The Dodge Diplomat was first introduced by Chrysler in 1977. It was a midsize car that similar to the Chrysler LeBaron. The Diplomat replaced the Moanaco which had been retired the previous year. Even though is was a midsize car it was actually the largest sedan in Dodge’s line for several years. The Diplomate was similar to the Aspen even though it was built on a M platform while the Aspen had used the F platform. Several of its parts were identical and could be interchanged, including its doors and body panels.
Originally the Diplomat was offered with a six cylinder engine in its base model, and optionally a 360 cu in V8 engine was offered. The Plymouth Grand Fury was considered identical to the Diplomat as well and both were very popular for use as police cruiser. From 1984 on the only engine offered with the Diplomat was the V8 engine.
Dodge failed to market the Diplomat very aggressively and as such sales of both it and the Grand Fury declined rapidly. Although not purchased heavily by individuals, both the Diplomat and the Grand Fury were quite popular as fleet vehicles.
Dodge did not spend much time on updating the body style of the Diplomat and it was for this reason that the public felt that the Diplomat styling was old and outdated. Ironically though Diplomats that were produced from 1988 on were the first Chrysler products to include a drivers side airbag as standard equipment and were the only cars to offer airbags with tilt steering.
The Dodge Diplomat was also one of the non-truck vehicles produced by Dodge to be built with a rear wheel drive. The only other cars built with a rear wheel drive include the Dodge Viper and the Dodge Charger when it was introduced in 2006. The Diplomat was discontinued in 1989.
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