Dodge Aspen

The name Dodge Aspen should bring to mind skiing and snowboarding; not a vehicle. Nevertheless, that is exactly what it is ' a car produced from 1976 to 1980 by the Chrysler Corporation's Dodge division. This same model can be found under its rebadged counterpart name, the Plymouth Volare. The Dodge Aspen was introduced as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, and a station wagon, which was unexpected for the segment. The release of the Dodge Aspen made the Dodge Dart no longer needed and that model was subsequently dropped. It was named Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" for 1976. In 1981 production of the Dodge Aspen came to a halt, at which time, it was replaced by the smaller, 4 cylinder, front wheel drive K body Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant for the 1981 model year. There seems to be some disagreement about whether they were in fact replaced by the M body Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury. However, these occupied a higher price class so that doesn't logically seem to be the case. Nevertheless, while in the marketplace, the Dodge Aspen was intended to be somewhat more luxurious than the A body models, at least in the most expensive models. Further, the Dodge Aspen 2 door models had a 108.7 inch wheelbase (similar to the 108" Duster and Dart Sport). The four door F bodies got a 112.7 inch wheelbase, making them slightly bigger than the Dart and Valiant, which rode a 111" wheelbase. The F body also featured a 4 door station wagon which was a noteworthy vehicle because this was something Chrysler did not have in their compact line since the Dart wagon of 1966. But, in the end, even the wagon could not prevent the Dodge Aspen from being dropped for more preferable models.