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-   -   What exactly is a "K" car? (

bennelson 01-13-2008 09:49 PM

What exactly is a "K" car?

Note: I split this thread off from Caelum Rex's intro thread because metroshultz posted a wikipedia caliber reply ;) to bennelson's K car question that is threadworthy on its own! - Darin
Gotta ask. What exactly is a "K" car?

Also, the red car in your garage there, looks suspiciously like my 93 Dodge Shadow, except that I have the blue one where all the paint comes off.

If you have some good ideas for the red car, let me know, so I can just copy it for my blue one...


metroschultz 01-14-2008 01:37 AM


Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 5292)
Gotta ask. What exactly is a "K" car?

Also, the red car in the garage there, looks suspiciously like my 93 Dodge Shadow, except that I have the blue one where all the paint comes off.

If you have some good ideas for the red car, let me know, so I can just copy it for my blue one...


The "K" cars ( as I call them ) are any number of Chrysler products from the mid 80's to the mid 90's.
"K" refers to the platform Chrysler used to build the cars on.
Think 1980 ("get in the way-back machine Mr. Peabody")
Dodge Omni/ Plymouth Horizon (the first of a long line of cars)
Most of the FWD Chrysler stuff from that Era are "K" cars.
almost all of the parts are interchangeable.
to a degree where I have been working on a vehicle that says 2.2l on the under-hood decal but actually has a 2.5l in it. (engine swap somewhere in the past) and vice versa.

You have a good eye, it is a 1993 Dodge Shadow, and the paint comes off all the early 90's ones. You can't see under my pile of rubble there is very little paint left on this ones trunk lid.
coulda been a Reliant, or New Yorker, or Spirit, or Caravelle, or Sundance, or I could go on forever.

I am not going to mod the car, much, I got it for free and am going to repair it for re-sale.

I lump all of the FWD Chryslers into that category even though, technically, they are not all "K" cars.
Somewhere in the late 80's the cars began to get a bad rep. Totally undeserved. So Chrysler started giving them different platform IDs.
and yes some were longer or shorter
or 2 door, or 4 door, or 3 door, or hatchback but to me, because they are still the same under the hood, they're still "K" cars.
same engines
same transmissions (I actually worked on one that had a 3pd auto swapped for it's original 4spd auto)(CEL diagnostic nightmare)
same tires
same brakes
same muffler
same radios
I still have a customer who's 1993 Plymouth Sundance came from the factory with a Dodge badge on the grill.
I love the cars
I think they were well designed
They are easy to repair
Parts are cheap and easy to find
and the smaller ones even got reasonable mpg
I will keep building "K" cars, specially the ones i can get for free. :D
If you opted for a 1996 Chrysler New Yorker with all the trimmings and 3.0 V6 with 3spd auto you probly got 20 mpg.
If you opted for a 1993 Dodge Shadow, stripper, no air, 2.2 L4 with the 5 spd manual you probly got 28 mpg
My mpg numbers are approximate for all you fact types out there.

This all changed with the introduction of the 1996 Neon. and subsequent similar cars.
I don't know what happened at Chrysler.
I know it wasn't good
I think that's when Lee Iaccoca left, he is my hero, he saved Ford and then he saved Chrysler. Go Lee.
I got off on a rant there, so I'll shut-up now.
Hope this helps clear things up a bit. S.

Silveredwings 01-14-2008 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by metroschultz (Post 5324)
get in the way-back machine Mr. Peabody

Trizzle Trazzle Trozzle Trome, Time For This One To Go Home!

(or something like that...)

elhigh 01-19-2008 06:48 PM

Do you mean "kei" car?

It's a Japanese class of car, the name is shortened from "keijidosha," which translates to "light car."

They're super tiny, just a fuzz over ten feet long, a fuzz under five feet wide, and almost invariably powered with itty-tiny engines that are tuned to a per-liter output usually not seen in cars that don't answer to the name of Ferrari.

Typical makers are all the usual suspects: Daihatsu, Suzuki, but Honda and Toyota are players too.

They're next to impossible to find in the States, but a few get imported into Canada once they hit a certain age; you may be able to gray-market them into the States but you'll have to settle for right-hand drive. Some of the little trucks have been imported and enjoy long, productive second lives strictly off-highway as farm utility vehicles or for off-roading.

Google Kei Car and settle in for a lot of interesting, funky small cars.

SVOboy 01-19-2008 06:59 PM

The american "k" car, which I like to think of as standing for Krap, is much different from kei cars, which obviously stand for Kewl. :)

Peakster 01-19-2008 07:06 PM

LOL! "A dandy portable garden shed". That video was great.

The truth is that the "K" cars are really what saved Chrysler (that and the mini-van helped too). They had what people were looking for in the 1980s: Front wheel drive, relatively good MPG, the option of turbo-charging, great purchase price when new, and almost everything about them was interchangeable.

XFi 01-19-2008 07:14 PM

Great Clip! :) LOL

Lazarus 01-19-2008 08:50 PM

That's great but he should of just made a trike out of it.:turtle:

bennelson 01-20-2008 01:04 PM

Thanks for the K car explanation.

That Red Green clip is great! I love when he pulls away from the tree with just the front half.

I remember seeing a car similar to this driven by the Shriners in the local Independence Day parade. It steered on both ends and drove forward or backward. Just no duct tape seam down the middle.

MetroMPG 02-10-2008 03:05 PM

Why I suddenly remembered seeing this, I don't know. But it's good for a chuckle...

Dodge Aries (K car) Spoof Commercial


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