Wheels in the grass
by Jim Corbran - posted 8:51 pm, August 5, 2009
This somewhat rare 1980 Chrysler LeBaron two-door was spotted in a front yard on one of the numbered streets of Olean’s west end. It looks pretty good for its age, doesn’t it? The license plate frame reveals it was purchased at Marra Bros. Chrysler in Olean, one of the stores which closed in Chrysler’s recent dealer cutback. Back in the old days, when even I was young, the nameplate “LeBaron” on a car meant its owner had arrived. In the late 1970s and on into the ’80s, the LeBaron’s owner may have gotten to where he was going, but it had nothing to do with having arrived. The new LeBaron, a name once reserved for the top-of-the-line Chrysler Imperial, was now Chrysler’s entry into the mid-size sedan market. In four-door form these Chrysler LeBarons, from 1977-81, were a mainstay of police departments all over the U.S., albeit mostly in the very similar Dodge Diplomat guise. By 1982 the LeBaron had morphed into the somewhat gaudy Fifth Avenue.