1964 Dodge Dart: Chicken Car?

moparracer1

The seller of this 1964 Dodge Dart listed on eBay claims it’s an old race car, but I don’t think that’s the true history of its custom graphics. First of all, race cars have numbers, not a nickname. Now, it could be a retired dragster, but I think the truth lies somewhere in between – and I credit the classic Disney film Herbie Rides Again for activating my thinking cap. Thanks to Charles H. for the find.

redknight2

The car above was known as “The Red Knight” in the famous film, in a scene whereby our hero, Herbie, faced off in a competitive game of chicken! The event took place at a medieval festival and didn’t feature much in the way of special equipment – just nerves (and cars) of steel. Of course, you needed fitting nicknames for the drivers, so a few strokes of paint let all the spectators know just how big his ego was. Fortunately, Herbie survived the dramatic showdown.

moparracer2

The lack of special racing equipment, such as a roll cage or wheelie bars, indicates to me this car didn’t spend much time ripping up the quarter miles or road courses. No 3-point safety belts, either, just like the Red Knight’s car. And even though there’s an oversized tach on the dash, it’s logical to think it needed to be front and center as you stared down the opponent racing towards you, trying hard not to blink first.

moparracer3

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this and “The Pirate” is just some dude who wanted to jazz up his otherwise ordinary Dodge Dart. The motor appears to have some mild modifications and looks clean. While the patina is strong with this one, I feel as though the seller is trying to cash in on some unknown history with his $8,000 asking price. Perhaps if his research went a bit further in uncovering how or why this car came to possess such radiant graphics, a buyer may emerge who finds this Dart to be a fair buy.

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Comments

  1. Dirty Dingus McGee

    I also think the seller is wildly optimistic with the price. About 1/2 the ask might be more realistic.

    And what is up with the 2 tone wheels? is that a thing now? If so, I guess I missed the memo.

  2. Fred

    No doubt in my mind the car was at some point street raced, so the seller isn’t necessarily fibbing. But the price is out there.

    • Jeff Staff

      I think the use of the word “race” to indicate it was street-raced carries a much different connotation than a car that spent time at the track. Still – sellers often hide in the cloudiness of their words…

  3. Dave at OldSchool Restorastions

    raced with WHAT Group ? NO Race Prep at ALL

    Maybe “test and tune” for street cars on Thursday nights…on in the owner’s dreams

    • Michael Rogers

      Drags have changed over the years, in the past ones class and number was scrawled on the windows in white shoe polish. I’ve seen many cars with names as was popular in the past, especially in the south.There are many classes that allow various modifications ONLY, this car probably fell into one of them
      Is there a site that has saved all the race results for the last 50 years like is done for roadracing, hill climbs etc.?

  4. Birdman

    (In my best Yoda voice) “Mmmm…The patina is strong with this one….mmm”

  5. Bob's your uncle

    It used to have wheel well headers too.

    The half-and-half wheel paint is a throwback to the early 60s stock and super stock cars.

    At a sane price I’d be a buyer. It looks like a clean car just begging for a stroker small block and some minitubs. It’d have to be priced at about half of half of what the seller is asking though.

  6. jimbosidecar

    C’mon guys. Of course it’s a race car. Look at the push button automatic.

    • Michael Rogers

      You feel that somehow having a GIANT shifter somehow would improve the ET’s??

  7. Real Rey

    That 1964 Dodge Dart “The Pirate” looks like an old drag racer. Maybe not too fast but it could be quick enough for a mid powered drag car. The price seems high but depends on whats inside the motor and the mileage on the speedo too. It could be worth it. Would be a fun street car and if the price was lower it would be even better. I will watch and see the results on ebay.

  8. Mike R

    This car was listed on Racingjunk as an old gasser for $9,500, much better description than the one liner on eBay.

    Neat vintage racing stuff including the Mallory dual point, M/T valve covers and 4.56 gears.

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