Chrysler Newport

The Chrysler division of the Chrysler Corporation used the name Newport to describe an automobile that was a hardtop body and it also designated the entry-level models between 1961 and 1981. The name first surfaced in 1940 on a show car of which five actual vehicles were produced. During 1940 and 1941, the Chrysler Newport Phaeton was produced. It was a low-production roadster that used an I8 engine coupled to a 3-speed manual transmission. It was based upon the Chrysler New Yorker of the time, and design credits are given to Chrysler designer Ralph Roberts. Collectors would be hard pressed to get their hands on one of these given that only 5 were built. It seems though if you were famous you had a better chance of driving this extremely limited edition. Actress Lana Turner reportedly owned a Newport Phaeton, and appropriately Chrysler founder Walter P. Chrysler also owned a Newport Phaeton, which it is said he used as a personal car. The location of at least one other of the five is known – the Newport Phaeton served as the pace car for the 1941 Indianapolis 500 race. Year later in 1961, Chrysler revived the Newport name for their new full-size entry-level model soon to be released. This model could be has at a base price of US$2,964. This slotted the model among the comparable Dodges that were available. Granted the Newport was a very successful model and it did comprised the bulk of Chrysler production. But at the end of the day, the base Newport sedans were merely de-trimmed versions of Chrysler's traditional upmarket models. The Newport featured hubcaps instead of full-wheel covers and a relatively plain interior with minimal amounts of exterior trim. This stripped down version of the more luxurious models went on to hurt the reputation if Chrysler.