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1987 Chrysler 5th Ave

Road Report 1987

The Golden Cow is still with us...
This model is part of the Deluxe Sedan category Class F. Launched in 1977 in the Le Baron version, it became the Fifth Avenue in 1983. Built in the U.S. at the St. Louis, Missouri plant.
It's sure some dreams really come true and the high sales level of the Fifth Avenue has dissuaded Chrysler management from withdrawing it from production and sending it to the nearest automobile museum. With its outdated look and character it is the archetype of the classic American car born in the 50's. It has been around for the last 37 years without major modification other than changes in the chrome trim, addition of the vinyl roof or a newer stereo system.

DRIVING. The wheel of the Fifth Avenue is an experience that very few of my confreres wanted to undertake at Chrysler's most recent model presentation in Detroit. In fact it was worth the effort...we're so into front wheel Asiatic cars that we've forgotten how special and unpredictable driving a real American car was. Seated too low behind a steering wheel which provides no sense of direction, you are required to guide a considerable mass with far too much power assist. The rather large engine has barely enough power to move the car and this at a high level of fuel consumption in comparison to overall performance. Add to this the fact that road holding is only adequate on a straight line in good weather because of poor shocks and springs that are too soft. The adoption of radial tires has caused some improvement in terms of cornering ability but body and chassis movement is still a major factor. This characteristic, always evident in these models, is particularely evident during braking and acceleration. Braking is quite irregular because some wheels lock-up prematurely and efficiency and fade resistance are only mediocre.

COMFORT/CONVENIENCE. This word has always been a euphemism when applied to an American car. In fact, does anything more uncomfortable exist than the bench seat of a car made in the U.S.? Comfort for Americans of that time really meant the volume of space in the interior of the car, air conditioning and sound level. It's really this latter point that the Americans have excelled in and they have imposed this silence on other constructors. To really appreciate the Fifth Avenue, you must order the full range of options which include leather upholstery with a 60/40 front seat, central door locking, electric antenna, trunk opener, cruise control and a digital stere radio.

CONCLUSION. The Japanese typhoon has not completely swept away all the great period of the North American car. Study with interest the Fifth Avenue with all of its splendor, for soon it will be a memory...If you are really into nostalgia get one right away, particularly if you happen to live outside of Quebec where the price of gas is high.


Well known reliability
Good ride on the open road
Comfortable interior
Good price
Good Guarantee


Out of date
Limited base equiptment
Size, weight, consumption are out of date
Outmoded technically and aerodynamically
Poor road holding
Steering imprecise and over power assisted
Brakes unpredictable

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