Category Archives: Dodge Dart

Life imitates Dart

Whitey bulbous

Whitey bulbous

Remember when hipsters were called slackers? It was back in the early ’90s and those groovy layabouts, stavting artist, no-visible-means-of-support, Big Lebowski types tended to drive first generation domestic compact cars, usually Ford Falcons, Plymouth Valiants or Dodge Darts.  Over the years, the Chrysler-built compacts earned a reputation for enduring reliability thanks, in no small measure, to the legendarily unbreakable “Slant Six” motor that propelled most of them.  Even those equipped with MoPar’s small block V8 seemed preternaturally durable.

Dodge 'em

Dodge ’em

Dart and Valiant, “A body” cars in MoParlance, were mechanical twins but Dodge’s compact had added flair.  Dart styling was just a bit more accomplished, reflective of the look of its larger corporate siblings. Darts was far less generic looking than the efficient appliances that followed in later years.  Compact Darts were built from 1962 through 1976 and are warmly remembered. So much so that Fiat, Chrysler’s current corporate overlord, saw fit to revive the name in 2013 and applied it to the current entry level Dodge.

We canvas the world to find these beauties

We canvas the world to find these beauties

Our gallery includes a well preserved but unrestored ’65 Dart GT in white.  The GT model was Dodge’s top of the line Dart offering with bucket seats and three mock “ventiports” slapped on the lower front fenders.  We’re thinking that a refugee from Buick moved over to Dodge around that time and brought along this idea.

Rag and roll

Rag and roll

Of the same vintage is this nice convertible that does a pretty good job of mimicking the hardtop’s roof line in fabric.  That huge plastic back window really let’s the sunshine in, no?

White flight

White flight

We found another convertible, this one a GT, stashed away in an underground garage. It’s a ’69 and underscores how Dart wears its big car looks so convincingly.

Gold standard

Gold standard

What about this just about perfect ’73 Dart Custom four door sedan that’s somebody’s daily driver?   Showroom fresh after 43 years!

Almost the end of the line

Almost the end of the line

We would be remiss if we didn’t make mention of the Dart’s swinger model designation introduced in — yes! — ’69.  It was a refresh of the basic 2 door body style and energized sales to no end.  (Here’s where the key party joke goes.)

Yikes! Stripes!

Swing-a-ding-ding!

There are still quite a few Darts in service these days though despite the fact that hipsters have moved on to bike sharing, smart phone-summoned livery services, not to mention artisanal pogo sticks.  Hey man, the Dart abides.

What goes around..

What goes around..

We found this very presentable ’64 convertible for sale in nearby Freeport, ME.  It’s priced at under $11K and it’s the last model year with push button gear selection.  What are you waiting for??

Check out this commercial for the ’64 Dart, “the new kind of compact in the large economy size.”

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

 

 

Red gets to choose her Halloween ride to Grandma’s

Not your grandmother's Oldsmobile

Not your grandmother’s Oldsmobile

Feral Cars friend and fan Amy got in touch with her inner Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween.  Before setting out for Grandma’s she had to choose between a slick ’64 Oldsmobile Starfire and and sensible ’74 Dodge Dart Custom.  The Olds was fielded at the time of the “personal luxury” explosion, an analog to Pontiac’s Grand Prix, though it was far less popular with just over 15,000 sold that year.

Dodge that Big Bad Wolf!

Dodge that Big Bad Wolf!

The Dart  was long in the tooth by the ’74 model year as it was, for the most part, an update on a car that had been introduced eleven years earlier.  Energy absorbing bumpers were fitted to comply with new federal safety standards but locomotion was provided by Chrysler’s fabled “Slant Six” motor that kept going, zombie style, long after it could have been declared dead.

Room for a whole pack of wolves

Room for a whole pack of wolves

Ultimately, “Red” chose the Olds in light of its 345 hp motor that helped her race away from the clutches of the Big Bad Wolf.  Then again, that “means business” look on her face has us convinced that she clobbered ol’ Wolfie and stuffed him in the Starfire’s very commodious trunk.

Speaking of scary stuff, check out this commercial for the ’64 Starfire in which the car is used to tow an intrepid hang glider.  Be afraid, be very afraid.  Equally scary is the asking price for this ’67 Dart GTS convertible.  Yes, it’s just one of five made and has just 37 miles (!!) on the odometer but $109,900 still seems frightening to us.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.