RM Sotheby’s is one of the world’s best high-end automobile auction companies and as such, they are usually selling off six-figure supercars and priceless vintage racecars. That’s why we were a bit taken aback when we saw this listing for a 1989 Chrysler TC By Maserati while perusing the lots for its upcoming Santa Monica auction.
The Chrysler TC By Maserati was the automakers’ attempt at recreating a sporty luxury car like the Ford Thunderbird of the 1950s. It all went a bit wrong when production was delayed by nearly two years, however. The luxurious TC was originally intended to be launched before the closely related Chrysler Lebaron, which would have provided a boost to that car’s image, but the delay meant it actually came out after the Lebaron. As a result, the TC was viewed as an overpriced Lebaron, rather than the Lebron being viewed as a budget-friendly Maserati.
That’s not to say Chrysler didn’t try to make the TC seem exotic, though. The handcrafted bodies were built in Italy and married to the 2.2-liter turbocharged Chrysler engine (the Lebaron’s Mitsubishi V6 engine was used in 1990 and 1991) before being shipped overseas to certain Chrysler dealerships. An automatic transmission was standard, however the less common 16-valve 2.2-liter versions were offered with a five-speed manual.
The example to be sold off by RM Sotheby’s was delivered to a a Detroit-area businessman, who kept it as a display in his office for many years before he sold it to its current owner, a car collector in Southern California. The car shows just 5,000 miles on the odometer and remains “in impeccable condition” according to lot listing. Included in the sale will be the vehicle’s hardtop roof rack and the original Chrysler Maserati tool and vanity kit.
RM Sotheby’s estimates the car will sell for $10,000 to $15,000 when it crosses the auction block late next month. Check out the listing at this link for additional information and photos.