Saturday, June 11, 2016

Solid Gold: 1976 Dodge Aspen R/T

by Glenn -- The 70's were a time of change for the car industry...gas shortages, smog equipment, and new safety regulations all had a major effect on car manufactures and consumers alike. Car designs started to evolve around new crash standards resulting in...well lets just say it wasn't pretty. Most North American cars were utilitarian in design with minimal differentiation from one brand to another. There were a few models that attempted to carry the torch beyond the dying muscle cars of yesteryear, like this low mileage 1976 Dodge Aspen offered for $8,500 in Allentown, PA via craigslist.


In relative terms, Chrysler of the 70's was the smallest manufacturer of the big 3 in North America, but somehow they managed to pump out a few interesting cars with a grin factor. This 3-pedal V8 Aspen example demonstrates how Dodge was testing the boundaries and targeting some niche markets in a sea of blandness. 1976 was the first production year for the Aspen as successor to the newly discontinued A-body Darts & Dusters. Marketed as a compact vehicle, it was named Motor Trend Car of the Year when it hit showrooms.


Standard equipment in Aspens was the 225 slant six. This example came equipped with the 318 V8 advertised at 150 HP. Mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, there was just enough oomph to keep things interesting. The seller has listed some engine modifications which should help move it along nicely. The engine compartment looks well sorted and tidy.


The interior in this low mileage example looks to be preserved quite nicely. Fading black carpet is evident but the seller addresses this by including a new carpet set with the sale. Trim and instrumentation appear excellent as well. Although not a true R/T, the upgrades are tastefully done and seem right at home.


It's rare to see an Aspen anymore, let alone a nice low mileage example like this one. Most of them met their match with a crusher many moons ago. This one would be fun at your local Coffee & Cars events and would certainly drum up some interesting conversations.


See another goldish/brownish/coppery classic? tips@dailyturismo.com

6 comments:

  1. I had an Aspen R/T about 30 years ago. I put a low mileage 360 4Barrel from a rusty fuselage Fury in it and had a grand time with it until I wrecked it 3 days later

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  2. Looks really nice, I am a big Dart/Valiant, Aspen/Volare fan.

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  3. It's rust colored! How appropriate...

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  4. With some modern upgrades in the suspension and brake areas, I could see this making a pretty fun, interesting autocross, track day car. It might be seriously competitive, but still it would look pretty cool out there squealing tires.

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  5. Hey that is the same steering wheel that was on my 79 Dodge Little Red Express Truck cheap Bastards using NOS parts Bin. What Hippie sold them that seat cover material.....lol

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  6. Actually not bad looking from the front view with my eyes squinted.

    What hashed up styling orgy. Were people really this depressed in the 70's? I was too young and stoned to recall. I think.

    Just randomly stuck on various bits and pieces, stripes. Here ya'go.

    As a curiosity it is boffo. As transportation, just too clown nose.

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