Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dodge is a fine example of the maxim “they don’t build ‘em like they used to.” Could however, that old school attitude and cool Chrysler front clip be enough to outweigh its tainted title and its price?
Annnnnd, I’m back. Did you miss me? The correct answer to that is always ‘yes, but my aim’s getting better.’ I took last week off to travel across the country, attend a wedding, see some sights, and eat some good food. All in all, it was a marvelous adventure, but all the same I was champing at the bit to get back because I missed you fine folk a whole lot. Okay, with that bit of treacle out of the way, let’s get back into it.
When last we met, we looked at a 2005 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta for which was asked $97,500. No lie, that is a sizable chunk of change. However, for a twitchy and capable sports car with a Prancing Horse resident on each of its ends, it’s perhaps not so onerous. That was almost the outcome, but not quite. In the end, the Ferrari took home a narrow 51.42 percent Crack Pipe loss for its trouble. I guess that was a chunk of change we couldn’t believe in.
I have to say that I think condom brands are an undervalued resource when it comes to automotive naming conventions. Just look at how few there have been to date.
There was the Firebird-based Trojan. And no, it was not ribbed for anyone’s pleasure, which was odd considering that pretty much all other Pontiacs of the era seemed to have some sort of plastic cladding. Another matchup was the Crown, which is both the name of a popular love-glove and a high-end Toyota. When you think of the plethora of Toyota models on the market, it’s unlikely that the marque has ever made that ironic connection.
The last condom to share its name with a car was the Magnum. Whether applied to either car or baby-blocker that’s a name that always implies large amounts of fun.
Here we have a 2007 Dodge Magnum, which by modern standards is a pretty large car. It’s also a wagon which makes it extra odd in its class. This, by the way, was the last traditional station wagon Chrysler has produced to date. Like many condom-related things, the Magnum didn’t last very long, with its production run arcing over just the 2005 through ’09 model years. The issue seemed to be that few people wanted the Magnum after the Charger sedan was added to Dodge’s lineup.
That’s too bad since the Magnum was a handsome and reasonably functional automobile. The wagon body afforded more capacity than its sister sedans (27.2 cubic feet to the back seat vs. 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space) as well as a unique hatch that extended well into the roof. That roof was also super low, offering a gangster-style greenhouse and visually lengthening the car substatnially. The overall style was the brainchild of Ralph Gilles who took home the 2005 North American Car of the Year award for the 300C version of the platform.
Perhaps the reason the 300C got the edge over its sister Magnum was because of its front end. Its large grille and concentration-brow headlamps fronting a sculpted hood present a much more attractive face than the Magnum’s blunt facade and gunsight grille. Being the same car under the skirts, that inequity is easily rectified with a front clip swap, something that was done officially for the European market where Dodge didn’t exist, and unofficially here where this car carries the schnoz from a 300C SRT-8.
That may very well have been necessitated by the Magnum’s nose literally getting a bit out of joint. Something happened to the car to dun it with a salvage title, and a replacement front clip is a pretty good indicator of how things might have gone down.
Unfortunately, the SRT-8 nose didn’t include the big 6.1-litre V8 along with it. This car still rocks a Hemi, but in this case it’s the 5.7-litre block. Don’t shed too many tears though, as that’s still good for 340 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. It also shouldn’t empty your bank account to keep gassed up since the engine employs Chrysler’s MDS (Multi Displacement System) that shuts off up to four of the engine’s cylinders when you reach cruising altitude.
A Mercedes-sourced five-speed automatic plays back up, and while AWD was available on these models, this one seems to be absent that feature. The engine does have a new water pump and a cold air intake which may be incentives should you like that sort of thing.
The Magnum’s interior design was never anything to write home about, and this one seems to have started its inexorable descent into further crapdom with a split seam in the driver’s seat. Fortunately decent seats can be had at junk yards or on the eBay.
The bodywork here seems to be in fine shape with the exception of the rear bumper which shows evidence of scraping across its upper lip. The factory alloy wheels appear free of damage and are wrapped in Uniroyal Tiger Paws with plenty of tread. I had almost forgotten that Uniroyal even existed so I’m pleased to see those here. There are 161,000 miles on this one-owner ride, and it comes with a recent smog test notched on its bedpost so transfer of that salvage title shouldn’t be a hassle.
Of course for many of you, the fact that the car comes with that salvage title may be all the hassle you need. Another may just be the $4,800 price. These cars generally don’t age well, so finding one that’s still kicking and looks good is a win. Finding one with the cooler Chrysler nose rhinoplasty is doubly so.
The question before us, of course, is whether or not this Magnum is worth that $4,800 asking. What do you think, does the condition and nose outweigh the title issue? More importantly, is the car as it sits worth that $4,800?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup.
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