Nicest One Left? 1980 Dodge Mirada CMX

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The market for personal luxury coupes was at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, with buyers flocking to showrooms for a stylish two-door that conveyed a message of sporty-ness and style. While the actual driving experience was far from sporting, this didn’t stop buyers from scooping up big body coupes like this Dodge Mirada and absolutely propelled the Big 3 automakers to continue cranking them out. The Mirada shown here on craigslist is nicely optioned and benefits from a variety of maintenance improvements that should make a turnkey driver for years to come. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Spencer D. for the find. 

The Mirada was produced on the Chrysler J platform for a fairly short four-year production run. The car followed the Magnum, which was another stylish two-door that we don’t see much of these days despite it being one of the more muscular coupes Mopar has ever made. With the impact of CAFE requirements, Chrysler actually downsized the coupe quite a bit when it rolled out the Magnum, shaving some 800 pounds off the curb weight of the Magnum. Despite what I consider to be handsome looks and ideal proportions, the Mirada was not a big seller for Mopar, with just 53,000 units finding buyers.

The Mirada came with a few different engine choices, with none of them being particularly exciting – this was the peak of the malaise era, after all. The venerable Slant Six was the entry level offering, with displacements increasing dramatically (and horsepower not exactly following suit.) The Mirada shown here comes equipped with the mid-pack 5.2L 318 V8. A 360 was offered, but only for the introductory model year. As you can see, the interior of the seller’s car is in excellent condition thanks to recently recovered front seats, and the seller notes that this car also comes with a floor-shift 3-speed automatic and functional A/C.

Perhaps the most attractive features of this Mirada beyond its refreshed interior and clean exterior – which benefits from an older respray that’s holding up well – is the recently rebuilt 318. The seller notes that the rebuild included a Comp camshaft, Edelbrock intake, a Holley carburetor, and a few other improvements. The exhaust system is also new along with the BF Goodrich tires. The asking price of $15,000 seems a touch high to me, but then again, very few Miradas come to market and even those that do rarely have this level of work put into them. For a cruiser you don’t see every day, it’s hard to be beat a Mirada or a Magnum, in my opinion.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. RICK W

    Give me a Cordoba or Dodge Challenger any day. Those had much more class, style and Luxury. 🏆. I would definitely DODGE this Mirada as a second rate successor. IMO ,I wouldn’t want it in my garage. 🤮. But, fortunately in America 🇺🇸, we can STILL have our own opinions. 🤔 Not sure how much longer 😕! Believe the name MIRADA is related to a Spanish word about LOOK. Hopefully someone else will better appreciate this look. BTW, what ever happened to CHROME bumpers and trim? Both sadly Gone With the Wind, along with really OTT excessive luxury. 😉 😜

    Like 8
    • Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

      I was at a loss for words. Thanks for helping me out! :)

      Like 6
  2. Big C

    These weren’t the worst looking Dodges made in 80’s, that’s for sure. And this one is in nice shape. But, thanks to this “robust” economy, $15,000 is the new $7,500.

    Like 36
    • Herbert

      The price of collector cars has little to do with the economy, it is speculation by sellers, and whatever they can get someone to pay. Unfortunately, sometimes fewer people have cash to spend on un needed items, those with it speak with that cash. The rest of us are like little kids looking through the candy store window and wanting some, despite empty pockets. They watch Johnny with full pockets inside picking out all the good stuff. Doesn’t seem fair, but when was life fair?

      Like 26
    • Rick

      Barrett-Jackson and Mecum are also hard at work driving up the price of collector vehicles and driving the everyday Joes and Janes out of the hobby.

      Like 22
    • Nick8778

      Kinda looks like a big brother to an Aries K. I know the Mirada came first. So, thn, the Aries was the Mirada’s little brother, styling wise…Not too terrible for the times; squared-off, “crisp” and boxy was the look after the blimp-like fat bloated 70s big cars…some of the worst of which were full-size GM (pick any of them–they’re all horrible looking) from 74-’76.

      Like 2
      • 814series

        Car was based on the Aspen/Volare

        Like 1
      • ClassicP

        You’re basically all alone in thinking 74-76 GM cars are blimps fat bloated cars. Some of the sharpest cars ever are in those years.
        Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Cutlass Supreme, not to mention 20 others.

        Like 0
    • Don

      Try restoring this Dodge with new paint, interior, and engine work and see what the bill comes up to.

      Like 1
  3. Mike S

    Oh how I miss mine! Slid off an icey road in 87. Mine had the 318 with the bench seat. Very comfortable ride. Wish I could get this. Wife misses it to.

    Like 0
  4. Todd L Beman

    I had a 1980 Mirada in the same color with gray interior. Despite Chrysler quality woes during this time, mine was a very good car. I hope the seller gets his price.

    Like 16
    • Paul

      Chrysler wasn’t the only automakers that had quality issues, all the American car makers produced junk at that time. The Japanese car makers forced the Americans to improve their products. Chryslers biggest issue at that time was rust, finding any Chrysler product from that era that hasn’t been reclaimed by mother nature is a miracle.

      Like 6
      • Philbo427

        Very true. And it was an American who helped the Japanese make the quality cars they make because the big three refused to listen to him and preferred “planned obsolescence”. Look up W. Edward’s Deming.

        Like 3
      • Philbo427

        Also I really like this car. Love the red interior. Looks super comfy to cruise in.

        The steering wheel is basically a Mopar “Tuff Wheel” . I used to think those only came in the early 70’s Challengers/Barracudas. I found a blue one from like a Cordoba or something for my Challenger and it matches the blue. Was like $25. It it came from a Challenger would be more money I would guess. Plus not sure if they had color matched Tuff Wheels in E-bodies?

        Like 2
      • Philbo427

        Type blue interior but disappeared. Need an edit button! 😃

        Like 1
      • karl

        sure, and Asian cars didnt rust away in that same time period ? Find me an 80 Toyota Corona or Accord in this shape . Other than one that hasn’t been garaged in Arizona its whole life, you wont find a good one, they all rusted to bits years ago

        Like 3
  5. Herbert

    Build on the J platform, a modified Aspen basically. If Chrysler hadn’t been on deaths door, these might have sold better, they are wonderfully beautiful. I saw one with a T-Bar roof in white when they were new and I fell in love. Thought about buying one then but the rising cost of gas had me, as well as most everyone else, afraid of how high it would go. Those were the days when a 60s muscle car was plummeting in value because of it. (if we had only known at the time. there would be many a Baby Boomer flush with cash today, well, at least if they had a place to store some until now). I ended up with a Chevy Citation. Not a fantastic car, but got me around with 25 MPG, maybe twice what this would have gotten. Still, the Mirada would have looked great in my driveway.

    Like 16
  6. N L

    Funny stuff! 😂

    Like 0
  7. JB

    My first new car was a 1980 Mirada. Grey with burgundy interior and the Slant 6. Wish I still had it even with all the issues, poor trim quality and transmission failed with less than 1000 miles on it. The dealer took care of me very well.

    Like 0
  8. CCFisher

    Remember when automakers used jingles in their advertising? I do. Any time I see one of these, I hear that woman singing “Mi-RA-daaaaaaa” in my head. The Mirada commercial is on YouTube, if you’re interested.

    Like 10
  9. Paul Rademacher

    Mine was white with red inside

    Like 0
  10. Al Dee

    When the Dodge Mirada came out, I wanted one so much. I traveled a lot in my job, and the company paid me a very handsome per-mile rate, that covered all expenses of owning the car. Even though they required me to own the car – title in my name, insurance, etc, since they paid me to travel, they had the say-so on what type of car I’d use on the job. I had a ’72 Plymouth Satellite Sebring at the time. I loved that car, but the company said I needed a new car for reliability purposes. So I sold the Satellite to a friend and went car shopping. I test drove the Mirada and loved it too. It was the loaded luxury model. I loved its looks all around – particularly the grille design and large tail lights, and it was the exact same color combinations as this Mirada (heck – it may be the same car). Both the Satellite and the Mirada had a 318cu engine, but the Mirada felt heavier to me and probably was. I really wanted that car, BUT when I passed it by my manager, he said it was a 2-door and the company required a 4-door, for carrying clients when necessary. So – I test drove the luxury-loaded Dodge Diplomat 4-door, with the premium maroon interior in a dove grey exterior. I really liked the looks of it too – and it presented as an executive’s car as well. The company approved it and so that’s what I bought. I really enjoyed driving the Diplomat – put a LOT of miles on it with NO problems at all. The car had nothing but regular scheduled maintenance for the years I had it. But, that Mirada – was still my dream car. I wish I could have afforded both, and if I had 15K to drop on a car right now, I’d be looking to grab this one. I’ve always held that Dodge made a big mistake in only producing it for 4 years, but car companies do very strange things that don’t make sense. Someone is going to get this beauty and I envy them. Hopefully, they’ll take care of it and preserve it as it deserves.

    Like 12
  11. jwaltb

    Nicest ugly turd left?

    Like 4
    • Herbert

      I bet your fun at parties.

      Like 11
  12. Rich oz

    I believe Big C was being sarcastic hence the quotation marks

    Like 1
  13. Nick8778

    Welcome to “Malaise II–The Sequel.”

    Like 3
  14. Big C

    It’s all related, bro.

    Like 4
  15. scottymac

    What is it – the J heads from a 340 that liven these things up?

    Like 0
  16. Dale L


    Like 0
  17. Joe Haska

    Could be a fun driver (Shop Truck) but the Price is too high for that.

    Like 0
  18. Lance Platt

    There is a lot to like about this Mirada. The maroon color, the personal luxury vibe, the practical midsize outer dimensions, the red bucket seat interior and the overall condition of the car as shown. The 318 was larger in displacement than the downsized 305 Monte Carlo but GM offered a 4bbl carb so the Chevy was competitive in that market segment. The Mirada also had to compete with the Chrysler Cordoba for fellow Mopar buyers and the downsized Thunderbird from Ford. In short, the Dodge looks great for being 44.

    Like 6
    • m. caputo

      I agree with you, back in those days we didn’t have much to go with and that was a nice-looking car. I would enjoy owning it. just not that price.

      Like 1
  19. Jim Shenay

    It’s nice and in above average condition. But, it’s not worth the asking price. It will sell to the person who’s Dad or Mom had one back in the day, but a real collector won’t pay the price. With that being said, I actually like the car. Be a cool talking point at car show or cruise night. It will sell.

    Like 1
  20. TRUTH

    This looks like one of those…”i can’t believe I spent that much muceling up this car so I have to ask a really high price to just break even”…things.

    Sorry Charlie. It’s max is about 10k. For that price you can get a far better malaise era eye turner.

    Like 1

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