Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Now that 'Cuda and Challenger prices are through the roof, where are true-blue Mopar fans to go for their performance fix? How about this beautifully restored 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340? With all the styling cues that make its bigger brothers so striking, great options like factory A/C, plus potent performance delivered via a thundering 340 cubic inch small block V8, this is a car to be respected on the street.
Plum Crazy purple finish is a perfect high-impact Mopar hue that's back in fashion today, and the ultra-straight flanks on the 1970 Dart wear it incredibly well. The PPG basecoat/clearcoat finish has an almost impossible shine (which is what you get when the body is fully disassembled, stripped to bare metal, expertly prepped, and then coated in high-end paints) and it looks sleek and slippery with a great glow in the sunlight. These guys spent a lot of money getting this car into shape when it was fully restored 10-plus years ago, and you'll note that the gaps are excellent, and the finish is deep, lustrous, and smooth to the touch. They got this sucker right in just about every way, and there are very few complaints to be had about this top-quality driver that's bordering on show-stopper. That aggressive hood features twin functional scoops and hood pins that set the muscle car tone early, and with the white 'bumble bee' stripe encircling the rear end and a black vinyl top on the roof, that loud purple finish is contrasted just enough to help this Mopar appeal to everyone. The front grille is gorgeous, the chrome and brightwork has been shined up to a near-blinding level, and the pillarless hardtop design accentuates the Dart's forward-canted shape. A lot of these were mere grocery-getters, but when you dress it up properly the way this one has been, it definitely has presence. Even the lowered stance suggests speed and performance, and the whole car looks a lot more expensive than it is.
The interior is where the Dart's economy-car roots are most evident, but that only meant that you could afford the hardware that mattered when you walked into the showroom in 1970. Nobody did big performance on a budget like Chrysler Corporation, but quite frankly this cabin is very upscale for a muscle-era Mopar. The original high-back deluxe buckets have been reupholstered in Legendary Auto vinyl seat covers, which look awesome with the bright purple paint. There are also original black door panels, plush black carpets, and the original dash features a crack-free pad up top, stylish woodgrain applique, and a full array of factory switches, knobs, and gauges. The 3-spoke steering wheel is factory-issued and in great shape, and just ahead of it the three pods house all the instruments, including a center-mounted tachometer. A retro-style AM/FM/AUX/BT stereo was swapped-in and features Mopar's favorite thumbwheel controls in the middle of the dash, the highly desirable middle console is beautifully accented with chrome and wood applique and houses the shifter for the automatic transmission, and the original under-dash A/C system has been upgraded with modern hardware (although it does seem to have a slight leak). Out back the rear seat looks untouched, as does the surprisingly roomy trunk that features a new mat that fits well and gives it a clean, well-tended look.
The Dart's real claim to fame, however, is under the hood. No need for a big block when you have a lightweight shell, and the numbers-matching, high-performance 340/275HP under the hood pulls this lightweight A-Body with great gusto. With a big Edelbrock 650CFM 4-barrel carburetor, it thumps out plenty of horsepower and great torque while the easy, light weight handling of a smaller car remains. The engine and valve covers are dressed in proper Hemi Orange, while the Plum Crazy purple inside the engine bay is the perfect backdrop, and with correct components like the original air cleaner found throughout, the engine bay looks just like it did in 1970. It's backed by a heavy-duty A727 TorqueFlite automatic built for combat that spins the original 8.75 rear end filled with 3.23 gears inside. Which means it's comfortable off-the-line and on the highway. Stock manifolds feed into a stainless-steel dual exhaust below, so the soundtrack is instantly familiar to anyone that remembers their Grandpa's Mopar, and one look at the clean undercarriage let's you know how thorough this restoration really was. Power steering means easy maneuverability on the road, front disc brakes help the car stop on a dime, and traditional Rally wheels wear 225/70/14 BFGoodrich T/A white-letter radials that finish off the look perfectly.
A very cool compact with big money spent in all the right places, this Dart Swinger is ready to rock. Forget the big guys, the little Mopar will show them how it's done. Call today!
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