Petty Special: 1978 Plymouth Volare A43 Street Kit

This one has Petty patina all over it, hence the lower asking price than we usually see for a rare 1978 Plymouth Volare Petty Special. This unusual car can be found here on Craigslist in Maybee, Michigan. The seller is asking $9,000 for this example. Thanks to JoeinMI for sending in the tip on this rare car!

You can see faded paint and some of the graphics seem to be missing, but good news in that the seller says that they “still have the 43 stickers in the box from factory”. This is a 48,000-mile barn find and man would I love to discover one of these hidden away somewhere! They were known as a Petty Special or an A43 Street Kit Car. The Super Coupe and additional A43 Street Kit Car package added the Petty-heavy looks-fast graphics but not much in the way of actual go-fast goodies. It did include a few suspension upgrades as well as wheel flares and different wheels.

It’s unusual to see one without all of the graphics added and as a big graphics guy, I would redo this one back to bone-stock original-spec with the big, bold graphics in place. Plymouth made 247 Volare Petty Special cars but even rarer is the Dodge Aspen version of which only 145 were sold. The seller isn’t giving the tiniest peek inside this car at all which is always unfortunate. I mean, you’re right there taking photos, how about one at least through the window? That always makes me nervous when a seller doesn’t show an entire region/part/piece of a car that they’re selling online where it’s 90% about the photos. But, they do show a pic of the inside of the trunk, oddly enough. It looks good in there, thankfully.

The engine wasn’t Petty’d up, unfortunately, it was a pretty standard 360 cubic-inch V8 with 175 hp. It was good for the day but a lot of new commuter cars could most likely outrun this car today, which is odd and scary, and depressing. But, give me this car any day. I love vehicles that are dated, ones that are locked into a particular era, even the late-1970s which seems to be the decade that’s popular to pick on now. The seller doesn’t say how or if it runs, but they have “excellent” written down for Craiglist’s condition line. The price sure seems good if it checks out. Are any of you fans of these graphics-heavy but not performance-heavy cars?

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  1. Brent

    Ad says 9 grand (maybee)… maybee he will take 8.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Maybee not, Brent…

    • Lemble

      Maybe is the name of the Town it is in. It is listed in Monroe MI, CL but Maybe is just outside of Monroe.
      Finally a car close to me and I have no interest in it.

  2. Ike Onick

    Maybee priced about $7000 too high. Maybe.

    • Darren

      I agree Ike!

  3. Bradshaw from Primer

    I always thought the older cars were very big….but looking at a 2018 camry vs the 1978 car here Wheelbase is 112 here 111 in 2018
    weight is 3560 here….3450 2018
    width is 73 in 2018 is 72
    length 201 vs 2018 is 193 8 inches shorter!
    height is 56 vs 55.9
    engine at 6 liters is 175 hp…vs engine at 2.4l is 203 hp
    new camry can in non hybrid form average 43 mpg…vs 16 in 1978

    i am surprized…i now look at the older cars and they don’t that different at all in size.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Nice work!

    • Llewellyn Keller

      The average car size has shrunk compared to the 1970’s, but most Japanese and Germsn models have grown in size since then.

    • Sidney

      You know, if I point these type of facts out on a 911 post, I get eaten alive. Are Mopar guys more realistic, or just not as snooty?

      • scottymac

        Both! Well, the last part mostly, the first part is questionable. They think their cars are better than Fords. Even the seller agrees, a Mopar guy with a Ford wrecker! Now, just watch the responses, and see if I was right on either count!

    • dweezilaz

      Compare this to a Cruze or Elantra and the Camry to the Ford LTD II. The comparison is an apple and an orange, these offerings are for two different markets.

      Volare was a “compact” of the 70s. Nova, Granada, Fairmont. All around the same size. They were larger, your first impression was correct.

      Compare a proper mid size or full size car from the 70s with the current Camry [another mid/full size car of 2018].

      You can see the difference best in the downsized Malibu of that year and the still available “compact” Nova. Or the downsized 77 vs 76 Impala/Chevrolet full sized car.

      A full sized car of today is still larger than the compacts but they are dwarfed by the same full sized cars of the 70s.

  4. Beaver Prince Member

    wow can you say ugggllllyyyy!! ha! ha!

    • dweezilaz

      Tell it. And I have always said there are no cars I’d refuse to be seen in.

      I finally found one.

      Well, that and a Hyundai Veloster.

  5. stillrunners

    Didn’t Ford or GM offer something similar ?

  6. bobhess Member

    Like the Beaver said……

  7. RoughDiamond Member

    I say at that price the Petty Volare will definitely being staying in Maybee.

    • Jeffrey o

      Dodge ,Plymouth how ever you want to say has always been different from all the other dealerships. Like the HellCat, that you can buy and take straight to the track! DIFFERENT IS THE WORD THERE PUTTING OUT!

  8. Andre

    I have a neighbour with one of these. Doesn’t move, it’ll occasionally get started.

    Turns out the guy is blind

    Explains a lot.

  9. Robert White

    Extremely butt ugly is an understatement. Fugly is more accurate.


    • Jonathan

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
      I don’t like cookie cutter chopped and decked and shaved and lowered and whatever ‘50’s stuff- so there ya go.

  10. Rusty


    How do i know it’s legit? I need my VIN’S

  11. Jasper

    I like what looks like an old Michigan State Police Dipomat sitting in the background better.

    These Kit Cars have some of the ugliest fender flares ever. Why didn’t they just use the Super Coupe flares?

  12. Pete Kaczmarski

    I like this color alittle better that the Super Coupe cousin that my friend has. Better yet is my ’79 Dodge Magnum GT with the E-58 option and T-tops.

  13. Del

    These were sort of after market cars.

    There were very few built.

    NADA does not even show them.

    I don’t think there is any doubt its original but some paper work would help. I do not think a VIN is going to show anything but a 360 Volare.

    If in fact it was the original kit car offered through dealers, then the asking price is not out of line. It looks to be in great shape.

    Must be auction values of these on-line ?

  14. Maverick

    Don’t forget the super sports. Different package still ugly.

  15. mark houseman

    another newer interesting Mopar

  16. dweezilaz

    Just as bad as that Monza “special edition” featured a while back.

    And any Mustang II with that junk festooned on it.

    Bad then. Worse now.

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