When Chrysler turned out the lights on the Fifth Avenue in the 1990s, the automaker ceased production on the range-topping luxury models that had been part of its lineup for generations. With just 11,260 miles on its odometer, this Fifth Avenue was as rich as the automaker got in 1987.
Though it’s unquestionably dated compared to aerodynamic high-end cars, the Fifth Avenue was one of Chrysler’s last efforts at traditional luxury. Chrysler stopped building the Fifth Avenue after 1989, at which time it exited the full-size rear-wheel-drive car market for more than 15 years.
This range-topping version of the M-Body platform that also underpinned the Dodge Diplomat, commonly used as a police car, features an exterior decked-out in chrome, from the big front bumpers and tall grille to the smaller details, such as the fins along its front fenders and the chunky door handles. The vinyl “landau” roof is a throwback to coach-built cars still available when the New Yorker name, which eventually spawned the Fifth Avenue, first arrived as a trim package in 1940.
Inside, the big cushy seats are couches for the road, and they’re covered in leather (or leather-ish) that appears to have withstood the test of time. Chrysler was somewhat more restrained than its rivals with its use of fake wood on the dash and door panels, though the automaker definitely spent some time harvesting the plastic forest. The silver trim all over the instrument panel was a reaction to a brief trend in the mid-1980s, one that was ironically revived about a decade and a half later with the first round of flatscreen TVs to hit the market and then immediately forgotten. Hop in a 2004 Nissan Altima, for instance, and you’ll see the same shade of silver paint all over its interior trim.
Underhood, you’ll find the 318 cu-in V8 that served as the automaker’s high-output mainstay from the muscle car era through the smog-strangled malaise era and even formed the basis for the Viper‘s ferocious V10. Here, of course, the V8 was rated at a paltry 140 horsepower, which paired with the 3-speed automatic to deliver 0-to-60-mph waltzes in the 11-second range.