CC Outtake: 1979 Dodge Diplomat Medallion Coupe RT – I Don’t Remember An RT Version; I Don’t Even Remember This Car


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(first posted 7/20/2015)    It was a classic senior moment: I saw this Dodge Diplomat coupe — which is quite a rare find in its own regard — and noticed the RT badges on the grille and front fender, and thought: Hmmm…I don’t remember an RT version of that. But then I don’t even remember this version of the Diplomat. Uh oh.

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Yet there they were, looking original enough.

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Was there an obscure RT package available on these? I haven’t exactly thought about a ’79 Diplomat coupe in a mighty long time. In fact, I’d totally forgotten about this particular version of it, with its Monte Carlo style roof to go along with its Monte Carlo style rear hips. It was only offered in 1979; the 1980 is all squared up, and sits on a shorter wheelbase.

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I took a closer look, wondering if someone was messing with me. Well someone has been messing with their car, and left some wrenches in a convenient place where they weren’t likely to fall of in the drive to this location, which is next to my rental houses and not where it lives.

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The wrenches weren’t used to mount the RT badge; it certainly looks like it’s been there since day one.

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No RT badges on the rear. Hmmm…come on, there wasn’t an RT version offered on these?…Or was there? An RT Diplomat, with a vinyl roof? 

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A look inside made me dubious. The big tach and Edelbrock sticker confirmed the go-fast proclivities of its owner. And the 360 was still available on these, including the 4 barrel HD version, which made 195 (net) hp. Not bad, for 1979.

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When I got home, I Googled “Dodge Diplomat RT”…no relevant search results. I headed to, and found the ’79 Diplomat book…”Medallion 2-door; The sensible sport”. No mention of any RT anywhere. I’ve been punked.

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Checking out the brochure reminded me again how I had totally forgotten about this one-year version of the Diplomat coupe, which wore this familiar roof for 1977-1978, and still on the base version in 1979. Even these are impossible to find.

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It took me a bit to unravel the mystery of this very unusual car, the likes of which I have not seen in an eternity, and may well not again. Now about those RT badges....