Cloaca Maxima – 1982 Dodge Mirada CMX

Mirada. You have the right to remain impressed.

Another sighting in the Garage Where Dreams Are Made – or the only heated free parking garage in town – is this white Mirada. Outside, it was still insanely cold at -28’C and I had to thaw my power steering fluid leaking Mitsu at the garage.

Walking from the car, I couldn’t help but admire this Dodge, it too seeking shelter from the cold. Behind it, some hobos were warming up with a couple of pocket-warm brews, looking at me shuffling around snapping photos of something so clearly out of place in this town.

The Mirada is admittedly an odd bird. The styling is exaggeratedly blocky, at the same time attempting something streamlined but still consisting of nothing but straight lines. There’s something about the front that reminds me of the steps on an old Aztec temple – and the 5.2-litre LA V8 must be Tenochtithlanian by architecture, putting out 130hp in its 1982 guise.

The Mirada wasn’t a roaring success, but it does have one claim to fame. I admit I was completely fooled by the mock Cabriolet top, and it did add to my surprise when I saw the car, as I imagined it rolling the freezing streets with the top dropped. But no, it’s metal underneath and does not fold. I do understand vinyl tops to some extent, but something designed to look just as slightly shoddy as cabriolet tops always tend to do is just plain weird. But to each their own, and the owner of the Mirada did spot me taking photos of his car.

“So, how much ya paying for the photos?” “Excuse me?” “Ya gotta pay to take photos of something as special as this!” he barked with a mouth with not all of its long-time occupants currently present. I complimented him of his exquisite Dodge and was on my way before he noticed the parking ticket on the windshield. The Garage of Dreams only lets you stay for two hours at a time, and the Mirada had had a sleepover there.

The article’s title refers to the Roman sewer system, but it’s not there to mock the mock-top Dodge – but due to a connection with a Finnish rock band originally of the same name. Having shortened their name to the more easily remembered acronym, CMX are still putting out the odd piece of progressive rock, but like the Dodge the frontman has aged from his glory days. While A.W. Yrjänä was considerably slimmer in the band’s ’90s heyday, the Dodge has always been just as portly as it stood in the garage.

But in closing, here’s CMX with their 1994 ballad, Ruoste (Rust).

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