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1978 Dodge Magnum news, pictures, specifications, and information

The Dodge Magnum replaced the Charger SE in Dodge's lineup and was produced from 1978 through 1979 in the United States and Canada. Produced in two forms - the XE and the GT - was the last vehicle to use the long running Chrysler B platform. This was the car that allowed Richard Petty to continue racing with a Mopar. Unfortunately Richard Petty was not satisfied with the Magnum, criticizing its handling. By the latter half of the 1978 season, Petty and Neil Bonnett switched to Chevrolets, leaving independent drivers Buddy Arrington and Frank Warren who had little factory support.

Styling features for the production-based Magnum included four rectangular headlights behind retractable clear covers, with narrow opera windows and an optional T-bar or power sunroof. The list of features was impressive, including power steering, seats and brakes.

Powering the Magnum was a 318 cubic-inch V8 as the base powerplant. Also available was a two and four-barrel carbureted 360 and 400 V8s. The 400 V8 was a one year option on the Magnum, as it was dropped the following year as Chrysler stopped production of big-block V-8's in production cars at the end of 1978. The 'GT' version was available with the 400 V8 in 1978 and the 'E58' police interceptor engine in 1979 along with the Heavy-Duty suspension, special axle, special 'GT' badging and a 'turned metal' dash applique. For 1979, the 'E58' police interceptor received the 360 V8 which was rated at nearly 200 horsepower.

The Magnum was a 2-door coupe with a front-engine placement driving the rear wheels. It had a 115 inch wheelbase and a 3-speed A727 automatic transmission.

The Magnum name was dropped in favor of the Mirada, a smaller car that was also a rebadged Chrysler Cordoba.

For 1979, the last year of Chrysler's 'last B-body', Dodge produced 3,704 examples of the Dodge Magnums with the T-Top.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
The Dodge Magnum model was introduced in 1978 and produced for only a short time, lasting until 1979. It was sold in the United States and in Canada as a rebadged Chrysler Cordoba. It was a replacement for the Charger SE in Dodge's lineup and available in two bodystyles, the 'XE' and the 'GT'.

One of the driving forces for producing this car, was for the NASCAR series. The Magnum was more aerodynamic than the Charger. The road-going versions featured four rectangular headlights, opera windows, and an optional T-Bar or power sunroof. Power steering, brakes and seats were offered as standard equipment. Mounted under the hood was a 318 cubic-inch V8 engine. Optional engines were available, including the two and four-barrel carbureted 360 and 400 V8s. The 400 was offered for only a single year, being dropped from the option list in 1970 as Chrysler ceased production of the big-block V8s at the close of 1978.

The GT version was packed with performance, powered by a 'E85' police interceptor engine. The suspension was improved, a special axle adapted, and 'GT' badging placed throughout the vehicle.

The technology of the vehicle was advanced for its era. It had an onboard spark control computer, electronic ignition, and a lockup torque converter.

The Magnum name persisted for only a short time, being replaced by the Mirada after just a few years of production. The Mirada was a smaller car that had also been a rebadge of the Chrysler Cordoba.

The name 'Magnum' would lay dormant for many years, making a re-appearance in 2005 as part of Dodge's full-size vehicle in their model lineup.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007


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