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At $9,250, Will This 1999 Dodge Stratus Put You On Cloud Nine?

Jun 22, 2023Jun 22, 2023

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Dodge cloud car describes its condition as “mint,” which isn’t startling considering its extremely low mileage. Let’s see if this surprising survivor is worth the seller’s asking to keep around even longer.

It was nearly 100 years ago that the first Volvo rolled through the barn doors of the company’s original factory in Gothenburg. The debut was intended for April 13, 1927, but had to be postponed a day when it was discovered that the differential had been incorrectly installed, causing the car to go into reverse whenever first gear was chosen.

No such issues plagues the 2004 Volvo S60R that came under our scrutiny yesterday. Described by its seller as running and driving great, it also benefitted from some recent maintenance and decent appearance despite middling to high mileage. A $4,800 price tag (cash only, according to the seller) sealed the deal for the majority of you, earning the Volvo a solid 61 percent Nice Price win.

According to the Poindexters at NOAA, the U.S. has averaged around 12 percent cloud cover over the past month. Making up most of that minimal coverage are the common Cumulus, high altitude Cirrus, low altitude Stratus, and rain-bringing Nimbostratus cloud types. These are all cool cloud names, and that’s likely why Chrysler leveraged the Latin-sourced names for its line of ’90s mid-size cars. That was the JA series, which went under the Chrysler Cirrus, Dodge Stratus, and Plymouth Breeze nameplates. And yeah, Plymouth was kind of an outlier there. Maybe that’s why it’s not around anymore.

There wasn’t much other than badges and some subtle front and rear facia changes to differentiate the three models, an obvious cost-saving effort on Chrysler’s part. They all featured the same cab-forward four-door design, which was popular in Mopar circles at the time, and offered such upscale niceties as disc brakes all around and four-wheel independent suspension. Engine choices for the cloud cars included a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a slightly larger and much torquier 2.4-liter four, and a Mitsubishi-sourced 2.5-liter V6.

Upon their introduction, the cloud cars got mixed reviews. They were praised for their styling and roominess but were dinged for feeling somewhat cheap and not having the best safety record.

As such, these were pretty much cars that people drove until something major broke and then shipped off to the junkyard. Few if any would have ever considered saving one for posterity, although, strangely enough, that’s just what seems to be the case with this 1999 Dodge Stratus. It has just 29,000 double dutch documented miles under its belt and is described by its seller as being between somewhere between a 9/10 and a 10/10 in overall condition.

Painted in the wonderfully named Inferno Red Crystal Pearlcoat over a gray cloth interior, this Stratus isn’t just good-looking for its age. It also has an amazingly long list of mechanical updates and maintenance, all undertaken within the last 500 miles. That work includes fresh tires and a new timing belt, both pretty pricey updates. The latter is also a plus since the 2.4-liter DOHC four under the hood sits sideways in what’s a pretty tight engine bay. That mill is pretty tight too, making 150 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque rfom the factory.

It’s a good-looking engine, too, with a header-style cast exhaust manifold displayed prominently under the hood. Paired with the engine and driving the front wheels is a four-speed automatic transmission. A manual was not offered on these cars with the 2.4.

The presentation in the cabin is likewise impressive. Yes, there was a lot of penny-pinching going on when Chrysler designed these cars, as evidenced by the chintzy plastic trim and exposed joints and seams. To be fair, there’s also a good bit of style here, what with the white-faced gauges and swoopy lines on the low-slung dash. The upholstery looks brand new, and all trim and accessories appear present and accounted for.

According to the seller, the car has only been driven in good weather and doesn’t even know winter exists. The title is clean, and the car is claimed to be well taken care of outside of long bouts of inactivity, which the seller says is what led to the large number of age-related replacement parts having been thrown the car’s way.

The asking price is $9,250. At first blush, that feels like a lot for an old Dodge Stratus. But when you consider that you won’t likely find another one in this condition and that it is a reasonably fuel-efficient and comfortable cruiser that should have plenty of life left in it and won’t cost a left nut to insure, it starts to make more sense.

What do you think? Does this Stratus’ $9,250 price make sense to you? Or, for that much, would you just leave the seller hanging in the breeze?

You decide!

Rhode Island, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Whatsupdohc for the hookup!

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