Oh goodness, that car. Great photo, lousy car: A true embarassment. No car with as poor relative performance could be sold today.
Under the hood of these stinkers was what Chrysler called a “time tested” 318-cubic inch V-8 that sucked air through a “lean burn” Carter two-barrel carburetor. The thinned-out air/fuel ratio made the otherwise decent workhorse engine notorious for hard-starting, stalling, and poor driveability. Tune-ups were necessary at every other fill-up, it seemed, because the cars just never ran right or ran right for very long.
The Aspen R/T and Volaré Road Runner’s performance was more dispiriting—even by the standards of the mid-1970s, when the fastest sports cars were slower than most of today’s V-6 family cars.
Pedal to the floor and wind at your back, the sad combo of a 318 V-8 and Torqueflite automatic delivered top speed comparable to a UPS delivery truck with a stuck throttle—about 108 miles per hour, flat out. Quarter-mile times were equally gimpy—a heaving 16.7 seconds at 85miles per hour.
The final insult? Every 1976 and 1977 model was recalled for premature rust-through. Lee Iaccoca himself later admitted the cars had been “rushed to market too soon.”
It might have been better if they’d never made it at all.
Excerpted from Automotive Atrocities By Eric Peters.