Get ready to cruise through Dodge’s hidden alley of cool classics. We’re revving up the spotlight on 12 awesome rides that history almost forgot. These aren’t your everyday cars; they’re Dodge’s unsung heroes, each with a tale as unique as their designs.
1931 Dodge Coupe
The 1931 Dodge Coupe was a beacon of reliability and style during the tough times of the Great Depression. Priced affordably, this model appealed to families and professionals alike with its modern body style, featuring a long hood and a curved grille. Its rust-proof bodies and improved ignition systems were ahead of their time.
The Dodge Coupe had four versions, each with its distinct power – the inline-six engine models (DD and DH) and the more potent inline-eight engine models (DC and DG). Notably, Dodge was ahead of Ford in introducing overdrive transmission, making these cars advanced for their era. They also featured four-wheel hydraulic brakes, a significant upgrade from the mechanical drum brakes used by competitors.
1949 Dodge Wayfarer Roadster
The Dodge Wayfarer Roadster of 1949, with its $1,727 price tag, was an accessible and stylish choice in the post-war era. It stood out with features like removable windows (later roll-up windows due to California’s hand signal laws). Powered by a 3.8-liter L-head inline-six engine, this model delivered 102 horsepower.
It also boasted a three-speed manual transmission, hydraulic drum brakes, and independent front suspension. This model was a blend of practicality and style, catering to a wide range of customers. Its production run was significant, but the Wayfarer Roadster variant remains a rare gem with only 5,420 units produced.
1955 Dodge La Femme
The 1955 Dodge La Femme was a unique marketing creation aimed at women, a rarity in the automotive world at that time. This car was not just a vehicle; it was a fashion statement with its pale pink upholstery and flashy trim.
The La Femme package included items like a purse, cigarette lighter, and lipstick case, tailoring to a feminine audience. Underneath its stylish exterior, it packed a V-8 engine producing 183 horsepower. Despite its distinct appeal, Dodge sold only about 1,500 units, making it a rare find today.
1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer
The 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer epitomized the flamboyance of post-war American cars. Known for its winged appearance and powerful engine options, this model was available as a sedan, hardtop, and convertible.
The standard Super Red Ram V-8 engine offered 260 horsepower, with options for more powerful engines delivering up to 310 horsepower. The majority of buyers preferred the three-speed TorqueFlite automatic gearbox, a testament to the era’s preference for comfort and performance.
1960 Dodge Matador
The Dodge Matador, albeit a one-year wonder in 1960, left an indelible mark with its unique features. It was the base model of Dodge’s lineup but didn’t skimp on performance or style. The standard Super Red Ram V-8 engine produced a respectable 295 horsepower.
The interior boasted a space-age dashboard design with a sweep-style speedometer and a distinctive four-spoke steering wheel. Its rarity and the uniqueness of its design elements make the Matador a fascinating piece of Dodge’s automotive history.
1969 Dodge Charger 500
The 1969 Dodge Charger 500 was born out of the NASCAR Aero Wars, a period of intense aerodynamic experimentation. This model, with its new curves and lines, was designed to excel on the racetrack. Originally available with a 426 Hemi and later with a more potent 440 engine, the Charger 500 was a limited edition with only 392 units sold to the public. This rarity makes it a prized collector’s item today.
1978 Dodge Magnum XE
The 1978 Dodge Magnum XE marked a significant shift in design and performance for the brand. This mid-size luxury coupe returned to basic lines with a shoveled nose and understated grille.
Its 5.9-liter V-8 engine produced 155 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, demonstrating a blend of power and elegance. The Magnum XE’s broad shoulders and long frame mirrored the design trends of its era, making it a noteworthy model in Dodge’s lineup.
1979 Dodge Aspen
The Dodge Aspen of 1979 offered a blend of space and comfort, replacing the more compact Dodge Dart. It was designed to cater to the needs of young drivers with a roomy interior and reengineered suspension for a better ride.
The standard 3.7-liter slant-six engine produced 100 horsepower, with options for more powerful V-8 engines. The Aspen’s focus on a comfortable and spacious driving experience made it a popular choice in its time.
1980 Dodge Mirada
Introduced in 1980, the Dodge Mirada targeted the personal luxury coupe market with its sleek design and appealing features. It borrowed design elements from models like the Magnum XE, Volare, and Plymouth Aspen.
The base model featured a 3.7-liter slant six engine, with options for more powerful V-8 engines. The Mirada’s focus on reducing cabin noise and vibration, combined with its stylish looks, aimed to attract a professional and affluent clientele.
1986 Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS
The 1986 Dodge Omni Shelby GLHS was a special collaboration with Carroll Shelby, transforming the small, inline-four engine Omni into a performance powerhouse. The turbocharged 2.2-liter engine in the GLHS version produced an impressive 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque.
This model could sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 6.5 seconds, a remarkable feat for its time. With only 500 units produced, the Omni Shelby GLHS is a rare and coveted piece of Dodge’s performance history.
1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express
The 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express stood out as a high-performance pickup truck with distinctive styling, making it one of the fastest U.S. vehicles in its time. Its 225 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft of torque engine provided remarkable performance for a truck.
The Li’l Red Express was known for its unique aesthetic, featuring wood paneling and bold graphics, making it a memorable and collectible model in Dodge’s truck lineup.
1970 Dodge Super Bee
The 1970 Dodge Super Bee epitomized the muscle car era with its unique styling and powerful engine. Delivering 340 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque, this car was a favorite among muscle car enthusiasts.
Its distinctive design, including the prominent “Super Bee” graphics and aggressive styling, has made it a prized collectible. The three-speed, V8 manual transmission added to its appeal, making it a sought-after classic in the muscle car community.