How a luxury car competing directly with Cadillac and Lincoln met its demise in the form of an elongated “K” car…. Chrysler sold a strange brew of models in the late 1980s, almost all based on the front-wheel-drive “K” car architecture. The exception was the “M”-bodied Fifth Avenue, itself nothing but a Plymouth Volare in a tailored suit. Yet in 1988, Dodge introduced the Dynasty, based roughly on the “K” car but with a grander mission. This was the first of the AC/Y-bodied cars that would eventually take over when the “M” cars were discontinued in 1989. And it wasn’t a moment too soon, because these rear-wheel-drive models had been in production since 1976! Stretching the basic FWD platform for all its worth, Chrysler was able to introduce four separate models within the AC/Y family: the New Yorker Salon (a Dynasty with a Chrysler name), the New Yorker Landau, the longer New Yorker Fifth Avenue, and the Imperial. Should they have built the Imperial–a name with a long and significant history–into what was essentially a “K” car? Read more about the history of the Chrysler Imperial, and how this nameplate suffered the indignity of becoming a “K” car at Automotive Traveler. All Images Courtesy of the Imperial Club.
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