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The Chrysler Phantom Was the Phantom Before the Rolls-Royce Phantom

In the automotive world, the word "Phantom" conjures images of one vehicle and one vehicle alone: the Rolls-Royce Phantom, a gargantuan behemoth of an automobile with approximately the same size and shape as an elementary school.

But did you know there was a Chrysler Phantom, and it’s kind of cool? See the Chrysler LeBaron models for sale near you

While the vehicle above might look to you like a Chrysler LeBaron, there’s something about it you probably didn’t realize: The LeBaron was sold in Mexico as the Chrysler Phantom. I can’t possibly fathom why this occurred, except that maybe focus-group testing for the Mexican market showed that our friends to the south preferred the idea of a car with a ghostly name to the idea of one named after fake French aristocracy, even though it’s built in St. Louis.

And so, while you may associate the Phantom name with Rolls-Royce, it was also used on a Chrysler.

Here’s the other cool thing about the Chrysler Phantom: Although we primarily got the LeBaron with boring engines, the Mexican Chrysler Phantom had a high-performance version in the early 1990s. It used the same engine from the Dodge Spirit R/T, which meant that it had 224 horsepower and a 5-speed manual transmission. In a LeBaron! What a world that must’ve been, in 1990s Mexico… cruising with the top down, in your Phantom, rowing through the gears, doing 0 to 60 in 5-point-something seconds. Rapido!!!! See the Chrysler LeBaron models for sale near you

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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4 COMMENTS

  1. To quote the greatest band in the universe, Cake:


    She wants a car with a cupholder armrest
    She wants a car that will get her there
    She’s changing her name from Kitty to Karen
    She’s trading her MG for a white Chrysler La Baron

    I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnnggggggggg jacket

  2. My step-father had a Lebaron turbo with a 5-speed.  He refused to buy the car with an automatic, so the dealer in Cleveland had to do a dealer swap with a dealership in California to get it. Apparently there were only a handful of Lebaron’s made with manual transmissions.  It torque-steered like a mother but was pretty quick.

  3. The Chrysler TC is still my favorite K-Car. To me it’s absolutely insane as it started as collaboration between Chrysler and Maserati owner De Tomaso who then passed off the design to Innocenti. It came with an IHI turbo’d Mitsubishi 3.0L engine that was used in the Mitsubishi 3000GT, however the pistons were made in Germany. It came with a Cosworth head made in England and Maserati camshafts that were made in Florida. If you opted to get it in a manual you got a Getrag 5 spd transmission made in Germany. The suspension was made by Fichtel and Sachs (also German) which specializes in motorcycles and made one of the coolest bikes of all time, a rotary engine motorcycle called the Hercules. Even the wheels were made by Fondmetal an Italian company that supplied Formula 1 at the time. 

    It is so hard to believe that with all the companies involved and the amount of engineering, time and money that would have went into this someone said “I got it! We are going to put this in a LeBarron!” 
    Never in the history of man has there been such a great collaboration from so many different countries that led to something so useless. When it comes time for the UN to redesign their flag I suspect sitting in the middle of it will be a Chrysler TC. 
  4. My first car was a white 91 Lebaron convertible.  I might have appreciated it more had it had this blue paint.  I definitely would have totaled it in a more impressive way had it had that engine and a stick shift.  As it was I just totaled mine by pulling out in front of someone.  

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