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Craigslist Find: A Don Garlits Built 1984 Chrysler New Yorker With A Dual Quad 440 – UPDATE: GARLITS CLEARS THE AIR!

Craigslist Find: A Don Garlits Built 1984 Chrysler New Yorker With A Dual Quad 440 – UPDATE: GARLITS CLEARS THE AIR!

Update 5/21/2013 – As I had mentioned in the blog item that first ran regarding this car, I contacted Don Garlits himself regarding the claims made by the seller of the New Yorker. Some of the numbers the seller claims are out of whack, but his claims on the history of the car are correct. Here’s what Large Father said to us in a quick email:

A lot has been done to the car since it left the Museum many years ago! We used to have a lot of fun with the old girl at the drags and around Ocala.

So there you have it. Garlits did build this car…or at least part of it. That’s got to be worth something, but we’re not sure if it is $50,000.


So I was forwarded this link to a unique 1984 Chrysler New Yorker by BS reader Scott Brown. The seller claims that the car was built by Don Garlits and judging by the name plate shown, it darn well may be. I have reached out to Gar himself and will hopefully hear back with some more info on the car, so until then we have to go by what the seller is claiming and he is claiming some interesting stuff. Firstly he is saying that this is the world’s fastest Chrysler New Yorker. He may well be right on that, especially if he was narrowing his claim to 1984 models only.

From there he tells the shopper that the car will sell for $50,000-$70,000 at a major auction and will sell for way more after Big Daddy passes away. Proof that he believes this claim, he listed the price of the car at $50,000 or a trade for a motor home of equal value. He did not specify whether or not the home next to the car is part of the sale because if it is, we get the price. If not, we think that this guy is shooting pretty high. It sure would add some value if Big did build this car, but there’s no way it is worth that type of dough. Unique cars are worth lots of money IF a lot of people want them. Other than a small and dedicated cadre of M-Body enthusiasts, who else would want this car?

Back to the car itself, the engine is a 440 with a pair of 650CFM Holley carbs on top and a NOS nitrous system. The seller suggests that the buyer hit the nitrous button at 110mph during a drag race and then cross the traps at 180mph! Again, if he were hitting the nitrous and ignition a JATO rocket in the trunk we’re feeling 180mph. If not….c’amon man.

But hey…at least it has “unlimited” top end because of the 3.23 gears. Seriously, this guy actually the car has “unlimited” top end.


When Don Garlits gets back to us, we’ll let you know what he says!









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43 thoughts on “Craigslist Find: A Don Garlits Built 1984 Chrysler New Yorker With A Dual Quad 440 – UPDATE: GARLITS CLEARS THE AIR!

    1. Damian

      I just found this site about an hour ago. I am somewhat surprised that Mr. Lohnes never reached out to me (The seller) to chat about the car. Also the photos used were from an older posting.
      I think Brian should call me and maybe do an article on the car to find out what upgrades the car has had.

      Wait till you guys see the video of the car!

      And my comments concerning “Unlimited top end” refer to movie quotes concerning the 440 mopar engine.

      And I am not a know everything about mopar kinda collector. I am a 50 year old guy who loves the roar of the 440. Some argue that it was superior to the Holy Grail 426. With the Nitrous setup I have more horses than a 426. I also seem to remember that there was a 218 MPH stock daytona 500 car. The M body has to be lighter than the cars that set that speed record.
      Stay tuned for the Numbers off the block so we can learn exactly what year 440 “Big Daddy” Chose to build up for this M body abomination.

    1. Damian

      I watched on the Mecum auto auction a car sell 30 k more than it should have simply because “Big Daddy” was one of the owners in a 10 owner chain. How much is the “Oddball Turd” abortion or street rod going to be worth? That’s his work of Art. He and I both believe in the 440 engine. I ran a 440 magnum interceptor police package fury III in 1980. These motors scream. Maybe someone at Chrysler said they lost the Police contracts because they couldn’t fit the 440 into the diplomat M-body?
      Imagine all those diplomats with 440’s rather than 360’s.


      The 440 backed with the 727 there is nothing these things can’t catch. I was busted on the new portion of 18 (when they were building it) doing 142 mph. This M-body is way lighter than that Fury.

  1. Challenger 6 Pac

    If there was undeniable proof that Big Daddy actually built this car I’d buy it in a heartbeat. But not for any $50,000. Maybe around $20,000, $25,000 if I’m feeling generous. It needs work to be cherry.
    Fender tags don’t mean much to me. I can take any beat up piece of metal into an engraver and have anything engraved on it.
    The ad says that the NOS was installed by a local speed shop. For all we know the engine was too.
    Doing the work myself I can buy and build a car like this for around $10,000.

    1. Damian

      My heart just beat! Wanna do the tug an pull here for all to see or would you like to call me from the ad. My name is Damian and my phone is in the craigslist ad posted above. The engine is in nearly the same condition as when I purchased the car. I had the performance shop install everything. RAM Performance of Iselin NJ did all the custom fabrication work like for the quick stick shifter mount and the sumped fuel tank. The engine has the best of the best parts installed by Mr. Garlits. A new cam was installed to match the nitrous needs.

  2. Brian Spink

    I love the engraved unicorn right in the middle of the back window! All REAL drag cars have that!

      1. Damian

        Interesting about that cop spotlight. This car somehow started out as a member of the Royal Canadian mounted police. Hence the certified speedometer. The title chain starts with the Canadians.

    1. Damian

      I too am mystified by the unicorns. Under the one on the drivers side is the word Wanderer in quotes. I wish I knew the story behind who and why. Did Don really like 50’s Doo Wop? We know Don had a thing for New Yorkers.

      They are very well done hand artwork and they are not signed.

  3. Ray

    My boss did a ton of work on this car. RAM Performance in Iselin NJ. The story he got too was it was built by big daddy

    1. hoosierl98gta

      50k can buy alot more than a taxi with a big block. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure its fast but just because someone owned this piece of metal that was famous doesn’t mean much to me. Now if it was one of the Swamp Rats that he was famous for, that’s a different story.

      1. Challenger 6 Pac

        I’d pay $50,000 for one of the Swamp Rats faster than a waitress can pickup a $200 tip. I’d be willing to bet they’d go for a whole heap more than that.

      2. Damian

        Yes it is. A “different story”. But this car is part of the same story just a chapter some find interesting others find useless. I for one wish I knew exactly why an M- body was chosen. The only thing we know for sure is it wasn’t because it was the only thing he could get his hands on. He chose to put a brass plaque honoring this piece of personal achievement “Automotive Art History.” All we get to do is stare in aw and wonder why.

    2. Damian

      Hi Ray tell Rich I said Hi. Well they confirmed the cars pedigree, I never felt the need to bother Don about the car. BTW I am the owner of the New Yorker. RAM Performance did an excellent job sump-ing the tank, installing the pro fogger nitrous system the matching cam, the aluminum radiator and the new cam to match the NOS. Tell Rich I never raised the hit to higher than 75 hp. (yet)

  4. Robert M.

    It is a quiet day here.

    I spent some time googling for further information on this car. Zero worthwhile information found.

    If it was Garlits built, there would be some reference to it to be found out there in the web ether.

    Whether or not it is legitimate is a fair question. The fact that it has no documentation is a major blemish and red flag… even if Mr. G. did build it.

    In my estimation, it is worth what it would cost to duplicate it… if you really wanted to.

  5. Nik

    If Big Daddy did build it, it must have been a forced to by blackmail kind of job. This thing looks like a turd with a $1.99 nameplate from a trophy shop.

    1. Damian

      No it was an 1988mark VII that was given to my son by his girlfriends neighbor. Heck the price was right.

    1. Damian

      Ya know, I’m 50 years old and I was told one time by a mechanic from keyport who installed the new posi what year 440 Big Daddy chose to install in this car. The mechanic was having a hard time matching the axle bearing so he checked the casting numbers off the engine block. I will have to crawl under the car to get them. And then we can all revel in the knowing what block it is.

      1. Damian

        The Block is from a 69. Casting marks reveal
        E 440
        6 12 2

        I have not been able to get to the Vin stamp on the block yet.

  6. Mark Hueffman

    I actually remember seeing a car like this on display in Garlits’ museum probably about 15 years ago. Couldn’t figure out why it would be there and didn’t pay much attention to it.

  7. Chris

    Even if Garlits himself can certify he built it. The guy is still 40K overpriced IMO. This guy is more proof that crack doesnt smoke itself.

    1. Damian

      Just so you know I have never smoked crack. And obviously you have no idea what a prototype vehicle might sell for.

      Maybe this was Dons idea of a production model named after him, like the John Varvato chrysler 300 I see advertised.

      What do you think the first signed Prototype Shelby would be worth?

  8. Jim

    Well over priced it is, but after the update from the man himself, a least a few will be chowing down on at least a small portion of crow.

  9. Challenger 6 Pac

    Ya think this guy would go $15,000? Might have to contact him and see.
    Anyway I’d have to look at the car before I’d buy it.
    BTW, While I’m not a fan of the M body I have owned 2 of them.An 83 New Yorker, and an 85 5th Avenue. Both cars rode good but lacked in performance. Thought about putting a warmed up 360 into the last one.

  10. Remy-Z

    I had a warmed 360 and a swapped in 4-speed in an ’87 Diplomat AHB. That thing flat rocked. Any of the FJMs respond well to a swift kick in the ass and some gearing.

  11. craig b blue

    In all fairness to the sellers claim…..maybe the motor came out of the factory ’68 Challenger show car….not!

  12. john anderson

    Gives me an idea to build after I’m done with my S-10. Would be a blast to pull up and blow doors off. I dig sleepers like that but not for 50k.

    1. Damian

      In real estate its location location location. With cars it’s pedigree, pedigree, pedigree.

    2. Damian

      It is a collector car, not a sleeper.
      The car was built by BIG DADDY DON GARLITS!

      That’s the value. This is “His Artwork.”

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