If ever there were a perfect car...

Chrysler Eagle Vision (1994)

Early in 2005, I had just moved to a new area, and was in search of some cheap temporary wheels.  I'd been an admirer of the Chrysler "cab-forward" LH cars since their introduction in the early 90's.  Wanting a bit of style as well as simple transport, I considered one of these cars my first choice as I perused the auto classifieds.

Let us quickly consider the history of these cars.  Announced new for 1993, these cars (the Eagle Vision, Concorde, and Dodge Intrepid), are the line of cars the legendary Lee Iacocca brought into being as his final triumph before retiring as Chairman of Chrysler Corporation.  In their styling, design integrity and the careful thought that clearly went into every detail, these are unmistakably the handiwork of The Master.

One Sunday I opened the paper and saw a new ad, for a 1994 Eagle Vision at a very reasonable price.  I called the number the same day, and a few hours later was standing in the lot of a local mechanic, looking at a sleek red 4-door in good condition, with the slight nose-down rakish slant typical for these cars.

Red isn't my usual color for cars, but I quickly decided that if this one checked out well, I would buy it.  It did (with flying colors) and so I did.

Never have I been happier with a car I have owned, or indeed driven (including more recent versions of these same cars, excellent as those are.)  Here are the reasons I love my Eagle Vision:

  • Its looks -- sleek and rakish, smoother than the Intrepid and less adorned than the Concorde
  • Roominess, quiet and general comfort (I'm 6'1", and can wear a fedora sitting in the driver's seat)
  • Good power even witn the 3.3 liter engine
  • Excellent driving visibility all around
  • Everything, I mean everything, is in exactly the right place, oriented in exactly the most convenient manner, and works exactly as one would expect.  Vents, window controls, door locks, headlight switch, everything.
  • All gauges and indicators highly visible, well-positioned, and easy on the eyes.
  • An enormous trunk.
  • Huge console storage, large and numerous map pockets, spacious and conveniently oriented glove compartment, and retracting cupholders.
  • So far, completely and utterly dependable, in all weather.  Has never come close to overheating, even during this recordbreaking summer of 2005.
  • That 3.3 liter engine at idle seems to make no more noise or vibration than a well-maintained sewing machine.  It just sits there ticking over, quieter than a purring cat.
  • Decent mileage -- a consistent 21mpg in mixed city/highway driving.
  • Just plain fun to drive.
Who needs a new car?  I want to hang onto this one as long as I can.

From time to time, a common, commodity consumer item appears that is so simply yet so brilliantly designed and executed that it becomes a classic, inspiring affection in the hearts of the masses (or a significant portion thereof.)  I think this line of cars falls into that category, and are destined to become classics.

The best line of American sedans ever made?  I know how I would vote.

Thank you, Mr Iacocca.

My 1994

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