Dodge Accessories

Dodge Miranda Accessories

Dodge Miranda Introduction

The Dodge Mirada was a mid-sized, rear-wheel drive coupe built from 1980-83, and was one of the three cars based on the Chrysler J platform, the other models being the second generation Chrysler Cordoba and the Imperial, these three vehicles being Chrysler's response to the downsizing of its car lines. The Mirada was 800 lb lighter and its wheel base 2.3" shorter than the Magnum it replaced. Production numbers were low, with just under 53,000 units sold during its production run. The Mirada would stay relatively unchanged during its 4-year run, with the exception of paint colors and engines. It was replaced by the 600 in 1983. Because of the low production and survival rate, Miradas today are garnering some limited interest from collectors, particularly models with the 5.9 liter V8.

It was hoped that the Mirada would reopen the door to Dodge success in NASCAR racing, as the nameplate had not won a race since November 1977. Lee Iaccoca personally called Richard Petty in late December 1980, asking the King to campaign one, with the promise of parts needed to build the cars and engines. The Petty built test Mirada looked every bit as fast (Petty himself remarked "The Mirada just looked good!") as the other race cars eligible to run in competition. On 17 January 1981 at Daytona (Petty fans were so enthusiastic he was running a Dodge again that 15,000 or so showed up to watch), the testing showed the car was around 8 mph (13 km/h) slower than the GM and Ford cars of the day, and Petty and the most of other drivers moved to other makes, mostly GM.

Dodge Miranda GrilleTo teams, and Negre Racing however, decided to make a go of the car and campaigned it during the 1981 to 1984 racing seasons. Buddy Arrington managed 17 top-ten finishes during those years. A few other drivers (Dave Marcis in four races, and Dick May in three) ran Mirada's occasionally in 1981, but the cars were either plagued with mechanical issues, or finished several laps off the leaders. Up until the end of 1984, Miradas raced from time to time, but were not competitive. The cars problem stemmed from poor aerodynamics, poor supply of racing grade engine parts, and the fact that it was much larger (dimension-wise) than the Ford and GM cars it was racing against. The Mirada was marketed as a personal luxury car, an extremely popular segment at the time.

Its competitors included the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and Ford Thunderbird. Advertising and marketing were limited, as the car was introduced when Chrysler was in deep financial difficulty. The 3.7 L engine was the standard engine in the base Mirada with the 5.2 L V8 offered as optional, and the 5.9 L V8 was only available in the Mirada CMX and only in the 1980 model. All of these engines were mated to the A904 automatic transmission except the 360, which received the beefier A727. The suspension of the Mirada utilized transverse torsion bars in the front and leaf springs with a sway bar in the rear. A "Sport Handling Package" was offered, which included heavy-duty shock absorbers, torsion bar bushings, springs, as well as anti-sway bars in both the front and rear.

Dodge Miranda WheelsThe braking system used power assisted disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. There were several different types of rooflines offered. The base models all received a basic metal roof with a chrome trim strip extending from the bottom of the opera windows and across the roof. Those who chose to have their Mirada look a bit sportier could opt for either a power sunroof, or a glass T-top roof; and those who wanted a more luxurious look could choose either chose a vinyl Landau roof or a Cabriolet roof, which was basically a mock convertible top. The T-tops and Landau would be offered every year except for 1983, and the Cabriolet top would be offered every year. However, the power sunroof was not very popular and was only offered for 1980 and 1981.

There were a few basic wheel options. The base models came with 15" steel wheels with turbine-like hubcaps, or polished ten-spoke, 15" custom wheels with painted section and bright chrome center caps. 1983 would be the last year for the Mirada. When it left the line-up, only one rear-wheel drive Dodge car was left, the Diplomat. Lee Iacocca was replacing all Chrysler cars with the front-wheel drive K-car platform. In many ways, the Mirada was the last of the old Chrysler. A time of torsion bars, rear wheel drive, and powertrains with familiar names - slant six, 318, 360, Torqueflite, Sure-Grip. The Mirada was probably one of the most underappreciated coupes Mopar ever built. Largely forgotten by history, it was actually a very great car, and had lots of positive features going for it. Unfortunately, it was probably a car meant for another time.