451-Powered 1976 Dodge Aspen R/T!

Let’s face it; by the mid-1970s the classic muscle car era had come and gone. Few V8s in those days made more than 200 HP, and most Dodge and Plymouth sport models were mere shadows of epic Mopar muscle-cars like the late-1960s and early ’70s Plymouth Road Runner and Dodge Coronet R/T. This particular 1976 Dodge Aspen R/T in Reno, Nevada, however, packs more than stripes, mag wheels, and hope. A 400 V8 stroked to 451 cid cures any hint of ’70s lethargy. Better yet, it seeks a new owner here on craigslist, where $8800 makes it yours. Thanks to reader Pat L. for spotting this mid-’70s surprise.

What’s described as “factory paint” looks surprisingly shiny. The aftermarket Torque-Thrust wheels add a vintage muscle look. The tidy chrome and overall clean presentation should please potential buyers.

No one builds a stroker motor without adding other goodies, and this one appears to have plenty of shiny bits to help it go faster. Fuel economy is not mentioned, but it’s probably in the area of (mumble mumble, cough) MPG.

The interior is not bad, either, though $3 worth of Armour-All wouldn’t hurt when you’re trying to get $8800. Upgrades include wheels and tires, Hughes auto/manual transmission, 2500 stall converter, and an Auburn posi-traction rear end. Parts and motor probably represent at least $5000 and you get the running, driving R/T for $3800. Suddenly the ’70s don’t seem so bad anymore. Who can share a story about a cool car of this vintage?

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  1. TimS Member

    This could be a pretty cool sleeper. Some guy at a show could go, “too bad it’s only got like 110 horsepower.” And you could say, “oh really?”

  2. CapNemo

    Love this thing. I build stuff like this.

  3. Tom Member

    Hey, how’s your Assbeen? Sorry, that never gets old in my book!

    It’s like pulling up to a pompous rich guy in a Jag and saying, in a complimentary tone…” Wow, what a Jag U are!

    Ok I’m done.

    • CapNemo

      Right on!!

    • Dave

      Yinz from Pittsburgh? Seriously, this car is worthy of the R/T badges and the gas mileage isn’t much worse than the smog- addled 360. Two thumbs up to the builder.

  4. Vance

    In 1979 Southeastern Michigan, you could virtually watch these cars rusting away before your very eyes. Their claim to fame as the most recalled vehicle (at the time) didn’t do anything to bolster peoples confidence either. This one seems quite a bit different. One thing is for sure, you would have the fastest one in town. This would be fun to own, not a bad price to boot.

  5. Timmy

    You can add horsepower by throwing away the Briggs & Stratton air cleaner and letting some air in,next lose the 8 lb ignition coil that takes 1& 1/2 seconds to fill before releasing a spark not good for rpm’s fit an msd those two mods will pump it 75 hp.overall a nice piece I would like to have one

    • NewtownJack

      Accel “super coils” have the same output as stock (basic) canister coils. I was a product designer there. They’re nothing more than fancy packaging with an inflated price.

    • 1st Gear

      This guy can also free up some horsepower by tossing those cast iron exhaust manifolds.

  6. Joe Mac

    Always wanted a 76 – 79 R/T for some unknown reason. They looked pretty hot when new, especially the ’79. I like the decal layout that year the best. The ’78 Super Coupe’s with the 225HP 360 engines would be fun to have too but are rarer than a Buick GNX. Not a big fan of the Husqvarna paint scheme in the engine bay on this particular car, and where is the big tail spoiler that completes the look of these late 70’s R/T’s and Roadrunners? I’d offer $6k here.

    • Gary Gardner

      I bought my 79 Aspen R/T 360 4brl. back in 1981.I still own it. Only 384 in 79 came with the 360 4brl. And only known Aspen R/T to exist with a Halo vinyl roof.I removed the Lean Burn Computer. I put a different cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, carb and ceramic coated Hooker headers on it. Along with B&M shift kit in the 727 auto. And added 3:91’s. It runs much more fun to drive now!

      • Joe Mac

        Beautiful car Gary. That’s exacty what I’m looking for. Growing up a guy in the neighborhood had a black ’79 RT with Cragar S/S wheels on it. Always said I’ll grab one along the way….well 40 years gone and I’m still looking to grab one. Enjoy that sweet ride you have there.

  7. mark houseman

    Here’s one I just found but don’t know what the story is……..left a note on the door.

    • mark houseman

      a rear shot…..

    • Vince H

      They might find the note when they come back in 10 years.

    • stillrunners

      Rare Demon – 71-72 – fresh air hood scoop there….

  8. Blueovaldude

    If one could just swap the 5 mph bumpers with the first gen, these cars would look sooooo much better.

  9. Troy s

    Killer street machine, as usual those torque thrusts really add to the look of this car. Agree with above comment about the tiny air cleaner but that could be changed out, missed or it’s not mentioned about the rear gears.
    Yeah, forget all about restoring these to original, why build a complete dud when you could have a machine like this? Keep ’em coming!

  10. Matt

    Love the old cars but like the modern touches of the new, that’s why I got a 16 scat pack with 392hemi and a 6 speed stick(automatic faster but manual u.s more fun to drive)

  11. lc

    A great car when new. Had a ’77 R/T 360, auto in Sunfire Metallic Black…never had any issues with it which was remarkable given the build quality over at Chrysler. Perhaps the guys on the line gave it a bit of extra love because it certainly did look special.

  12. the one

    tight fit! The builder did a really nice job, from what we can see..

  13. vlrd56

    As my American is poor,I did not understand what is the power of this car ,

    • Chunk

      7.4 liters.

      With good parts and 10.5:1 compression, Hot Rod Magazine got 673 hp at 6,900 rpm and 527 lb-ft of torque at 5,400 rpm. That’s 502 kilowatts and 715 Nm if you’re metric…

  14. Fiete T.

    Get rid of the isolation plugs on the front cradle and the rubber pieces on the rear, kype parts off an F or M body cop car… no the car will handle worlds better, too

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Needs the rear tape striped spoiler to complete the look.

  16. Wrong Way

    Great car, I am surprised to see it still posted. There were a lot of crazy builds back then. I hope someone else buys this, and have a great time with it.

  17. David

    She sure looks good. Love those rims too. Nice work!


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