GTP Cool Wall: 1989-1991 Chrysler TC

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1989-1991 Chrysler TC


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854
United States
United States
Poll 1366: 1989-1991 Chrysler TC nominated by @GranTurNismo
1990-Chrysler-TC-02-Crop.jpg

Body Style:
2-door convertible
Engine: 2.2L naturally-aspirated I4, 2.2L turbocharged I4, 3.0L V6
Power: 141-200hp
Torque: 172-175 lb-ft
Weight: 1375kg
Transmission: 3-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
Drivetrain: front-engine, front-wheel drive
Additional Information: The car was designed by Maserati and assembled in Italy, and was marketed as the "TC by Maserati". TC is an acronym for "touring convertible".
Chrysler-TC-by-Maserati-.jpg

1990-chrysler-tc-by-maserati

090511-03-chrysler_tc_by_maserati_left_side.jpg

Chrysler-Maserati-Dash.jpg
 
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854
United States
United States
Having a hard time deciding how to vote on this car, one of the historic failures of the auto industry. It hasn't aged too badly from a visual standpoint, I'll give it that. The car itself is pretty meh, although if I saw one IRL it would make my day (Like that time I saw a Lincoln Blackwood). Voted meh.
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
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GTP Joey
Imagine spending $37,000 on something that amounted to a slightly Italianized LeBaron in 1991, then opting for a Maserati-derived engine that combined the unreliability of a 90's Italian car with the 90's unreliability of a Chrysler.
 
39,080
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I'm sure The87Dodge or whatever would chime in and insist that it's actually the true marriage of Italian styling and American internals; but not for nothing at least the Allante had its own more powerful engines and previewed the styling for the Cadillac range under Chuck Jordan and was built by a real Italian company. This was Iacocca just trying to copy that but putting literally none of the effort into it, seemingly just so his buddy de Tomaso could line his pockets.

Also:
Additional Information:​
Despite it's resemblance to the Lebaron GTC, the TC was not related to any other Chrysler product and rode on it's own bespoke platform.​
I know that you're at the mercy of what information is provided to you for the nomination thread, but none of this is true. Chrysler didn't have and refused to invest in, any platform beyond the K. This was a Dodge Daytona with half a foot cut out of the wheelbase and a new interior put in it; and some models had a hotter cam put on the engine.
 
22,071
United States
Southwest Eastnorthernton
TexRex72
It was available with the gorgeous shifting Getrag 284 5-speed that you can't really maintain anymore, and that's sort of a plus, but it's still uncool.
 

Adamgp

Well-Known Hippo
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7,062
United States
Land of the smelly onion
Always thought the LeBaron looked better, and they had hideaway headlights.

Meh.
 

TenEightyOne

I'm Slow, But I'm Wide!
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20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
It looks like a bad Lancia convertible. Not a good vibe and seriously uncool.
 

JohnBM01

JohnMarineDesigns
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24,673
United States
Houston, Texas, USA
JMarine25
This car is fairly stylish, even for its time; but there isn't a whole lot to make me say this is anything real interesting. There's no real cool factor here to make it stand out much. So my call is Uncool despite its rather lovely appearance.
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
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2,839
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
The good news is, it's a pretty stylish looking car, at least in my eyes. I've only seen a couple in the flesh and they do look substantially different than the Lebaron GTC; the TC is lower, sleeker, wider, and just more prestigious looking overall. I'd say this car would count as a guilty pleasure of mine.

The bad news is, literally everything else. To say this car was doomed from the start is an understatement. It was supposed to be the competitor to the car (Cadillac Allante) that was supposed to be America's answer to the Mercedes-Benz SL, but was doing a terrible job at it. So the very idea of this car was pointless, and I'm honestly bewildered as to how this got the stamp of approval from Iacocca considering how conservative Chrysler was in the 1980s. The TC was hilariously overpriced ($39,000 base price new, which according to the handy-dandy inflation calculator, would be over $79,000 in today's money), underpowered, unreliable, and worst of all, barely any different at all from the Lebaron GTC to the average buyer, a car that was over 60% cheaper. If Chrysler was going to go through the laborious task of making a bespoke, Italian-designed sports tourer, the least they could do was make it look at least somewhat different compared to the rest of the lineup. And I know one of the car's main selling points is that it was designed by Maserati, but I doubt this would've had any positive effect on any potential customers. At the time, Maserati was notorious for making undependable products and did not have the prestige, let alone the name recognition, as Mercedes or BMW or Jaguar, at least in the US. So it really shouldn't be any surprise to Chrysler that the TC grossly missed the sales expectations. Roughly 7,000 were sold in its three-year production run, compared to almost 10,000 Mercedes-Benz SLs selling in the US in 1989 alone.

Also, it's worth pointing out that it's largest engine, the 3.0L V6, made the least amount of power (141hp), while the smallest, the 2.2L naturally-aspirated I4, was the most powerful (200hp).

As for the car, I'll give it a Meh. To the average onlooker, it's just any other late-80s/early 90s drop-top, nothing overtly cool or uncool about it. The same would be said for the Lebaron GTC.

I know that you're at the mercy of what information is provided to you for the nomination thread, but none of this is true. Chrysler didn't have and refused to invest in, any platform beyond the K. This was a Dodge Daytona with half a foot cut out of the wheelbase and a new interior put in it; and some models had a hotter cam put on the engine.
I provided that information. With all due respect I don't see how anything I wrote was untrue. The TC rode on the Q platform, which literally was a bespoke platform designed for this car only, and no other car rode on it. Hilariously, Chrysler called it a "sports car platform". The Daytona rode on the G platform (later the AG platform), which wasn't related to the K. I can see where you are coming from through, as many 80s Chrysler products were K-car derivatives (400, 600, New Yorker/E-Class, Caravan/Voyager).
 

MisterWaffles

Ferrari Shill
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5,619
Canada
Ottawa
Pyano1132
Cars from this era that are really boxy can either be the coolest things ever or incredibly dreadful. This is one of the latter cars.

SU.
 
2,364
United States
United States
This is one that I was going to nominate myself but @GranTurNismo beat me to it by a day so I went with the 1981-1983 Chrysler Imperial.

The reason I was going to nominate the Chrysler TC is that I owned one from 1999-2007. My dad had it before me and left it to me when he passed away in 1999. It was a 1989 model in the exact color combination shown in the main photo, burgundy with that camel interior. He got it after someone traded it into us I think somewhere around 1995 or so. My dad didn't really care too much about driving a new demo and just preferred driving something he liked and for some reason he liked this TC.

For several years after the TC went out of production, whenever we would go to the Chrysler program car auctions, there could be one or two of these coming through the auction because Chrysler had to buy them back. The reason they had to buy them back was those T-Bird style porthole windows in the hardtop leaked water. Replacing them didn't help, everything Chrysler tried to fix them didn't work. When you washed the car you could not point the water stream at those windows or the water would pour right in. I don't know if something had ever came out to fix that problem but it caused a ton of them to by bought back by the factory.

Mine was the 2.2 Turbo Chrysler engine with the automatic transmission. I think it was also intercooled and had about 174hp or so but I might be mistaken about that. I didn't drive it much after dad passed away. I kept it in the other side of the garage with a trickle charger on the battery and I would get it out about once a month and drive it around the neighborhood to get the engine warm and the tires in good shape. I did drive it for about a week or so in 2005 as I had my then girlfriend's Honda getting fixed so she had my Dodge Charger and I drove the TC until her car was fixed. But that's the most the car got driven at one time the whole time I had it. I sold it to my brother for $5000 when I sold my house in 2007 and moved to my current city.

I voted "Meh" as it wasn't any more special than anything else we had at the time.
 

kikie

I'm here
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24,181
Belgium
in the land of stupidity
As I have said before, I'm not a convertible fan. On top of that, I don't like this car. So, uncool.
 
643
Italy
Under some Risotto
This gives me a strange vibe and i don't know why.
I mean, it looks as italian as fettuccine alfredo and not even us italians remember it at all, despite all the Maserati badging, but it looks quite classy in some angles. Having said that, I WANT ONE
Uncool
 
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39,080
The TC rode on the Q platform, which literally was a bespoke platform designed for this car only, and no other car rode on it.
No other car used the SN-95 platform but the 1994 Mustang. Ford spent far more money developing it than Chrysler ever did on any platform in the 1980s after the Aries came out. Despite looking like a Grand Am, the 1994 Mustang was a significantly larger, heavier and especially wider car than the Fox Body Mustang.

It's a pretty short list of drivetrain parts (despite all the work Ford put into designing it) that you can't go to a junkyard, unbolt from an SN-95 that someone wrapped around a tree and put in a Fairmont. Or a Granada. Or an LTD. Or a T-Bird. Or the previous Mustang.









Ignoring Lamborghini, stuff Mitsubishi made for them and stuff they inherited from Renault, Chrysler had three car platforms in the 1980s:

The one the Omni used, that the Rampage/Charger also used (as well as the Simca equivalent, more or less).
The one that the Fifth Avenue used, which was just a rebodied Aspen.
The one the Aries used, that everything else used in some form for the rest of the decade.


There were no "bespoke platforms" at Chrysler from when they were bailed out by the US government in 1979 until the Viper came out over a decade later; to say nothing about the fact that you posted it as if the TC was completely unrelated to anything else in Chrysler's lineup when the entire drivetrain was lifted straight out of the Daytona, even down to the off the shelf Mitsubishi V6s when Chrysler started phasing out the turbo engines soon after it debuted. Chrysler could call it a bespoke platform all they wanted and I'm sure that was enough to convince at least one person that it made the car a huge bargain compared to a 300SL, but it wasn't.

The Daytona rode on the G platform (later the AG platform), which wasn't related to the K. I can see where you are coming from through, as many 80s Chrysler products were K-car derivatives (400, 600, New Yorker/E-Class, Caravan/Voyager).
No, not "many." "All." Everything Chrysler made in the 1980s was related to the K except for the Omni and Fifth Avenue. Everything. They shortened and lengthened the wheelbase as necessary to try and slot it into different market niches and made some of them coupes and gave some of them turbo engines and made some of them swoopy and modern looking (for the time) styling and put stiffer shocks and springs in some of them to make them reasonably sporty and around ~1990 gave the majority of them new sheetmetal and interiors to try and offset how hopelessly outdated they were, but underneath every single one of them was the same car.



That's why they all have pretty much the same drivetrains, and a new engine or transmission being introduced in one would be introduced in nearly all of them.

That's why they all have the same interior ergonomics, including the very stubby, nearly-vertical dashboard/cowl; whether it was a swoopy (theoretical) Porsche 944 competitor:
45308721-770-0@2X.jpg


Or a stylish yuppie convertible:
interior.jpg


Or a car that was two rectangles stacked on top of each other:
Ra1fdaa4e7fce6a838e2929bf68f618f6



That's why they all have pretty much the same track width and thus overall body width, no matter if you have a subcompact Dodge Shadow (which was about the same size as a Corolla but a bit wide for the class norm) or a full size Chrysler Imperial (which was about the same size as a Fleetwood but significantly narrower)


That's why the engine bay:
R4be211334995785b930237a85d6122db

of:
90004_Engine_Web.JPG

every:
Rbc2f8b4c99d9d052965ea27ab1825027

single:
7250564-1992-chrysler-imperial-std.jpg

one:
s-l1600-9-e1475723566381.jpg

looks:
R9a0e732a8d3a8582064b01e2ff413dcd

identical:
$_57.JPG

for:
R60b84e61be3cf317e8c1dfc6c8cba746

every:
img1011-1563993576921@2x.jpg

single:
60473d1364015319-1987-chrysler-lebaron-gts-2000-2engine-front.jpg

one:
1984DodgeCaravan_05_1000.jpg



It's just as plain as how everything based on the Falcon was obviously based on the Falcon, with its super distinctive shock towers.
 
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283
New Zealand
New Zealand
Looks nice from the back and the profile is quite good. The front is very generic though. It seems hopelessly out classed for its price range. I would give it a cool but opera windows in the hard top are just a big no! Meh.
 

TheCracker

Nothing to see here...
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22,028
South Korea
North Korea
GTP_TheCracker
For a car 'designed by Maserati' it looks an awful lot like every other American car of that era. Uncool.

*edit* I've never been sure why this even existed, when Maserati already made (in Italy) and sold (in the US) the comparable BiTurbo. It was a similar size and similarly powerful (and more so) had a proper luxury interior and was just generally a more exotic vehicle.

It was a late 80's/early 90's Italian car, so was in no way perfect, but if i was in the market, back in 1989, for something expensive but pretty awful with a Maserati badge, it wouldn't have been the one built on the Chrysler K platform.
 
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GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
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Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
For a car 'designed by Maserati' it looks an awful lot like every other American car of that era. Uncool.

*edit* I've never been sure why this even existed, when Maserati already made (in Italy) and sold (in the US) the comparable BiTurbo.
The 1989 BiTurbo had a base price of $45,000 in the US (I'm sure the convertible would be even pricier) and only sold about 1,000 units each year in the US. I'm guessing Chrysler wanted a more mass-produced and lower priced SL competitor. Either way, it was a pretty bad decision.