COAL: 1984 Dodge Aries – Chapter 8, Short Term Transportation

In July 1984 I put a small tear in my Left ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) (see BOAL: 1982 Honda GL500 Silverwing – Chapter 5, The Baby “Wing”).  I was discharged from the Navy in 1985 and enrolled at the University of Arizona.  On Labor Day weekend in 1987 I was stepping into the hot tub at a friends apartment complex when that ACL ruptured.  I decided to schedule the reconstructive surgery for winter break.

With my left knee unstable I couldn’t depress the clutch on the Jeep, nor was it advisable for me to ride the motorcycle.  I needed a car with an automatic transmission.

The Jeep went up on jack stands and everything that wouldn’t appreciate sitting exposed to the weather for many months was removed.  For a mere $800 I found this 1984 Dodge Aries at a local dealer.

The Aries K cars have been covered extensively here at Curbside Classic.  My first hit on google looking to add detail was Paul’s Curbside Classic Lite: 1984 Dodge Aries – When a Compact Sedan Was a Savior, Not a Coffin Nail.  Mine was a pretty basic model.  To the best of my recollection it didn’t have power windows, power door locks, a power mirror or power seats.  It had the automatic transmission I needed and it had air conditioning (a requirement in Tucson for an enclosed car).

I owned the Aries for about 9 months and it served me well.  I don’t recall it needing any repairs or maintenance.  I drove it to campus, I drove it to work and after my surgery I drove it to physical therapy.  They were common enough that it didn’t attract any attention.  The only strong memory I have of it is realizing 20 minutes after I sold it (for $800) that I’d left my prescription sunglasses in the door pocket.  Not counting what I’d paid for taxes and registration ownership of this car was a break even deal.