T-Top Cruiser: 1978 Dodge Magnum GT

I had almost forgotten that the Dodge Magnum offered a GT model until I saw this car. Instead of going into a Dodge dealer and buying a 4 cylinder import with Challenger, a buyer could opt for this big block 400 cubic inch V8 powered Dodge Magnum GT in 1978. This car is for sale here on eBay with a Buy It Now Price of $17,000. The seller is open to offers and has the listing schedule for 27 more days. The car is being sold as-is with no warranty but looks stunning in its original silver paint with black highlights and factory T-tops.

The 400 cubic inch V8 is original to the car and has some upgrades including an Edelbrock 4 barrel intake, Edelbrock 4 barrel carburetor, and a Mopar Performance ignition system. The Magnum model was only offered in 1978 and 1979 until it was revived in 2005 for application to the rear-wheel drive station wagon. It was offered in XE and GT models and similar to the full-size Dodge Charger. Dodge designed the car to be more aerodynamic to be used in NASCAR racing. The base engine was a 318 cubic inch V8 and this 360 cubic inch V8 and this 400 cubic inch V8 were optional.

The two-tone interior looks nice and well-appointed which is good because it would be hard to find new upholstery for this car. The automatic transmission is shifted via a column selector. The odometer shows 89,000 miles which are believable and the car is said to be rust-free. The brakes and suspension have been rebuilt including a 4 wheel alignment. I hope that means the bushings, shocks, and any worn parts were replaced.

The eBay ad shows plenty of owner documentation that goes with the sale of the Magnum. This car is more of a cruiser than a canyon carver. Richard Petty is quoted as saying “The Magnum is undrivable at 190 mph.” While that may be true, this car would be a blast to drive and enjoy.

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  1. Big Len

    For what it is and when it was, this is beautiful.

    Like 61
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    What a great looking car, I love it. I don’t remember this model, but considering the amount of pot I was smoking in 1978, it makes sense that I don’t remember it.

    Like 98
    • Vinnie G

      Well party on Rex. LMAO. A Native American friend got one of these Magnums in 78. Wad a nice car. He named it Chief Mag.

      Like 30
    • midwestjeff

      Couldn’t agree more, on both the car and the pot. This is a little off-topic, but pot was better back in the late 70’s, in my opinion. I have a friend whose son works in a dispensary in Illinois. He has done the research, and he told me that the STRONGEST weed which was available in the late 70’s (in terms of THC %) was about half of the THC percentage being sold now at the dispensaries. Kids these days have no sense of proportion.

      Like 18
      • Ike Onick

        Yeah, just a little off-topic. Have you ordered the pizzas yet?

        Like 26
      • Dwcisme

        Midwestjeff, Absolutely right. The worst home grown now is stronger than the best then. I think part of the issue was they used leaves and didn’t cultivate the bud as much. Personally, I can’t say I enjoy it as much.

    • Samuel T. Alexander

      Rex Kahrs, lol!! You too huh!!

      Like 1
    • Beel

      Bad ass

  3. Kevin

    I like it a lot,but probably not for 17k,my brother had a white xe with 360 4-barrel and dual exhaust back in like 86,think he paid like 2500,was nice,but he ran the piss out of it,and with his driving habits and Chicago weather it rusted out pretty quickly.

    Like 13
  4. Bob Burns

    My sister had one of these. I took my drivers license test in it. Cool car. It was big and heavy. Basically a Dodge version of the Chrysler Cordoba.

    Like 13
  5. JimL

    I almost bought a nearly identical unit in early 1979. The dealer had a ’78 as a leftover and deeply discounted it to somewhere around $3000. I passed and kept my ’71 Riviera.
    It looks like the Lean Burn system has been removed from this car.
    As previously mentioned, I like it, but not for $17k.

    Like 8
  6. Bart

    All those options & still a column shift. Why didn’t they just make it a console shift. Would’ve been a lot cooler if they had. Lol

    Like 13
    • Dwcisme

      Entirely possible the column shift was an ordering error. Everything was a la carte in those days. My boss ordered about 50 1978 Impalas with bucket seats thinking they would come with floor shift. Nope. Not even a console.

      Like 1
      • rudiger

        My guess would be the owner wanted a place to rest his right arm. The consoles on those old Mopars (and most GM and Ford products) just had a plastic or metal compartment lid and nowhere to put your arm. IIRC, the earliest center consoles that actually had an armrest were on Pontiacs.

  7. Pete Kaczmarski

    I owned a ’79 Magnum GT from 81-83. It was “Night Watch Blue” T-tops and the E-58 (Police Package). It took me 34 years to find another with the same options plus others but now is “Black” in color.

    Like 15
  8. Jcs

    Cool car but bad call opting out on the A/C.

    Like 15
    • Lash

      Good catch.

      Like 3
  9. Lash

    I liked these and Miradas. If the car is as they claim, I would at least talk to the guy. Price is not far off, IMO.

    Like 9
  10. David Zornig

    I don’t mind the no A/C.
    Custom ordered sold car with no console shift however…

    Like 4
  11. Larry D

    I don’t usually care for silver cars but the combination of the silver paint along with the chrome and the black stripes just makes this car stunning! Wow! And I’m not even a Mopar fan.

    Like 14
  12. Gerard Frederick

    A real beauty, but no air? No thanx.

    Like 2
    • BONE

      That kind of limits your antique car choices doesn’t it ? For decades it wasn’t available, and later when it was, few cars had it . It seems it was the late 70s early 80s when nearly every car would have A/C. You could always install aftermarket air- then again, it has T tops ,so you could always pop them off to get a breeze !

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        They probably chose T-tops instead of AC.

        Steve R

        Like 3
  13. David Eick Member

    It’s an XE not a GT

    Like 1
  14. Troy s

    Its got great looks, and now it looks to have some definite improvements under the hood, I dont know…..its hard for me to get excited about cars from this era.
    I want to, but one look at a second gen Charger or a ’64 Sport Fury, real solid Mopars, and these begin to sound like disco music. Barf…

    Like 1
  15. Terry

    These were slow sellers because they were…slow. Between the Lean Burn system and smog controls, even the 400 couldn’t get out of its own way. If I bought this, I’d pull that lump out from under the hood and sub an early LA 318.

    Like 1
    • karl

      Pretty much everything car wise was slow in that time period. The Cordoba’s had the same drivetrain and they sold tons of them

      • Chuck marz

        I had a 1976 Cordoba with the 400 lean burn engine, ordered it new. The rear axle broke on the drive home which was the first of many returns back to the dealership. Overall it was a piece of scrap. And your right, it was slow.

  16. Snuffy Smiff

    In 1978 I was “this close” to buying one of these. My father and I went up to the Dodge dealer and drove several models and I had a fire-engine red w/tan interior car picked out. Pop was always a MOPAR guy. Sadly, the pimply-faced ‘salesman’ got way too pushy (it was close to closing time) and wanted me to sign off on it just a little too quickly so we got up and walked away. Looking back it was way too expensive, heavy and slow. I wound up buying of all things a VW Rabbit L model. It saved me so much on fuel costs I remained a pothead for years!

    Like 4
    • Beel

      Yup, Dad always bought Dodges, too. He had a 79 Magnum with the 360 and the enveloping blue velvet/suede interior. I loved that car. Heavy, quiet, and (I thought) reasonably powerful. Not like our 72 LTD, though. For sure you wouldn’t take it to the track. But I’ll never forget setting cruise to 70 and stopping at a stoplight. Mash “resume” and the gas pedal vanished beneath my foot and it accelerated a lot harder than I would have with Dad in the car. Ha!

  17. Bob Maj

    I love the exterior looks of this car – especially for that era. I’m not sure if that interior is original but it looks hideous!

  18. Howard A Member

    This, and the ’79, were probably the last really nice Dodge cars. I read, only 3,000 Magnum T-tops were sold in ’79.

    Like 2
  19. Larry D

    @Howard A
    You wrote: “This, and the ’79, were probably the last really nice Dodge cars.”

    Uh, have you looked at the new Chargers and Challengers?

    Like 1
    • Lash

      Just totalled my Challenger a few months ago :(

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Larry, yes, yes I have, and unless they are in my rear view mirror( CSP), I really have no interest. Their ads imply everyone spins their wheels around corners on seemingly always deserted streets is pure baloney. These cars here were from a time when just cruising down the highway in style was good enough.

      • Larry D

        But seriously, isn’t that kind of advertising more exciting than Ricardo Montalban pushing the virtues of rich Corinthian leather?

        We all should be glad we are in this era of automobiles. Back during the malaise era of the 70s, no one could have ever imagined a car ever being offered again with lots of horsepower, especially 797 horsepower! I am no Mopar fan but I do give them credit for playing the horsepower game to their advantage.

  20. Zarba

    What was the horsepower rating for the 400 that year?

    • Dwcisme

      Somewhere between “Embarrassingly inadequate” and “SFA”.

      Like 1
  21. Maestro1 Member

    The paint work is mildly bizarre and doesn’t matter; the car is very attractive and has been said before were slow. But wonderful drivers and cruisers. If I had the room would get serious about this.

  22. Chuck marz

    I had a 1976 Cordoba with the 400 lean burn engine, ordered it new. The rear axle broke on the drive home which was the first of many returns back to the dealership. Overall it was a piece of scrap. And your right, it was slow.

    Like 1
  23. Kevin

    True Chrysler 400s were all low compression, not high horsepower engines right off the bat starting in 72,however they’re still big blocks, and with emissions junk removed, and especially when rebuilt, bored out etc.with 440 heads,and cam,and other goodies, these are extremely durable, and will scream when built right!

    Like 1
    • Dwcisme

      Having had experience with hundreds of Chrysler 6’s and 8’s (albeit usually with less than 50k on them) I don’t recall ever having had a major failure due to manufacturers fault (did have several failures due to faulty oil changes). The problems, which were numerable, always were related to ignition and fuel systems. In the late 70s and 80s those engines were over built lumps. Not much power but tons of durability. Which is why they were great for hopping up.

  24. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $17,000.

  25. Jcs

    Seller should be very pleased.

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