|Dodge St. Regis|
|Body Style||4-Door Sedan|
|Transmission||3-Speed Automatic, RWD|
|Engine||3.7L (225 cid) I6 (1979-1981)|
5.2L (318 cid) V8 (1979-1981)
5.9L (360 cid) V8 (1979-1980)
Chrysler New Yorker
Plymouth Gran Fury
The Dodge St. Regis was Dodge's short-lived full-size 6-passenger car that was produced from 1979-1981, and turned out to be Dodge's last true full-sized car as well. The St. Regis replaced the discontinued Monaco as Dodge's largest car, but rode the same chassis dimensions as the Monaco, despite being an all-new R-body (the Monaco was a B-body). The St. Regis was introduced with Chrysler's all-new downsized Newport/New Yorker in 1979, and later in 1980 shared a body with Plymouth's re-introduced (in name only) Gran Fury, which was little more than a Chrysler Newport with a Plymouth nameplate on it.
1979-1981[edit | edit source]
1979 was the most popular year of the St. Regis, but sales unfortunately paled in comparison to GM's full-size cars (Impala/Caprice, etc), and also had to do battle with the all new downsized Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis this year... the St. Regis was no match for any of those cars in sales, equipment offering or overall build quality. They did, however, achieve decent sales as fleet models, such as police cars and taxi cabs (package A38). Drivetrain choices started with the stalwart 3.7L (225 cid) Slant-6, with the 318 and 360 V8s as options (the 318 being the most popular). Sole transmission offering was the 3-speed automatic. Bodystyles were also limited to a 4-door sedan - no coupes or station wagon models were offered.
1980 saw its standard Slant-6 revert back to a 1-bbl carburetor (from a 2bbl the year prior) with an hp drop to 90 (from 110) and a couple of new colors, and its build quality did improve somewhat. In 1981, the St. Regis got a slightly revised grille and the 360 option was now restricted to fleet sales only (police, taxi, etc.). The St. Regis (and its other R-body corporate mates) were actually planned to be terminated after the 1980 model year, but Chrysler changed its mind at the last minute and kept them on for one more year. R-body sales never even came close to GM's or Ford's full-size offerings, and Chrysler themselves realized they were fighting a losing battle and mercifully threw in the towel in mid-1981. The smaller M-body Diplomat became Dodge's biggest rear-drive sedan after 1981, a car that would also become the darling of many police and taxi fleets throughout its tenure just like its predecessor.
Due to the St. Regis' popularity as a fleet model, they became fairly common sites on TV police shows of the era (T.J. Hooker being the most common).