5th Jun 2011, 00:04

I have been reminiscing about my 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom, and decided to pull it up on the Internet. This was the best car I ever owned. I had it for 27 years and then sold it, and regretted it ever since. When I sold it, the odometer was on its 5th cycle - 497,000 miles. Other than routine maintenance (oil, lubes, exhaust, brakes and shocks), I never had to replace anything. No timing chain, no radiator, no engine parts, no transmission/rear end parts.

The week before I sold it, I was out on the open road, at 70mph, and "booted" it. It jumped down a gear and just took off ~ buried the needle at 120mph. I held that for about 10 miles, then came up to regular traffic. This baby just settled down, and I almost felt she was thanking me for letting her have a good run.

The fellow that bought her upgraded to electronic ignition, fuel injection. etc. Five years later, I still saw him driving it. Then he retired and moved away. My girl moved with him.

Best car I ever owned. It never let me down. It never was towed. No wonder Chrysler almost went under, if this car was an example. I miss that car, and I see a fair number (1966-1968) still on the road - not a lot, but a recognizable number. Did I say I miss that car?

Ed.

27th Oct 2014, 20:59

I have news for you! The gas mileage is even better than 14 MPG. I own a 1968 Newport with a 383 V8 with a 2 barrel carburetor. That's equal to 6.3 liters by today's standard of engine displacement measurement. It has about 300 horse power. It has 60,000 miles on it. When properly tuned, it easily gets 18 MPG highway and more, provided there are no passengers except the driver, and the car is empty.

I have a 98 Dodge RAM 1500 Laramie pickup truck (with the full back seat) and a 5.2 liter V8 with automatic shift with overdrive (like having a 4th gear) that gets from 10 MPG (when loaded) to 14 MPG highway (when empty) tops! Don't get me wrong here! I love my truck. It drives very well, and I enjoy it a lot. It's very comfortable and has great features that I enjoy. It seats 5 (six in a pinch). I can do a lot of stuff with it, but IT'S A BIG GAS HOG! The Newport seats 6 EXTREMELY comfortably. It rides and handles like a dream! I have driven that car 500 miles at a time on trips, without fuel stops and still had more than half a tank (29 gallon tank) of regular gas leftover. It does better on premium gas though. I get an extra 4 to 6 MPG or more (on average) with the Chrysler Newport than I do with the truck, and yet the Newport weighs more than the truck!

Take this seriously, I've owned this car since 1994, and it has NEVER let me down. It's also cheap to maintain. I've replaced the entire exhaust (not counting the crossover pipe) for under 500 bucks. The truck cost me more than twice that much for the same job on a smaller engine and the same length vehicle!

Spraying the car clean UNDERNEATH as well as on top when washing it helps. And keeping the undercoating in good shape too. Also, touching up those paint scratches and chips. Especially the rocker panels and the wheel wells. It adds years (even decades) to the vehicle's life. You might even double or triple the expected life of your vehicle by doing a few of these things when you washed and wax it, and other such things every fall and spring.

You will have to work a little harder at it though on today's vehicles, because they just don't have as good a chance of lasting as long as a well maintained 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or older vehicle did. The problem is that the materials they use today just don't have the staying power that the stronger old stuff does. The metal in my truck (both frame and body) is good quality stuff, but there just isn't as much of it! It's much thinner than what was once used. The metal in the Newport (and many of the other vehicles made by other manufacturers of that day) is much stronger and much more durable. Chrysler (and all the other builders of today's vehicles) should have used that kind of metal in their current line of trucks. A few do in their frames, but the bodies are way too thin. Press your thumb into the fender of a new vehicle today, and you could leave a dent in it! You couldn't do that in the old days!

Chrysler has made a mistake by no longer using the plastic shields it once used on its trucks' wheel wells. The extra protection really made a big difference! The new trucks rust out twice as fast because of that lack of extra protection. The one HUGE problem with the idea of using heavier, stronger metals (and shields in the wheel wells) like what was once used, is that the cost of a new car or truck would rise significantly, because of the use of better, more expensive materials! The car & truck builders would also have to come up with different ways of creating better fuel economy, to offset the added weight of the stronger metals etc. The new trucks and cars of today last 10, 15, (and with extra T.L.C.) 20 years. They could last 40 to 50 years or more with that same extra T.L.C., AND better materials, just like my 1968 Newport has, and it's still going strong!

Let me ask you this question. Wouldn't you be willing to pay more, even significantly more for a new vehicle, if you could be sure that you would have a much better, more long lasting and reliable vehicle? One that you wouldn't have to trade in nearly half as often as you do now? That in itself would mean a lot more money saved by not needing as many repairs done, or paying more out on bank loans on vehicles that SHOULD have lasted longer that they do now!