Factory Hot Rod: 1968 Dart GTS 383/4-Speed

Update 7/9/19 – This Dart has been relisted here on eBay with the same asking price. It’s a sweet project, but is it that sweet?

From 5/7/19 – While this generation of the Dodge Dart appealed partially to economy-minded folks who didn’t need a big fancy car, they could be transformed into potent weapons when armed with the venerable 383 cid (6.3L) V8. This running and driving 1968 Dodge Dart GTS in Klamath Falls, Oregon retains its original numbers-matching 383 and many other factory parts. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least a dozen bids to set the market value above $12,000. Impulse buyers can simply click Buy It Now for the sum of $25,000.

Considered a “compact” car in its day, the Dart weight 3300 lb, about the same as a Fox-body Mustang hatchback. You’ll find more room for friends and family and luggage in the Dart. The seller reports it spent its life in Northern California and Oregon. A host of under car pictures depict little more than surface rust, and a strong contender for the ugliest dual exhaust system ever crafted.

This car runs and drives! Most of what you see here could have come from the factory including the chrome valve covers. The four-barrel 383 made 300 HP stock, and much more if your budget allows.

The four-speed transmission and rear-end are not original, though what might be the original rear axle is available with the sale. According to the body tag decoders at tpocr.com and mymopar.com this genuine GTS came with the blue colors and options shown. Highlights include the four-speed manual transmission, 3.23 Sure-Grip differential, front disc brakes, tachometer, and including shiny drip rail, belt, and wheel lip moldings, fender-mounted turn signal indicators, and remote driver’s mirror. What’s your top offer for this mostly solid and original high-powered compact?

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Looks a little rough inside, at least around the shifter, like the 8 track under the dash. Seriously can be a great car again. Iam not a Mopar guy but don’t see too many of these left. Should not be too difficult to return this a street beast.

    9
    • slickb

      There are a lot wrapped around trees and poles

      12
      • Sandy Claws

        Yes, easy to understand considering how well they handled, plus the personality of the average person who owned one.

        17
      • robh693

        My dad hit a tree dead center so hard with one that the engine ended up in the back seat. He was lucky to have survived.

        12
  2. Shawn Fox Firth

    Interior looks like it was a flood car . still cool car , too much at 25 grand .

    10
  3. Howard A

    One of Mr. Norm’s cars?

    2
    • TimM

      Great car my best friend in high school had one with a three on the tree and the slant six!! I remember riding in it and it hitting the ridge in the road and following it right down the road!! I bet it would be much different with that kind of horse power!!!

      2
    • RJ

      I had a 67 GT, these early A body cars are great candidates for making a nice street car. Easy to work on, plentiful parts availability, light, and pretty decent styling.
      I agree $25K is on the high side, but what the hell, start high and work your way down, or Cha-Ching if someone coughs it up.

      3
  4. Angrymike

    A buddy had one of these back in the day, but with a 360, it moved quite well. I think he paid $500 without an engine, prices these days are insane !

    9
    • Donnie

      No 360 in 68.Every GTS came with a 340’s or 383’s

      4
  5. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    For the love of Pete, this is one cool car! Five Powerball tickets came back with two matching numbers total, none of them paying out anything. I may have to try another method to get enough cash to buy this thing. That alternator looks brand new. In high school, I had an “automotive” shop class which consisted of one year worth of rebuilding/restoring GM, Ford, and Chrysler alternators and starters which were then sold for money for the program. We learned how to rebuild the heck out of starters and alternators but nothing else. Nice work, Todd!

    15
  6. Will Irby

    Just needs a little work

    26
  7. Dan

    I had a ’69 version years ago….the 383 was a dog…not the magnum engine like the Roadrunner……a 340 car would run and hide from it…..never dawned me then, if a 383 will fit….so would a 440…….a few were made and what a beast.

    13
    • Sandy Claws

      I believe they were the magnum engine but HP was down because the typical exhaust manifolds wouldn’t fit, so something much more restrictive had to be placed. Seems to me there were some special order factory 440s, and for sure Mr Norm must have made some. Still, really only good for a dragstrip, too much of a headache for general use on the street.

      6
      • Howard A

        I’m glad someone else remembers Mr. Norm. It was the left exhaust manifold that had to be re-engineered because of the steering linkage. He soon realized, if a 383 would fit, a 440 would fit as well. I think for ’69 Dodge came out with their own 440 Dart.

        9
    • Donnie

      I had a 68 GTS with the 340.Too fast for the 383.I smoked a lot of Mustangs and Chevelles with a small block Dodge.The 340 was called the elephant killer for a reason.Turned over 6000 RPM’s from the factory.The best small block Chrysler ever built.And another thing is the fact they never made a 340 with a two barrel.

      9
    • r s

      Not sure the 440 would fit… the 413/426/440 Wedge motor was the RB (raised block) which has a wider spread on the heads and exhaust manifolds. Looks pretty tight between the fenderwells with the 383 in it.

      1
      • RJ

        440 would fit with the proper K-Frame, the only headers available back then were fender well exit, chassis exit are available now for this swap.
        Chrysler even put Hemi’s in the A body.

        1
      • Terry Bowman

        383 in 67′,426 and 383 in 68′ and 440 in 69′. Yes they needed to breathe with headers. The 340’s were the same, but not as restricted as the big boys.

        1
  8. Dave Mika

    Will Irby,
    Gawd, dat sure is purdy.

    3
    • Will Irby

      Yes, it is! It belongs to a friend who restores Mopars. It’s a factory 383 4-speed car. He has several others that are just as nice.

      6
  9. Arthell64 Member

    I always liked the 68-69 dart.

    4
  10. Gaspumpchas

    Sure would be great to bring this baby back and blow the chow mein off a rice rocket. Get in and hold on. Fix the mechanicals and drive as is, and p!$$ the purists off. would give anything to nail the throttle and experience a 1-2 power shift. Small body with a big @$$ engine shoehorned in, that formula worked well. Good luck to the new owner!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    11
  11. Miguel

    This is $16,000 USD buys you in Mexico. I know it is only a 318, but it is a much better car than the featured car for much less.

    It is as nice and original inside as the outside. It has a bench seat and a 4 speed on the floor.

    I really don’t understand the high prices for a car that needs everything.

    28
    • Ted

      I love the cars you put up Miguel, you should seriously look into dealing some of the treasures you find….

      1
  12. JimmyJ

    Sandy claws is right! The manifolds were so restrictive that they didn’t make 340 4spd power. The 4gear 340 had a higher lift cam than the autos and although rated at 275hp they pumped closer to 320 not to mention it would turn better.
    Very,very cool car but I’ll take a 340 all day long!

    7
    • Chris M.

      All true and given the choice I’d take the 340. But as bad as the manifolds were on those big blocks you can sell a set for $1500 to the resto crowd and buy a set of TTi headers for $700 and solve the problem. Big block Darts will always be cool in my book.

      8
    • Terry Bowman

      JimmyJ, only in 68′ did the 340 4-speed have the higher lift cam.

      1
  13. cold340t

    Time for Big Brakes all around and Fast ratio power steering box with aftermarket k-member/suspension. Great car!

    2
  14. Ted

    Wait til the feeding frenzy on the last day of the auction. We all know Mopar guys don’t mind spending so I’d expect to see this blow by the BIN price…

  15. the one

    The geometry on these cars 67,8,9 were set up for 1\4 mile Hence the Hemi version of which 80 race only were produced. We had a few 340 versions one auto a few 4 speed, low 11s in the early 70s. Not too bad!

    5
    • Donnie

      And people say those 340’s would not run in the low 11’s.I know better because I owned one.It was probably the fastest car in the quarter mile that Chrysler made.I had an Rt and a Coronet that were big blocks.They could not keep up with the 68 Dart I had.

      2
      • Marty Parker

        If you had a car like this that ran low 11’s it wasn’t even close to stock. It would take upwards of 500 HP to make this happen. No way!

        4
      • Terry Bowman

        With a couple of out side changes on the motor, the 340 will run it the 12’s all day. Low 11’s will be pushing it to it’s max.

        1
  16. Del

    Over priced and tampered with.

    No thanks

    1
  17. stillrunners

    Educating youse guys is useless. Miss my 68 GTS 340 mucho…..68 in my opinion was the best year of the three years.

    6
  18. RoughDiamond Member

    I think Keith, the Seller, stands to make a lot of money on this 4-speed GTS.

    2
  19. Stinger

    For those who needed to be explained, that a 383 is a (6.3L) V8, you should not buy the car. Leave it to people who know that a 383 is a 383 please.

    340 cars were cool on the street, no doubt, but it’s hard to take away from the sex appeal of a Big Block in a small A-body, especially with a 4 spd….

    8
  20. the one

    Never said they were stock 11s cars.But they didn’t need a lot either. Just increase the volume of air flow, improve traction, you know the drill … The ’69 340 had the highest HP. ’68 was my favorite year as well.

    1
  21. Chebby Member

    For ~$10k more you can get a very nice one.

    1
    • Del

      Yes. Probably a fully restored one but GTS might be a bit more

      1
  22. Troy s

    50 plus years later and the arguments of mine is faster than yours or this engine made the most hp are still going strong. Those are the real reasons these pumped up factory cars are so treasured to this day, regardless of brand. Left one heck of an impression.

    5
  23. Ted

    I liked this the first time it came up and I too moaned that the price is/was too high. The seller seems like a guy who is going to fixate on stupid money to max the profit margin instead of moving it for reasonable money but that’s his right. I’d buy this right now for 16/18K CDN but again no way the seller would even entertain a 14/15K US offer so I’m out of the running. Too bad, always liked the BB Dart. Extrude Honed manifolds are all they need……

    I knew a guy who took a couple of years to sell a big block 4 speed 69 Charger for his ask even though the rings never seated in the rebuilt engine and it smoked like a bugger. Wouldn’t listen to offers, stuck to his guns. All it takes is the right guy, right day, and boom. Sold……..

    1
    • Terry Bowman

      Ted, a little or even a lot of exhaust smoke could be a easy 2 hour fix.

      • Ted

        Believe me Terry we tried at the time to get our buddy, who was a mechanic and built the engine, to just re ring it but he just stood fast. There wasn’t one of us who didn’t want the car, black on black and bone stock, but huffing huge oil wasn’t a task most of us could take on. Would have entailed paying someone to tear it down again.

      • Terry Bowman

        Ted, maybe you misunderstood me. Valve seals is a easy fix, which crack over time and cause the smoke. A easy way to check this out is, the smoke will be much when first starting the motor and subside some after a few seconds, but still have some smoke. Can be corrected with motor in car and heads attached. $10.00 for seals and about 2 hours labor. A compression check can help if it’s a bigger problem.

  24. Poncho

    Don’t know what this guy is smoking in his pipe with that kind of price for this heap. Bottom line…it’s still a Dart that needs a lot of work (which equals $) to get to a nice condition.

    1
  25. Keith

    Another over priced clapped out Mopar? Wow!

    1
  26. SC/RAMBLER

    Yes Chrysler did build 50 Hemi Darts for NHRA racing only. There were a few 440 Darts built but not sure if made by mother MOPAR definitely Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge did. As mentioned extrud-hone the cast iron manifolds works wonders. 1968 340 4speed cam was higher lift/duration cam too much cam for automatic tranny. 11 sec. 340 MAYBE with a tunnel Ram intake high compression piston 14.1 or so 4.88 gears traction bars etc. solid lifter cam ported heads. That would be one fun ride!!

    2
  27. don

    Well it sure needs quarter panels , but other than that it looks very solid .The blue/blue is kind of a turn off for me , but it looks very restorable .
    The console has me wondering ; I thought those were for automatics only ? That would explain why it was cut to fit the shifter, but that could have been changed years ago . The console color and correct brackets welded to the floor make me think the console was a factory piece for the car.

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