Cars from the 1970s are often dismissed in favor of their 1960s-era brethren.
And that’s a cryin’ shame, because these “malaise era” vehicles are actually a lot of fun.
They’re easy to work on, can be modded for more power, and (in many cases) offer better handling and ride quality out-of-the-box than cars built before the Nixon administration.
The performance dip forced designers to focus on style as the best method to sell cars, resulting in all-manner of look-fast accoutrements finding their way onto even the most humble domestic sedan.
And we’re glad they did—just check out this 1978 Dodge Aspen R/T that rumbled into the Summit Racing parking lot last February.
Engine in front, drive wheels in back? Check.
Dual exhaust? Check
Window louvers? Whoa, double-check!
Clicking the R/T box on your Dodge Aspen order sheet got you the signature Chrysler Rallye wheels with larger tires, blacked-out grille and taillights, and special decklid/chin spoilers. You could even opt for the available 360 c.i.d. engine, delivering a 17- to 18- second quarter-mile time—not too shabby for the era.
We’re pretty sure this is a 1978 model, given the horizontal window louvers and rear taillight configuration. The rear spoiler looks to be poached from a 1977, but we’re far from experts on the Dodge Aspen (or its Mopar stablemate, the Volare Road Runner). In fact, this could be a regular Aspen dressed up with R/T bits—which is still okay in our book.
This thing is rad.
We’re sure it gives its owner plenty to smile about—a true vintage muscle car, “malaise-era” be darned.