Chrysler “LH” Series History 1993 -2004
2018 marks the 25th year since the introduction of the Chrysler LH platform series cars. As a leading group in everything LH, the Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club is celebrating and documenting the history of each LH platform model.
As the Chrysler Corporation struggled once again with financial troubles in the early 90’s something had to change. The “K-car” platform, that many say saved Chrysler, was dated and had run its course. In 1993, the LH platform was first introduced. Based on the American Motors developed and Renault derived Eagle Premier, some journalists branded it as Chrysler’s “last hope”. There are even some references of a relationship between the LH and a 1987 Lamborghini Portofino Concept Car which debuted at the Frankfort Motor Show. This likely derived from Chrysler’s purchase of Lamborghini. With features referred to as “Cab Forward Design” with a “Front Wheel Drive Longitudinally Mounted Engine” the LH platform series cars were a success for the ailing automaker.
There are two generations of the LH Platform.
The first generation 1993-1997, utilized the 3.3 L OHV or 3.5 L SOHC V6 iron block, aluminum head engine and a four speed automatic transmission. All are on a 113 inch wheel base with variations in sheet metal and trim levels differentiating the vehicle lines. The “Cab Forward Design” resulted in a larger, more luxurious passenger cabin than other contemporary’s offered. The drivetrain configuration is said to have been planned to be engineered into rear wheel or all-wheel drive versions, however that never came to fruition as they remained front wheel drive throughout manufacturing.
The first generation cars debuted in 1992 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI.
It should be noted at the time that there was consideration for a Plymouth version, Accolade, however it never made it into production.
The second generation 1998-2004 utilized some different engine designs. 2.7 L DOHC, 3.2 L SOHC and a 3.5 L SOHC V 6 aluminum block and head engines were developed and used. Four speed automatic transmissions were used with all engine configurations. Stiffer body shell designs, suspension refinements, and integrated side impact protection were added. Overall the LH Platform vehicle weights were reduced, resulting in better performance and fuel economy.
It should be noted that the 300M was originally developed and ready to go to market as a second generation Eagle Vision. There was even promotional sales literature ready to be released with Eagle Badges on the cars.
Both first and second generations of the LH line had various option and trim level packages available. Click the links above to explore each LH model year changes.
This Collective History of the LH has been a cooperative effort by Bob Day / FIREM – #0347 and Keith Jarvis / M-Pressive – #0569
Join the discussion about the history of the LH on our free forum.