Chrysler Fifth Avenue

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Chrysler Fifth Avenue
First generation Chrysler Fifth Avenue
ManufacturerChrysler Corporation
PredecessorChrysler LeBaron (M-body version)
SuccessorChrysler Concorde
Body style(s)4-door sedan
ManualsService Manual

Fifth Avenue was a name used by Chrysler Corporation on its largest models from 1979 to 1993.


The title "Fifth Avenue" refers to a street in New York City, New York in the US. Fifth Avenue contains many upscale shops and cultural attractions.The name first appeared as a special, upmarket sub-model of the R-Body Chrysler New Yorker sedan in 1979. This generation of Chrysler, although already smaller than its maximum size in the mid 1970s, was still V8-powered and rear wheel drive. Ordering the New Yorker Fifth Avenue Edition package got the buyer a car finished in two-tone beige with matching leather interior. There was a standard landau vinyl roof, and somewhat unusual opera windows which opened with the rear doors. The package was so thoroughly color-keyed that even the bumper rub strips were beige. This body ran for three years, although additional Fifth Avenue colors were added for 1980 and 1981. The R-Body New Yorkers and Fifth Avenue's are now considered to be one of the most attractive of all Chryslers, and have been garnering collector interest. Over all production of the R-Body cars was low (less than 40,000: 79-81) and the Fifth Avenue production was at most 25% of them. Sadly very few exist today, in any condition. In 1980, a Fifth Avenue package was created by ASC (American Sunroof Corporation) for the Chrysler LeBaron, which shared its Chrysler M platform with the Dodge Diplomat. This rare option package, produced on 654 LeBarons for the year, included many of the exterior features found on the New Yorker Fifth Avenue in a smaller, more sensible package.

1983 to 1989:The M-body years

First generation
1983 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue
AssemblyBelvidere, Illinois
St. Louis, Missouri (M-body platform)
Kenosha, Wisconsin (1987-89)
LayoutFR layout
PlatformChrysler M platform
Engine(s)5.2 L LA V8
Transmission(s)3-speed A727 automatic
3-speed A904 automatic
Wheelbase112.7 in (2863 mm)
Length206.7 in (5250 mm)
Width72.4 in (1839 mm)
Height55.1 in (1400 mm)
RelatedDodge Diplomat
Plymouth Gran Fury

With the R-body out of production and the LeBaron name transferred to the Chrysler K platform, the New Yorker was downsized again for 1982, becoming a mid-size model. The Fifth Avenue option was still available as a $1,244. option package. It was adapted from the earlier LeBaron's package, with a distinctive vinyl roof, electro-luminescent opera lamps, and a rear fascia adapted from the Dodge Diplomat, albeit modified. Interiors featured button-tufted, pillowy seats covered in either "Kimberley velvet" or "Corinthian leather", choices that would continue unchanged throughout the car's run, the carpets were thicker, and the interior had more chrome trim. The Fifth Avenue option also included illuminated entry, AM/FM stereo with a rear amplifier, power door locks, power 6-way driver's seat, power antenna, remote trunk release, dual side mirrors, full undercoating, passenger vanity mirror, tape stripes, locking wire wheel covers, as well as a standard V-8 engine (318). 1982 would be the first year M-body coupes and wagon would no longer be made, and would be the last year for the optional AM/FM 8-track stereo, and AM/FM stereo with integrated CB. The exterior of a Fifth Avenue Edition New Yorker can be indentified from a regular New Yorker by the following: opera lights, hood stripes, and Fifth Avenue Edition badges on roof.

For 1983, the New Yorker and the Fifth Avenue diverged. The New Yorker was downsized yet again, and became a front-wheel drive car equipped with a four-cylinder engine. The previous car was now called New Yorker Fifth Avenue, this would be the last year M-bodies were made in Canada and the last year for the optional "Chronometer" glovebox mounted clock, 1983 was also the last year the 225 Slant-six engine was offered, as well as all analog tuned radios and chrome trim pedals.

For 1984 it was simply called Fifth Avenue. The rear-wheel drive Fifth Avenue would continue for six successful years and would prove to be the last V8-powered, rear wheel drive Chrysler until the Chrysler 300 was revived in that configuration for 2005. All Fifth Avenues from 1984 to 1989 were powered by a 5.2 L (318 in³) V8 engine mated to Chrysler's well-known Torqueflite automatic transmission. The 1988 model with a 5.2 produced 140hp and 265tq.

Although it takes a trained eye to catch changes in the M-body Fifth Avenue, there were a few during its six-year run:

  • 1984 - New Yorker badge replaced by Fifth Avenue badge on trunklid; "Fifth Avenue Edition" badge continues on the rear doors, a new steering wheel was added. The regular Pentastar was replaced a crystal one and was now used on the hood ordiment and steering wheel this would continue through the end. Wiper arms were now black (instead of silver) Engine blocks were also now painted black (previous ones were painted light blue) Optional 10 spoke alloy "Road Wheels" were replaced with new optional "Snowflake" alloy wheels.
  • 1985 - New black gearshift knob introduced (1982 to 1984 models have chromed knobs). Turn signal lever is now also black (1984 and below models were interior color keyed) with the exception of models with two-tone paint
  • 1986 - New-style ignition key and center high-mounted stop lamp (the latter a federal mandate) introduced. Models with two-two paint had lower roof lines. Hood badge/decal changed from chrome Chrysler star to clear plastic Chrysler Star.
  • 1987 - New steering wheel, last year alloy wheels, two-tone paint, and rear stereo amplifier were offered. Also the last year for 17-ounce deep-pile carpeting and the last year the radio, headlight switch and climate controls where silver.
  • 1988 - Vinyl roof restyled; lower edge of sail panel covering extended below chrome window sill moldings. "Fifth Avenue Edition" badge replaced by a crystal Pentastar surrounded by a gold wreath. Driver's side seat now had a manual recliner (previous models had 6-way power adjusters, but no recliner). Front headrests were more cushioned. Door panels are restyled and new power mirrors are standard. Overhead console became available. Driver's side airbag became optional in May of that year
  • 1989 - Driver's side airbag is standard. At the time the Fifth Avenue (as well as its M body twins) was one of the only cars that offered an airbag with a tilt steering wheel.

Production Figures/Base Prices

Production figures for Fifth Avenue were as follows:

1983 - 83,501 1984 - 79,441 1985 - 109,971 1986 - 104,744 1987 - 70,579 1988 - 43,486 1989 - 26,883

Base prices were as follows-(all in US$):

1983 - $12,487 1984 - $13,990 1985 - $13,978 1986 - $14,910 1987 - $15,422 1988 - $17,243 1989 - $18,345

1990 to 1993: The Final Fifth Avenues

Second generation
1992-93 Chrysler New Yorker
AssemblyBelvidere, Illinois
LayoutFF layout
PlatformChrysler Y platform
Engine(s)3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission(s)4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase109.6 in (2784 mm)
Length198.6 in (5044 mm) (1990-91)
201.3 in (5113 mm) (1992-93)
Width68.9 in (1750 mm)
Height55.1 in (1400 mm)
RelatedChrysler Imperial
Chrysler New Yorker

1990 saw the previous relation between New Yorker and Fifth Avenue return, as the Fifth Avenue became a model of the New Yorker. The new Fifth Avenue was also classified as a full-size model this time; despite being smaller than the first generation. There was some substantive difference, however, as the New Yorker Fifth Avenue used a slightly longer chassis than the standard car.

The Fifth Avenue's famous seats, long noted for their button-tufted appearance and sofa-like comfort, continued to be offered with the customer's choice of velvet or leather, with the former "Corinthian leather" replaced by that of the Mark Cross company. Leather-equipped cars bore the Mark Cross logo on the seats and, externally, on an emblem attached to the brushed aluminum band ahead of the rear door opera windows.

In this form, it resembled the newly-revived Chrysler Imperial, although some much-needed distinction was provided between the cars when the Fifth Avenue (along with its New Yorker Salon linemate) received restyled, rounded-off front and rear ends for the 1992 model year, while the Imperial continued in its original crisply-lined form.

The Fifth Avenue name was discontinued at the end of the 1993 model year when the New Yorker was replaced, first by the Chrysler Concorde and then the redesigned, longer, and more aerodynamic 1994 New Yorker.

Base prices

All prices listed are in US$.

1990 - $21,020 1991 - $20,875 1992 - $21,874 1993 - $22,048

External links