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1979 Chrysler Newport

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About the 1979 Chrysler Newport

The Chrysler Newport was a long-running hard-top model available in a sedan, coupe, station wagon and a convertible. The Newport was a relatively large rear-wheel drive vehicle, famous for its stability, power, and styling that set it apart from Dodge and higher-end Chrysler vehicles through the 1960s and 70s. Newports could seat five or six, and even when Chrysler began to trim the weight of later Newports, the size of the vehicles remained relatively large. While the Newport was emblematic of Chrysler's fuselage styling and a popular car through the 1970s, a shift towards smaller front-wheel drive vehicles led to the model's discontinuation in 1981.

Most Newports used V8 engines to power their considerable frames. In the early 1960s, for instance, the Newport had a 6.3L 305 hp V8, which the automaker refined during the 70s to keep pace with the industry-wide trend toward better fuel efficiency. The fifth generation of the Newport, available from 1969-1978, was assembled in Detroit and offered a range of engine choices at modest upgrade prices.

Chrysler first introduced the Newport in 1940 as a Phaeton, with a straight-8 powerful enough to make the vehicle the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 in 1941. However, this performance car had little in common with later Newport models. Chrysler introduced the first production Newport hardtop in 1950, and issued the redesigned model that popularized the Newport in 1961. While this model was available in a variety of styles, the convertible was no longer part of the line. The Newport peaked in popularity in the 60s and 70s, but the 1978 model was the last traditional hardtop. Chrysler switched from a C-body style to an R-body for the final Newport models before discontinuing the line in 1981.

Purchasers could choose from several engine options during each generation of the Chrysler Newport. The popular fifth generation of the vehicle had V8s, ranging in size from 5.9 to 6.6L, with a power range from 255hp to 300hp. Chrysler offered a three-speed automatic transmission in the 60s as well as a three-speed manual.

The Chrysler Newport enjoyed a reputation for dependability and quality. By modern standards, and even the standards of the late 1970s, it was not a fuel efficient vehicle, but power and a variety of engine choices made up for this deficiency. Chrysler's decision to drop the Newport line made sense given the trend towards smaller vehicles, but the legacy of the Newport is still evident in some of their later designs ... View more

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