I have a 1978 Chrysler Newport myself. I live in Coquitlam, B.C.
I bought the car from a friend of a pastor who lived on Thetis Island. It only had 38K on it, and sat for 17 years.
I was looking for a "family" car and came home with this $700 gem. I wish I had a picture of my wife's face when I pulled in the driveway with this bad boy. She didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.
After I got it running smooth I totally fell in love with the car. What I love about it the most is it is so versatile. I can pack my 5 kids in it, and the trunk is big enough to put just about anything.
The gas mileage sucks big time, but I honestly don't care, it is totally worth it. I love this car so much I am now pulling the motor and having my friend in Langley do up my 400 cubic inch motor withe the Edlebrock performer package.
Once that is done I am getting painted the new bronze/brown color you see on the new cars nowadays. After that I am going to tint the widows slightly, put in a DVD console for the kids and a killer stereo system.
With all those goodies and the low K's this car is going to be absolutely killer, and I know anyone who would be honored enough to drive it would be tempted to get their check book out (if they had enough money)
If you live in the lower mainland B.C. watch out for the bronze Newport turning heads everywhere.
These cars rule, and I believe everyone should have one. I love it so much and believe everyone else will who drives it, I am thinking about getting into the business of doing them up, putting them on propane and selling to the high rollers who love to roll in style.
Take care everyone.
What do you mean by putting the car on propane? Can you explain what that involves? I have never heard of that. Thank you.
To the previous comment, it's not uncommon for fleet vehicles like taxicabs to be converted to propane from gasoline. If you've ever ridden in a Dodge Diplomat taxi, chances are that it had been converted to run on propane. It involves adding an LP tank and running the engine off that instead of gasoline. I think it also means adding some more piping with valves and meters, and doing away with the carburetor. The disadvantages are that the propane doesn't have the power of gasoline, and they can be really doggy when it's cold. Maybe somebody else knows the details?
Update from Coquitlam,
It is Feb 2nd 2007 and "Big Rex" is almost out of the paint shop.
From there it is going to a place called Creationz in Langley to get a custom interior.
Everyone working on the project loves Rex. He is definately going to be the coolest car in B.C.
I am going to do a website on the car soon. I have been filming and doing photos all the way through.
Talk to y'all soon,
I bought a 1978 Newport in Buffalo in 1987 with just 20k miles on it. The carpeting was like new. I moved to New Zealand in 1988, and I've missed that car ever since. Always a Chrysler fan, I believe that that car was Chrysler's best... and last good car of that millennium.
For all the praises already mentioned and more, it was the one car I wish I never lost.
The only problem I ever had with it was the lean-burn, which never worked, and shortly after purchase, I had it ripped out and conventional ignition installed.
The technology was too green.
After that, it would drag that three tons of cast iron up to 80 mph faster than all but the most expensive sports cars, and it wouldn't even flinch.
Despite the speed-o and gas gauge being inversely proportional (I used to say "listen to it flush" when I floored it) I'd rather drive that lead-sled for hours over any other form of relaxation!
I sooo miss it!
I live in England and recently bought a red 1978 Chrysler Newport with a vinyl roof and a beautiful interior. I am into classic cars and love American cars.
Although it does not have all the electronic gizmo's of my previous LTD Crown Victoria, it is one of the most beautiful cars I have ever owned.
I have two minor problems that I hope you can help me with; the roof lining sags in places, is this easy to fix, and how do I remove the aerial to put a cover over the car, it is in one piece and does not seem to push down into the wing.
Usually on the Dodges, the aerial unscrews from the base. Maybe you noticed a couple of flat spots at the base of the aerial? That is to accommodate a crescent wrench to unscrew it.
As for the headliner, that is a bugbear for a lot of people. The glue backing lets loose and the material sags down from the headliner. I don't know of another fix but to get spray glue and spray it up in there and reseat the cloth. In order to get the headliner out, you'll have to unscrew the stripping around the door jams, take out the coathangers, and there may be metal bows to remove.
I was lucky enough to but a 1978 Newport in 1986, which only had 20k miles. To this day, it is still my favorite car (and I've had quite a few!).
The only problem I ever had was the lean burn system, which never worked. I simply converted it to the old points and rotor, and it ran like a dream ever after (and got 'better' gas mileage, though still not much more than 10mpg).
Being a Newport Custom, it had the previous year's New Yorker chrome grill. While the interior was 'basic', it was the most comfortable and luxurious vehicle I have ever been in before or since.
And, that one-piece radio antenna was an anti-vandalism feature that Chrysler came up with: Solid and made of spring steel, it could be bent almost 90 degrees and spring back undamaged. It was so solidly bolted to the body that it couldn't be swiped (unless you had a crescent wrench and lots of time!)
And it had cut-outs in the rear deck for not two, but FOUR 6x9 oval speakers, and had the best acoustics of any car I've driven.
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