuel injector cleaning procedure can often improve the engine's condition by removing some of the piston top deposits.
Turbocharger failure could be the result of any of the following: Excessive smoke from the exhaust, lack of power, or grinding or scraping noise from the turbocharger. Experts are quick to point out the most common causes of turbocharger failure are lack of oil changes, hard acceleration when the engine is cold, and lack of a cool down period after high speed driving or transporting excessive loads.
Chrysler LeBaron: The Legendary Vehicle in Chrysler’s Automotive History
From the get-go, Chrysler LeBaron models were luxury vehicles that have directly competed against the industry’s luxury brands like Cadillac, Lincoln, and Packard. Their body was manufactured by LeBaron while the chassis was made by Chrysler. LeBaron was among the most sought-after coachbuilders in the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1920 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, it has provided various vehicle manufacturers with bodies for their luxury cars.
Chrysler was able to purchase LeBaron, along with its mother company Briggs Manufacturing, in 1953. The first Chrysler LeBaron models to be introduced after the company was bought by Chrysler were the top-of-the line Imperials, which were manufactured from 1957 to 1975.
The LeBaron took great pride in being known as a legendary model in Chrysler’s history. From the time its name was used by Chrysler in its Imperial model in the early 1930s to the final production models released in 1995, the car didn’t disappoint. Its being able to satisfy the need of its American customers made the LeBaron one of Chrysler’s longest-running nameplates.
Mid 1930s: Airflow Imperials
It was in the mid-1930s when Chrysler added an “Art Deco” design into its automotive line. This high-end CW series, which was called Airflow Imperials, was supplied by LeBaron. Because of poor sales, the Airflow line was restyled, influencing Chrysler to move to more mainstream yet conservative styling for the next two decades.
1957 - 1975: The Imperial LeBarons
In 1955, Chrysler has launched the Imperial as a separate luxury vehicle. Two years after, the top-of-the-line Imperial models were named Imperial LeBarons and were slotted to compete with Packard, Cadillac, and Lincoln. These models were outfitted with luxurious amenities that were believed to be ahead of the time. Even when production of Imperial was pulled out in 1975, the LeBaron name remained for another two decades.
1977 - 1981: The first-generation LeBaron
The Chrysler LeBaron that was introduced in 1977 was the car to carry the name alone, thus considered as the first-gen LeBaron. Built on an M-body, this model was aimed to be an upscale version of the Aspen and was offered in coupes and sedans. A Town and Country station wagon using this legendary nameplate appeared in 1978 and, in 1981, a limited edition “Fifth Avenue package was introduced. After the 1981 model year, productions the M-body coupes and wagons was discontinued while the M-body sedan was rebadged as Fifth Avenue for 1983.
1987: J-Body Chrysler Lebaron Coupe and Convertible
The 1987 LeBaron, which was made on the J platform and offered as a coupe or convertible, came with a modern and more aerodynamic design than its predecessors. For 1990, LeBarons got a redesigned interior and, two years after, both coupes and convertibles were available in “sport package”.
The last LeBaron sedan rode on the front-wheel-drive AA platform. It featured a relatively spacious trunk and a standard driver’s side airbag. It could also sit up to six passengers. Production of the LeBaron sedan was shut off on December 9, 1994.