Gold and Cold: 1982 Dodge Mirada CMX

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For some strange reason, I am drawn to the Dodge Mirada. I’m guessing there’s a support group out there awaiting my arrival. I attribute it to the fact that I find many domestic vehicles from this era to be somewhat abhorrent design-wise, but the Miradas just work for me. I find it to be a seriously good-looking car with just-right proportions. Check out this one here on eBay and tell me if you disagree!  

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I like the trophies on the front seat, letting you know the seller has earned some street cred with his survivor-grade Mirada. I suspect any recognition he’s received has more to do with the fact that you plain don’t see them on the roads anymore and less about the Mirada being a fan favorite. The judges probably figure anyone who has kept a near-obsolete car intact and running deserves a prize.

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These cars were born from an era where horsepower checked out and (mostly unfounded) claims of new efficiency checked in. I guess the reason that the Mirada doesn’t get met with outright disdain from yours truly is because Chrysler at least designed an attractive car despite its performance shortcomings. I realize that is a bit subjective, but I often feel that malaise-era cars not only perform poorly but they also look awful doing it. At least this CMX can distract you with style when slowly cruising by. I’m being serious!

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In addition to its impressive condition, this Mirada came with the factory gold package and still has cold, functional A/C. I believe the seller’s claims that this was a garage-kept example as it’s too clean not to be. The bidding is just over $3,000 with the reserve unmet; do any of our readers agree this could at least be an worthy addition to a collection lacking a malaise-era car, or is it just as bad as the rest of them? Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Jeff, believe it or not I share your affection (affliction?) for the Mirada. However, I cannot stand the fake convertible top on some of them, this one included. I wish they had made a real convertible, though!

  2. Moparmann Member

    I would love to have one of these WITHOUT the (UGH!!!) fake top. The CMX would be my first choice; w/ console and buckets. I like these because (IMO) they were the last vestiges available during a dark period, of a good looking TWO DOOR car!! :-)

  3. Chebby

    It looks like a jumbo K-car.

    • The Walrus

      Actually, the K-Cars were a mini Mirada… Chicken before egg type thing.

  4. Rich

    So glad I’m not the only one that likes these. I’ve always had a thing for them, but never admitted it, lol.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      I’m right there with you, Rich. I remember these when they were new and thinking that they were great looking cars (at that time). As a kid who grew up riding in a long series of full-sized station wagon third seats (the folks had (6) kiddies, you know. . .) I’d been enthralled by the concept of full-sized two-door cars, and the boxy styling of the Mirada was ideal for its time. I never felt the same about the Thunderbird, Monte Carlo, or even the Cordoba; it was the Mirada which really caught my adolescent attention and made me want for something different.

  5. Blindmarc

    A friend of a friend had one in the laye80’d. But my gold “sunshine special” 69 barracuda would walk away from it with no problem.

  6. grenade

    Uh Oh, it looks like there’s a bunch of us out there… I like them too but have no reasoning behind it. They look fast but weren’t. I think the styling is cool and with a modern driveline, you’d have a real conversation starter. (and tire shredder) :)

  7. Gary

    I think you got the fever…and the only cure? More COWBELL!

  8. William H

    Like many, I find this body style quite attractive minus that top. But, then again, I like the Lagunas as well.

    • grant

      The Laguna was a nice car. I had never even heard of these, but they aren’t bad looking.

  9. chris

    I had a 83 CMX with the fake convertable top.
    Put a mild 360 and 8 3/4 with 3:91 gears.
    It ran 13.70 @100 mph with street tires. Nobody new what it was. It was a lot of fun.

  10. SanityFactor

    I had a 81non cmx buckets console tho…full over roof trim bar…225 slant….pathetic one barrel elect. Feedback holley….i put a 77 super six intake and 2 barrel carter on it and it would run w the 318’s of the time….gave it away at 300k and the body was still solid….loved that car….

  11. Electronika

    I like these as well but would really perfer one with buckets a console and full power. This would make a really interesting full custom with a modern 5.7 hemi a drop with better wheels and a nice sporty interior maybe something cool from Dakota digital. Would never get your money back of course but it would make for a one of a kind car.

  12. The Walrus

    And so starts the support group… My name is Paul and I like the Mirada…

  13. Don Garnett

    I owned two Miradas in the eighties; loved them both. One was totaled and I was tempted to have the top chopped. Great driver and a classy looker. I would not mind having this one in my collection.

  14. Coventrycat71

    I like ’em too. And those Frank Sinatra Imperials from the same time…

  15. AMC STEVE

    Love these, I also love the Magnums

    • Bobsmyuncle

      The front end looks identical to me. I’d need to see the two cars side by side to know the difference I think.

  16. Francisco

    I was starting to love this car until moparman informed us it’s not a real convertible. My generation was in a fantasy world in the ’80’s, and many of us bought it.

  17. MikeG

    Didn’t some of these come with headlights behind a glass bezel? I seem to remember the bezel had graphic lines on it.

    • MountainMan

      Seems as though I remember that headlight treatment.

      I must admit, I like these too

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      MikeG, I think that was the St. Regis. I don’t remember a Chrysler product that had two doors and the glassed in headlamps, although someone here is likely to correct me?

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Yup, there was…it’s the 1978-1979 Magnum.

      • Mike H. Mike H.

        That’s quite a family resemblance there, isn’t it?

  18. Bobsmyuncle

    These can look REALLY sharp with the optional 10 spoke wheels and the deep red that was available. Oh and with a steel roof.

    But man this IS clean!

  19. rmward194 Member

    Always liked these as well.

  20. Kevin

    I loved these so much when they were new I bought one with t-tops and. 318. Quite possibly one of the worst cars I’ve ever owned (and I was a hard core Mopar man for many years)

  21. lynbyrd

    good looking car….but if you like these you gotta love the same vintage imperials withthe hidden headlights…I had a white on white with red accents..the most beautiful car ever as far as looks go and luxurious…it was terrible…I do have to agree with kevin…it was spaceage with computerized fuel injection in 81 and a digital dash..that was just the start of the problems. They just didnt’ have it together back then… but then again who did?

    • Keith

      I had an 82 Imperial Frank Sinatra edition up until a few months ago. Fortunately it had been converted by the factory to carbs. Everything on the car worked as far as electronics go and the electro-luminescence dash at night still kicks ass today. But I would never want to buy one that you’d have to do work on….the miles and miles of wiring and cables and vacuum lines….yeesh. But I have always liked the styling.

  22. Charles

    At a college where I worked in the 80s, a faculty member had a 2 door hardtop Black Mirada. He kept it waxed and cleaned. Being Black, it was very sinister looking and just “bad-ass!” We went to lunch several times and it was fast; don’t remember the engine, but it was a sweet ride!

  23. Moparfan

    This is too funny! I have always had a thing for the Mirada/Magnum. I bought the new Magnum (Dragon Wagon) because it has a similar face, but with a Hemi.

  24. Ron

    There used to be a Mirada that ran around my area, T-Tops with buckets and console. Deep Burgandy paint, black interior with the 10 spoke wheels. Not quite as good looking as my ’78 Magnum XE triple black but very very close.

  25. jim BROWN

    Great proportions, I like it also…given the times and what else was being manufactured.

  26. Allen Member

    Very attractive car. ‘ Love it. But isn’t it a twin of the Cordoba of the time? And speaking of the ’78-79 Magnums, would you believe I had a beautiful ’78 Magnum. Cost me all of $600! Drove it for two years and traded it for $800. Not one of my more glorious moments. That’s one I should have kept. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrgh…!

    Allen

  27. Ron (Florida)

    I had an opportunity in high school to by an 82 in dark blue with a white top and white interior from a friend of my dad that had a used car lot. it was in good condition and he only wanted $1200. I almost went for it until an 85 S-10 caught my eye that I ended up taking instead and thoroughly enjoyed. That top was the deal breaker for me since I lived in northeast Ohio at the time and I was afraid of what might have been under it if I removed it. Now I’m curious about whatever happened to that car and I wanna find out!

  28. John

    In 92 a waitress had a powder blue one with 318 t tops and buckets it wouldn’t go in gear and she gave it to me! Changed filter and fluid and drove it for two years. Traded it for a 58 Borgward Isabella coup with factory sunroof and a thousand dollars!

    • Francisco

      Do you still have the Borgward? If so, do you want to sell it?

  29. Charles

    We owned the Cordoba version of this car. While some of the plastic trim was cheap and had to be replaced several times, the structure and mechanical parts of the car were bullet proof. The car ran 326K miles with minimal issues and zero break-downs. The first wife took that car and an 85 Grand Marquis in the divorce. She drove it a couple more years then sold it and the other car to buy a new Beetle. The Cordoba was a good driving and riding car. I had collected up a bunch of new parts that I bought from the local Chrysler dealer as they were being phased out. Chrysler had a computer search program for obsolete parts located at various dealerships throughout the country. The dealers who had various pieces were glad to get rid of them, and the dealer I traded with sold me everything at wholesale price because I was a regular customer. So it was a win-win for everyone. After the ex sold the car I had no reason to keep the parts. I advertised the lot in a Chrysler collector/fan site and a fellow out west bought the whole lot from me. He owned a Mirada. He kept the items that fit his car and passed on the items that only fit on a Cordoba. He called me after the boxes arrived and told me that he had not paid me enough money for the items, and offered to pay more. I was happy to get a little something for them, but was even happier that a few people who had decided to preserve these cars were able to get the parts, as parts for these things are hard to find. I two complete sets of fender fillers, and those are prone to rot. The only shame is that the fender fillers on the Cordoba are not compatible with the Mirada. This looks like a nice old car! This will allow someone to get into the car hobby for a small price and have something that few other people have. It is still modern enough to drive in daily traffic.

  30. BarryP

    I used to work at a garage back in 1980 and as a demonstrator I had a Mirada and I loved it, was sorry when I had to give it back. The boss there had a Cordoba with the T-Tops which was nice too.The Mirada had the fake rag top and as somebody else said it is a pity they didn’t make a convertible.

  31. Joe

    My father bought a 1981 Cougar XR-7 in that era. Its still runs to this day.

    • Joseph Nuzzolo

      My father bought a 1981 Cougar XR7 with 255 V8 engine. It is still operating find to this day.

  32. James Madden

    1981 Dodge Mirada CMX original owner 149,000 miles. Bought off the showroom floor at Coleman-Young Motors in Mentor, Ohio March 15,1981for $8500. The window sticker was $10,921. They were pretty desperate to sell back then, and this car had been at the dealership for 5 months.

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