This week on the Chrysler Heritage series, we make our first foray into the 1970s. But no matter how unkind history has been to certain cultural relics from that fateful era (disco music, platform shoes), a few things remain as stylish as the day they were introduced—exhibit number one, the 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Hardtop Coupe.
Prior to the 1970s, there existed within the company an unwillingness to sell “junior editions” of Chrysler vehicles, even when other brands were downsizing. That all changed in 1975 with the release of the Chrysler Cordoba, a model brought to life, in part, because of high prices at the pump and demand by the public for more fuel-efficient cars.
The Cordoba name first appeared on a Chrysler vehicle in 1970. A special edition of the Chrysler Newport Hardtop, the car had an all-vinyl interior with a matching vinyl roof. It was available in a “Cordoba Gold” color and included an Aztec eagle hood ornament.
In 1975, when the Chrysler Cordoba became its own nameplate, it was an instant hit with the public, with demand exceeding supply at various times throughout the year. In fact, in 1975, Cordoba sales accounted for nearly 60 percent of total vehicle sales.
From the start, the Chrysler Cordoba was marketed as a slightly upscale personal luxury car. The car remained relatively unchanged until 1978, when the new model was given several style changes, including rectangular headlights. In later years, the Cordoba continued to change and downsize even further. By 1980, the Cordoba had a standard six-cylinder engine, down from the eight-cylinder engine that was standard on the earlier models.
The pictured 1976 Cordoba was housed at the Walter P. Chrysler museum until it closed in December 2012. Here are the specifications for this particular model:
- Length: 215 in. (547 cm)
- Wheelbase: 115 in. (291 cm)
- Weight: 4,035 lb. (1,830 kg)
- Engine: V-8
- Transmission: Three-speed TorqueFlite® automatic
- Displacement: 360 cu. in. (5,904 cu. cm)
- Horsepower: 170
- Cruising speed: 70+ mph (113 km/h)
- Base Price: $5,581
Did you have a Chrysler Cordoba? Let us know in the comment section below!