Wednesday, March 2, 2016

K-Carma: 1986 Dodge Aries

Irony is a clear consciousness of an eternal agility, of the infinitely abundant chaos.  -- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829).  Regular readers of this website will remember K-Cargate -- which started when someone here compared driving a K-Car to purgatory, continued when the president of the Chrysler K-Car Club defended K-cardom in the comments, and wrapped up with an eloquent treatise on the Thin Line Between Hate and Meh by Kaibeezy.  It was a distant memory until today when I opened up the tips box and found this thing looking at me.  Find this 1986 Dodge Aries offered for $800 in Alameda, CA via craigslist.

This isn't just another K-Car sent in by Kaibeezy and ready for ridicule...because this songbird is owned by none other than Mr K-Car himself, the same president who pointedly asked us to show the lil' K the respect it deserves.

Celebrity ownership and provenance aside...the real question we have today is -- why is this little K-Car in jail?  Who put the car that saved Chrysler in the '80s into the hoosegow?

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Got a tip? Send it here:


  1. Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin


    There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and a dead armadillo. - Jim Hightower

    and anyway...

    In the long run, we are all dead. - John Maynard Keynes

    so i won't be driving one of these, ever

  2. When I was a kid my neighbors had the Aries that wouldn't die. It always sounded so thrashed. When they would start the car in the morning the engine sounded like a drum solo. They drove that thing for 15 years. It never rusted or failed to start. It was either a Wednesday car ...or....the SPAWN OF SATAN!

  3. Fleetwood T. BroughamMarch 2, 2016 at 6:13 AM

    Anyone remember this ad from the early aughts? Funny stuff.

    Dodge Aries for sale ad

  4. My mother's friends drove one of these as a family vehicle -- same color. It had a bench seat, and I was a bit taller than the dad who was driving it (I was only 12). If he moved it back for me, the guy couldn't reach the pedals. When he moved it back up, I was crushed against the glove box. I ended up sitting in the back. What a car...

    His wife worked at Petersen publishing in the Research Department and would drive this thing to work. One of the Motor Trend guys saw her driving it and exclaimed "I can't believe you work for Motor Trend and drive that piece of shit!"

  5. i will be in minority but.... i actually hopped up one of these (as best you could)
    thicker sway bars front and rear, gas shocks, lumpiest cam that was streetable... that little 2.2 could move AND handle...and picking up on the fact that the reliant was a parody of mercedes (just like the granada was), i did a monochrome (single colour), throw on a trans am fin ala hurst olds, 2 scoops from a 70 dart backwards and i had a mini hurst olds (yeah that was the dream in 83/84 so you take what you can get... seeing as the aries/reliant was the replacement for the dart (2 gen later) then why not! hey i was 18 give me a break!
    gord in ontario canada

    1. remember the slant six... the 2.2 was the spawn of that.. slanted and aout 4/6th the displacement so... yeah you could play with it, lots of DC (direct connection) goodies back then

  6. Mr Shelby managed to make a K car do some pretty neat stuff. That's the nicest thing I can say about them.

  7. Y'know, aesthetically when you look at what Detroit was pushing out the door with the Tempo/Topaz and the K-car, the '81 Chevy Citation starts to look awfully good. It, at least, had normal seat/interior proportions.

    1. The '81 Chevy Citation was awfully good. I had one as my first car. Maybe that's just the nostalgia talking. You are probably dead-on when you say "awfully good" because it was equal parts awful and good. Still, I miss that car and I've been tempted to pick up another as a goof.

  8. I remember driving in one of those back in the '80s.. I wasn't a teen and I recognized it as a piece of crap back then. Fortunately my dad rolled it and we got a larger piece of crap Cutlass Ciera S. At least that one had a 6 cyl.


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