Well I’m embarking on a new quest to see how cheaply I can buy and maintain a car. The car in question is a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron sedan. Its not a thing of beauty with missing hubcaps, peeling paint with some rust and dents but it cost a low $160. Runs, drives and all the safety related items are working. Idles a little rough when cold but I think that can be remedied reasonably cheaply. I may also have to splurge on some junkyard hubcaps in order the keep the ugliness threshold that is acceptable to the wife but all in all doesn’t need much. A further $70 flew out the window for a license plate but it was needed since I want to the keep the challenge legal as well as my butt out of the courtroom.
As for the car its self – well it features one year only LeBaron styling for 1986. The vinyl roof, digital dash and certainly firsts for me. The velor seats certainly add to the whole Eighties-ness of the car. Or maybe its more a Seventies car displaced into the Eighties. No matter I’m going to call it retro charm even though I’ve yet to find someone that agrees with me on that.
The engine is a 2.2L four cylinder in the Chrysler LeBaron. Its a SOHC design and has an aluminum head and iron block design Interestingly both the intake and exhaust manifolds are on the rear of the engine. Its got a bore of 87.5 mm (3.44 in) and 92 mm (3.62 in) stroke giving 96 horsepower. The transmission is sadly a three speed automatic. I would have liked a manual but cheap arse bastards can’t be too picky.
So costs so far:
Car Purchase: $160
License Plate: $70
So as I tell my wife – about the same as she paid for her iPod Touch. Plus the LeBaron plays music as well – AM, FM and tapes – if I owned any tapes. I think I tossed the last one away over five years ago.