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1978-1980 Plymouth Volare

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1978 Volare Road Runner with Sport Pak package

 

 

Volare Kit Car with 360 V8

1978 Volare Super Coupe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1979 Volare Duster

1979 Volare Road Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980 Volare instrumentation with luxury steering wheel

 

 

1980 Volare Duster

 

Please note - the Plymouth Volare was available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and 4-door station wagon. Unless mentioned otherwise, all information on this page, including production information, refers to the 2-door coupe only.

 

1978  A slight restyling brought a new checkerboard grill, new square parking lights, and new rear taillamps. The three separate Volare models of the past - Coupe, Custom, and Premier, became just separate exterior and interior trim levels in 1978. This was just as well, as the options list for each model in the past was so extensive, that a base Volare could easily be optioned up to a Premier model level anyway. New thin-back 60/40 split-bench seats became available, helping to increase rear seat room. New low-back bucket seats also appeared, with a fold-down armrest. The TorqueFlite automatic transmission now had a lock-up torque converter for increased gas mileage. The 318 cid V-8 now came with the electronic "Lean Burn" system.

 

For the enthusiast, all of the Road Runner packages returned, including the Decor and "Front Runner" Sport Pak (previously known as the Super Pak) options. One change for the Road Runner packages is that the Sport Pak package was now available in black or white, instead of the mandatory Spitfier Orange of the past. The "Sun Runner" also returned, although now it only included T-Tops, as the manual sun-roof was dropped.

 

The biggest debuts this year were the introduction of the Volare "Super Coupe" and "Street Kit Car" packages. The Super Coupe included the 318 cid V-8, heavy-duty suspension, black dual racing mirrors, 15 X 8-inch wheels on GR60 X 15 raised white letter radial tires, black urethane painted front and rear bumpers, rear sway bar, special black and dark red paint treatment, wheel opening flares, front and rear spoilers, quarter window louvers, and special striping and insignia. The Street Kit Car package was Plymouth's attempt at capitalizing on Richard Petty's racing efforts. The package included wheel opening flares, front and rear spoilers, side window louvers, #43 door and roof decals (which were delivered in the trunk to be added by the dealer), special two-tone blue paint, and various stripes to try and make the car look like a race car. Power brakes, steering, and automatic transmission were required additional options with the Street Kit Car package. Unfortunately for Plymouth, Richard Petty jumped ship and began racing GM cars by the time the Street Kit Car package became available, resulting in very few being sold. However, both the Super Coupes and Street Kit Cars were hot, muscular looking machines, and are highly prized by Mopar collectors today.

 

Sadly, this was also the most infamous year of the Volare (and Dodge Aspen's) existence. Due to inadequate rustproofing at the factory, Volare and Aspen front quarters were prone to premature rusting problems. Due to this, the largest recall in automotive history (up to that time) was initiated by Chrysler in 1978. Every 1976 and 1977 Volare and Aspen was recalled for possible replacement of the front quarters panels, costing the company millions of dollars. Beginning in 1978, all Volares would be built with galvanized sheet metal and plastic splash shields for the front wheel wells to prevent further rust problems. Although future Volares and Aspens would not have the same rusting issues, the damage to their reputations was already done. From this point on, they would forever be known as rustbucket vehicles, a reputation that was not entirely accurate or fair.

 

Miscellaneous 1978 Production Figures

Road Runner Package

1,357

Sport Pak Package

617

Super Coupe Package

494

Street Kit Car Package

247

 

Engine

Transmission

Standard Rear Axle Ratio

Optional Rear Axle Ratios

225 Slant Six 1-barrel 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual 3.21 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.76 2.7 Sure Grip
225 Slant Six 2-barrel 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual 3.21 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.9 2.94 Sure Grip
318 V-8
4-speed manual 2.94 2.9 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.45 2.4 Sure Grip
360 V-8 2-barrel 3-speed automatic 2.4 2.4 Sure Grip
360 V-8 4-barrel 3-speed automatic 3.2 2.7 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip

 

1978 Engine Specifications 225 Slant Six 225 Slant Six 318 cid V-8 360 cid V-8 360 cid V-8
compression ratio 8.4:1 8.4:1 8.5:1 8.4:1 8.0:1
horsepower 100 @ 3,600 110 @ 3,600 140 @ 4,000 155 @ 3,600 175 @ 4,000
torque 170 @ 1,600 180 @ 2,000 245 @ 1,600 270 @ 2,400 260 @ 2,400
carburetor 1-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel 4-barrel

 

1978 Powertrain

 Options

Transmission

Volare Coupe

225 Slant Six 1-barrel

3-speed manual

standard

4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional

225 Slant Six 2-barrel

3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
318 V-8 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
360 V-8 3-speed automatic optional

 

1978 Volare Color Availability
Volare Pewter Gray Metallic, Starlight Blue Sunfire Metallic, Cadet Blue Metallic, Mint Green Metallic, Augusta Green Sunfire Metallic, Citron Metallic, Classic Cream, Caramel Tan Metallic, Light Mocha Tan, Spitfire Orange, Brite Canyon Red, Tapestry Red Sunfire Metallic, Spinnaker White, Formal Black
Volare 2-tone colors Dark Silver Metallic/Pewter Gray Metallic, Crimson Red Sunfire Metallic/Tapestry Red Sunfire Metallic, Cadet Blue Metallic/Starlight Blue Sunfire Metallic, Light Mocha Tan/Caramel Tan Metallic, Mint Green Metallic/Augusta Green Sunfire Metallic

 

1979  Sadly, the one-year only Super Coupe and Street Kit Car packages were gone in 1979. The Road Runner and Sport Pak packages were now combined into one Road Runner package. This package now included the rear spoiler, quarter window louvers, new argent or gold cast aluminum wheels on ER78 X 14-inch radial tires, heavy duty suspension, "Tuff" steering wheel, and "beep beep" horn. Unfortunately, the great looking wheel well flares were no longer included. However, an additional Road Runner Handling package was now available, which included extra heavy duty suspension, heavy duty shocks, a rear sway bar (a Road Runner first), and FR70 X 14 raised white letter tires.

 

The Duster name came back as a package on the Volare this year. This package included side window louvers (which could be deleted), special tape stripes and decals, D78 X 14-inch polyester tires, and high back plaid cloth and vinyl bucket seats with a plaid rear bench seat. A special Duster "Decor" package, available only with the Duster package, added 5-spoke road wheels with trim rings, two-tone paint, and special striping. The Duster package only cost $60 ($30 if you deleted the window louvers), but it is still debatable as to whether the Duster package was even worth the effort of offering it.

 

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1979 Road Runner

 

Miscellaneous 1979 Production Figures

Road Runner Package

1,137

T-Tops

487

 

Engine

Transmission

Standard Rear Axle Ratio

Optional Rear Axle Ratios

225 Slant Six 1-barrel 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual 3.2 ?
3-speed automatic 2.7 ?
225 Slant Six 2-barrel
3-speed automatic 2.7 ?
318 V-8
3-speed automatic 2.4 2.7
360 V-8 3-speed automatic 2.7 3.2
Sure Grip differential was available, however, I do not have the axle ratio information for the Sure Grip.

 

1979 Engine Specifications 225 Slant Six 225 Slant Six 318 cid V-8 360 cid V-8
compression ratio 8.4:1 8.4:1 8.5:1 8.0:1
horsepower 100 @ 3,600 110 @ 3,600 135 @ 4,000 195 @ 4,000
torque 165 @ 1,600 180 @ 2,000 250 @ 1,600 280 @ 2,400
carburetor 1-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel 4-barrel

  

1979 Powertrain

 Options

Transmission

Volare Coupe

225 Slant Six 1-barrel

3-speed manual

standard

4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional

225 Slant Six 2-barrel

3-speed automatic optional
318 V-8 3-speed automatic optional
360 V-8 3-speed automatic optional

                     

1979 Volare Color Availability
Volare Pewter Gray Metallic, Cadet Blue Metallic, Ensign Blue Metallic, Chianti Red, Regent Red Sunfire Metallic, Teal Frost Metallic, Teal Green Sunfire Metallic, Light Cashmere, Medium Cashmere Metallic, Sable Tan Sunfire Metallic, Light Yellow, Spinnaker White, Formal Black
Volare 2-tone colors Cadet Blue Metallic/Ensign Blue Metallic, Teal Frost Metallic/Teal Green Sunfire MetallicDark, Pewter Gray Metallic/Formal Black, Light Cashmere/Medium Cashmere Metallic, Medium Cashmere Metallic/Sable Tan Sunfire Metallic

                           

1980  The Volare received another facelift this year, including a new eggcrate grill, rectangular front parking lights, new taillights, and new square headlights, now with halogen headlamps optional. The hood was smoothed out, giving the car a more high-end, upscale look. A new Landau vinyl top became optional, along with a new optional AM/FM cassette player with Dolby noise reduction. The 2-barrel "Super Six" and 360 cid V-8 engines were gone, leaving only the 225 cid 1-barrel slant six and 318 cid V-8 as the only available engines.

 

The Volare Duster package returned, but without the extra Decor package option or the side window louvers. The Road Runner package also returned, with the 225 cid slant six as the base engine option. Also, Plymouth saw fit to add another Volare package, to complement the Custom and Premier packages. Called the "Special", this package added automatic transmission, power steering, cloth and vinyl bench seat, white sidewall radial tires with deluxe wheel covers, wheel opening moldings and body-side tape stripes. Like the other packages, all of these options could be added to any other Volare as separate items.

 

1980 would be the final year for the Volare. The Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen would be replaced by the front-wheel drive Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries, as Chrysler moved away from rear-wheel drive, V-8 transportation. Interestingly, when the Volare was first introduced in 1976, it was considered a small car. By the end of its model run in 1980, it ended up being one of the larger Plymouths available, without ever significantly changing its size. The Plymouth Volare was a hugely successful car, in terms of sales, with over 1 million cars being sold in five model years (including sedans and wagons). Sadly, the 1978 recall will probably forever tarnish the name of these cars. However, there is now a growing collector interest in the Volare Road Runners, Street Kit Cars, and Super Coupes. Hopefully, these cars will help restore the Volare name, and help give this car the respect it deserves.

 

Miscellaneous 1980 Production Figures

Duster Package 5,586
Special Package 12,334
Premier Package 12,644

Road Runner Package

496

 

Engine

Transmission

Standard Rear Axle Ratio

Optional Rear Axle Ratios

225 Slant Six 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual 3.23 ?
3-speed automatic 2.76 ?
318 V-8
3-speed automatic 2.47 ?
Sure Grip differential was available, however, I do not have the axle ratio information for the Sure Grip.

 

1980 Engine Specifications

225 Slant Six

318 cid V-8

compression ratio 8.4:1 8.5:1
horsepower 90 @ 3,600 120 @ 3,600
torque 160 @ 1,600 245 @ 1,600
carburetor 1-barrel 2-barrel

 

1980 Powertrain

 Options

Transmission

Volare Coupe

225 Slant Six

3-speed manual

standard

4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic

optional

318 V-8

3-speed automatic

optional

 

1980 Volare Color Availability
Volare Natural Suede Tan, Baron Red, Graphic Red, Nightwatch Blue, Mocha Brown Metallic, Light Cashmere, Formal Black, Burnished Silver Metallic, Crimson Red Metallic, Teal Tropic Green Metallic, Frost Blue Metallic, Spinnaker White, Teal Frost Metallic
Volare 2-tone colors Frost Blue Metallic/Nightwatch Blue, Light Cashmere/Natural Suede Tan, Burnished Silver Metallic/Baron Red

 

Volare Production

Volare Coupe

Total % Production Change
1978 61,702 61,702 -23.20%
1979 54,144 54,144 -12.25%
1980 26,787 26,787 -50.53%

 

Specifications

Volare

Length (inches)

78, 79

197.2
80 200.3

Width (inches)

78

73.3

79

72.8

80 72.4

Height (inches)

78, 79

53.3

80 53.6

Curb Weight

78

3,140

79 3,050

80

3,200

Wheelbase (inches)

108.7

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

78, 79

Slant 6

18

V-8

19.5

80 all 18