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By Jim Mateja
October 31, 1988
Leather seats and penta-star hood ornament do not a luxury car make. TheChrysler Fifth Avenue is ample evidence of that. The `88 Fifth Avenue has become the `89 until production stops at Kenosha in December. The rear-wheel-drive luxury model gives
way to a front-wheel-drive replacement in 1990, built off the C-body New Yorker. The `90 FifthAvenue, with a new Chrysler-built, 3.3-liter V-6, will be assembled inBelvidere. Nice while it lasted, since every Fifth Avenue built and sold the lastfew
years brought about $5,000 profit into the Chrysler treasury. In thatrespect, the car surely will be missed. But the Fifth Avenue is long of tooth and short of the technology neededto justify a $1,102 increase for 1989, to $18,345. It took a
long time cranking before the 318 V-8 came to life. When itdid, it hesitated before responding to pedal command. That comes with age.Vinyl landau roof treatments were nice in the `70s, until people realized how much cleaning they require and how poor they
look when torn or faded. What`s a luxury car without power seat controls? But what are power seatcontrols when buried under the armrest so you have to open the door to pushthe button and move the seat back? In one concession to modern times,
an air bag was made standard for theremainder of the model run.