Muscle Up: 1979 Dodge Aspen R/T

The owner refers to this 1979 Dodge Aspen R/T as a “muscle car”, would you agree? I guess, for the times, I would have to agree with that statement. Of course, you can’t compare a 1979 vehicle to the classic late-60s/early-70s muscle car era. But, this may have been as close to a muscle car as there was in 1979. This R/T is on Craigslist in Gaffney, Georgia, about 1/3 of the way between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, with an asking price of $6,995. Thanks to Rocco B for tracking down this R/T!

The car appears to be in really nice condition, other than the missing chunk of grille seen here. The seller mentions that this car hasn’t been redone and it appears to be mostly original, other than the American mags. There is no mention as to if the OEM rally wheels come with so I’m assuming that they do not. Bummer. You can see that the trunk is partially-open in this photo but, alas, there are no photos of the trunk. Again, sellers, CL ads include at least a dozen free photos, please take more photos of your vehicles! (I’m preaching to the choir, I know)

The interior looks pretty darn presentable, how’s that for being understated! Of course, you can see the column-mounted automatic shift lever so this isn’t a 4-speed floor-shifter car. That would have made for an enjoyable way to wring the power out of the “muscle car” engine. Although, my 20-year old, rusty Subaru Outback winter beater has a touch more hp than the slightly-detuned California version of this car does; just as an odd observation. This interior looks like it’s in great shape, but I do see a crack in the dash, and what’s going on above the door on the passenger side? Is that just worn or chipped paint or is that rust starting there? I hope that’s not the case but it sure looks like it to me. Like the no-trunk photo, there are only two interior photos and none of the backseat or any detail photos, but the two included front seat photos show a good-looking car, in my opinion.

Here’s where the “muscle car” debate may begin and end, with Dodge’s 360, 4-barrel V8 with about 195 hp! For 1979 that’s a decent amount of power. The engine bay looks fairly tidy and some detailing would do wonders here. There doesn’t appear to be really rust or corrosion or any glaring red flags here; do you see anything that looks like trouble here? This car would have had a 0-60 time of around 8-seconds, not bad at all for today, let alone in 1979 when emissions and other factors were killing the power in our “muscle cars”. Any thoughts on this one? Is this a fair price for this car, given it’s nice condition and top engine and AC and cruise control options?

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Comments

  1. Anthony

    Buy this one and the lime green Road Runner from Texas… put the 4 speed and the black dash in this car, build up the 360 should make a nice car

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  2. Al

    I agree, since we can no longer appreciate your comment.

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  3. Gunner

    Better looking than the Lime Green Road Runner, and definitely more ready to go than the “Super Coupe”!

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  4. bill

    we, the community want our thumbs back.

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    • Jason

      Yeah the lack of thumbs is sucking. Whatever improvement was made that resulted in that change wasn’t worth it.

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      • Puhnto

        I thought they said they were only removed temporarily until they got everything sorted, then they’d be back. Or did I misunderstand?

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  5. Blyndgesser

    The 360 four barrel was the closest thing to a muscle motor Detroit had to offer in 1979, in which year I lived in Gaffney, which is in South Carolina, not Georgia.

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    • Billy

      The 360 put out more power then the Corvette in those years.

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      • tje

        As an owner of a 77 Vette with a 350 and a slushbox – I concur. It took work so that I’d not be embarrassed by current day Honda Accords at red lights.

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  6. Fred W.

    I think you can thank the guy who went through and thumbs downed every post for the “lack of thumbs”.

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    • bill

      yes someone got butthurt because they got a thumbs down. although 99% of us could care less we have to cater to that 1%.. welcome to todays America.

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      • Jesse Jesse Staff

        Oh my heck! The thumbs came down because we updated the server and it didn’t play nicely with the new version of PHP. I don’t have time to recode the whole thing so we are looking for another solution. You all are commenting a lot more instead of just clicking thumbs though so maybe we should just leave it off.

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  7. jwinters

    lets have a vote on it Jesse
    I vote yes

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  8. Adam T45

    Sorry, but I simply don’t believe that this car is original and hasn’t been redone. That problem above the passenger door looks like a really bad masking job to me. Couple that with what appears to be over-spray on the door-frame seals on both sides, and I think you may well have a recipe for much pain and misery. Sorry….just saying.

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  9. Howard A Member

    Say what you will, I think this is one of the nicest, newer looking cars to come through here. The color and the mags, the era went out with a bang with these cars.

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  10. DAN

    want our thumbs back

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  11. LAB3

    Those 360’s where known for putting out a good bit of torque, I’d bet an intake, carb and headers would get this thing flying!

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    • Nova Scotian

      Agree. Remove the soft stuff and up grade the engine…and …upgrade this web site thumbs please.

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  12. Dirty Dingus McGee

    That should be an E58 360, which is the same as the police car engine. They came with forged crank and rods. Put a cam, good heads (early 340 or new Indy aluminum heads), intake and exhaust and 400 hp is easy to get in a very street friendly motor.

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    • John D

      I thought the top ends of 5.9 magnum blocks was the way to wake the early LA engine’s power. Maybe not, I was a salesman not a tech. If I ever had a 318 that I wanted more punch from, my plan was to add heads and a matching manifold with a 4 barrel.

      I vote yes on thumbs, but I also vote yes on better running servers!

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  13. Rustytech

    I like the car, it’s certainly in better shape than the green one. As always I’d want to do a thorough inspection before any money changed hands. As far as the thumbs go, I also would like to see them come back, and I’m sure the guys will get it back as soon as possible. I can tell you from experience, a new server doesn’t always mean better operation. I have been through several “enhancements” over the years where I work and I cringe every time I get an e-mail notice that another is coming.

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  14. z28th1s

    I like the looks of this car! I also like the look of the American Racing Torque Thrust D wheels and could care less if they had the original rally wheels with it.

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  15. AutoArcheologist

    There are some other interesting cars on this guy’s lot … What looks like a 55 Chevy in one shot, the yellow Stude pick-up in another, plus several others… Wonder if it’s a small dealer…? I don’t see any kind of signage aside from the Red Roof Inn and Visit Downtown sign, but it does appear to be a fenced in “dealer type” lot…

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  16. ClassicCarFan

    I’d like to see the thumbs up/down back. It gives us a good idea of how others feel about any particular comment.

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  17. Rattle Trap

    Only 872 R/T’s built in ’79. And only 384 360-4 across the entire Aspen 2dr line. The factory hp rating is in stock configuration choked thru single 1-3/4″ exhaust. Can you imagine? Open up with true duals, advance to cam with a new timing chain, and give it a better ignition system. Then you see the real muscle it has while running right alongside stock big block cars. Sure, it takes being lightly modified, but the building blocks are right there.

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    • Nova Scotian

      👍

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  18. BMW4RunninTundra Member

    Looks like Nova Scotian figured out a way for the thumbs up!!!!!! I know, as usual, I am late to the “party” but come on, give these guys a break!! They work HARD to keep this site up and running, with little to even littler money!!! I thought the focus of the site was to educate/comment on all things automotive?! Not slap each other’s back if someone makes a good comment nor tear someone down if an “unpopular” comment is made!!! So my vote is: I couldn’t care less about the self appreciation “thumbs up” or the non constructive “thumbs down”!!!!!!!!!
    If you have an opinion, write it, don’t click it, makes for a much more understood reasoning!!
    Now “thumbs downers” unite and tear me apart!!!!
    (maybe that will aleviate some of the stress that has built up due to not being able to click the up/down button)

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