Bare Bones: 1983 Plymouth Reliant K SE Coupe – NOW $3,800 OBO

Feb 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

February 25, 2021 Update – Not only are we surprised to see this very popular K-Car still for sale, but we’re also shocked you can buy it now for $3,800 or best offer.  We predict this car will be sold by the end of this week.

The cars that saved Chrysler: the original “K” cars better known as either the Dodge Aries or the Plymouth Reliant such as this two-door coupe we found listed here on Craigslist in Daytona Beach, Florida for the revised asking price of $3,800, which id down from the original ask of $4,250. Comparing that price against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the asking price is fifty dollars less than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $4,300.

The Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries were introduced for the 1981 model year as the first “K-cars” manufactured and marketed by the Chrysler Corporation. The Reliant was available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, or as a 4-door station wagon, in three different trim lines: base, Custom, and SE (“Special Edition”). Station wagons came only in Custom or SE trim. Unlike many small cars, the K-cars retained the traditional six-passenger, two-bench seat with column shifter seating arrangement favored by many Americans. The Reliant was powered by a then-new 2.2 L I4 SOHC engine, with a Mitsubishi “Silent Shaft” 2.6 L as an option (this engine also featured hemispherical combustion chambers, and all 1981 models equipped with it featured “HEMI” badges on the front fenders). Initial sales were brisk, with both Reliant and Aries each selling over 150,000 units in 1981. As rebadged variants, the Reliant and Aries were manufactured in Newark, Delaware, Detroit, Michigan, and Toluca, Mexico — in a single generation. After their introduction, the Reliant and Aries were marketed as the “Reliant K” and “Aries K”.

The Reliant replaced the Plymouth Volaré/Road Runner. The Aries replaced the Dodge Aspen. The Reliant and Aries were classified by the EPA as mid-size and were the smallest cars to have 6-passenger seating with a 3-seat per row setup, similar to larger rear-wheel-drive cars such as the Dodge Dart and other front-wheel-drive cars such as the Chevrolet Celebrity. Chrysler marketed the car as being able to seat “six Americans.” The Aries was sold as the Dart in Mexico. The Reliant and Aries were selected together as Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year for 1981 and sold almost a million Aries and 1.1 million Reliant units over the nine-year run.

Here’s a vintage MotorWeek Retro Review of Chrysler’s offerings for the 1983 model year:

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly entry to any RAD Era event, you can’t do much better than this nicely sorted K-Car coupe that features both radio- and air conditioning delete. f you are serious about buying this bare-bones K Car, you can start the conversation by emailing the private seller.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Reliant K featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“**This vehicle does not have A/C or a radio** **It was ordered from the factory this way** $4250 obo !!This car is 38 years old car, so expect brand new!! !!This car is not recommended as a daily driver!!

I am moving, so I have to sell my vintage classic 1983 Plymouth Reliant SE 2 door coupe! It is equipped the 2.6 litre carbureted 4 cylinder, 3 speed automatic and has 153000 miles. I am the 3rd owner and have put a lot of work into fixing her up. This includes: New white wall tires, New carpet, New headliner and New OEM top dash pad. I have redone the whole interior and replaced the torn vinyl seat bottom cover with an OEM fabric one. The engine has New spark plugs, plug wires, fuel filter, air filter and a carb adjustment. The car starts right up and idles great. Steering is tight with no rattles and tracks and brakes straight. The transmission up and downshifts fine. The brakes and radiator were replaced by the previous owner.

This K car, along with Lee Iacocca, saved the Chrysler Corporation in the early eighties! It is a piece of automotive history and almost nonexistent today! It’s fun to drive and gets a lot of comments! $4250 obo CASH or BANK CHECK only!

Show or go: what would you do with this K Car?  Comment below and let us know!


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