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Dippy cousin:
Chrysler Cordoba

 

The second-generation Chrysler Cordoba debuted in 1980; it borrowed freely from the two-door M-bodies. With a Landau roof, they gave the general appearance of a convertible. The Cordobas were designed as “personal luxury” vehicles, relatively small but smooth-riding and well-insulated, with big engines (even in later years they still had 360 V8s, big for the time).

 

The original Chrysler Cordoba first appeared in 1975, a twin of the formalized Dodge Charger SE. The smallest engine, a cash-back option, was the 318 V-8 coupled with a TorqueFlite automatic; but the standard engine was the 400 cid V-8 (with two or four barrel carburetors) until 1978. Like the Charger SE, the Cordoba could also be ordered with a four-barrel 360.

The Cordoba was originally a B-body, one step in size above the Valiant A-body, but smaller than other Chryslers, which were C and D bodied. In 1980, the Cordoba joined the LeBaron and Dodge Mirada on a shorter wheelbase; the “new” chassis, dubbed J-body, was remarkably similar to the M-body Diplomat, which in turn was largely a reiteration of the F-body Volare-Aspen. No longer was a V8 standard, though the slant six was hardly a luxury engine, especially on a car of this weight.

The appearance moved from the rounded look of the first models to a more contemporary, square look, complete with front fins. Sales plummeted even further, to below 50,000 unit, making the car (and Chrysler as a brand) a niche player. From 1981 onwards, sales would not even top 20,000 units, less than an eighth of their peak in 1976. Still, Cordoba managed to outsell the Dodge Mirada and Chrysler Imperial.

The 1982 models brought minor changes including halogen headlamps, better rustproofing, and clearcoat paint; sales fell even further, and 1983 would be the Cordoba’s last year. The front wheel drive cars were far more popular, and Cordoba’s four-door stablemates would remain to represent the rear wheel drive contingent until 1989, selling mainly to fleets.

Also visit the Chrysler Cordoba page at Allpar.

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