The Rare One: Dodge's Street Kit Car
The Dodge Aspen is a compact car from Dodge (a division of Chrysler Corporation) that was produced from 1976 to 1980. In fact, this car was analogous to the model Plymouth Volare. For the first time, the models Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare were introduced in 1975, like the cars of the 1976 model year. Immediately after the release in 1976, they were awarded the title "Car of the Year" from Motor Trend magazine.
The Dodge Aspen was available in three body styles: a 2-door coupe, a 4-door sedan and a rather unusual station wagon for this segment. The model was designed on the basis of a new, for those times, F-platform. The wheelbase of the cars was 2.863 mm (46 mm longer than their predecessor, the Dodge Dart model). Design and launch of the car in production took place in the shortest possible time. In fact, the first buyers of the Dodge Aspen were unexpectedly test drivers who conducted the final tests of the car. In 1978, many 1976 and 1977 model years were recalled to replace the front bumpers, due to their susceptibility to premature corrosion. Many cars received new front bumpers. With the beginning of the use of galvanized body panels and plastic front bumpers, the problem of corrosion for the Dodge Aspen was solved.
For the Dodge Aspen model, a 6-cylinder 3.7-liter Slant Six engine was offered as standard. As an option, the car could be equipped with one of two proposed V8 power units with volumes of 5.2 and 5.9 liters. As for the transmission, the following options were offered: 4-speed manual transmission and 3-speed automatic transmission TorqueFlite.
It is worth noting that in 1977, the reason for the recall of cars was not only corrosion, but also engine problems, and more specifically with Chrysler carburetors. The problem was that the car was difficult to start, even if the engine was turned off only for a minute. But this deficiency affected not only the Aspen model, but, one might say, the entire Chrysler corporation, because of this deficiency the following models were withdrawn: Volare, Cordoba, Dart, Valiant, Charger, Challenger, Coronet, Polara, Monaco, Scamp, Duster , Fury, Grand Fury, Satellite, Road Runner, Barracuda.
The Dodge Aspen was offered in three trim levels: Base (basic), Custom (customer-specific options) and SE (Special Edition). SE grade was in the unique elements of the finish. For example, the Aspen SE model in the station wagon was distinguished by special panels in the color of the wood on the sides of the car. Also for Dodge Aspen had a special package R / T, which was available only for versions in the station wagon. It included a standard 5.2-inch V8 engine or a 5.9-liter V8 as an option.
In 1977, for the Aspen model in the coupe, a T-roof was added to the list of options (at the roof over the head of the driver and passenger there were removable panels that were connected by a non-removable central part). In the same year, in addition to the R / T options package, a special option "Super Pak" is offered, which includes front and rear spoilers and rear side windows such as blinds. With this configuration, the model with the R / T package was called the Super R / T (since 1978, the Sport R / T).
Only in 1978, two special coupe versions were offered: Super Coupe and Kit Car (both versions were equipped with the "Super Pak" option package). The Super Coupe version included: tires Goodyear GT GR60x15, 15/8 wheels, reinforced suspension and a special body color called Sable Tan Sunfire Metallic. On the sides of the body were applied 3 stripes (orange, blue and red). For the year it was produced 531 Sport Coupe.
The Kit Car version was released in honor of the legendary NASCAR racer Richard Petit. The goal was to give the Dodge Aspen the look of a race car, as much as possible. The only thing that was not suitable for a racing car was the automatic transmission, which came as standard in the Kit Car version. The body was painted in a special red color.
In 1979, the Dodge Aspen received a new speedometer and new exterior colors. Also, the engines now have the ability to connect diagnostic equipment to it.
1980 was the final year for the production of the Dodge Aspen model. This year, the car has undergone changes in the front end, which has become similar to such models as the Chevrolet Nova and Ford Fairmont. The hood, fenders and bumper were borrowed from the Dodge Diplomat model.
In 1981, the Dodge Asries replaced the Dodge Aspen.