1999 Chrysler LHS (253)

This weeks 1999 Chrysler LHS is a 5 passenger sedan and is the luxury flagship of the company. It’s totally redesigned and is rather unique. We’ve all heard of the paperless office, now Chrysler gives us the “paperless” car design where all aspects of the new model were created using Chrysler’s CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application).” They claim that this process trimmed eight months off the total development time for the new LH models.

Some folks no doubt will say, yes, and it looks like it. I rather like the way it looks, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder whether computers are causing us to take too much of the “person” out of the things we do. I applaud Chrysler’s creative courage, but when you think about it, the late 1950’s “paper” designs brought us cars with fins and other “brave” attempts at being different. What they did lack was the concept of aerodynamics, and for that reason and others, they burned gas like there would always be friendly oil coming from the Middle East.

In the evolution of the automobile, those designs of the past did a wonderful thing in that they etched a statement on the mind of time. It was an era of wild almost reckless abandon in design and some of it was really bad. However, the computer aided designs of today somehow makes the outcome almost sterile and too perfect. The rough edges have been taken off and as we reach perfection I’m afraid we’ll also approach boredom.

Looking back also reminds me of the Lee Iococca days at Chrysler and how he orchestrated the government assisted bail out of that then failing company. Now we see them teamed up with Mercedes Benz and the new combination should prove interesting. I’m looking forward to the Daimler – Chrysler years, not only because it assumes progress for both companies and the cars they make, but almost more because it leads us away from the sins of the past. German companies have been the focus of bad publicity recently over WWII, but when people come together from different cultures toward a common goal they are better for it. In any case it validates the American experience. It proves that when people live and work together they are less likely to fight with each other. The American way surely seems better than what the world has known up until the birth of this nation. The flood of oppressed people to the US is a pretty telling story.

Can you tell that I’m writing this on the 4th of July – America’s birthday? Our group at the park included people from Holland, Yuguslovia, Poland, Italy and England. I’m proud of where we’ve come from and more proud of where we’ve come as a nation over about 200 years and I enjoy celebrating that birth each year. I’m fortunate my grandparents came from Italy at the turn of the century. I’m reminded of their struggle as I look back at old photos. Our history is rich and when I read about the history of the automobile you realize it was that same bunch of immigrants who pioneered the growth and development of so many industries resulting from the American dream. We seem to always overcome obstacles as a wonderfully diverse people from all nations and ethnic backgrounds. That diversity is clearly at the root of what we call American ingenuity.

This Chrysler LHS is all American even if it is assembled in Canada. Fantastic, eh? Because what draws people closer together is those things we have in common. Perhaps Chrysler should put a plant in Kosovo, another in Ireland and a third in the middle east.

Of course Chrysler would be blamed for Yankee Imperialism and Germany for trying to trying to conquer the world.

Does any of this nonsense in the world remind you of your childhood, when the scene was – Joey started it! Uh, uh, Johnny did! Did not. Did too. Did not. Did too. …. Go to your rooms, both of you. Wait till your father gets home. “Oh, no dad’s going to kick our butts, and it’s all your fault”. Is not. Is too. Is not. Is it that simple? Do you think the world just needs a good spanking.

Anyway, I have a lot of hope for Chrysler. They have been criticized for poor quality but they’ve come a long way and the product has improved tremendously over the years. And of course, you get what you pay for and they combine the best of our auto industry at prices that are affordable. Consider the retail price of $28,950 for this LHS and you know you can’t ignore it when considering the competition. With the LHS, what you see is what you get – a single model, and the only options available are an upgraded stereo system, special alloy wheels, and a power glass sunroof.

The competition:

Buick Park Avenue $31,130 – $36,025, Infiniti I30 $28,900 – $31,200, Lexus ES 300 $30,905, Lincoln Continental $38,525, Mazda Millenia $26,745 – $31,245, Mitsubishi Diamante $27,199, Volvo S70 $27,385 – $33,520.

Good News:

Great pricing for a luxury car, nice ride, roomy, good handling, different styling, love the guages.

Bad News:

Stigma of poor quality issues of the past.

Standard Equipment:

3.5-liter aluminum V6 253 hp engine, 4-speed auto trans, dual airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, child safety locks, automatic climate control, power door locks, mirrors and windows, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, integrated fog lights, leather trim, power heated front seats, stereo with cassette and CD, keyless entry, security alarm and more.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 27 Highway MPG.


MSRP $28,950

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com

 Copyright ©1994 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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