The Chrysler M-body platform was always and will always be a budget-concious machine. The Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury were fleet sales fodder, the Fifth Avenue was the budget luxury car, and even when it seems like every other car with a chrome bumper is climbing in value, M-bodies, especially Fifth Avenues, have stuck at a very accessible price point. It will be a long time before these cars start to climb in value, but if you can get a Fifth Ave in decent condition that runs, it’s a good choice. If you find one that doesn’t immediately make you think of Grandma and Grandpa, early-bird dinners and sagging headliners, all the better.
For $2,500 of your hard-earned budget dollars, you can score this 1984 Fifth Avenue. Black and red with the black vinyl roof looks pretty good on this car, and not having wire hubcaps helps so much in the visuals department. We’d get the tires turned all-blackwall, then focus our attention underhood. Chrysler never did give these cars decent horsepower (140 horsepower unless you got a California-sourced four-barrel model), but that’s actually a pretty easy fix: combine typical Chrysler LA engine modifications, deeper rear gears and replacement of Chrysler’s completely garbage upper exhaust and catalytic converter system, and you’ll be on your way. Trust on on that exhaust mod…you should see at least 50 horsepower freed up from the removal of that dumpster fire!
A comfy small-block cruiser that has cop-car looks and old-folks comfort…it’s a good thing. Trust us.