Online car classifieds operate as a sort of matchmaking service – the end goal, after all, is to pair up a qualified buyer with his or her ideal ride. And when the perfect pairing is found, we love to hear about it.
After 30 years of wanting one, a lucky guy recently found his dream car in the ClassicCars.com classifieds. Now 39 years old, Eric from Goshen, Indiana, was only about 10 when his best friend’s mom drove home with a brand-new Dodge Intrepid. That car made an indelible impression on his mind. Eric could have just as easily lusted after an exotic supercar or a high-horsepower muscle car. Instead, his sights were set on working-class midsized 1990s Chrysler sedan. He tells the story in his YouTube video.
Over the years, Eric collected a good amount of memorabilia about the Intrepid, but he was never able to actually find the car and drive one home. Until October 2023, that is.
The first-generation Intrepid debuted in 1993 and was built on Chrysler’s “cab-forward” LH platform. This architecture was shared across other cars in the family including the Chrysler LHS, Concorde, and New Yorker, as well as the Eagle Vision. The launch of the Intrepid marked of an era that Chrysler dubbed “The New Dodge,” and the equipment list was strong – coming standard with dual air bags and offering an available touring suspension, traction control, and anti-lock brakes.
There were two Intrepid available trim levels initially: Base and ES. Power came from two available V6 powerplants – one at 3.3 liters, and another at 3.5 liters. The latter was rated at 214 horsepower, which was a strong number for a midsize sedan of its era. Both engines were paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Worth noting: In 1996, the Intrepid became outfitted with a manually-shiftable “Autostick” transmission, which was one of the first of its kind in the industry.
A second generation for the Intrepid launched in 1998 and carried through to 2004, but the Intrepid did not garner a huge following. Production was scaled back as Chrysler prepared to launch its new Magnum and Charger models around 2005. Most Intrepids have long-since made their way the recycling yards by now – which made Eric’s find even more incredible.
Back in the 1990s, Eric recounts, “My friend Rich called me and said, mom bought a new car. Nancy pulled up in this brand-new Intrepid, and I was just in awe. Four-door sedans at the time were really boxy.”
From that day, Eric always loved the car. Once he got older, he decided to see if he could find one. From time to time, he would see if he could find a first-generation Intrepid for sale. Most of them were not well cared-for. “They’re not known to be the most reliable, anyway,” Eric says.
When he found his new Intrepid listed on the ClassicCars.com classifieds, the ad was brief, but it conveyed the important stuff – namely, the fact that the car had not been driven in the rain and that it had accrued only 14,000 miles under one owner. It was finished in Indy Red and had the original gold-accented wheels, Goodyear tires, and lots of accompanying paperwork including the window sticker showing an original purchase price of $20,971 including some option packages.
“Every single thing on this car works,” Eric says. In his video, he shows that even the original floor mats are covered by a second set of floor mats. He made the 500-mile trek to Wisconsin to pick up the car from the seller’s garage-kept storage and drove it home with a grin on his face the whole way. “I know there will people who appreciate this car,” he says. “I’m going to baby it and take care of it. Since it’s over 25 years old, I was able to get a classic license plate. It’s such a cool car, and a part of my childhood.”
Find Your Dream Ride
Across the five years of the first generation, there were 645,281 Intrepids sold. Finding one with fewer than 15,000 miles on the odometer was a bit of a long-shot for the owner, but we are glad that ClassicCars.com could pull through with the perfect find for Eric from Indiana.