Monday, January 5, 2015

5k: 5-Door Sleeper: 1977 Dodge Aspen Wagon

The real trick to building a proper sleeper is that the car needs to be ugly.  Not just rusty, or damaged, and you don't want to get Pontiac Aztec ugly.  The trick is to find some dumpy reject from the late '70s  that no one in his right mind would ever consider sporty.  Enter the Aspen.  The Chrysler F-body sibling to the Volaré, Dart, and Valiant is the perfect candidate for a big block swap.  Find this 1977 Dodge Aspen Wagon here on craigslist offered for $3,500 in Northwest CT.   Tip from Cory.

The craigslist ad is short and to the point:
  77 dodge aspen wagon with a built 400 big block, cammed out, heads port polished, edelbrock performer intake 4 barrel 600 cfm carb, moly rings new bearings , everything on motor new, and more just ask me too much to list .machine work done at machine shop in meriden, one of the best. All offers considered .$3,500 or make me offer.

The Aspen may have been Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1976, but even the nicest examples of Chrysler's compact coupe/sedan/wagon won't be showing up at the Pebble Beach Concours anytime soon.  But this one sports a big healthy V8 up front is just a few fender benders away from being a 24 Hrs of LeMons winner.

See a better way to go fast in a spleen colored wagon?


  1. Buy the engine and get the car free. Heck the engine probably has much more than $3500 into it.

  2. Always had a weakness for these after taking driver training in one in high school.

    They are a useful size and shape and there's enough glass to see out of.

    The chassis is nothing special, once upon a time Aspen/Diplomat cop cars littered the junkyards and you could build from that.

    They were built like crap, but then so was everything else from Detroit in the '70s and if it's survived this long it deserves to live.

  3. You can buy a nice Alfa Romeo 164 at this price.

    1. I'll never get tired of you saying that. I mean it. Alfas are things of beauty. Mostly.


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