Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Diplomat will let you play Joe Friday even if it's only Tuesday. But before seeing if its worth its asking, you better get nothing but the facts, man.
Remember that Tonka truck you had as a kid? Do you recall how it had these big-ol' tires and proportions that were skewed to the cartoonish? That was part of its appeal, and yesterday's 1967 Kaiser M725 ambulance was channeling that appeal with its own over-sized meats and almost ludicrous XXL proportions. That was perhaps enough to earn it a sizable 73% Nice Price win, which was also pretty big.
For me at least, the first thing that comes to mind with today's 1987 Dodge Diplomat is the incredulity that Dodge still made the Diplomat in 1987. Despite the '80s being the rebirth of the Pentastar brand in FWD form, lingerers from the brand's past held on almost until the '90s. Oh yes, it's true.
The Diplomat was almost old before it was new, having been based on the F-body platform of the vilified Aspen/Volare, whoa-oh. First introduced in 1977 as a fancy feast edition slotted above those models, the Diplomat shared its center section, including doors, glass, and space within with its lessor progenitors.
By the late '80s, the Diplomat - and its sisters the Plymouth Grand Fury and Chrysler Fifth Avenue - held the spot as the largest (and for a time the only rear-drive) cars in Chrysler's stable. Eventually the Diplomat was replaced in 1990 by the FWD Monaco, a car that was actually an AMC that was actually a Renault. Damn, the '90s were a weird time.
This '87 Diplomat is presented by its seller as a plain clothes cop car. That's owed to its having a cool A-pillar spotlight, and not that it has any sort of cop engine, cop tires, cop suspension or whatnot. Sorry Elwood.
What it does have is a 318, a 3-speed Torqueflite, and a vinyl roof. What more could you ask for? Well, if you're still not convinced there's also what's described as an extensive maintenance history and the claim that the mill runs A-okay.
It'll also run pretty slowly as by '87 the 2bbl-equipped 318 was only good for about 140-bhp. That wasn't countered by reasonable fuel economy either as the Diplomat couldn't even get out of the teens. Oh well, at least it should do okay on regular.
The interior of this one looks to be in fine shape. It also appears to be made out of very old mice or grandma merkins. The car is an SE model so it's decked out in all the luxury accoutrements Chrysler thought a Dodge owner would boner over back in the day. Unfortunately, one of those features - the A/C - requires a new clutch, which the seller says is only thirty-eight bucks on eBay. Of course it is.
The ad is all kinds of hysterical, describing the car as having sports car-like handling and noting that when the tranny was rebuilt 20k ago, they installed a custom clunk for when going into reverse.
You might be a sweaty betty driving this 122,000 mile Dodge until the A/C is fixed, but at least you'll be styling. The paint, top, and faux wire wheel covers seem to be like-new, and if there's a better example of the phrase, they don't build 'em like they used to, I'd like to see it.
There's a reason you don't see too many Aspens or Diplomats or their ilk any more outside of old cop shows, these things just didn't hold up, nor were they particularly desirable. The thing of it is, neither was big American iron from the sixties until the hipsters glommed onto them. Maybe some new generation will make these '80s Chryslers their raison d'etre.
If someone wanted to hold on to this fine example until then, and perhaps play cops and robbers while they waited, then the price of entry is a mere $1,900. What do you think about this Diplomat for that kind of cash? Is that a deal, or is this a Dodge that's a dog?
H/T to Nedus for the hookup!
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