1970 Dodge Dart: Original Swinger

1970 Dodge Dart Swinger

When I see cars like this Dart Swinger, I often wonder how cars like this have survived so well. This car, which Alan F came across here on craigslist, is still like new. It wasn’t a highly desirable car when brand new and I highly doubt anyone thought someday it would be a collectors item. The seller claims the original owner was a schoolteacher and only drove it occasionally. Upon her death about 10 years ago his father bought it from the estate. Based on the condition I would guess she stopped driving it many years ago. While it isn’t a highly sought after car I’m actually glad that less desirable, yet interesting cars like this have survived. This one reminds me a lot of our Duster, but since they are both based on the A-body platform it makes sense that it would! So would you give this Swinger a new home?

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Comments

  1. Leon

    I have my family owned since new 74 Dart Swinger edition with the slant 6 it’s essentially resided in some sort of barn 90% of it’s life I need to get it back on rode. Was a MS car now in La. Any Dart orslant 6 groups in the south for clubs or support ?

  2. herb

    My ex father in law gave my first wife one of these, I think it was a 71 Dodge dart Swinger, it had drum brakes on the front, and a 318 V8. I was constantly having to work on those front brakes, the front wheels each leaned in at an angle, and I don’t know if it was the extra weight of the engine, or what the deal was, never could get them perpendicular to the ground. It was pretty fast though, but the water pump went out, fan got into the radiator, and I was pretty young at the time, and a new father. I eventurally traded it off for a 73 Datsun 240Z Car. My wife never learned how to drive a stick, and I don’t think she ever forgave me for trading off her dad’s gift. I wouldn’t own one of these again on a bet, it swore me off Dodges for all time, I have never owned another Dodge.

    • Ed P

      If the front wheels were tilted in the torsion bars were not adjusted properly. That is assuming that the ball joints and assorted bushings were not worn out. Any front end shop should have been able to correct this easily.

    • Metoo

      I remember when my son was in the service and bought a well used 280Z, I don’t what year it was, but it was the car from HELL for him. He practically lived under the hood with a toolbox for a pillow. LOL

  3. Dbauer

    Awesome memories! My first real car was 1971 Dart with 318 and auto tranny. Mine was a fast dependable cheep runner. I learned how to tune engines, change tires, brake replacement, ball joints, change out headers and exhaust….. Started me in mechanicals very well.

    I would still have my Dart but I got rear ended in a fierce snowstorm and the gas tank popped up into the rear seat area! I told my mom I could fix it, but we all know how that story ends. I sold the Dart to an amateur stock car racer who did well with it.

    I’d buy this Dart in a heartbeat.

  4. Vince Habel

    These cars ran forever. Rust was the big problem. This will make a great entry car.

  5. Leon

    In 41 years the only problems our 74 Dart were plagued with was some issues with the electronic ignition module. Some dash electrical and the pre catilytic converter egr vacuum system. Otherwise the 225 motor and 904 automatic stood the test of time

  6. Smitty

    The ’70 has a good looking body, but not as nice as the ’67-’69. The best year was ’64, but then the body style changed and ’67 was the best. They held on until 1969 and the taillights were put into the bumper and it all went to hell.

    I love that a guy went off to “never buy another car” from a company that built a car he didn’t like nearly 45 years ago! Herb! You’re the best person ever!

    We can’t bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m’shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Gimme five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. Now where were we… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. I didn’t have any white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

    • St. Ramone de V8

      Ha! Nicely said, Smitty. My Dad had a ’57 Plymouth wagon. Didn’t like it much. He took the same attitude about it. Never had another Chrysler. Dad, it was 55 years ago!…….anyway, Smitty, nice rant. I hear my Dad in that.

    • herb

      Smitty, I’m just telling it like it was. The car handled terrible in snow, and I was in the Black Hills at the time. But it was those drum brakes on the front end that wouldn’t stay fixed. We did a lot of what Ed P suggested, but I was fresh out of school and money was tight back in the late 70s. Actually the 240 Z was a lot better car than the 280 in my opinion.

      • Smitty

        Sorry Herb, I was just kidding. Lots of people hold grudges against car companies for buying a single lemon. I don’t understand that point of view.

        Jim, the “onion on my belt” thing is from an old episode of the Simpsons. It’s one of the best episodes they made where Homer becomes a union leader.

    • Jim

      Good one, Smitty! Do you do any other writing? I’d like to read some of them.

  7. Metoo

    My sad Swinger story. In the mid-70’s I bought a used one for my wife while living in Fairbanks AK. It was gorgeous. One local owner, low miles, the former owners, who I discovered I actually knew slightly, were older. The car was dealer serviced like they were cult members. Glove box full of receipts for minutia running even to new wiper blades. I agreed to buy it and told the dealer to change the oil and the fuel filter. and put some more gas in it (it was outside, had sat for a moth there, and it was winter) The salesman was the son of the Mazda dealership owner, who had taken it in trade, and a well known coke-head. He replaced the metal fuel filter with a Fram, off the rack one. Metal ends and plastic body. I picked the car up, drove it the 40 miles to our waaaaay out the road home,. i went inside where my wife was feeding the kids. “Hey babe, I’m back with your car.” She looked out the window, turned to me and said more calmly then I would have expected “The cars on fire.” It burned up completely in the driveway. A day or so later the Insurance man crawled all over and under then showed me the two metal ends from the in-line fuel filter he had found on the ground underneath. He told me “Those idiots should have known you don’t put a plastic filter that close to the exhaust manifold. That’s why it calls for a metal one.” But damn, that was one pretty, and well running car for that drive home. The dealers insurance had to pay, reluctantly and screeching, but pay they did.

  8. Dirty Dingus McGee

    I like it, despite the color which my pop always referred to as baby s**t green. I think however the seller is a good bit high with their asking price. Around half the ask would be more in line for me( and I have 3 seventies vintage A bodys, including a 74 Swinger)

  9. jim s

    this will make a nice driver, as long as there is no rust. photos look good but do a detailed PI then make an offer. right motor, most people could live with the automatic, very nice looking car. great find.

  10. RickyM

    Great looking car; I love it. Nice find !

  11. Gary

    For me I like the Dodge Dart, had a very nice low mileage ’68 I bought from the original owner in the late 70’s, had the V8 with console and bucket seats. Peppy little car and so reliable, turns out my Uncle took a liking to the car so much he talked me out of it within the first year. I drove my” future brother-in-law’s” Dodge Dart in ’64 and it was new at the time, actually took my behind the wheel driving test and passed perfect, oops dating myself now… I would buy this gem!

  12. Charles

    Nice Find! There were lots of Darts and Dart Swingers around back in the day, however one that clean is rare these days. The green was a popular color in the 70’s.

  13. Woodie Man

    I know its Craigslist but if your’e going to attempt to sell a car, pictures of the interior, engine , trunk etc would be nice. Dont they give you like 25 pictures?

    Even though its a plain jane run of the mill Dodge with a six cylinder to boot its not a bad looking car. Amazing if he get eleven grand for it. I don’t even know how you would value it

  14. Charles

    One of my coworkers first car was an early 70’s Dart. It was a four door granny car, beige, with a slant six and no options. Her parents bought it for her while she was in high school. She thought it was ugly and tried every thing she could think of to tear it up, besides purposely wrecking the car. It lasted all the way through her high school, then it was passed on to her baby sister. When her sister was done with the car it was given to an elderly aunt. The car ran for many more years and finally rusted out. The car is known today as the Dart that refused to quit.

  15. Jason

    Yet more high-contrast over-saturated photos. No thanks!

  16. Susan

    I drove a 70 Swinger in high school. Love this car! Is this particular one still for sale? Does anyone know? Thanks!

    • Mark 'cuda man

      Susan;

      Do you have any pictures of the complete car?????

  17. Mark 'cuda man

    I’ve owned a dozen of these great cars over the years, from a ’73 lime green Swinger original one owner 2-door that was my daily driver in the ’80’s to a ’72 20k Scamp one owner 4-door that my wife drove for several years in the mid-80’s, to another mint ’73 butterscotch colored 2-door that I added a black vinyl top (was dark brown) and matching black “bumble bee” stripe, to the most recent completely original 1972 dark green 4-door 318cid a couple years ago…….ect.
    The one I regretfully let “get away” was a ‘one owner’ 50k totally original 1974 2-door slant-six in Traverse City Michigan that was “for sale” in the original owner’s front yard in the mid to late ’90’s. The color was incredible and absolutely original-hemi orange with a white vinyl top, white interior with black dash and carpet. WOW!!!! What an incredible color combination. I have NEVER seen another one with this color! The husband of the woman/driver who had recently died was asking around 5k for the car and I just couldn’t do it at the time. I would LOVE to know where this car is today………

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