Thursday, February 25, 2016

Know Your Rights: 1980 Dodge Mirada

You have the right to remain silent and refuse to turn over.  Anything you drip on the driveway may be used against you when bargaining.  You have the right to consult a Chilton's guide before speaking to mechanic.  If you cannot afford a service adviser, one will be appointed for you. If you decide to drive somewhere without a mechanic present, you will still have the right to stop running at any time until you talk to a mechanic. is a Dodge Mirada...not a Miranda.  Find this 1980 Dodge Mirada offered for $6,400 in Fairfield, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Safety Fast.

The Mirada was Dodge's version of the (Ricardo Montalban approved) Chrysler Cordoba and Imperial -- but it was the next generation with a more bland set of headlights and the leather was not longer made from the hides of soft Corinthians.

What you get in the Mirada is a Chrysler 318 cubic inch LA-series small block V8 good for (wait for it....) 120 horsepower.  Before you start shouting KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN at the top of your lungs, you should take note that with 245 ft-lbs of torque the 318 will at least give you some mild off-idle oomph.

See another forgotten subspace cruiser?


  1. It is too bad that manufacturers stopped the faux convertible look. Always classy in my book.

  2. We had rented one for a week back in the day. Almost a base model, I remember guys in the shop wanting to drive it off the 4 foot loading ramp at whatever speed we could get up. At around 30 mph it only bent up the front bumper, but what fun it was in a new piece of junk. The front fender to door alignment might have been off a little too....

  3. I like the rims, too, but that's about it. These are forgotten for a reason, I would say. $6,400? Ha.

    By the way, I had a 78 Cutlass with a 110HP V8 so you could actually do worse. What an awful time. Crush it.

  4. One of those "Billy Badass" types in my high school had one of these, I believe it was a 318 (could have been a 360, no clue, but definitely a V8). He thought he was hot stuff, and regularly did massive (one tire) smokey burnouts in the school parking lot. He used to talk a boatload of smack about our hand-me-down "furrin'" econo crap-boxes and how sweet his "Mopaaah" (Mopar in New England speak) was.

    Then one glorious day, a girl from my circle of friends in her stock early 90's, automatic Civic EX 4 door made him look like an idiot one day after school. He was doing his usual WOT run out of the school parking lot, and our friend stayed right on his bumper, passing him in front of the rest of us who were waiting for the bus in front of the school, then putting a few lengths on him before they both lifted for the stop sign.

    It was then that I realized that his Mirada had approximately the same horsepower as our friend's Civic, but weighed nearly twice as much.

    A note, while the above sounds fairly unsafe in a school zone... it was a 4 lane rd, middle turn lane, and I'm pretty sure neither car exceeded the speed limit... these things were sssslllllooooowwwwww.

  5. Surprisingly enough, the non-faux-convertible Miradas received an even more inelegant treatment of the rear pillar with a rather hideous trapezoidal window.

    I've grown quite fond of these personal luxury cars, in spite of their inherent flaws; there's something attractive about indulgent profligacy. Over-the-top underengineering borne from a hubris developed through decades of import-free streets. The Judge Smails paint scheme is icing on the cake.

    1. The brilliance of the words "over-the-top underengineering" merits the slow clap.

  6. do a search for "Car Craft Dodge Magnum" and you can see what this basic body style is capable of becoming.


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