Story-Free Swinger: 1972 Dodge Dart

One of the stars of the 2012 auto show circuit has been Dodge’s Dart, positioned as its new entry-level sedan replacing the forgettable Caliber. With powertrains that can it take it from fuel-sipper to pocket rocket, you might think the concept is new. But as this 19,302 original mile-’72 Dodge Dart Swinger points out, not only is today’s concept an old idea, but the original is still tough to beat. Find this 1972 Dodge Dart here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $14,995.

Although no mention is made of how this car stayed below 20,000 miles since the early 70s, it was clearly under the watch of a protective owner. Straight, shiny sheet metal, a pristine interior and the numbers-matching slant six mated to the optional Torqueflite 3-speed box all prove that despite its modern re-incarnation, you can go back in time. Though the hot ticket was the Dart 340, equipped with a four-barrel V8 cramming 240 b.h.p. into a lightweight chassis (by 1970’s standards), this Swinger makes the best of its sporty silhouette with a black vinyl roof, chrome bumpers, Rallye wheels, and tubular exhaust headers connected to a true dual exhaust.

Like today’s small cars, the Dart offered first-time car buyers a variety of options to customize the runabout to their liking. One such feature that this ’72 comes with is factory A/C, a rare luxury most Darts don’t possess. Standard equipment still with the eBay Swinger includes the vinyl front seat, simulated woodgrain, two-speed wipers, front armrests, deep pile carpet, dual horns and a heater/defroster. However, we would toss the modern day floor mats for some period correct pieces.

Thankfully, the ’72 shown here has received only minor tweaks from its original configuration, and appears to be limited to maintenance items. The standard electronic ignition keeps the Dart firing the first time, and replacement shocks maintain the Dart’s reputation for a smooth ride. The brakes were also serviced and the fat 225/75/14 BF Goodrich T/A’s look to have plenty of life left. While the slant six might not waste rubber with smoky burnouts, it will prove to be an easy-to-live-with econo cruiser.

Fans of the high-performance variation of the Dart loved the car in the 70s due to insurance companies classifying it as a compact, thus resulting in lower premiums. Today, the simplicity of the six-cylinder Dart offers similar advantages, with a low cost of entry to classic car ownership. While the price of this example is a touch high and could be put towards a better-optioned 340 car, it’s hard to deny this Swinger’s honesty. For the first-time classic owner, this is an car you can begin driving to cruise nights immediately – albeit slowly – instead of resurrecting a thrashed hot rod.

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Comments

  1. Kraig

    Typical Mopar options of the era: Power steering, but no power brakes.

  2. J. Pickett

    Not a hot rod. But great driver. I had a used Duster I bought in 85 for 9 years. Total repairs less than $400. put fifty thous miles on it, took it camping. Got 21mpg on the trip. Kids loved it. my wife wouldn’t give it up. Finally rear end locked up. Junkyard gave me 25 for it I originally paid 50. That slant six with the torqueflite was unbreakable.

  3. Bob Lange

    Brown, jus’ sayin’.

  4. Paddan

    Except for the fact that she had power brakes and the 340 V8, my grandmother had the identical car that she bought new in September 1972 to replace her aging white ’65 Dodge Coronet 2 door. That car had mismatching rear interior panels from the factory which I pointed out as a little kid that illustrate Mopar’s lack of quality control even then. The fact this has non power brakes is a benefit. The power brakes locked up if you looked at the braked pedal and were downright dangerous. Can’t believe this is $15k!

  5. Ed Somers

    My wife had one of these. Hers was Powder Blue with the 225 ci six, Torqueflight and power steering (no A/C). It was a dream to work on for someone who was used to working on GM 400 ci V8′s stuffed into similar sized cars. It was a nice car to drive, got about 15 mpg on the hills of Pittsburgh and low 20′s on the highway. Mechanically, it was bulletproof, but it was a northern car so it’s life was shortened by the salt. We kept the car until 1983 and sold it to a neighbor.

  6. Nugget

    i had one with a 340 in it :) sweet

  7. Bob

    My Aunt had a 1970..she was 80 years young..We took the car to Speedy Muffler King for a new muffler..Man said lifetime guarantee ….She said…On Me ?

  8. Ian

    Ah, memories. I had a ’74 Valiant 4-door in this color in high school. The body rusted away (14 years of Michigan winters) but the slant six was still going strong when we sold her for $200 in 1988. The interior was pristine. We drove that car from Michigan to California and back. I’m pretty sure it still had melted crayons decorating the rear deck.

    I would have much preferred to have the Swinger or Duster in high school. But mostly was just happy to have wheels.

  9. Justin in Indy

    Early 90′s, came thiiis close to buying a slant six dart as my second car….but chickened out to a ‘tick’ in the engine I was scared of (and too young and dumb to know enough about it to take the risk). Have always wished I had owned one, even if just for a little while. Love this car, love the color.

  10. Claudia

    I had this car, same colors, during 1980-late 1981 during Sr year in college. Paid $1000 then. The mechanic I took it to for a quick going over told me if I didn’t buy it, he would. Added air conditioning, a better radio and new upholstery. I didn’t know what I had at the time but I’ve never had such awesome power steering since!!!

  11. Al Neri

    A close friend had a similar Dodge Dart (affectionately nicknamed the “dog fart”). It was like Dracula – it refused to die. That slant six was indestructible.

  12. James Wallhauser

    In 1990 I bought a ’74 Dart Custom for $50 and added one correct hubcap for $60. Slant six, automatic, Plymouth Valiant taillamp (left side), vinyl roof, class 2 trailer hitch (huh?) basically clean. Sold it 6 months later for $200.

  13. Troy M

    Wow nice lookin’ Dart. Slant 6 cool. Talk about Iron Clad reliable. I had a ’72 Swinger W/ 318 & auto. Funt to drive. Well sa long as U only go stright. (No sway bars). I put a 4bbl & camon mine. Not a 340 But still pretty quick.

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