Friday, July 10, 2015

On Malaise Era Mopars

I am a fan of "malaise era" Chrysler Corporation cars, to a pretty strong degree. To start the story here, I'll think back to the early 90s when I was still a very small child. Friends of the family had a refrigerator white early 70s 4-door Dodge Dart and the mother of the Dart's owner had a gold and white, mint-condition 1975 Dodge Coronet 4-door. I was very fascinated with these cars, but years passed and the cars went away, until one day I was eating leftover cold pizza on the couch on a no-school day, turned on Forensic Files and caught the popular early episode "The Common Thread" about serial killer Bobby Joe Long, who owned a red 1979 (not 1978 as commonly stated, including in the show) Dodge Magnum.

above 3 photos property of Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Forensic Files and used under fair use rule

   There happened to be a brown, early 1978, loaded, P-code (police) 400 big-block V8, fairly decent Magnum in a tow yard near where I was going to school at the time, I tried for years to buy it and a couple of Dodge St. Regis sedans parked near it, but all were scrapped a couple years ago. I gave little thought to cars at the time for a number of reasons, but refurbished a Motormax first-generation K-car 1/24 diecast (pics below), but then...

Fast forward to 2015, things in life were all going great and I was in the market for a car of my own since I am hella paranoid about damaging my parents' vehicles, and just as I had the requisite dough to buy a car, what do I see parked at the ghetto courtyard apartment complex by me? A Malaise Era Mopar, namely a 1979 Chrysler LeBaron coupe. Have been working to be able to determine if I like driving it, if the one minor problem can be bargained over & fixed and is all that's wrong with it, and if so I'll buy it and make it my daily driver.

And what discussion of malaise era Mopars is complete without bringing up the Bluesmobile, a ratty 1974 Dodge Monaco police interceptor that was as much a star of the show as John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were in the 1980 cult classic film The Blues Brothers? This is a car that effectively demolished a mall from the inside out, jumped drawbridges, did all kinds of other crazy stunts, all the while with great music, acting and dialogue throughout. I have on order a 1/43 scale Greenlight Collectibles Bluesmobile, coming soon to my collection (file photo below) to go with my already cherished copy of the film's prequel trade novel Blues Brothers: Private.

And to call it a day on this entry, I also found a hotly desired Greenlight Plymouth Trailduster 1/64 diecast last week, and have a whole squadron of Johnny Lightning B-body Dodge Monaco police cars.

Hopefully soon I will finally be holding the keys to my own, real, drivable, usable, malaise era Mopar, and that will probably make my entire year if it passes with the mechanic and we can haggle on the price.

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