The Truth About Cars » Volare http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Volare http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1976 Plymouth Volaré Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-plymouth-volare-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-plymouth-volare-sedan/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=942913 The Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award for 1976, and they spent a good decade among the most commonplace vehicles on American roads. Then just about all of them disappeared, no doubt as they depreciated well below scrap value in about ten years. However, the occasional odds-beating survivor shows […]

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14 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award for 1976, and they spent a good decade among the most commonplace vehicles on American roads. Then just about all of them disappeared, no doubt as they depreciated well below scrap value in about ten years. However, the occasional odds-beating survivor shows up in wrecking yards now and then; we’ve seen this ’76 Aspen sedan, this brown-on-beige ’77 Volaré coupe and this ’77 Volaré Premier wagon, and now today’s ’76 Volaré sedan. This one shows evidence of having sat for the last decade or so, but still managed to rack up many more miles than most of its Civic and Corolla contemporaries.
22 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s always interesting to find old newspapers in junkyard cars; they let you know about when the car last functioned as a semi-usable vehicle. This ’65 Chevy Bel Air had a bunch of 1982 Denver papers, this ’60 Plymouth Valiant wagon had a few 1970 issues of the San Francisco Chronicle, and today’s Junkyard Find came with a trunk full of 2004 issues from the now-long-defunct Rocky Mountain News.
24 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCertain topics haven’t left the editorial pages for decades.
20 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis comic was important enough to the car’s previous owner to have warranted clipping and stashing in the glovebox.
04 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler used this style of AM radio for most of the 1970s; I had one in my ex-water-company ’73 Plymouth Fury.
06 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Aspen/Volaré was the successor to the incredibly successful Dart/Valiant series, but its quality problems and notorious recalls nearly destroyed Chrysler.
09 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSlant-6 engine with great big two-cylinder air-conditioning compressor. A friend of mine used to make and sell cut-rate shop air-compressors using these things.
02 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe steering wheel was a lot snazzier than your typical Valiant’s.

Toyota used the Volaré as an example of what not to buy in their ’78 ads. This one must have made Lee Iacocca livid.

A “special” suspension!

01 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1976 Plymouth Volare Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré Premier Station Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare-premier-station-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare-premier-station-wagon/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499810 The successor to the incredibly successful Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant was the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré. These simple rear-wheel-drive cars sold fairly well, but for every Aspen or Volaré I see in high-turnover wrecking yards today, I find ten Darts and Valiants. Part of that reason is a short production run, part is (arguably) lower build quality, […]

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09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe successor to the incredibly successful Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant was the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré. These simple rear-wheel-drive cars sold fairly well, but for every Aspen or Volaré I see in high-turnover wrecking yards today, I find ten Darts and Valiants. Part of that reason is a short production run, part is (arguably) lower build quality, but I’m guessing the main reason is that Americans just didn’t love the F-body Chryslers the way they did the A-body. When a Valiant got sick (which wasn’t often), it got fixed; when a Volaré came down with some expensive problem, it got crushed. Now these things are almost nonexistent, but here’s a very rare Volaré Premier wagon I spotted in a California yard a few months back.
12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStrange to think that there was once a time in which station wagons outnumbered SUVs and minivans for family-hauling use, and even stranger to recall that small station wagons were once fairly good sellers.
10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSlant Six power, not much to go wrong here. Still, this car with the Slant Six was quite sluggish. If only Chrysler had installed the Hemi-6 in this car, Things Would Have Been Different.

So sensible!

02 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: VOLARE – OH-OH http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-volare-oh-oh/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-volare-oh-oh/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:39:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478295 With all of the attention yours truly “Bodacious Beaters” have been receiving in this column—and rightly so due to the proliferation of such vehicles here in the vast car-biased expanse known as Southern California—the “road-going derelicts” have mostly been relegated to the back burner. Well, this entry fits the latter half of this column’s title […]

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With all of the attention yours truly “Bodacious Beaters” have been receiving in this column—and rightly so due to the proliferation of such vehicles here in the vast car-biased expanse known as Southern California—the “road-going derelicts” have mostly been relegated to the back burner.

Well, this entry fits the latter half of this column’s title like garbage in the proverbial dumpster!

Having been well familiar with the Dodge Dart / Plymouth Valiant models (in addition to all of the units I serviced, I totally enjoyed a ’67 Dart during my tenure of ownership), it wasn’t until its successor—the Dodge Aspen / Plymouth Volare—made the scene in the late 70’s that I came to understand how Chrysler could possibly ruin the concept!

What had been a simple, reliable, comfortable and serviceable product—fun to drive and full of utility—was reduced to a sorry excuse of a car, with little redeeming value (save for the scrap metal dealer). A “road-going derelict” in short order!

Back then, I worked as a used-car tech for a Toyota dealership; and I was initially surprised at seeing some of these units pass through our department as trade-ins. In some cases, they were still under the 12/12 factory warranty!

My questions were answered quickly when inspection got underway. The worst offense was in the area of emission control—and I don’t know which was worse: what they did to the venerable Slant-Six, or what they committed against the good ol’ 318 c.i. V-8.

The problems centered on the fact that the manufacturer was trying to reduce tailpipe emissions with technologies incompatible with the old-school engines being used. Lowering compression ratios, retarding cam and ignition timing, leaning out overall fuel mixture, installing pre-catalytic converters right at the exhaust manifold, and increasing coolant operating temperatures created an environment no exhaust system existent at the time could survive—even when functioning as designed!

Add a misfire caused by greatly increased underhood engine temperature from the aforementioned “technology”, which rendered many of the electronic ignition components unreliable, and the whole process was sent into hyper-drive!

Apparently, just to seal the fate of the Slant-Six, they cast the exhaust manifold as part of the cylinder head!! Even TODAY, it’s rare to see any manufacturer attempting such a thing!

Which is why this find is so incredible!

More than likely, this example is V-8 powered, which allowed it to circumvent the fate of any Slant-Six propelled units; but still, in the land of the biennial Smog Check, one has to wonder how this one managed to continue wearing current registration tags.

It either sat for many years, while some concessions were actually made for dealing with the short fused pre-cat exhaust system, much money was spent keeping it functional in O.E. configuration, or “bootleg” smog certificates were issued. (Actual paper certificates went the way of the Dodo Bird back in the mid-90’s; but there were still relatively easy ways to “bootleg” a smog check for some years after that.)

Not being familiar with the exhaust emissions configuration of non-California units, there may be an outside chance that this one was originally sold outside of the “Golden State”, and brought across the border before any rust issues developed. I do remember that for some time, pre-cat exhaust systems were pretty much unique to California emissions-equipped automobiles.

I consider it rather supreme irony that the “Model Emissions Sticker”, which was required to be posted conspicuously on the lower portion of a left side rear window, is STILL INTACT!

I also find it humorous that the “Volare” badging on the front quarter panels was conspicuous by its absence; as just about all of the other original badging is still in place.

So, for the record, with all things considered, never will I consider one of these out-of-the-box “road-going derelicts” as a “BODACIOUS BEATER”. Still, a rare find, no matter how it’s categorized!

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volaré http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1977-plymouth-volare/#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=476282 The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they […]

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The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they replaced, and they have not aged well. In fact, most of them got crushed during the 1990s, so it’s not often that I see examples like this one in self-service wrecking yards.
Of course, the Volaré and its Detroit rivals were taking a beating during the gloom of the Malaise Era, with ever-rising fuel prices and the swelling market share of the Japanese automakers. Not long after this car was built, Chrysler had to seek out loan guarantees from the federal government.

We all know about Ricardo Montalban’s ads for the Cordoba, but we mustn’t forget that Sergio Franchi‘s ads for the Volaré were nearly as suave. This car had a “special” suspension!
This sporty coupe came with bucket seats, tape stripes, and two-tone paint.
And, for practicality’s sake, the extraordinarily reliable Slant Six.

01 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Plymouth Volare Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Car of the Year Revisionism, 1976 Edition: If Not the Volaré/Aspen, What? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/car-of-the-year-revisionism-1976-edition-if-not-the-volareaspen-what/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/car-of-the-year-revisionism-1976-edition-if-not-the-volareaspen-what/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 18:30:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421719 We went all 20/20 hindsight on the 1970 Motor Trend COTY choice yesterday, and today we’ll be jumping right into the depths of the Malaise Era for the MT gurus’ 1976 choice: the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré The Volaré and Aspen were the successors to the successful-but-aging-poorly A-Body compacts, the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant (though […]

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We went all 20/20 hindsight on the 1970 Motor Trend COTY choice yesterday, and today we’ll be jumping right into the depths of the Malaise Era for the MT gurus’ 1976 choice: the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré
The Volaré and Aspen were the successors to the successful-but-aging-poorly A-Body compacts, the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant (though the Dart and Valiant were available along with the Volaré and Aspen for the 1976 model year). The new Mopar compacts had reasonably modern chassis and suspension design, but the styling was frumpy and they were far thirstier than the Dodge- and Plymouth-badged Simca and Mitsubishi captive imports. Car of the Year material, or not? For the sake of flame wars argument, we’ll include imports (for reference, the Toyota Celica Liftback won MT‘s Import Car of the Year award in ’76). What’s it going to be? The hot-selling ’76 Cutlass Supreme, with its perfect-for-the-time styling? The Pucci Edition Lincoln Mark IV? The Plymouth Arrow? Discuss.

Image source: Old Car Brochures

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