There’s a strong feeling of fulfillment behind the wheel of this striking coupe.
The Dodge 600 was an extended (E-platform) version of the original K-platform cars, with three more inches of wheelbase added to the sedans (coupes and wagons kept the same wheelbase as the first K cars). It debuted in the 1983 model year, two years after the original K cars made it to market. Other E-platform cars were the Chrysler New Yorker, Chrysler E-Class, and (later) the Plymouth Caravelle.
There were three engines available for the Dodge 600. The base engine was Chrysler’s K 99 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection. The high-performance option was the Turbo I 146 bhp version of the same engine with a Garrett T3 turbocharger and fuel injection. The other option was Mitsubishi’s Astron series 4G54 101 bhp 2.6 liter/153 ci inline four with a two-barrel carburetor.
Fuel economy for the Turbo I and three-speed automatic transmission combination (the five-speed manual was no longer available) was 19 city/24 highway by the standards of the day (it would be 17/22 today). With a 14-gallon gas tank, the new owner of a club coupe could expect a range of between 245 and 270 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.
Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $9,060 club coupe (about $22,000 in today’s dollars) included power brakes, power steering, halogen headlamps, a Landau padded vinyl roof, and P185/70R14 tires (a size still readily available) on 14-inch wheels. Inside, cloth front bucket seats, a full-length console, color-keyed steering wheel, and an electronically-tuned AM radio were standard. Features listed in the brochure that wouldn’t be considered worth mentioning now included a tethered fuel filler cap and an inside hood release.
Optional equipment included sport/handling suspension ($79), air conditioning ($757), tinted glass ($115), automatic speed control ($179), leather-wrapped steering wheel ($50), and tilt steering wheel ($110).
The View From 2019
The original K cars and their many variants were once so common on the roads, but have essentially disappeared in mid-2019. I haven’t seen a 600 of any type in years, even though Dodge produced over 300,000 of them between 1983 and 1988. You’ll sometimes see the original Dodge Aries/Plymouth Reliant cars at AACA shows along with the top of the line Chrysler LeBaron convertibles.
Updated August 2019.