Tall Tom’s 1978 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham with Salon Package
In December of 2005 I saw this car on E-bay listed as 1978 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham. Upon closer inspection of the picture I came to realize that this was a “Salon”. The starting bid was $1000.00! I watched this and not one person had bid on it. Now all the other cars I own are Cadillac’s so I was not too familiar with Mopar products. I did know about the Salon package and knew I really liked the lines of the mid to late 70’s New Yorkers. Needless to say I won the car and arranged to have it shipped down from Oregon to my home in Palm Springs, CA. The car had about 91,000 miles on it and it had been repainted a long while ago. When the car arrived I saw it there in the DAS terminal lot and it looked ok. The repaint was average and the car had some light surface rust around the vinyl top and on the lower rear quarter panels. Upon turning the engine over I realized that I had a great deal of work to do on this car. The exhaust manifolds were leaking, thus, making for very loud engine. If it was a Cuda I would have left it alone. The oil pan had a nice dent in it and was leaking, the tires even though advertised as new had a lot of dry rot and were the incorrect white wall width, the trim rings were missing, and one wheel fascia cover had a nice chunk missing out of it. It had two tears on the top of the rear seat and the package tray was warped. This turned out to be the tip of the iceberg. Upon further inspection, I discovered the car needed new bushing’s all around, new motor and transmission mounts, new battery cables and battery, new fuel lines, bearings front and rear, all new hoses, and rebuilding of the transmission. There were several other smaller items also.
Once I got the car running quiet and smoothly it was time to start on its appearance. The first thing I did was remove the vinyl top to see how much if any rust was underneath. To my surprise it was relatively rust free; just some light dirty rust is what I would call it. I then started removing all the chrome trim including bumpers, mirrors, and all trim. When the last repaint was done the trim had not been removed, it was just taped off, and so there was some roughness. I also had to cut off the class III trailer hitch that was welded on the car. I also decided to remove the body side moldings. I like the look of the car without it. Upon removing the body side mounding, there were little rivets left. I grinded these off and smoothed them with a very thin coat of filler. The rest of the paint was sanded off and now the car was ready for its primer coat. Here are some pictures of the progression of the trim being taken off and ready for paint.
The paint was sprayed on in ˝ a day, later that afternoon the clear coat was sprayed on. Tommy at Pacific Collision did a great job. He has just completed his 67 GTO and loved the New Yorker. Once the car was buffed out we had to wait for the correct pin striping to arrive. They ordered the correct red and got the dark burgundy. While waiting for the striping to arrive I took the car over to have the new tires installed that I purchased from Coker along with the new wheel covers and trim rings. Boy did this really brighten up the car!
The pin stripping finally arrived and was installed on the car. I was there to supervise this. They didn’t seem to understand at first why I wanted it where I did but upon showing them pictures of Chris in LA’s pristine and original Salon they got the idea. Tommy, once again did a great job on this..
Now that the paint and striping was completed it was off to the top shop for some new vinyl. I found a shop on the other side of town that was very helpful in finding the correct color and grain for the top. They also repaired the rear seat and package tray. They matched the leather perfectly!
I am currently working on finishing up the interior and will send some pictures once I am completed with it. I have a lot of work still left to do on this car but as we all know it is so worth it. As I was driving it home from the top shop and enjoying the ride and how powerful and smooth the engine is. I was thinking this is a hell of a car! Also the thumbs up from people passing by isn’t bad either.