1988 Dodge Diplomat V8 5.0 from North America


Trusty old Dodge; analogue, no digital trash


Nothing so far. I bought this car straight away, after seeing the just like new condition of it. The local dealer had it after its elderly owner had seen fit to part with it for something more modern.

General Comments:

For 600 bucks, this is a one off. I just can't understand why someone would part with it.

It is a lovely maroon colour, and brightwork that would put any Peterbilt to shame. It runs like an old fashioned wind up Timex; inexpensive, but totally reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th May, 2012

8th May 2012, 12:05

I couldn't agree more - the classic analog heavy-duty technology beats everything made today. We used to run these as taxis, and they lasted a long, long time, even under heavy abuse.

9th May 2012, 17:25

Ho hum, and back in 1988 I had to hear about how much better cars from the 1950's were compared to the plastic junk that was being made then, including Dodge Diplomats. I predict that 30 years from now, there will be those who insist that their 2012 model with a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine is waaay better than the electric or hydrogen powered cars that are likely to be common by then.

1988 Dodge Diplomat Salon 318 ci V8 from North America


Sweet ride..


Two window motors failed.

Water pump failed.

Gas guzzler.

General Comments:

It was my Grandmother's car, and she left it to me. I loved this car and really gave it the baby treatment. I used my motorcycle to get around on most the time, so the Diplomat always had the bling on.

It was a comfortable, dependable, soft riding boat of car. I never got to find out how far it would have went, because I was hit head on by a teenager in a Civic that lost control in the rain. We collided at about 30 mph, and his Civic went to pieces. My damage looked cosmetic, but he managed to bend the frame a little. I simply got out of the car and walked over to him and said "Hey kid are you OK?" He was red all over from the airbag. Funny how a whole lot of steel offered the same level of protection as technology.

I ended up dropping the motor into a Ramcharger, and got another 30,000 or so miles out of it before selling the truck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th February, 2012

28th Feb 2012, 23:55

Glad you walked away from that wreck! What injuries did the other driver suffer?

1st Mar 2012, 23:42

"managed to bend the frame a little"

No, he didn't because your car has no frame. It's uni-body construction.

2nd Mar 2012, 13:27

The old rear drive Mopars were as strong, if not stronger, than any FoMoCo or GM body on frame built cars of that time.

15th Mar 2012, 16:23

The kid was fine; just shaken up and scared that his folks were going to kill him, because it was his mom's car, and he had only been driving for a little over a month.

You're right about the frame of course, being so wise in the ways of automotive construction. Regardless, it would never be in alignment again without having more than I could ever spend.

19th Dec 2016, 05:21

So your car was also ruined in the accident, too. The most salient point in all this is that the outcome for both parties was the same, despite the Civic possessing considerably less mass. So much for the theory of safety within pig iron castles...

1988 Dodge Diplomat Salon AHB Police 5.2L 318 cid from North America


Last of the great Mopar squads


When I got it I never even had it checked out mechanically, I just looked under the hood and at the body, realized it needed a paint job, and said yes.

Since then, it has needed:


Main rear oil seal (leaking)

Freeze plugs (weeping)

Water pump (leaking, toast)

Timing chain (two inches of slack)

Front brake rotors

Front brake calipers

Pinion seal (leaking)

Emergency brake cable replaced.

Headliner (sagging)

R&R motor and:

Clean motor (layers of oil and grime)

Valve job

Cylinder heads resurfaced (leaking)

Carb adjust (thermostatic spring)

Rear brake drums resurfaced

Paint job

Current problems:

Rear view mirror fungus

Driver's side door hinge that must be lubed with motor every few months

Some slightly sloppy trim fitting

Light rattles

General Comments:

A great and underrated automobile. Dependable motor, tough, durable, reliable, comfortable, powerful, utilitarian, classic. Great seats. Great lines. Smooth, firm and comfortable ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2004

26th Jul 2004, 16:25

I have made the unfortunate and costly mistake of buying two 1988 Dodge Diplomats. None of them was worth the gas I put in them or the air the things sucked in. I do not mean to insult anyone's opinion of this "masterpiece" or "fine road car" as it has been put. But PLEASE, spare me the nostalgia. Does Dodge somehow brain-wash its customers into thinking this is a quality automobile.

My Diplomats cost me triple what I paid for them just to make them inspection worthy. I learned my lesson the hard way. I'm just trying to protect my fellow car buyer.

I just don't get it. The guy writes a paragraph or two about how wonderful the car is. Then goes on with pride about how work $$$ was needed to get it up to par. (Sounds like he had to dump thousands into the car). Next thing you know, he's singing its praises again.

I'm confused.

1988 Dodge Diplomat Salon AHB Police Package 5.2L V8 from North America


Durable, no-nonsense masterpiece


Carburetor has slight choke problem, will be easily fixed.

Replaced lots of things on my last one, but then again I put 160K miles on it.

General Comments:

Extremely reliable, you can put 300K miles on the bullet-proof 318 motor if you take care of it.

Comfortable. The police package had big, thick foam, heavy-duty three-way power seats. You will not have a backache after a long journey.

OK gas mileage is not that great, but who cares.

Good looking, handsome car. The last of the legendary Mopar police squads. A car that says "don't mess with me."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th August, 2003

21st Apr 2004, 13:44

The '88 was not the "last of the legendary Mopar police squads" there was an '89 version--I had one.

And Mopar will be back in the police car business when the rwd replacement for the Intrepid is introduced.

The M-body cars are not likely to be remembered as one of Chrysler's greatest models, even the police car versions, a fact reflected in their low prices as used cars.