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I got a question for many of you what was Lee Iacocca thinking. When he decided that he was going to make the Chrysler New Yorker into a front-wheel drive 2.2 L four-cylinder power luxury car. To me it was the biggest blunder ever to the consumer base who had been buying Chrysler New Yorkers for many of years which were accustomed to full-size rear-wheel drive luxury V8 powered cars. It was a half-hearted attempt at trying to make a luxury car base lucratively off of the K cars platform. There's nothing that will beat a 383 Magnum or a 440 Magnum V8 and rear wheel drive.
 

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I got a question for many of you what was Lee Iacocca thinking. When he decided that he was going to make the Chrysler New Yorker into a front-wheel drive 2.2 L four-cylinder power luxury car. To me it was the biggest blunder ever to the consumer base who had been buying Chrysler New Yorkers for many of years which were accustomed to full-size rear-wheel drive luxury V8 powered cars. It was a half-hearted attempt at trying to make a luxury car base lucratively off of the K cars platform. There's nothing that will beat a 383 Magnum or a 440 Magnum V8 and rear wheel drive.
Emissions.......................mileage................gas prices
 

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I got a question for many of you what was Lee Iacocca thinking. When he decided that he was going to make the Chrysler New Yorker into a front-wheel drive 2.2 L four-cylinder power luxury car. To me it was the biggest blunder ever to the consumer base who had been buying Chrysler New Yorkers for many of years which were accustomed to full-size rear-wheel drive luxury V8 powered cars. It was a half-hearted attempt at trying to make a luxury car base lucratively off of the K cars platform. There's nothing that will beat a 383 Magnum or a 440 Magnum V8 and rear wheel drive.
They made big New Yorkers from the lowly plymouth fury.
 

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I guess he was thinking that Mercury Grand Marquis wasn’t getting enough buyers without getting several disenchanted New Yorker buyers.
 
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There was no rear drive platform in the Chrysler portfolio at the time, and no funds available to create one. Other funding priorities were on the horizon such as LH, JA, and PL sedans as well as the all-new (Dodge) Ram pickup. Most passenger vehicles at the time were being built on FWD architectures as they were deemed to be more fuel and space efficient. Also many of the assembly plants were being gutted, rebuilt and outfitted with new robotic technology as new products were introduced to them, having been shockingly neglected during the previous leaderships. I agree that the FWD New Yorker and especially the FWD Imperial were exceedingly homely, with front overhangs that could clear snow, but they sold in adequate numbers to aging Chrysler loyalists. Plus they were no way near the disaster and PR nightmare that was the TC by Maserati, or the much anticipated and promoted A604 'state of the art' four speed transaxle, which was rushed into production and prone to self-destruct before it's first birthday.
 

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There was no rear drive platform in the Chrysler portfolio at the time, and no funds available to create one. Other funding priorities were on the horizon such as LH, JA, and PL sedans as well as the all-new (Dodge) Ram pickup. Most passenger vehicles at the time were being built on FWD architectures as they were deemed to be more fuel and space efficient. Also many of the assembly plants were being gutted, rebuilt and outfitted with new robotic technology as new products were introduced to them, having been shockingly neglected during the previous leaderships. I agree that the FWD New Yorker and especially the FWD Imperial were exceedingly homely, with front overhangs that could clear snow, but they sold in adequate numbers to aging Chrysler loyalists. Plus they were no way near the disaster and PR nightmare that was the TC by Maserati, or the much anticipated and promoted A604 'state of the art' four speed transaxle, which was rushed into production and prone to self-destruct before it's first birthday.
There was a RWD platform at the time, and it carried the New Yorker name for only two years.
In 1978, the New Yorker was a big C body.
For 1979-1981 the New Yorker name went to the R body (which was dimensionally similar to the older B body).
For 1982 the New Yorker name went to the M body (which came from the F body).
1983 is when things went wrong as there were two New Yorkers, the RWD M body which was now only the New Yorker Fifth Avenue while the plain New Yorker name went to the FWD based cars.
1984 saw the M body drop the New Yorker name and became just the Fifth Avenue and remained in production through the 1989 model year.
1984 onward the New Yorker was a FWD only offering, then was reunited with the Fifth Avenue name in 1990, the the New Yorker name was dropped after a few years on the LH platform.

I'm sure the decision to put the New Yorker name on FWD cars happened because they were sure the RWD cars were planned to end in the early 1980s. However, things changed and big V8 cars came back in style so the oddly name Fifth Avenue soldiered on. Looking back, the New Yorker name probably should have stayed with the RWD car until it ended in 1989.
 

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Also keep in mind that in the '80s we had already had 2 oil price shocks and that was still big in people's minds, the lines in '73-74 (you could not get gas easily for FOUR months) and again in '79 when the Shah of Iran was deposed. Prices rose from approx .45/gallon in '72 to .85 in '74, then from there to approx $1.50 in '79. People were very skittish about the possibility that oil supplies might get disrupted again, so that logic was really not flawed, what was flawed was the more or less constant quality gremlins that were common on all US built cars at the time, while the Japanese makes were gradually improving every year. The basics of the K car design were not bad as it is always the devil was in the details.
 

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Luxury K's were built to comply with up coming CA regs.

The regs banned larger Engines while promoting 4 cyls .

Chrysler was able to comply with a their 4 cyl Engines.

Other manufactures argued they could not yet comply.

The regs. weren't instituted giving others advantages.

Lee Iaccoca wrote of this in one of his books that I have read.

The 4 cyl New Yorkers were reasonably successful/reliable.

Would have been more successful in CA if the regs were kept.

Many, many, more would have been sold in CA.

Thanks
Randy
 

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The early K-NYer turbos were nice cars. Still had the vinyl crown roof, brightwork, advanced electronics, wire wheel covers and whitewalls.
It was a transitional car from the big car luxury to small car luxury.
Lido had his traditional, conservative big car tastes, but also wanted to move to an all-FWD car company as he had envisioned.
I also liked the Chrysler E-class, Dodge 600 and Plymouth Caravelle FWD stretch-K on which the T-body NYer was based. They were roomy, affordable sedans to me.
Just to show how adaptable the K was, it became a convertible (LeBaron), executive sedan, limousine, parade car (below), sports coupes (Laser/Daytona) and the minivan. It brought the company back from the brink. The K moved Chrysler into the 1990's.

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Maybe this doesn't fit what has already been discussed in this thread, but I think it certainly fits the thread title:

"When ideas go bad"

And that would be changing the forum format and website ;)
 

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judging by how many they sold I say it was the right thing to do at the right time. The engineering was paid for on the Aries and Reliant... These were actually good solid cars that fit the bill.,
 

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During the “bailout” the government often sticks it’s nose in product development, read spending. Another reason Lido paid them back so soon. Chrysler was not allowed to spend dough on a new large car. Hence all the K car and Volare car derivatives.
The government did the same thing again in the more recent bankruptcies. We had a huge project ready to start 2010 in a GM light truck plant that got cancelled by Washington. GM was told they could only spend money on fuel efficient cars and plants. So millions were dumped in plants like Lordstown building vehicles they lose money on. Not plants building high profit P.U. and Escalades. It cost me my job back then. One of five between 2009 and 2014. Further comment would probably trip the moderator’s switch.;)
 
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judging by how many they sold I say it was the right thing to do at the right time. The engineering was paid for on the Aries and Reliant... These were actually good solid cars that fit the bill.,
Definitely the right call at the time. Look at what other manufacturers had at the time. Chrysler had the best of that lot.
 
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