Concerned that the government would soon outlaw the manufacture of soft-top cars, the American auto industry voluntarily ended the production of convertibles with the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado.
However, Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca re-introduced America to the convertible with the 1983 LeBaron, the first production convertible since the 1976 Eldorado. Based on the popular 'K-Car' chassis, the car was an immediate success.
This example features every available option including the 'Mark-Cross' leather interior, power windows, four-speaker radio with cassette tape player, cruise control, air conditioning, 'Computer Equipped' monitoring system and a robotic 'voice' that reminds the driver and passenger to use their seat belts.
1983 was the second year for the Chrysler LeBaron. It was available as a coupe, sedan, convertible and station wagon with pricing beginning at $8,500 for the coupe. Standard equipment included a 2.2-liter four-cylinder overhead cam engine with a cast-iron block and a lightweight aluminum head. The engine produced 95 horsepower and was mated to a five-speed manual transmission (the 1982 version had a standard four-speed gearbox). A three-speed TorqueFlite automatic was available as optional equipment. The cars came with a 'ram air' heater/vent system with outlets on the dashboard, a tethered gas cap, and halogen headlamps. In the back were new self-adjusting brakes with larger brake rotors in the front. They had an AM radio, digital clock, roll-resistant SBR whitewalls, carpeted trunk floor, two-spoke color-keyed steering wheel, power brakes, electronic digital cloth, and inside hood release. The coupe body styles had a padded vinyl landau roof. The convertibles had a center console, color-keyed dual remote mirrors, power top with zip-down window and weather-seal sides, and a tailored top boot.
The Chrysler LeBaron had a sloped grille with thin vertical bars with a larger center vertical bar, a pentastar hood ornament, clear rectangular parking lights set into the bumper, and bright bodyside moldings with vinyl inserts. Inside were low-back vinyl bucket seats with adjustable head restraints. The coupe and convertible bodystyles had dual recliners. The Town & Country and four-door models had a cloth bench seat with center armrests.
The convertible body style was available as a base, Mark Cross version, and a Town & Country Convertible. The Town & Country version had fake wood trim. The Mark Cross Edition had quieter door latches with sound-deadening materials, and an Electronic Voice Alert system. They were also equipped with Mark Cross medallions, bumper guards, cornering lamps, upper body accent stripes, wire wheel covers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, and low-back Corinthian leather bucket seats with console and center armrest. Other features included an electronic-tuning AM/FM stereo radio, tilt steering column, power door locks, power windows, power decklid release, automatic speed control, deluxe wipers, and Travel Computer.By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2014