The Chrysler Lebaron holds a very special position in the car world. It was the only affordable 4 passenger convertible on the market in its day. Because of this it is very popular, but under appreciated. The model I am discussing here was produced from 1987-1995.

The Chrysler Lebaron is the poor mans BMW.

Lets face it not everyone can afford a BMW 3-Series Convertible. I know I can't. But that doesn't mean that I didn't want a stylish mid sized convertible. But there are not a lot of convertibles on the market in the poor mans price range, (me being poor of course). I immediately ruled out both the Camaro and the Mustang, (unusable back seats, combined with high theft rates, and less than stellar reliability made me pass these up). Then there are the Mazda Miata and the Mercury Capri. Both are great cars, but no back seats rule out both of them. The Volkswagen Cabriolet, and the Dodge Shadow are both attractive cars, but they both have a very strong "Girl Car" vibe to them.

So what is left. The Chrysler Lebaron Convertible of course. The 1993-1995 models are extremely reliable, (they had been making them for more than a decade by then). Plus they have the 3.0 liter V6 engine that the earlier models lacked. The 1993-1995 models also had a more attractive front end than the earlier models. Good looks, seating for 4, and a V6 engine for less than a third of the price of a BMW of the same age and condition.

So I of course went out and bought one. I selected a forest green 1995 model with 52,000 miles on the odometer. I paid $7500 for it,, and it was worth every penny. 12,000 miles later, I can truthfully say that this is "The Car". Nothing else in this price range even comes close to what you get when you buy a Lebaron.

Be careful though, the Lebaron will make you very popular with your friends. Everyone will want to ride with you, (whenever you are going places). This can cause you to rack up a lot of miles, (I have done 5,000 miles in the last 2 months alone). But the upside is that the Lebaron is a great ego booster. People wave at you. Girls, (or boys), try and hit on you at stoplights, that sort of thing.

Summing up, if you want the most bang for your buck, buy a used Lebaron, (1993-1995 if at all possible). Avoid the older models because they had a lot of problems. The Lebaron has now been replaced with the Sebring a good car in its own right, but not in the same class that the Lebaron was.