Chrysler of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s built some of the most daring muscle cars known to US citizens of that time. It is no surprise, that the brand is renowned as one of the “big three American automakers”. While they had their muscle cars, the car manufacturer was also responsible for a line of luxury cars that rivalled European cars. If you are a classic car collector or hoping to become one, there are several cars that you should have in your home garage, and some of them should be Chrysler, among other big names.
Despite Chrysler’s early success decades ago, leading up to the 21st century, the manufacturer wasn’t very fuel efficient. This led to an eventual American-German partnership that was not very sustainable. It also meant that some of Chrysler’s worst cars would have hit the US market as the intention was to get the cars out as cheaply as possible. This substandard quality of cars in the 90’s still resonates in the minds of some Americans today. This article will inform of 10 Chrysler Cars Every Collector Should Buy and 10 Cars that every smart collector would avoid having. The listing is in no particular order. Here are the 10 Chrysler cars every collector should buy and 10 they should avoid.
20 Avoid: Chrysler 200
This car was created in partnership with Fiat. However, the car was named as the top car that most persons regretted buying according to Consumer Reports. It was truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing with its supposed luxurious design.
However, its build quality was cheap, and the ride uncomfortable and noisy.
Interestingly enough though, it had a nine-speed transmission, that would have confused most drivers. The 200 was not their best vehicle and is one you should definitely avoid when looking for cars that will become collector's items.
19 Avoid: 2007 Pacifica
Before, the American-German partnership was mentioned. The Pacifica was a product of the partnership Chrysler had with the German manufacturer Daimler. The SUV was supposed to rival BMWs line, but one of the main issues with the vehicle was its engine which was not powerful nor efficient. It also had a terrible all-wheel drive and was just the beginning of the future for more subpar Chrysler products. This was a precursor to some serious hard times for the domestic car market.
18 Avoid: Chrysler TC
The Chrysler TC was intended to help Chrysler improve their cars’ luxury. They partnered with Maserati, who at the time needed the cash and was a willing participant to create this well-intentioned flop.
It would have been a good car, had the car actually been designed with a higher-powered engine.
Needless to say, the sales were disappointing, and the car went down as one of the worst in Chrysler’s history. But few missed it, and a lot would be hoping to forget that the luxury convertible actually existed.
17 Avoid: Chrysler Sebring
This car looks expensive and luxurious on the outside, but the interior paints a completely different picture. Its interior was made of plastic, and the design did not improve with successive generations of the car. The engine was pretty decent and fuel efficient but the cars were slow and very unreliable. Reliability is something all owners will want in a car, even if the car is intended to be a collectible that wouldn’t regularly hit the asphalt. It's also known for being a car geared towards older people.
16 Avoid: Chrysler PT Cruiser
If you ever want to know how a car works before you commit to purchasing it, you should consider a test drive, or simply renting the vehicle. The Chrysler PT Cruiser was a sales success because it had a different look that revolutionized the car market. Eventually, the car was manufactured with thin metal, had cheap plastic interiors, and the car’s engine had little power. So while it may add a splash of color to your car collection, it is not something you should intentionally spend money on.
15 Avoid: Chrysler Crossfire
While some may argue that the Crossfire was one of the best-looking sports cars of its time, the car left much to be desired. While it had some decent power, some of its models were not offered with a manual transmission, but you could have purchased the car with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Some argued that the transmission spoiled the entire car.
Apart from a boring drive, the car lacked quality and had an inferior interior. Only four models of the car survived before it was retired.
14 Avoid: Chrysler Aspen
When you think of Aspen, you think of a nice place, that you and your family can go skiing together. The Chrysler sort of failed to give that impression with their first SUV or truck. It was a lot similar to the Durango (because it was based on it) but there were differences between the two vehicles especially in terms of issues. But Chrysler’s issues were becoming a bit common especially when it came to the quality of the cars and the plastic components. This car though was able to survive three years before Chrysler gave up the ghost.
13 Avoid: Plymouth Prowler/Chrysler Prowler
Without actually doing the research, few would know that the Plymouth Prowler was actually a Chrysler car. Its design is nothing short of dramatic and gives the anticipation of excitement. But, driving it was an altogether different story, and eventually, Chrysler had to replace the engine with one that was more powerful, but it still was not enough. When you got inside the Prowler, it looked like a puzzle of parts collected from previous Chrysler vehicles and pieced together. The car did give Chrysler an opportunity to experiment with aluminum.
12 Avoid: Eagle Premier
Chrysler acquired a lot of its competitors and in the 1980’s it acquired AMC which had acquired Jeep and aligned itself with Renault. Renault was changed to Eagle and it was Chrysler’s intention to give the car a European flair.
The car only had 150 horsepower, and some were built on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
The car wasn’t the best at being the most reliable, overheated, had transmission and electrical issues. The plus side though, was that the car was fuel efficient.
11 Avoid: Chrysler Laser
This car is actually an interesting car of the 80s that was probably ahead of its time. It was a muscle car that had front-wheel drive and a 4-cylinder2.2 liter engine. The car was also described as being futuristic because it had a lot of electronics that gave it a futuristic feel. Of course, in an age where electronic car gadgets were something new, this would have been a nightmare to repair, and car owners would have had to spend a lot to fix their cars. It’s not a car you should get, but if you want a piece of history and a headache, then maybe.
10 Should Buy: Chrysler 300 Wagon
Maybe this car is not too vintage looking, but it is a car that you should collect, simply because its radical and the station wagon has a lot of space for both passengers and cargo. The vehicle was a gamble that many buyers didn’t appreciate, so it didn’t have a long life on the market.
It did come with a variety of engine options.
If you can get your hands on one of these, you will want to get the SRT-8 version for its high-powered engine. This wagon definitely had enough power to be a fun ride.
9 Should Buy: 1967 Chrysler Newport
The 1967 Newport is probably one of the most unrated classics. The car is perfect for cruising and gives a ride as smooth as silk. Despite its age, the car has a power steering making it very easy to maneuver. The car is not a muscle car, but the classic still has the ability to turn heads. It’s great when taking your family out for a spin as it has a lot of room on the interior. If you love big cars, then this car is a must-have!
8 Should Buy: Chrysler Town And Country
This car was built in the 1946-48 era and was available for purchase in a sedan or convertible body. Acronym T&C for short, the cars feature a standout wood frame on its exterior. Unfortunately only a little more than eight thousand were built and the 1946 version was the only version that used real wood in its side panel design. They are known as post-war classics, and for that reason alone, demand for the cars is very high along with their asking prices, which will only continue to climb.
7 Should Buy: 1955 Chrysler C300 Hardtop
This car embodies the 50s era- one that was bold, big, powerful, but yet elegant. Its grill has been designed as a sculpture, or work of art and its interior was well talked about. One of the highlights of the vehicle was its detailed instrument panel. These post-war cars were known for being high performance and luxury vehicles.
Only a shade less than 2,000 of the cars were built.
Then, the car was more expensive than a muscle car, so not, it may be a bit more expensive with its limited supply and high demand.
6 Should Buy: 1930s Chrysler And De Soto Airflow
These cars are highly coveted and sort after now, but then in the 1930’s, it was a car that most turned their noses at. The body is one that is state of the art, and it has an excellent suspension design and overlooked convention. Aerodynamic principles were obviously utilized to build a sleeker automobile. It is a full-size sedan and is available as a 4-door sedan or a 2-door coupe. If you get your hands on this, you will be fortunate to own one of the first full-sized American manufactured vehicles.
5 Should Buy: 1957 Chrysler 300C
This model was restyled and featured a different grill that was wide. It was also available in a limited edition, and it had a convertible body as well. The car was outfitted with medallions and the buyer could choose to have the car equipped with air-condition for an additional $500. The car had a powerful 375 horse powered engine and very few were built, so getting your hands on it may be a bit difficult, if not impossible depending on where you’re from.
4 Should Buy: 1958 Chrysler 300 D
Only about 800 300D cars were produced, due to a recession and these cars were available in 2-door hardtop or 2-door convertibles.
The engine could be tuned up to 380 hp.
The car can safely be driven up to 250 km per hour without casualty. It was known for its slender fins and grille and is one of Chrysler’s rarest finds for a collectible and one of their classiest. If you have a need for speed, it is one you should consider.
3 Should Buy: 1959 Chrysler 300E
A little less than 700 of these were built, and this classic car is a bit unrated and often overlooked. The car then had plenty of power, and even now, it would give an excellent drive with its 380 hp and then new Golder Lion V8 engine by Chrysler. They also were equipped with powered swivel seats. Hagerty states, “The 1955 Chrysler 300 hardtop was the first real muscle car, with 300 horsepower from its 331-c.i. Hemi V-8, 0-90 mph in 16.9 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph. The company sold 1,725 of these homologation specials, and Chrysler dominated NASCAR.”
2 Should Buy: 1931 Chrysler Imperial
There are so many versions of the Imperial, but the 1931 two-door road star is something that you may want to consider. If you are getting one, you may want to consider getting the burgundy as pictured with its beige interior. It comes with a manual transmission and 100 were built in 1931. The car may be old, but it is a classic, that will cost you a mint, especially if you have intentions of getting your hands on one that is truly original.
1 Should Buy: 1960 Chrysler 300F
By now you would have realized that Chrysler came out with a new 300 car every year. The car had a reputation for being one of the “most drivable cars” of its era. This one had lower fins, a trapezoid grill and was a fun car to own at the time.
The 300 Series went up until the letter L.
But if you are going to get one, it may be best to get the one that was manufactured at the beginning of the 60s. This version also was available with 400 hp and 4-speed manual transmissions.
Sources: Popularmechanics.com, Hemmings.com, RMSothebys.com