Chrysler Cordoba
Production 1975-1979
Class Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 215.8"
Width 77.1"
Height 53.1"
Wheelbase 114.9"
Weight 3600 - 3900 lb
Transmissions 3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 5.2L (318 cid) V8 (1975-1979)
5.9L (360 cid) V8 (1975-1979)
6.6L (400 cid) V8 (1975-1978)
Power {{{horsepower and torque}}}
Similar Dodge Charger (B-body)
Dodge Magnum (B-body)
Platform B

After vowing for years that "there would never be a small Chrysler", the company was forced to rethink its position after the first fuel crisis of 1973-74 that severly crippled big car sales, Chrysler in particular taking a huge hit. So for 1975, the new "small" Chrysler Cordoba was born (if you can call an 18 foot car with a 115" wheelbase weighing nearly 4000 lbs "small", but compared to Chrysler's other mastodon-sized cars of the day, it was). An interesting bit of trivia about the Cordoba is that it was originally destined to be a Plymouth before ultimately becoming a Chrysler model. It was Chrysler's first foray into what was called the "personal luxury car" group. The Cordoba had a minor restyle in 1978 and underwent a complete redesign in 1980 to the smaller J-platform (basically a continuation of the contemporary F/M platform) and would be discontinued after 1983.

Here's a quick rundown:

1975-1979[edit | edit source]

1975 was the Cordoba's premier year, and was based on the intermediate B-body Dodge Coronet/Plymouth Fury platform. Available with front bench or bucket seats and a choice of column or console automatic, and it shared its dash design with the other Chrysler intermediates. Full instrumentation was standard, a tachometer was optional. The 6.6L (400 cid) V8 with a 2- or 4-bbl carburetor was standard, but the smaller 5.9L (360 cid) and 5.2L (318 cid) V8s were available as credit options. A 3-speed automatic was the only available transmission. Its styling was clearly inspired by General Motors (the Chevy Monte Carlo in particular), but it was also a good looking car in its own right and it was initially a huge hit (and a much needed success for Chrysler). Cordoba's sophomore year 1976 was a virtual rerun of 1975, but by this time the Cordoba was a certified hit and provided heady competition for GM and Ford in the hotly-contested personal-luxury car market. In 1977, unleaded gas became mandatory for all models (some 75s and 76s required it, some didn't - depended on the altitude and if it was a California model or not). Some minor body alterations included a slightly revised grille and a squared off chrome strip surrounding the side rear opera window instead of rounded on previous versions. T-bar roof (T-Tops) became available this year. The 400 V8 remained standard (which gained the Electronic Lean Burn System this year), with the smaller 360 and 318 remained credit options.

For 1978, while GM downsized their "personal luxury cars" (Chevy Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, etc) this year, Chrysler went the other direction and actually upsized the Cordoba slightly this year, even though it rode the same 115" wheelbase as before. The most obvious change was the stacked quad headlights (a la 1976-77 Chevy Monte Carlo) and new larger, more flush taillights. Interior dimensions remained as before. Some applauded the change, some thought the changes made the Cordoba look bloated and more boat-like. Either way, sales started to slip quite a bit this year, no doubt partly to GM's new downsized car lines and another looming fuel crisis on the horizon. The 318 V8 was now the official standard engine, with the 360 and 400 now optional.

1979 was a virtual rerun of 1978 save for very few body trim alterations such as a revised grille and the 400 V8 no longer being offered (the 360 V8 was now the top offering). Two-tone paint schemes were now available. One interesting model was the 300, which was actually a separate model from the Cordoba. All were Spinnaker White with red interiors, and had a unique grille with a crosshair design and special rims. There were also special front fender louvers. The instrument panel had the unique silver "engine turned" design, much like the current Pontiac Trans Am. The 300 also had red white and blue nameplates that were like the legendary 300 letter series cars back in the 50s and early 60s. All had the 195-horsepower 360 4bbl V8 with either column or console automatic transmissions, and they gave somewhat decent performance for the day. These have now become a minor collectible. There would be an all-new Cordoba for 1980, and this was also the last year for the B-body Chrysler line.

Chrysler Cordoba
Production 1980-1983
Class Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 209.8"
Width 72.7"
Height 53.3"
Wheelbase 112.7"
Weight 3300 - 3600 lb
Transmissions 3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 3.7L (225 cid) I6 (1980-1982)
5.2L (318 cid) V8 (1980-1983)
5.9L (360 cid) V8 (1980)
Power {{{horsepower and torque}}}
Similar Chrysler Imperial
Dodge Mirada
Platform J

1980-1983[edit | edit source]

An all-new redesigned Cordoba debuted in 1980 on Chrysler's new J-body platform. These were based on the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare F-body chassis (which in turn was also the same as the M-body chassis used by the Chrysler LeBaron and Dodge Diplomat). Models were base and Crown. A power sunroof or a T-bar roof (T-top) were optional. This was also the first time a 6-cylinder engine was offered in a Cordoba, the 3.7L (225 cid) Slant-6. The 318 and 360 V8s remained optional. Like before, a 3-speed automatic transmission was the sole offering, and could be had in a column or console shift. Inside, it had a new dash design that closely resembled its larger R-body mates (Chrysler Newport/New Yorker). The new Cordoba was about a foot shorter and about 500-600 lbs lighter than the outgoing 79 model, its styling was more squared-off and slab-like than before, and overall the buying public was underwhelmed as sales dropped dramatically. It wasn't much of a sales threat to GM's personal luxury coupes, but it did compete more on an equal footing with the newly redesigned Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar XR-7.

Other than solid instead of horizontally slatted parking lights, the 1981 Cordoba was a virtual rerun of 1980. The 360 V8 engine option was unfortunately dropped, making the 318 V8 the top engine option (the 225 Slant-6 remained standard). The Crown model was dropped, replaced by a sport-oriented LS model that came with a Mirada-like nose with a crossbar grille much like the 1979 300 had that separated it from the other versions. 1982s didn't have any news or changes to speak of other than a couple of new colors and a padded vinyl landau roof was now standard (except on the LS). 1983 Cordobas were about the same as the previous year's as well. As lucrative as the personal-luxury market was, Chrysler nonetheless threw in the towel on the Cordoba (and its Mirada twin and upscale Imperial) after this year. There would be no replacement for any of them.

Main Competitors[edit | edit source]

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