Only 6K Miles: 1976 Dodge Aspen Custom

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In 1976, Chrysler brought out its new compacts, Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen, and ran them side by side for one year only with their old compacts, the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart. Dodge proclaimed in its sale brochure “It took real engineering breakthroughs to give you the unbelievable in a small car”. Here is a 1976 Dodge Aspen Custom 2 door coupe for sale here on Craigslist in the Detroit, Michigan metro area. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for letting us know about this one.

Although the ad doesn’t state it, one can conclude this is a one owner car and has only 6,052 miles. The owner apparently needs a winter beater and is ready to put snow tires on the car and put it on the road as his winter daily driver. But the lister of the ad has told him it would be a sin to put this car on the Michigan roads this winter. So he has convinced him to sell the car, but the seller insists he does not want to be bothered by showing the car to tire kickers. The lister has taken it upon himself to find the right buyer. But the buyer needs to be found fast, or the owner is going to put it on the road. The car is finished in a period green with a white formal landau vinyl roof.

The white interior is in great condition as it should be for a car with such low mileage. The seats are clean and have no rips, and the dash is in good condition with no cracks. In looking at the picture of the dash, I believe this car does not have air conditioning and appears to have an AM radio.

The car has a 225 cubic inch slant six with automatic transmission. It has the original Ziebart undercoating. The only two flaws in the car the lister points out are a chipped parking light lens and a spare tire that is not mounted on a wheel. The car has been stored in a garage since the seventies. The asking price for the car is $6,700. Even though this is not one of those cars we typically think of people putting away and preserving, this one has been. It would be a shame to put it on the winter roads exposed to the elements. Hopefully, there is someone who can appreciate this car and save it from the winter salts to keep the car preserved forever.

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  1. Arthell64

    I say let the owner drive it. The ad say the owner knows what it’s worth then he must not think it’s worth much if he willing to ruin it.

    Like 17
    • Glenn

      I’m sure some folks don’t like the green color. At least it doesn’t have the odd Aspen taillights that appear to be pointing at each other.

      Like 0
      • Hamid

        Hi there, My maternal grandfather(Nana jee) had self same car in 80’s. I really appreciate your car’s actual condition. Very Well and much Appreciated

        Like 0
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I would first verify if this is the last Dodge Aspen in existence, and if not, go ahead and drive it in the winter.

    It’s funny, we look at cars here on BF that are 70 or 80 years old, and they are cool and beautiful and interesting, even if their performance and handling aren’t that good. So, in 2046, when this car is 80 years old, will someone on some website (will there still be websites?) buy this thing to take to a classic car show? Will there still be classic car shows? Will the I-phone replace our brains by that time? Oh, wait, I-phones have already replaced our brains.

    Like 15
  3. ChebbyMember

    That’s a pretty stupid CL story. These cars are 100% terrible in the snow with barely any weight in the rear and probably a one-legger axle. And they rust like crazy. Why would someone preserve the car so long only to ruin it, and if they are a along-term owner they have to be up there in age. All of a sudden now they need to drive to work…are times that bad and now they are delivering pizza?

    Like 21
    • Brent in Winnipeg

      I drove a 1980 Volare sedan on all-season tires in Winnipeg for 10 years. They were not terrible in the snow. I never got stuck. I sold it in 2003 with 144,000 kms on it.

      Like 5
  4. CapNemo

    I love this car! I hope it finds a new owner that continues to keep it in this great condition.

    Like 6
  5. PDXBryan

    Kudos to the lister for trying to preserve this! This thing would absolutely kill at car shows, parades, and cars&coffee. I would wager that, parked side by side, this would get twice as many viewers as a new Hellcat because it comes standard with a trunk-full of memories (good and bad) for middle class baby boomers.

    Like 12
  6. Del

    I believe this year had no inner fender wells and if you did any winter driving in them, they rusted out quick.

    I had a 78 and I liked it. Nice driver and solid handling. Good cars

    Like 3
  7. David Rhoces

    I don’t care if it has 1 mile on it it is not worth 6700 bucks ! Too bad too …. it’s a time capsule …. why doesn’t he just buy a winter clunker and drive this in the summer ?

    Like 5
    • J PaulMember

      Because summer is for the 5,000 mile Chevy Citation, of course!

      Like 7
  8. irocrobb

    I had a 1978 like this only a lighter green in colour. Mine was used only as a winter car. Had that wonderful lean burn 318 engine. It was a pretty decent car but they sure rusted fast back then in a area which salted the roads heavy. Seems a shame to drive this one for the winter but I doubt it will ever be worth much

    Like 1
  9. Brian K

    I leaned how to drive in the exact same car as this posted. I used to do neutral slams often and that trans is almost bullet proof. A car like this has to go down south in a dry climate. Nice find.

    Like 2
  10. bill

    One and only thing I would say about this is the slant 6 was a great motor (for just gettin around)

    Like 0
  11. Superdessucke

    Personally I would take this, put some dog dishes and wide blackwall tires on it, and see how much horsepower I could get out of a slant six.

    Like 3
  12. Dan

    The owner sounds like a jerk, “I know what I got”, “Don’t want to deal with tire kickers”. He’ll regret trying to drive that daily here – ZERO traction, will rust out in two winters. What a shame.

    Like 0
  13. z28th1s

    If you are looking for a Dodge Aspen you would be hard pressed to find a nicer example. I think the price is pretty fair for a 6K mile car.

    Like 7
    • Miguel

      Has anybody actually went looking for a Dodge Aspen?

      Like 1
  14. David Ulrey

    I am absolutely shocked. I fully expected to see 80 to 90 % of the comments to be ragging on the car. Rust prone junk, poor quality build, blah , blah, blah. It’s really nice to see that I’m not the only that likes these. Thank you for such a refreshing change from the usual derogatory comments.

    Like 11
  15. PDXBryan

    My family had a ’73 Scamp (same basic car) in Alaska. It’s what I learned to drive in and it was not “100% terrible” in the winter. But please, please don’t drive this on salted roads, ever. What a stupid farging thing for someone to do at this point!

    Like 0
  16. chris cline

    They made an option for this engine called the Super 6, came with a 2V carb, 10 more horsepower.

    Like 0
  17. The Walrus

    I have a 1990 Dodge W-150 I purchased 5 years ago. It spend its first 20 years in California and the 3 before I acquired it in Washington State. It had traveled 46,000 miles in that time. I was overseas when it was delivered to my New England home. My dad (who grew up with his dad as a Chrysler Plymouth dealer from 1938 until 1974) declared when it arrived that he had ‘unloaded new cars that weren’t this nice’. It was nearly perfect. And even with my appreciation for old cars, I have had no qualms about driving it in winter. For what I paid for it, I probably could have bought something 8-10 years old and rusty locally. The value of some things is just that they can be used. This slant 6 Aspen will be no great loss to automotive history. Even if driven several winters, it won’t be destroyed. If the next owner finds value, maybe they’ll even restore it. In 4 or 5 winters it will still be difficult to find another ’76 Aspen that’s better. And buying something to rely on for $7000 or less? I’ll take the 6000 mile car every time.

    Like 0
  18. Larry Watson

    This week the Aspen was sold to a gentleman in Arizona that will enjoy taking it at car shows with his family. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people from Craigslist that we’re interested. I posted in once and had over 15 interested people. The first person that looked at it said he was going to see how much it would cost to ship it to Arizona. The second person was also from Arizona and purchased it on the spot.
    My friend and I are very happy to have this car in the hands of someone that will enjoy it’s uniqueness, and a very simple selling process also. WIN – WIN – WIN for all involved.
    Thank you for your input and suggestions to help “Save an Aspen”. :joyous:

    Like 0

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