JUNKYARD THERAPY: 1989 Chrysler New Yorker Mark Cross

Posted by

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-12

From a complicated time in Chrysler’s history comes this 1989 New Yorker Mark Cross. It’s all used up, but its formal style still makes an impression.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-13

Chrysler’s charismatic early-’80s CEO Lee Iaccoca was the company’s savior. When Chrysler was on death watch and car buyers found a new reason to avoid its products – would this car company still be around in a year to service what it sells? – Iacocca adopted a Patton-esque posture and stepped in front of the cameras.

In addition to his commanding presence, Iaccoca’s accelerated reshaping of a sick company reassured buyers and landed Chrysler a life-saving government loan.

And most fortunately, the boxy 1981 K-cars were exactly the fuel-efficient and front-wheel drive sedans buyers wanted. Quality was still an issue, but at least the cars were finally becoming broadly relevant.

Find a Plymouth Reliant near you with BestRide’s local search.

As was common with American car companies in the 1980s, the dollars for R&D dried up once profitability was reached, and Chrysler held on way too long to the prosaic K-car platform, which underpinned everything from Plymouth Sundances to Dodge Daytonas.

Find a Dodge Daytona near you with BestRide’s local search.

And Chrysler New Yorkers.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-1

This rolling brick of a New Yorker debuted two years after Ford’s jellybean Taurus, which saved Ford’s hide much as the K-car saved Chrysler’s. As the Taurus defined ’80s futurism, the New Yorker’s styling cues ladled onto that narrow K platform came from the past.

Find an ’80s Ford Taurus with BestRide’s local search.

There’s even a little bit of a fin built into the tail lights, which are about as thin as a bulb’s-width to give a visual impression of much real estate between them.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-3

That’s how it is when you’re rehashing a platform past its due date: you end up with a long series of compromises.

This New Yorker’s rigid boxiness extends to the interior, with its bluff-faced instrument panel.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-14

This one is loaded with electronic instruments and a “Traveler” trip computer.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-9

The leather wrap on this New Yorker’s steering wheel rim was gone, except for this remainder at the triangular spoke.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-10

Credit where credit is due: there’s a nice blending of the dash into the door panel, and the laid-down door handle is a unique touch.

However, a cardinal rule has been broken here: friends don’t let friends eat Funyuns.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-8

“Mark Cross” – such an official-sounding name.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-7

The worn driver’s seat and filthy seatbelt shows that this car was milked for its last mile.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-11

As it happens with cars that are dated when they debut, today this New Yorker Mark Cross fascinates.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-5

Iaccoca made the choice to pursue a limited market with a car for which the tooling and R&D had long been paid for, and that creative laxity nearly drove Chrysler back into the ground.

Another round of savior cars – the cab-forward LHs – debuted in 1992 to help the company regain its altitude, and the books that have been written about the aftermath have not been kind to Iaccoca’s legacy.

Find a Chrysler LHS with BestRide’s local search.

Still, who hasn’t wanted to go the safe route after a long storm? This New Yorker Mark Cross is a testament to that temptation.

chrysler_new_yorker_mark_cross_1-2

Find a Chrysler New Yorker with BestRide’s local search.

Share:

Leave a Reply

*