Pick of the Day is a rarity, T-topped Dodge Aspen

1978-model-year compact coupe has vinyl Landau, as open-air roof, and 4-speed manual transmission

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Pick of the Day
Pick of the Day is a rare Dodge Aspen with T-stops and 4-speed manual

Midway through the 1976 model year, Dodge unveiled its replacement for the Dart as its entry in the compact-car segment. That new vehicle was badged as the Aspen; was available in standard, custom and custom special edition trim; and as a coupe, sedan or station wagon, something Dodge hadn’t offered in compact size for a decade. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1978 Dodge Aspen coupe, and if that isn’t rare enough to see on this website, this one has factory-installed T tops, a $572 option back in the day. 

And, it’s equipped with a V8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission.

The Aspen is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Federal Way, Washington, who notes that the car has had one owner since it was purchased new.

Though the car’s description in the advertisement is sparse, we do learn that the car has never been in an accident, not even a fender-bender; is in nice condition inside and out, and it “starts and runs quite smoothly.”

Like so many other Aspen coupes, it has a landau-style vinyl roof. That roof wears “Special Edition” badging, indicating that this is the upscale trim model.

It also has a 318cid V8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission, power front disc brakes, factory air conditioning, 60/40 front split seating, and “other package groups included,” though we aren’t told what they might be.

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The seller does note that the car is rust free, having been garage-kept most of its life, and that while the odometer shows 45,400 miles, it has turned over once, so that actual figure is 145,400.

The Dodge Aspen is being offered for $8,850. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Wow…that’s a new one on me..
    Unique..cool car.. really nice..it
    Turns a lot heads I am sure especially true car people 👍

  2. Yep, that’s truly a rare one. Not because it’s an Aspen but because it’s an original V-8, 4 speed car with T-Tops. Back in the mid-late 70’s most econo-boxes had 6 bangers with an automatic that were so underpowered they couldn’t get out of their own way. This appears to be a nice car you certainly don’t see everyday.

  3. When I served in the USAF, Aspen sedans became the base routine patrol units; they were automatics, but from the sounds at idle and “on it”, I always wondered if the police package didn’t include the truck 360.
    Kinda neat, not see everyday car, tons of aftermarket support. Someone is going to get a deal.

  4. Nice piece of Dodge/Mopar history .
    Back then American car had a lot of Style and all models from whatever car company had their own unique look . The Dodge Aspen advertised is a good example of that .
    The 318 V-8 was a base, bullet proof engine that Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth used at the time . My first car was a 1967 Dodge Coronet 500
    I know the reliability of that bullet proof 318 V-8 mated to that Torque Flight transmission .
    The advertised Dodge Aspen has rare options ordered by the customer from the factory , with a rare 4 spd. Manual transmission ,T-top , with factory AC, that adds a lot of “value” to this rare vehicle .
    This car will Sell for Sure ! I just came from the “All Mopar , car show in Carlisle , Pennsylvania . a few weeks ago . I believe this Dodge would have SOLD pretty fast !

  5. Nice! And very rare indeed! I knew that a Dodge Aspen like this could be ordered but I’ve never seen one before. Most Aspens and Volare’s were bought as base sedans or wagons with the bulletproof Slant-6. Build quality was questionable to say the least as these usually rusted out before the warranty was up. I believe Chrysler even issued a recall to replace front fenders on these cars due to rust if I’m not mistaken.
    But mechanically they were bulletproof! Both the 6 cylinder and the 318 V8 were notoriously dependable.

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