NASCAR Promo Car: 1980 Chrysler Cordoba

This Chrysler Cordoba is worth a look simply for being a nicely preserved example of a car we don’t see much of anymore, but it also has some interesting history that makes it even more intriguing. The seller refers to it as a “NASCAR Dealer Promo Vehicle” but doesn’t elaborate as to what that actually means, other than it seems to a very well equipped model with some additional cosmetic tweaks. The Cordoba has just 65,000 miles from new, and is equipped with the 5.2L V8 and loads of extras. While it may just be another gussied up special edition, it’s one we sure don’t see all that often. Find it here on craigslist with an asking price of $9,000.

For whatever reason, I’ve always loved the Cordoba and the Dodge Mirada, mostly for the styling – these were good looking cars, even in an era when downsizing and performance reductions were the norm. I’ll always give Chrysler credit for either sticking with building factory hot rods when times were good, and trying to squeeze out whatever performance was allowable when times were tight. Even their cosmetic enhancements always seemed more tasteful than the other brands, like the “Adult Toys” lineup with its healthy selection of roll bars and auxiliary driving lamps. The Cordoba has clearly been dressed up with a decal kit and the optional accessory wheels, not to mention a nicely integrated rear spoiler.

The interior features bucket seats, simulated wood grain trim in the dash and door panels, and a racy three-spoke steering wheel. Interior condition is quite nice, with no obvious flaws to report. The photos show the car under wraps in a private garage, so it seems likely it’s been kept as a collector’s car with sunny-day only use – which would also validate the low reported mileage. There’s not much information out there about the limited edition nature of the NASCAR package the seller claims this car left the factory (or dealer) with, so it’s difficult to confirm where the special features were added. Not that it really matters much, but factory-installed is generally more desirable than dealer-installed.

The engine is the upgraded 5.2 V8 4 BBL mill, which should sound plenty powerful barking through the Flowmaster exhaust the seller has installed. The engine bay is incredibly well detailed, and the seller has obviously spent a lot of time making sure it’s as clean under the hood as it is outside. The listing does mention it a was a former museum car, which also helps to ensure the cosmetics were kept in tip-top shape. Overall, it’s an interesting specimen as a collector car as it’s obvious it was kept in excellent condition but the limited market for a slightly obscure model like this could hold it back. Still, you could do far worse for $9,000 when looking for a limited-edition survivor car. 

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  1. Moparman Member

    Very nice! This one appears to have the one piece replacement rear end cap, as the soft trim fill pieces deteriorated w/ UV exposure. I like the mods (except for the side exhaust tips); it’s a shame that the dash is not filled with gauges, instead of those blank spaces, though! Buckets and a console would be great, too! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 10
    • William

      Your right. Usually the rear end pieces come in two pieces, and usually that are falling apart. One of the most beautiful cars of the era that Chrysler would have sold more of if they hadn’t been so close to the brink. “Super CMX” is either a Canadian thing, or someone’s idea privately. I do not recall that. Besides, the CMX was only a Dodge Mirada thing, or at least I think. Someone here on one of these sites in the past has shown a very nice restored deep blue colored one, that one is super nice. I think I like that color better, but this does look great. Even the interior is almost perfect, and a good thing too as I bet no one makes repo interiors for these.

      Like 2
      • Moparman Member

        Somewhere, I have pictures of the elusive blue Mirada, but here is a picture of one that sold a year or so ago. The front fender vents look good, and it’s what I kept missing on the “super” one, also, both front ends look good ! :-)

        Like 7
      • William

        Another beautiful car there Moparman, thank you. If you find that blue one, please post it here, I wouldn’t mind seeing that one again. I should have saved it when it was posted (where ever that was) You know, maybe on the For FMJ bodies only web site. Yeh, bet it was there. Have to go looking. Have a great day Moparman.

        Like 2
  2. Scott

    I had a new Cordoba in 81…. White with blue velour interior, buckets, console, sunroof and even AM/FM/CB built in! My dad had the new 81 Imperial too, black with tan leather. Loved them both!

    Like 3
  3. Skorzeny

    I like the looks of this, but I don’t recall a lot of the cars in NASCAR having a column shifted 3 speed automatic. LAME! I would go modern Hemi and a 5 speed. Along with a few other upgrades.
    Can’t be a lot of these left.

    Like 2
  4. Connecticut Mark

    Looks a lot faster than it will go. Looks kind of mean.

    Like 3
  5. Matt in L.A

    I had a 1980 Dodge Mirada. It was visually the same front and rear facias and dash. Nice car to cruise in but it had the slant 6. I was 20 y/o . I think I could run faster that that car! But it was a beauty. This one is tempting for me!

    Like 4
  6. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I like the look of these. Being somewhat obscure but in good shape and not very expensive makes this a good candidate for a cruiser collectible.

    Like 4
  7. EPO3

    It is what it is a nice 80’s MOPAR

    Like 1
  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking car. Although I was too young at the time to drive a car, I remember seeing cars like this. For some reason, you don’t see these on the road very often. I’ve always found them way more attractive than earlier Cordobas.

    Like 2
  9. 200mph

    The Chrysler Cordoba was never raced by the factory… a few independent drivers (Buddy Arrington, others) ran them in a few Nascar races.

    This is a dealer add-on wing, wheel and tape stripe kit. Very common at the time, but no Nascar connection.

    (Nascar cars used rear spoilers in this era, not “wings” like this car wears).

    Like 3
  10. Rabbit

    According to my parts look-em-up program, If that’s actually a *real* 300, it should have a 4bbl 360 in it.

    Like 1
    • Gus Fring

      Wrong, that was in 1979 only and it was an E58 360 HP/Police engine.

      Like 3
  11. steve

    i had a black 80 mirada years ago, red velour, 318 lean… it was a nice car for us and our 2 kids. first ‘real’ car i ever owned.

    Like 1
  12. Joe Sewell

    A bit of history. I’m almost certain the 360 motor was available for the final generation but the following doesn’t have it listed after 1979.“personal-luxury”.228738/

    Like 1
    • Gus Fring

      It (E58) was available until 1980 for police cars (Gran Fury and St. Regis).

      Like 1
      • William

        No, they made less then 100 1980 Miradas with the police 195HP 360 in them. They had to suddenly stop when it was decided that the 360 could not meet the 1980 emission controls for that year, but somehow Chrysler got away with those already produced. A true factory 360 is even more rare then these cars already are. I have often wondered why these are not more valuable. They look great, they are very rare, and they will fit any Chrysler small block you care to put in, including a modern hemi. I saw one online like that a few years back, pretty slick.

        Like 2
  13. Gus Fring

    Total BS on this car…it’s a homemade “package” not even offered through a dealer. This is some guy’s creative side coming out and trying to fool someone into his home-brewed hype.

    Like 1
  14. Maestro1 Member

    I’ve always liked these cars but I have no room.

  15. Ray

    No “rich Corinthian leather”, so it’s a hard pass!

  16. MitchRoss Member

    Can’t go wrong for $9000

    Like 2
  17. Mark maxwell

    Ordered an 82 Dodge Mirada w/t-top, loved it had it 10 yrs before getting an offer I couldn’t refuse. Wish I still had it never see them at car shows

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