Now here’s a rare birdie. A loaded ’78 Diplomat wagon. Sure, most of you likely remember Diplomats and Gran Furys from many ’80s movies and TV shows, but the wagon didn’t last long. 1981 was the last year for it (and also the Diplomat coupe); from then on, you could get only a four door sedan.
And of course most of those four door sedans sported various law enforcement regalia or were painted yellow. The Diplomat was introduced in 1977 as a more upmarket model, playing off the ‘small but luxurious’ style brought into being by the ’76 Cadillac Seville.
It was a corporate cousin to the 1977 Chrysler LeBaron, both of which were based off the compact Aspen and Volaré.
This uncommon survivor, which appeared on eBay Motors circa 2013, has something decidedly custom. And I don’t mean the wheels and tires. This Dippy has a 440 Six Pack under the hood.
Despite the engine swap, the rest of the car is remarkably stock and appears to be in excellent condition. I especially love the spectacular bright red leather interior!
Yes, factory leather interior was available and much more plush than anything you’d have seen on an Aspen, Volaré, Malibu or LTD wagon.
The back seat is just as inviting as the front. Power windows and courtesy lights, too. Very nice.
Buckets and console were also seldom seen on Detroit wagons in the late ’70s. Someone really loaded up this car when they ordered it–or perhaps it was a showroom draw ordered by the dealer to show all the extras available.
The cargo area is fully carpeted–and not the cheap doctor’s waiting room carpeting often seen on new wagons and SUVs. The chrome skid plates are a nice touch too.
The woodgrain trim is much more restrained on the Diplomat than on the 1977-79 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country, and the beige pinstriping gives it a nice accent. I prefer this to the Chrysler, with its more heavy-handed “wood” framing.
Note the chrome turn signal indicators on top of the fender. For those of you in the younger age bracket, these used to be common on higher end cars, and would blink along with the turn signals when they were activated.
Generally I prefer factory stock cars, but I love this thing. It would be be a perfect summer cruiser, with space, pace and Broughamtastic look-at-me presence!