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June 24, 2008

K-car with a Continental Kit!

By Rob Einaudi

Editor-in-Chief

Time is running out if you want this awesome ’84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible on eBay. Continental kits look bad enough on cars from the 50s and 60s, but this is just atrocious. I asked my buddies at Moparts for some production numbers on these but couldn’t get a serious answer out of anyone. One guy did comment that it looks like a "bumper-mounted toilet with the seat up," which seems like a pretty accurate description. I wonder if those chrome exhaust tips are factory. More pics after the jump.

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

'84 Chrysler LeBaron convertible

Comments

Fireball22
Jun 27, 2008 at 6:12 pm

We know it’s not factory, but that doesn’t mean that someone in the aftermarket should have even attempted this to begin with, either. Like the fake wood paneling wasn’t triggering the gag reflex enough on its own…

Now, had the Conty kit been mounted on the front of the Le Baron, they would’ve had the claim of offering slightly improved crash protection…

ShelbyDodgeImp
Jun 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm

No way is this factory. I know these cars and their stock configurations very well and know from personal experience that back in the 80s-early 90s many dealers (and not just Mopar dealers) took it upon themselves to add “dealer options” using odd parts available on the after market scene.

You see, way back then it was stylish to go and cover your luxury car (caddys, lincolns, even some of the larger kcars) in gold grills, continental kits, window tint, vynil roofs with ribs under them to look like a soft top convert, etc and these were very profitable to the dealers who would charge a premium for them to people thinking they were getting factory cars.

The after market company most Mopar dealers used for odd bolt ons like this (excluding vynil roofs which were usually done by local body shops) was C&C Customs, who made continental kits that I’ve seen as dealer options on Fords, GMs and Mopars during this era. They even made a gold plated grill for the Dodge Dynasty (every so often one appears on eBay). The continental kits were all basically a nonfunctional plastic “tub” that sat on the rear of your car. This hub was not functional (could not store a tire, not even a donate spare) and was just for looks. It had a lever-spring system so that you could push it down for easier access to the trunk and trunk lock.

These can go for big $$ today on eBay because a lot of people in the low rider community use the same kits on their cars today. Note that the kit did not include the 50s style bumper extension seen on this car- so I am guessing the dealer had a body shop (or maybe talented employee?) build one from scratch (??).

If you go further back, into the 70s, you could get a lot of nonfunctional add ons like this for American luxury cars, including big tubs that you’d mold onto your body to make it look like your front fenders are carrying spares (1920′s style). I saw one Lincoln done up like this that had three of those “tubs” on their car- one on each front fender and one on the rear trunklid, but unlike the fake continental kit of the 80s these were more life-size. BTW the trunklid of some past Chrysler Imperials looked like it held a spare tire for cosmetic appeal, and that was back in the what, 60s? But that one was stock.

Aaron
Jun 26, 2008 at 6:48 am

Taste like this, money can’t buy… or at least it shouldn’t be able to!

Stewart
Jun 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm

This thing is so ugly…
.
That it is almost cool.
.
.
Seriously, I would love to own it, and
pick up my kids at High School in it…
It would be funny as hell, for me anyway ;)
.
.
Also, I’d like to see this on Power Tour…
.
That would raise eyebrows a bit…
.
.
What a funny looking car…
.
The sad thing is that someone actually thought it
would be a good idea to build this…

Stewart
Jun 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm

This thing is so ugly…
.
That it is almost cool.
.
.
Seriously, I would love to own it, and
pick up my kids at High School in it…
It would be funny as hell, for me anyway ;)
.
.
Also, I’d like to see this on Power Tour…
.
That would raise eyebrows a bit…
.
.
What a funny looking car…
.
The sad thing is that someone actually thought it
would be a good idea to build this…

Anonymous
Jun 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm

the only time I laughed at a similar car was in “planes trains and automobiles”… I never wanted to abandon american autos so badly in my life in reality….

7urtle
Jun 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm

i hate that wish they mold in the trunk not the bumper

GTwildfire
Jun 25, 2008 at 4:46 am

Remove the bulbous ass from the car, keep the woodtone and all else and I’d like it *slightly* better than the wretched, lowly usual K-car.
-
I’m not saying that I’d like it… only like it *slightly* better, which basically still amounts to hating it only not quite as much.
-
I can’t see how those things ever became popular.

Tony
Jun 24, 2008 at 10:28 pm

John Voight’s LeBaron maybe?

kap0w
Jun 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Are you saying that this is FACTORY!?! Atrocious doesn’t begin to describe it. My only question is why haven’t I seen this at the top of world’s ugliest car lists with the good old ‘Tek?

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