The car that started it all... A 1967 Dodge Dart
The newspaper ad sometime in 1983 read "1968 Dodge charger for sale, $500 also 1967 Dodge Dart, $175" or something along those lines... Of course I called about the Charger but by the time I got there it was on deposit- but would I care to look at a slant six Dart while I was here? It had a luggage rack on the roof, 13 inch tires, no headliner and it looked like a pack of cats had been living in it for a while. Vin # LH23B72316736 (Dart, high line 270 model, 2-Dr hardtop, 225 CID, 1967)
So of course I bought it, I was 17 and it was my first Chrysler.
For a year or so I drove it around pretty much as is except for fixing up the things that old cars need fixing up like brakes and such. But the go fast bug had already bitten me and I was looking to go... faster. I was going to hotrod the slant six but I found a '69 Dart GT for a parts car with a 318 4-speed and that was the end of that train of thought. I bopped around with a tired 318 for awhile and then got a deal on a 340 six pack engine that turned out to be a dud and the only good that came out of it was the six pack heads and induction setup. I ended up reinstalling a fresh 318 that SCREAMED (ran a best of low 14's on street tires) and then built up a 340 that would rock the house with low, low 13 second passes at 112 mph (again with street tires)
All good things must end sadly... In the early '90s I had to make the hard choice between my Dart and GTX... I could only afford to keep one old RWD car on the road with spiraling gas prices and parts getting scarce... With a terminal case of frame rot I had no choice but to retire the old girl from service...
Some specs at time of retirement...
1970 340 with TRW forged slugs, factory windage tray, Moroso lifter valley pan, double roller timing chain, DC 528 lift 284 duration cam, 273 mechanical rockers, '71 J heads with 2.02 intakes, backcut valves and minor porting, TM5 Edelbrock single plane intake with Carter 650 cfm carburetor, DC chrome box ignition with factory recurved distributor (35 degrees total timing) Moroso crankshaft underdrive pulley, 1 3/4 inch tube headers running into 2 1/4 dual system running into common turbo mufflers.
The Transmission & Rear End
833 4-speed of unknown vintage with modified 71 B-body bench seat pistol grip shifter, aluminum flywheel and custom Mcloud clutch with 3800 lbs. clamping force. Rear diff was 8 3/4 housing from '69 Dart GT with 3.55 sure grip (clutch pack type) DC pinion snubber was used for traction.
69 Dart GT 318 torsion bars and control arms up front (polyurethane graphite impregnated suspension bushings) with '76 Dart spindles and disk brakes (manual master cylinder and manual steering too!) Rear brakes were pirated off 68 full size Chrysler and were 2.5 inches by 11, rear springs were stock with extra leafs added. Welded in subframes connected front to back (had to I was cracking the floor pan the car you to twist so violently on launches), front tires were whatever was handy on 14 x 6.5 wheels and rear tires were Mickey Thompson G60-14's Indy Profiles with SS compound on old reverse offset rims that were 14 x 8 topped off with dog dish hubcaps. Setup was good enough I could hammer 3500 rpm launches on the street and have car lengths on people before they even knew what was going on!
Dart mixing it up at New England Dragway on 8-4-90
The ill fated 340 6-pack on the left and a interior shot during renovations.
On a trip to Florida to retrieve a stolen car (a story in itself)
The view most people saw (yup, same plate that's on my Daytona!)
I used to love going to car shows with a "beater" and popping the hood, the look on peoples faces was priceless.
New pics added 2015!
This was a 318 that I rebuilt and installed when the 340 6-pack engine turned into a dud. Ran 14.2's
Parked behind Nehantic Camping Trailers Niantic CT.
I think the distributor was from a 273 4-bbl
Polaroid of the engine before it came out.
Down at Englishtown.
Making a pass at New England Dragway.
Thank you for visiting
Donovan's Dodge Garage