1990 Chrysler TC


The 1980's were not kind to Maserati. After Alejandro De Tomaso took over the company in 1975, plans were made to turn Maserati into a much higher volume car producer. The vehicle with which the company planned to achieve this mass production was the Biturbo, an unfortunate blend of tricky road manners and mediocre build quality.

The Biturbo had its merits, of course, and was a very capable car in the right hands. Over the years, Maserati even managed to work most of the gremlins out of its system. It never caught on in the United States, though, and Maserati faced sales so pitiful that they were forced to pull out of the U.S. market entirely.

Chrysler, too, saw struggles in the 1980's. Fortunately for that company, though, chairman Lee Iacocca was able to bring stability back by the middle of that turbulent decade.
Financial stability aside, Chrysler was no impressive car company during the Reagan years. Its product offerings, sad and impossibly boring, could do little to excite a public already ravaged by automotive mediocrity. Lee Iacocca saw that something must be done to reinvigorate the Chrysler nameplate, so he contacted his friend Alejandro De Tomaso over at Maserati. Together, they formulated a plan to bolster Chrysler's sagging image and aid Maserati's depressed financial situation.

The product of this collaboration, unconventionally named Chrysler TC by Maserati, was introduced in 1988 to an audience that, well, didn't really care. Who could blame them? Delays in production meant that, though the production model was remarkably similar to the prototype, the TC was dated by the time it reached the street.

Its looks were inoffensive, but they were tame to the point of anonymity. Chrysler was in charge of exterior design, and this fact allowed the vehicle's K-car roots to show a little too clearly in the TC's design language. Maserati tackled the interior design, but the car used a standard Chrysler console and instrument binnacle. Maserati did what they could with the little freedom they had, but sexy door panels were hardly enough to save a dull, dated interior.

Supple leather and wood accents lent an upscale ambiance to the interior upon first impression, but the subpar build quality quickly erased any notion that the TC was manufactured with the care befitting an exotic.

The 5-speed TC's performance, at least, was respectable. A transversely mounted, 16-valve, 2.2L four delivered power to the front wheels. Engineered by Maserati, this turbocharged and intercooled engine was good for 200hp, 220lb-ft of torque, and an impressive 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds. The automatic, car, though, couldn't touch this kind of performance. Its uninspiring 3-speed was coupled to either a Chrysler-engineered 2.2L turbo four with 174hp or a later 3.0L Mitsubishi V6. On auto-equipped cars, 0-60 times grew to 9.9 seconds and performance levels sank far from sports car standards.

Poor marketing cemented the TC's fate. Clueless salespeople had trouble moving the cars, and its delayed introduction caused more problems than dated styling. The Chrysler LeBaron, sharing styling cues with the TC, was intended to come after the Chrysler-Maser. Under this plan, the LeBaron would have benefitted from the halo of the TC's prestige. The LeBaron reached production first, though, and the TC came out looking like a strange afterthought.

At double the cost of a LeBaron convertible, few people saw the point of the TC. Only 7300 were sold, and production ended in 1990 after a run of cars was built for the 1991 model year. Fine interior appointments and the availability of capable performance were not enough to save the car, and neither Chrysler nor Maserati benefitted to any significant degree from the car's production. The trident inscribed within a Mopar pentagon would never be seen again.


Lyons, Stephen. 'Chrysler's TC by Maserati.' Allpar.com 10 Apr 2009. http://www.allpar.com/model/tc.html.

Vance, Bill. 'Motoring Memories: Chrysler TC by Maserati, 1988-1990.' Canadian Driver 03 Apr 2009 10 Apr 2009. http://www.canadiandriver.com/2009/04/03/motoring-memories-chrysler-tc-by-maserati-1988-1990.htm.

By Evan Acuña

1990 Vehicle Profiles

1990 Chrysler TC vehicle information


Chassis Num: SC1FR1209IB206021

Built between 1989 and 1991, the TC was the result of a longtime friendship between Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca and Maserati owner Alejandro DeTomaso. Iacocca had a desire to build an image car for Chrysler using the mystique of the Maserati name.....[continue reading]

Chassis #: SC1FR1209IB206021 

Concepts by Chrysler

Chrysler Monthly Sales Volume

June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
Additional Sales Volume Data

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1990 TC

$16,395 - $21,395

Model Year Production

1995Ford (1,012,818)Chevrolet (665,955)Honda (643,336)121,022
1994Ford (1,220,512)Chevrolet (651,647)Honda (650,105)77,993
1993Ford (1,026,338)Chevrolet (692,116)Honda (608,149)84,819
1992Ford (922,488)Honda (648,745)Chevrolet (647,227)123,400
1991Honda (659,659)Oldsmobile (474,837)Nissan (405,147)
1990Ford (912,466)Chevrolet (785,918)Pontiac (641,820)174,266
1989Chevrolet (1,275,498)Ford (1,234,954)Pontiac (801,600)224,097
1988Ford (1,331,489)Chevrolet (1,236,316)Pontiac (680,714)278,287
1987Nissan (1,803,924)Chevrolet (1,384,214)Ford (1,176,775)360,613
1986Chevrolet (1,368,837)Renault (1,305,191)Ford (1,253,525)367,898
1985Chevrolet (1,418,098)Renault (1,322,887)Oldsmobile (1,192,549)420,780

Related Automotive News



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2015) - Bill Warner, best known as the force behind the hugely successful Amelia Island Concours dElegance since 1996, received the 2014 Bob Akin Award from the Road...
Talkin' ‘Bout a Revolution

Talkin' ‘Bout a Revolution

A healthy obsession leads Jackie Birdsall and TTC to the forefront of history The word she keeps using is obsessed. Jackie Birdsall became obsessed with cars when she was a teenager. That...
1937 Delage Takes Home Best Of Show At The 10Th Annual Keeneland Concours D'Elegance

1937 Delage Takes Home Best Of Show At The 10Th Annual Keeneland Concours D'Elegance

Mustangs, classic cars, helicopters and motorcycles take center stage LEXINGTON, KY – July 22, 2013 – A very deserving 1937 Delage was named Best In Show at the annual Keeneland Concours...
Past Winners Come Up Big at the Eleventh Annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance

Past Winners Come Up Big at the Eleventh Annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance

The premier winners, the coveted Best of Show and Peoples Choice awards along with the Most Outstanding Car - Pre-1948 and Most Outstanding Car - Post-1948 were chosen today for the prestigious...
Paul Ianuario Named Chief Judge of 2013 Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance

Paul Ianuario Named Chief Judge of 2013 Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance

The entrant experience takes a leap forward for the inaugural Pinehurst Concours dElegance with the naming of Paul Ianuario as Chief Judge for the event, slated for May 2 through 5, 2013. In this role,...
© 1998-2020. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

© 1998-2020 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.