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Less Than 11K Miles: 1977 Dodge Aspen SE

In 1976, Chrysler introduced the new Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen compacts. They followed Ford’s lead from the previous year by continuing the old compacts, Plymouth Valiant, and Dodge Dart, side by side with the new Volare and Aspen being the premium compact models. That was only for 1976, so in 1977 Volare and Aspen were fully in charge of compact sales at Chrysler Corporation. Here is a 1977 Dodge Aspen Special Edition 2 door coupe for sale here on Craigslist in Crestline, Ohio for $4,500.

Fresh from the farm, it is still wearing plenty of dust from the barn on the Forest Green Sunfire Metallic paint. The Special Edition model included such extras as power steering, deluxe insulation package, premium wheel covers, color-keyed wide side molding, and hood ornament. The landau vinyl top was an extra cost option which appears to be in great shape, as well as the body which shows no signs of rust or dents.

The Special Edition included an upgraded interior as well. The 60/40 seats are covered in green cashmere cloth with fold-down center armrest and included dual reclining seats. Further touches are the luxury steering wheel and color-keyed shag carpet which appears to be in great shape. Air conditioning is a useful option in this car.

What is remarkable about this Aspen is its really low mileage. In 41 years, this car has only been driven 10,563 miles. Under the hood, we find a 225 cubic inch slant 6 cylinder. The car also has an optional TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The only four pictures in the ad are included here. There is no word on whether the car is running or just how long it was stored, but with under 11,000 miles, it hasn’t seen much use. Is this a car that you would be interested in?

Comments

  1. TimS

    A car in that condition could really wow a fan of late 70s autos…if the seller had put in 20 minutes for a good wash job.

    Like 8
    • canadainmarkseh

      I agree why would you not wash it even under the hood. In my opinion these were good cars in there time you can’t beat the leaning tower of power for reliability and longevity. I personally would have preferred to see a 318 under the hood but this is ok too. The only bad thing about this car is they were strangled with emission control systems and that ate some power. I find it ironic that detuning an engine there by causing it to be less fuel efficient was thought to be a better way of making it environmentally friendly. Truth is back then there goal was to reduce nitrous oxide which makes brown clouds over cities. The trade off though was an increase in sulfer dieoxside do to catalytic converters Which does not make brown clouds but contributes to acid rain. In this time period it was more about disgising air pollution than reducing pollution. Air pumps for example were installed to dilute the CO readings at the tail pipe by pumping clean air into the exhuast. This is how the auto makers satisfied EPA until the could develop better systems I believe that the slant six engine and engines like it could fave survived into the future if they would have been equipt with the modern systems you see today. JMO.

      Like 8
  2. Howard A Member

    Probably when the ballast resistor fried, and it’s been parked ever since. Sorry, no way on the mileage. Nice try,,,again. There’s a slant 6 in there? Such nice looking cars, such poor build quality. Before the Saturn, the poster child for recalls.

    Like 6
    • KawiVulc

      At 314,000+ my SL2 owes me nothing. 500 miles a week commute, give or take a few plus runaround miles to keep it off the wife’s car. No idea what may have been done before I picked it up very clean with 118k on it but I haven’t experienced any problems I’d deem recall worthy. Recently dropped in a much lower mileage engine, replaced the clutch, subframe which was a bit crunchy… ready for at least another 100k! The SL1 it replaced had about 290,000 on it &about 6 years ago it was a task finding one that hadn’t had the snot beat out of it by some kid… also encountered (1) flood car and (1) rolled back by 10’s of thousands of miles, I assume by replacing the electronics…

      Like 3
      • dweezilaz

        Poster children of recalls: Ford Fairmont, Chevy Citation, Ford Focus.

        Kawi: I bought my 95 SL1 with 118,000 miles on it years ago. Still solid. The reason I bought an 05 ION [two recalls BTW : ignition switch and electronic power steering motor, nothing on the order of the three mentioned above]. Also solid, reliable and low cost to run.

        Little bro is still running the 95 now with 200,000 miles on it. It’s been across the country and back.

        Older bro and his family couldn’t kill their 95 SL1. And they’re poster people for poor maintenance.

        Like 2
    • Mark Hoffman

      My dad had a 76 Aspen. First time the ballast resistor blew he had it towed to our mechanic. Mechanic told us to get the $2 part and keep it in the glove box. We did along with an adjustable wrench.

      My dad, my brother and myself all drove that car at different times in it’s life. Seems like the ballast resistor blew out once a year the whole time we owned it

      Like 4
      • Nick

        My Chrysler Cordoba was the same way, I changed it every month, without a wrench because the firewall was stripped from changing the ballast resistor so many times. I always kept a spare, and had to buy them from the dealer because the part store resistors didn’t work well enough for that car. It was sad.

        Like 1
  3. KawiVulc

    “Forest Green Sunfire Metallic”… I like it. Looks like this car would spiff up pretty well. My dad had a beautiful ’77 Sedan deVille he bought new in a similar color which also featured white vinyl. The Caddy interior, fortunately, was not the nauseatingly swampy green shade found in this car. When I met the wife in ’85 her dad was still driving a ’72 or ’73 Chevy wagon in a peculiarly horrid sort of pea green color with a darker green interior which, comparatively, actually wasn’t all that bad. The only paint of comparable noxiousness that I had experienced prior to my encounter with the pukemobile I had mixed up myself using some 25 cent Pactra paints, which I then daubed on a Matchbox station wagon I didn’t particularly like so as not to waste it. She tells me the color combination was capable of inducing some wondrous car sickness and although I only rode in it a couple times I’m inclined to believe. My guess is a plea something along the lines of “Please, please let that abomination sell today” was regularly sent upwards before my then future father-in-law presented himself at the dealership in search of a deal.

    Like 2
  4. Natec

    How’s your Aspen?

    Like 4
  5. Classic Steel

    I would not bet my asph on the mileage 😮
    Show me proof and on low miles!
    Nice car but stop the low miles smack.

    The color is a good retro look

    Like 4
    • tompepper

      Old 6 digit spedo that has rolled over,The car looks a little to rough to be that low of mileage.

      Like 2
  6. Miguel

    Why is it when one car is featured, we get two or three more just like it within a day or so?

    Were there no other cars on the list to feature?

    Like 3
  7. Jeff

    I like the color. Without the landau top, these cars could be fairly sporty looking. The RT version was actually pretty cool.

    Like 5
  8. Max

    I do doubt the mileage also but I do like these in general !

    Like 0
  9. Lance Platt

    The Aspen never enjoyed the reputation for reliability that the it’s predecessor, the Dodge Dart, enjoyed. The slant 6 engine carried over and was dependable but lacked the muscle of the optional 318 or 340 to power air conditioning and to merge into traffic with confidence. The low mileage makes this example worth keeping despite it’s power deficit.

    Like 0
  10. PRA4SNW

    True, that mileage is hard to believe.
    Even harder to believe: A 100,000+ mile Aspen in Ohio that hasn’t rotted to the ground yet.

    Like 3
  11. Pete Kaczmarski

    It would be a nice summer driver car and take my ’79 Dodge Magnum GT to car shows.

    Like 1
  12. firemedic2714

    Challenger SRT drivetrain swap and go street racing.

    Like 0
    • canadainmarkseh

      Why would you take a beautiful car that has survived for almost 40 years and start bagging on it street racing. If you want to do that go by a hellcat challenger. A year of street racing or any racing for that matter and you might as well stick it under the big metal plate with the hydrolic ram. Besides isn’t street racing illegal?

      Like 0
  13. Del

    Nice cars. Great suspension with large F shape torsion bars.

    Had a few glips like the ballast resistor but once you knew about it and carred a spare then no problem

    77s prone to rust as no inner fender wells.

    The engine bay dies not look as clean as it should with purported mileage ?

    These cars were better with V8.

    Still a nice example

    Like 2
  14. Terry

    This aspen has true mileage as I’m the owner of it now. I brought it back to life with a complete detail and paint correction. Car hasn’t been driven since 1992. Was a one owner old lady car. Have documents to prove it. Will share pics soon!

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW

      Congrats Terry!
      My buddy had 2 Special Edition Aspens while growing up. Both belonged to his older brothers originally and by the time he got them, they were rust buckets – didn’t take long to get that way in salty MA.

      They were nice cars with comfy interiors and great running.

      Like 0

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