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This Is the Nicest Chrysler TC by Maserati For Sale on Autotrader

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2017

Dearest Oversteerists, you're currently looking at the single nicest Chrysler TC by Maserati on Autotrader. That's an impressive statement, actually, because there a dozen -- yes, a DOZEN! -- currently listed. But if you're the discerning Chrysler TC by Maserati collector, this is the one you'll want.

Before I get into this particular Chrysler TC by Maserati, let's discuss exactly what the TC was. Back in the 1980s, Chrysler chief executive Lee Iacocca and Maserati brand owner Alejandro de Tomaso became friends -- so they decided to collaborate on a "sports coupe," which Iacocca announced would be -- this is entirely true -- "the prettiest Italian to arrive stateside since his mother immigrated."

Putting aside any judgment about Iacocca's mother, the TC didn't end up being the car everyone was hoping for. Essentially just a shortened version of the Chrysler LeBaron convertible, the TC was sold from 1989 to 1991 and offered three engines -- two of which were also available in other Chrysler models. The third engine -- a 200-horsepower 2.2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder -- was technically built by Maserati, though many parts were shared with Chrysler's own 2.2-liter turbo four, which was also offered in the TC (where it made 160 horses).

Admittedly, the TC had some unique features that separated it from the LeBaron. The wheels were unique, built by an Italian company; the bodywork was "designed" by an Italian firm called Innocenti (this "design" process must've been rather simple: Take the LeBaron, shorten it, go to lunch), and there were some suspension improvements. The TC also included a detachable hardtop with distinctive circular opera windows that included the Maserati logo, along with loads of hand-stitched (and, in the case of the seats, dramatically overstuffed) Italian leather. Interestingly, in spite of Maserati's relatively small contribution to this car, it was built in Italy -- and all TCs received an Italian VIN number starting with "Z."

Since the TCs bore Maserati logos, a lot of buyers thought they were worth saving -- putting aside the fact that the car shared the general styling of a mass-produced Chrysler convertible, that it used the steering wheel from a Dodge Caravan, and that Maserati's primary contribution to the model was adding logos.

The preservation of TCs is probably why there are a dozen of these currently listed on Autotrader, including today's Autotrader Find, which is the nicest of them all. It's a 1991 model with a black exterior and a beige overstuffed leather interior, with no apparent dings or scratches or significant wear. Unfortunately, it uses the TC's weakest engine -- a 3.0-liter Chrysler V6 that made just 140 horsepower -- but I've decided to overlook that, largely because I don't really think the engine makes that much of a difference in the world of TCs. If you're interested, this TC can be yours for $12,775 from Autoplex Motors near Seattle.

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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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
This Is the Nicest Chrysler TC by Maserati For Sale on Autotrader - Autotrader