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Dodge Dart



History

Part II

1963-1976







Introduction: The Dart was Dodge's entry in the growing compact market. Introduced in 1960, the first generation Dodge Dart was actually just a small fullsize car. It was "reborn" in 1963 as a true compact. The Dart lineup would continue to evolve, and included Demon and Swinger models as well as the Dodge Sport and the mighty Dart GTS.


1963 Dodge Dart GT






Comments: The all new Dodge Dart switched to a 111 inch wheelbase and replaced the Lancer GT as Dodge's sporty compact. The styling penned by Elwood Engle had a minimum of fussiness. The GT represented the top performing trim level, although the lack of a V8 was a puzzling omission for a "performance" car. The Dodge Dart was available as either a hardtop or convertible. Both had styling that featured prominent headlight bezels that protruded slightly from the fenders and grille, creating a look that resembled the Chrysler Turbine car. Styling was generally clean and smooth, with a thick angled rear pillar. All Darts were covered by a five year, 50,000 mile warranty.

Production:
I6: 34,227

Engines:
170 I6 101 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
225 I6 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A.


1964 Dodge Dart GT






Comments: The Dodge Dart GT finally got some performance with the addition of Chrysler's fine 273 cid V8 offering 180 bhp. Styling changed slightly with a new convex grille.

Production:
I6: 37,660
V8: 12,170

Engines:
170 I6 101 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
225 I6 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
273 V8 180 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.

Performance:
273/180: 0-60 in 10 seconds.


1965 Dodge Dart GT






Comments: 1965 saw a further increase in performance as a 235 bhp version of the 273 engine was offered.

Production:
I6: 35,000
V8: 10,000

Engines:
170 I6 101 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
225 I6 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
273 V8 180 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
273 V8 235 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
273/235: 0-60 in 8.2 seconds.


1966 Dodge Dart GT






Comments: 1966 saw an effective facelift with more squared off lines, a new rectangular grille, and rectangular headlight bezels.

Production:
I6: 20,000
V8: 10,000

Engines:
170 I6 101 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
225 I6 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
273 V8 180 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
273 V8 235 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1967 Dodge Dart GT






Comments:

Production:
GT V8: 21,600

Engines:
170 I6 101 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
225 I6 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
273 V8 180 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
273 V8 235 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1968 Dodge Dart GTS






Comments: Dodge introduced a new GTS trim for its Dodge Dart line to compete against Chevy's Nova SS. The hot GTS was available with either a standard 340 cid V8 with 275 bhp or an optional 383 V8 with 300 bhp. Coupled with its light 3,000 pound curb weight, the Dodge Dart GTS did very well on the street and the track. Unfortunately, the extra weight of the 383 tended to negate the power advantage of the 383 over the 340. Furthermore, the 340 was rumored to actually produce over 300 bhp which helps explains the lack of improvement with the 383 engine. Other technical enhancements included a low-restriction exhaust system with chrome tips, Rallye suspension, 14x5.5 inch wheel rims and E70-14 Red Streak tires. A three-on-the-tree manual transmission was standard, though most GTS models were sold with either a four-speed Hurst floor shift manual or a competition-type Torque-Flite automatic transmission. Identifying the GTS were hood power bulges with air vents, body side racing stripes, special GTS emblems, and simulated mag wheel covers. A rear end "bumble bee" stripe was a no cost option. Vinyl bucket seats were standard in the $2,611 hardtop and optional in the $3,383 convertible.

But another option awaited those wanting even more performance. For a special few, Dodge shipped 383-spec Darts (minus Powertrain) along with factory prepped 440 engines to Hurst-Campbell, Inc., a Michigan after-market company. Hurst-Campbell did the conversion, Dodge reps inspected it, and the finished cars were forwarded to Grand Spaulding Auto Sales in Chicago, a performance-oriented dealer. These cars got vehicle identification numbers, but were not covered by the factory warranty. With even more weight over the front wheels and no power steering (it wouldn't fit), the 440 Darts were only good for all out drag racing. Most modified 440 Darts also received additional performance parts such as aftermarket headers, ignition kit, hoses, wiring, and air cleaner.

As if that wasn't enought, approximately 80 Darts were fitted with the 426 Hemi. But this wasn't just a engine swap. They featured a fiberglass hood and front fenders, a front bumper and doors stamped out of a lighter gauge steel, special one-layer Corning Glass for the side windows (which did not meet DOT standards for use on public roads), no door window mechanisms, and no exterior side mirrors, all in an attempt to save weight. The weight saving measures continued inside with the deletion of the rear seat, the radio, and the replacement of the front seats with special lightweight van seats mounted on custom-fabricated aluminum mounting brackets. There was no insulation, no undercoating or sealers were used, and even the right side seatbelt was removed. Under the hood, the brake master cylinder was moved to clear the cylinder head, and rubber brake lines were used instead of metal so that they could be removed for access to the valve cover without disturbing the brake hydraulic system. The actual Hemi engine featured a pair of Holley carbs on a magnesium cross-ram intake. Iron heads (instead of aluminum) were used to keep the cost down. A heavy duty cooling package was standard, as well as headers, but the cars were delievered with no paint -- just primer and naked black fiberglass from the cowl forward on cheap black wheels with skinny tires. Final cost per car was around $4,500, and to make sure that the cars were raced and NOT driven on public streets, every Hemi Dart came with a sticker that stated that "This vehicle was not manufactured for use on Public Streets, Roads or Highways, and does not conform to Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. But they definitely performed on the track, and would hit 10's in the quarter miles with minimal modification. This would make it the fastest factory built car in muscle car history.

Production:
GTS: 8,745
440: 68
Hemi: 80

Engines:
340 V8 275 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 340 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
383 V8 300 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
440 V8 375 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 480 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

Performance:
340/270: 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.2 seconds.
440/375: 0-60 in 5.0 seconds, 1/4 mile in 13.3 seconds @ 107 mph.


1969 Dodge Dart GTS






Comments: The 1969 Dart GTS sported some exterior changes and a more powerful optional engine. The exterior sported a new black grille with bright horizontal center bar, and a blacked-out rear body panel. Under the hood, the optional 383 V8 got the full Road Runner/Super Bee treatment and power increased to 330 bhp. Dodge strengthened the suspension when the 383 was ordered, increasing the diameter of the front torsion bars and front sway bars. But the same heavy-duty six-leaf rear springs and E70x14 tires were retained which made good launches tricky. Transmissions were shared as well, either a heavy-duty four speed or high-shift Torque-Flite, both with 3.23:1 gears standard and 3.55:1 or 3.91:1 available with the optional Sure Grip differential. Also new was a rear "bumble bee" stripe with a separate lower section and the GT Sport name written on it. The hardtop cost $3,226 and the convertible was $3,419.

Another specialty Dart was the Dart Swinger 340. Standard equipment included the 340 cid V8 with 275 bhp, four speed manual with Hurst shifter, three-spoke steering wheel with padded hub, Rallye suspension, "Swinger" bumble bee stripes and fat 14 inch wheels and tires. Seven exterior colors and four vinyl colors were available. All-vinyl upholstery (with full carpeting on four speed cars only) was included. The Swinger 340 was only available as a two-door hardtop for $2,836. Two axle ratios (3.55:1 and 3.91:1) were available.

Production:
Swinger 340: 20,000
GTS: 6,702

Engines:
340 V8 275 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 340 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
383 V8 300 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1970 Dodge Dart GTS






Comments: The 1970 Dodge Dart lineup returned with Swinger 340 and Dart GTS trim lines. All Darts had new front and rear styling. The Swinger 340 was available for $2,808 but now included a three-speed manual as standard. Instead of smaller power vents, the hood now had two long, narrow hood scoops. Front disc brakes were included. Despite the introduction of the Dodge Challenger, the Swinger 340 still remained popular, selling 13,785 units. One reason for its popularity was that insurance companies classified it as a compact car and thus charged lower premiums than other muscle cars. The Swinger 340 was still fast and could often keep up with 340 equiped GTS's.

Production:
Swinger 340: 13,785
GTS: ?

Engines:
340 V8 275 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 340 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
383 V8 330 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 410 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1971 Dodge Demon 340






Comments: 1971 saw the addition of the all new Dodge Demon to the Dart lineup. Based on the Plymouth Duster, it was a pillared two-door fastback with a 108" wheelbase (three inches shorter than other Darts) and was available in two trims. The base Demon had the 198 cid I6 standard and minimal equipment, all for the bargin price of $2,343, just $30 more than the Duster. Performance minded buyers went for the Demon 340, the spiritual successor to the Dodge Dart GTS. The Demon 340 featured Chrysler's strong 340 small block rated at 275 bhp. A three speed fully synchronized floor shift was standard, along with the Rallye instrument cluster, heavy-duty suspension, E70x14 rubber, stripes, and dual exhausts. Options included a dual-scoop matte-black hood complete with hood pins, rear spoiler, "Tuff" steering wheel, four-speed manual transmission, TorqueFlite automatic, or upgraded interior. At mid-year, the Demon Sizzler became available. Based on the base Demon, the Sizzler added some of the 340's appearance and trim pieces. Both Demon models feature little cartoon "devil" decals which didn't sit well with some religious groups, but definitely added to the Demon's flair.

Production:
Demon 340: 10,098

Engines:
340 V8 275 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 340 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1972 Dodge Demon 340






Comments: The Dodge Demon continued into 1972 with the only major change being that the 340 V8 was now rated at 240 bhp SAE Net as opposed to the previous year's 275 bhp SAE Gross.

Production:
Demon 340: 8,700

Engines:
340 V8 240 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A


1973 Dodge Dart Sport






Comments: Bowing to pressure from certain religious groups, Dodge dropped the "Demon" name and renamed its sporty compact the Dodge Dart Sport. The matte-black hood was dropped, but the other trim details continued.

Production:
Dart Sport: 11,315

Engines:
340 V8 240 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A


1974 Dodge Dart Sport






Comments: The 340 engine was replaced by a more emission friendly 360 cid V8 for 1974.

Production:
Sport V8: 23,225
Sport 360: 3,951
Swinger Special V8: 1,944
Special Edition V8: 9,274

Engines:
360 V8 245 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 320 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A


1975 Dodge Dart Sport






Comments: The 360 engine was detuned to meet ever tougher emission standards.

Production:
Sport V8: 8,801
Swinger Special V8: 323
Special Edition V8: 6,578

Engines:
360 V8 230 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 300 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm. (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A


1976 Dodge Dart Sport






Comments: The 360 engine was detuned again for 1976, the last year for the Dodge Dart Sport.

Production:
?

Engines:
360 V8 220 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm. (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A



Pictures used with permission of the Dodge Dart Page









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