Tall Tom’s 1978 Chrysler New
Yorker Brougham With the Salon Package
(Click on any small picture for a larger view.)
In December of 2005, I saw this car on e-Bay
listed as a 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 auction and not one person had bid on it. Now all the
other cars I own are Cadillacs, 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 '70s 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 whitewall 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. All of this turned out to be the tip of the iceberg. Upon further
inspection, I discovered the car needed new bushings all around, new motor and
transmission mounts, new battery cables and a 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 ground 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 the
car being prepped for paint.
The paint was sprayed on in ½ a day, and later
that afternoon the clearcoat was sprayed on. Tommy at Pacific Collision did a
great job. He had just completed his '67 GTO, and he loved the New Yorker.
Once the car was buffed out, we had to wait for
the correct pinstriping to arrive. They ordered the correct red, but 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 pinstripping 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
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.
Palm Springs, CA