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