Archive for December 14th, 2011

Test Drive: 1989 Chrysler New Yorker Landau Edition

On December 14, 2011, I test drove a 1989 Chrysler New Yorker Landau Edition at Inland Empire Motors in Riverside, California. This car was in light blue, with a light blue leather interior with buttons stitched in the seats. The car has 73000 original miles, and the asking price is $2995. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to look under the hood. According to the research I have done, this car has either a 3.0 liter V6 (the 6G72 by Mitsubishi), or a 3.3 liter V6 developed by Chrysler themselves. The transmission I am also unsure about. It is either a 3 speed automatic (A670), or a 4 speed automatic Ultradrive (A604). If anyone knows which engine and transmission the Landau has, drop a comment. The tenth generation Chrysler New Yorker debuted as a 1988 model; it got a refreshed look for 1992, and was redesigned for the 1994 model year. I don’t know a whole lot about this car. The main reason why I wanted to drive is was because my grandmother had a 1989 Chrysler New Yorker Landau in dark blue with the dark blue leather interior. I remember the car pretty well. She traded it in when I was 5 for the Acura RL that I now currently drive. These cars are extremely hard to find, especially in excellent condition. When I walked in to the dealer, I asked a salesman if I can have a look at the car. He was more than happy to show it to me. When I saw the car up close in person, I was amazed. It was in beautiful shape. It had no dents or scratches, and the paint made the car look like it sat in a garage all of its life. The interior was clean, and practically had no wear and tear. It was very well kept. The salesman said that it was previously owned by an elderly person who was no longer able to drive. I know there are a lot of people that stereotype used car sales people as liars, but based on the car’s condition, it had to be true. When I started the car, a loud noise came from the back. Supposedly, it was some kind of compressor. I would have also thought it was an abs system warming up. The only issue that I came across after starting the car was a mild burning odor. I didn’t think it was a serious issue. It’s probably just from old age. This New Yorker has the complete digital gauge cluster, which isn’t common in most new cars. I tested the electric windows and mirrors to see if they worked, and they all did. When I drove out of the dealer’s driveway, I floored it. The engine had a deep growling noise, but other than that, it was a quiet car. It wasn’t a quick car, but it wasn’t meant to be either. One thing that I was impressed with for some reason was the silent turn signal clicking. When I made a left turn, I put on my signal, and I couldn’t hear it. Most turn signals in a car are loud enough so that they can be heard; letting the driver know to shut them off if left on by accident. The handling was good for its small size, and the suspension was very soft. I did notice when I came to complete stops, if I gently let go of the brake pedal to when it’s barely moving it vibrates a lot; Nevertheless, I don’t think that is a big issue. After the test drive, I met the manager of the dealership, and he was hoping to make a sale. Neither he, nor the salesman was pushy towards me, so that’s a plus. I got their business card, and then left the dealer. I checked the Kelley Blue Book value on a 1991 Chrysler New Yorker Salon to get an idea of what this car was likely worth. The Landau’s last year was 1990 before being replaced by the New Yorker Fifth Avenue and Kelley Blue Book does not estimate resale values for cars older than twenty years of age. For the 1991 Chrysler New Yorker Salon, the suggested retail in excellent condition was $2940, and fair condition through private party is $1665. I think a good price to pay for this car would be around $1500. It’s low, but fair enough since it is in excellent condition. The New Yorker Landau isn’t meant to be an enthusiast’s type of car. It can be considered a luxury car, but it wasn’t built for flashy looks or sporty performance. Its main purpose is to be a comfortable car to drive in. A majority of people that would own a car like this would likely be above the age of sixty years old. I’m not trying to state that it’s an old people’s car, but they are commonly owned by elders. Even though I’m 20 years old, I think this is an amazing car! If I was looking for a New Yorker Landau, I would buy this one because they’re very hard to find, and it’s in mint condition. I’m one hundred percent sure that the paint and upholstery are all original. It looks just as good as it did the day it left the Chrysler dealer 22 years ago. I pray that its new owner cares for it like the previous one, and keeps it parked in a garage to preserve it. Many have been junked due to reliability problems, and neglect. I don’t think there is a high demand for this type of car because most people don’t find anything special about them. Still, if pampered to keep its original shape, these cars will look great! Overall, The Chrysler New Yorker Landau Edition is a nice practical car to drive. A lot of them might not last long due to wear and tear, but the one I drove has none whatsoever. It’s unfortunate that they aren’t easy to find, and most likely, this will be the last Chrysler New Yorker Landau that I’ll ever see in excellent condition ever again.

Pictures taken by Inland Empire Motors.