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Ode’ to the Chrysler K-Car.

Posted in Best of, Chrysler, Dodge, Domestic Rides, FAIL, FAIL / Funny, Funny, Rides, Videos by MrAngry | February 20th, 2011 | 10 Responses |

Chrysler K-Car

Back in the early 1980’s Chrysler came out with an intermediate sized sedan that would go down in history as one of the biggest piles of crap to ever have graced America’s roadways. For Chrysler the goal was to build an economical automobile that would combat the fuel crises of the late 1970’s, while at the same time offering consumers a package that was easy on the wallet. Released in 1981 the K-car was about as basic as you could get. It was front wheel drive and packed a pavement shredding 2.2-liter 4-banger that was good for 84 horsepower. That meant that aside from its looks, the performance of the little K-car was downright dismal. That didn’t keep them from selling though, in fact during their production run from 1981-1989, Chrysler sold over 2 million of these little buggers. Truth be told it also got some pretty killer mileage to the tune of an EPA rated 26 mpg city, 41 mpg hwy. That’s comparable to some of the best hybrids of today and this sucker had a carburetor on it!

Regardless of its mileage, sales figures and low-buck price, the K-car was still a piece of crap. It is part of American automotive history though and since it’s somewhat lovable in a goofy sort of way, I decided to compile a list of K-car videos from around the net for you guys to enjoy. Click through for the vids.

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10 Responses

  1. Leigh says:

    Thanks for the vids. Brings back memories of my 1981 K-Car. The only good thing about it was that it would never get stuck in the snow.

    Apparently I picked it out for my grandmother when I was five, and that became my first car at 16, and whenever I whined about how crappy it was, my dad reminded me that it was I who chose it in the first place. Cruel.

    Though I loathed driving that POS in high school when my classmates drove much nicer, newer vehicles, in retrospect, it was probably a good choice for a teen’s first car as it was horribly embarrassing, could be heard miles away, and could not exceed 50 mph. When it died, I was given the family Taurus that could hit 85. And then I was living large.

  2. Sherman says:

    Say what you will, but the K Car saved the Chrysler Corporation and the mini van brought profitability. My dad bought a plain jane white 1982 Dodge K car new when his ’72 Dodge Demon’s slant 6 engine finally gave out.. It had no air and a 4 on the floor. It wasn’t powerful, but I’ve driven other cars recently that were just as weak. And it got great gas mileage, which he needed with a 120 mile per day commute. It was reliable and easy to work on for maintenance. I wouldn’t go to the trouble of restoring one but it was a lot better than a Pinto!

  3. turbosrt says:

    Yea they were horrible but there also was the Omni GLH and pretty much any other Kcrap with the 2.2ltr turbo in it that made the car faster than the Mustang of its day. Alot like my Neon SRT4. Take a car that EVERYONE hates and make it quick as hell for cheap. 04 SRT4 – 13.7sec in the quarter, Mustang GT 14.1 and that was at 6 grand more for the GT. I believe Shelby designed the Omni GLH. We need another affordable pocket rocket im thinkin.

  4. Thanks for these videos.Over 3 million of these cars were produced and put on the roads in the 80s by Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler alike! Most of the pre85 K car sedans and wagons are now almost impossible to find.

  5. Glad you explained why we have a dodge aries. It has the standard 2.5L Chrysler I-4 with TBI (the OHC motor). 65,000 miles . It is quite good looking for an old car. The boxiness is distinguishing.

  6. Thanks for these videos.A true success story are given here.The performance of the Chrysler k caris is more than adequate compared with the other cars.

  7. The Chrysler K-car was designed to be a rugged, sturdy, utilitarian-style, and (most importantly) inexpensive car when the Chrysler Corporation came out with the Dodge Aries and the Plymouth Reliant in the early 1980’s. The quality of the car’s build was not perfect, but it was certainly better than the Dart or the Valiant.

  8. ken says:

    had a 1986 crysler leboron with the 2.5 car was great on gas and as logn as it was maintaned it kept on running last i heard the things got like 500,000 miles on it and only has ha dthe head replaced by me and timing belt change devery 65,000 miles it,s like any car if take care of thiem they will last love to have it back now with gas prices

  9. Scott says:

    I don’t own a K Car, never have, and have no interest in one other than an answer to “Why are there so damn many of them still on the road?”. Maybe they weren’t such pieces of crap. Look around, you see more of these things still running than almost any other ’80s vehicle, excluding Ford Pick Ups. Hmmmm?

  10. The chrysler cars have been categorized as compact for their external size and small front-wheel drive layout. Technically, the K cars include only the Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, second generation Chrysler LeBaron, and the Dodge 400, which used the K platform. The rest of the K-derivatives, including Chrysler’s minivans, were based on the K platform with adaptations and modifications to suit vehicles of different sizes and intended usage