I purchased my 1971 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door hardtop sedan in September of 2001 from a friend in the East Central PA Two-Cylinder Club, Inc. in Macungie, Pennsylvania. It had 57,000 miles on it then and now, 19 years later, it just turned 60,000 miles. It is still in original factory condition. Its champagne gold paint and black vinyl roof still look great.
The 1971 Chrysler New Yorker was available a sedan, hardtop coupe, or a 4-door hardtop sedan and had updated styling changes that paralleled those found on other 1971 Chryslers. All 1971 Chrysler vehicles had unibody designs, with a subframe to support the engine, transmission, steering and front suspension. This setup was isolated from the body by thick rubber cushions which helped stop vibrations. The unibody design also allowed more interior foot room for rear occupants, better rigidity, and better structural efficiency with lower weight. The smooth ride is what I like best about my car.
The New Yorker has Cairo cloth and vinyl upholstery. Mine has black vinyl trim. It has full carpeting including in the trunk. Stock amenities include electric clock, light group, left-hand, remote-control mirror, cigarette lighters, rear fender skirts, front fender peak strips, paint accent stripes, and wide lower side body moldings. Other features include hood insulation, three-speed windshield wipers, undercoating, and wheelhouse opening moldings. Power comes from a 440 cubic-inch V8 engine rated at 335 horsepower with its 4-barrel carburetor.
The Chrysler New Yorker has faced amazing success in the four decades it has remained in the auto industry. Introduced originally as the New Yorker Special in 1938, the name was eventually simplified to just the “New Yorker.” America’s longest continuously used nameplate, the New Yorker has kept this title for 58 years. A brief review of Chrysler’s engineering advancements will show that my New Yorker has some of the best features Chrysler offered and could be the last best example of its name.
The first-generation New Yorker Special model was initially introduced as a distinct sub-series of the 1938 Chrysler Imperial. Due to its soaring popularity, the New Yorker became its own series for 1939 based on the same platform as the Chrysler Imperial, along the new Chrysler Saratoga. New for 1941 was the “Vacamatic” semi-automatic transmission and in 1950, “Prestomatic” transmission debuted. For the 1951 year, Chrysler unveiled the 180 hp FirePower Hemi engine which became a very popular choice for racers and hot rod fans. The New Yorker also featured Fluid Torque Drive, true torque converter instead of Fluid Drive. All 1954 New Yorkers were available with the new two speed Powerflite automatic transmission while the Fluid Torque Drive and Fluid Matic were dropped. This year was also the final year for the long wheelbase sedan offered by Chrysler.
Following the war, Chryslers continued to be available with Fluid Drive, and the New Yorker was now available with true four-speed semi-automatic transmission. For 1949 the second generation of the New Yorker, or Second Series; was debuted using Chryslers new postwar body (also shared with Dodge and DeSoto) with pontoon, three-box styling. The engine remained the 323.5-cid straight eight joined to Fluid Drive and the Prestomatic four-speed semi-automatic. The body styles of the New Yorker were reduced to club coupe, convertible and 4-door sedan. The wheelbase was increased to 131.5 inches from the 127.5-inch frame introduced in 1941. The 1956 model year was dubbed “PowerStyle” by Chrysler as the model year design it was heavily influenced by the design works of Virgil Exner.
For 1960, the New Yorker had uni-body construction, Ram Induction and the new RB wedge engine with an output of 350 hp. The fourth generation of the Chrysler New Yorker was debuted in 1962 and it was introduced without the Chrysler fins that had made the car so unique in the past. The fifth generation of the Chrysler New Yorker was redesigned in 1965 by Elwood Engel with styling cues from his 1961 Lincoln Continental. Thus began the “Fuselage Styling” that appears in my New Yorker. In 1966 the New Yorker adopted the new 440-cid V8 engine. The 1971 New Yorker is the last great example because in 1972 engine power was dropped to meet stricter emissions standards and rising gas prices. The sixth through 11th generations became smaller, less prestigious cars. The name “New Yorker” was retired in 1996.
My only repairs, other than new tires, have been a new starter and steering link. I do not show the car competitively but have displayed it at Becky’s Flea Market and the Slatington Strawberry Festival. Ask me about restoration and competitive showing of my antique tractors. That’s for another article! Being a Navy man, my ships and cars are women, including this New Yorker. You might say that my New Yorker is a boat. My late friend, John Trumbauer, had a 1966 Cadillac convertible and together we had “The Boat Club.” Presently, I proudly drive the New Yorker in tours of the Ontelaunee Region AACA. Included with this article is a picture of my New Yorker.