4-Doors/4-Speed! 1968 Dodge Dart Sedan

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Dodge redesigned its Dart compact in 1967 and that resulted in a popular car that would continue in production through 1976. Tens of thousands of 4-door sedans were built each year as economical family sedans. But how many of them left the factory with a 4-speed manual transmission, more commonly found in the Swinger 340 hardtop? Well, the answer is at least one, and – if it’s only one – then this car would be it. The seller’s ’68 Dart was a daily driver until it was pulled out of service in 1991. Time and Mother Nature have not been especially kind, so the car will need a full restoration. Located near Atlanta, Georgia, this unusual Mopar is available here on craigslist for $9,000. Kudos to Pat L. for bringing this tip our way!

I love cars that come with a story, and this Dart has one. The seller’s father purchased the Dodge new as a special order. He wanted both 4-doors and a 4-speed all in the same package, so he had to wait until early ’68 for the car to come in. At least one other person probably wanted this set up in a grocery-getter, but this might be the only one that hasn’t ended up in the junkyard. Dad drove the car to and from work for 23 years and 220,000 miles, adding a rebuilt 273 cubic inch V8 in the late 1980s after the first one blew up.

This auto has spent most of the past three decades up on blocks, only to be rolled out for photos in 2014 which should be the ones used in the listing. After that, the car went back into storage, and it sits there now. The machine is not drivable, so it will have to be towed. The fuel system contains bad gas, and the brakes are shot. Rust had/has taken over some of the sheet metal, including the front fenders which were replaced with ones from a ’69 Dart (hence the rectangular side marker lights instead of round ones like on the rear). All this was repainted in a red that’s kind of similar to the rest of the Dodge.

A new quarter panel will be required for the passenger side. And the interior is going to need to be refreshed. The car comes with a host of spare parts and the seller has two photo albums that further depict what comes along for the ride, both for the car and the spares. Most folks wouldn’t normally give the Dart like this a second glance because it has too many doors and a lot of problems. But its rarity as a factory 4-speed definitely sweetens the pot.

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Comments

  1. PaulG

    Having survived the late 60’s and most of the 70’s as a teenager, I can certainly appreciate how a trip to the dealership to fill out an order for a new car, then wait patiently was a common occurrence.
    Today the experience is so watered down with a few exceptions.
    I’ve seen several odd-ball special orders from the 60’s; station wagons w/ big blocks and 4 speeds, four door sedans like this, among others.
    The value is there for nostalgic reasons I suppose…

    Like 19
    • PaulG

      Just not 9k worth of it.

      Like 40
    • Greg in Texas

      That dash and bench seat too cool. But it’s a complete restoration. Complete car perhaps. As I say in lots of these threads: Superficial makeover, get it running… Movie car? It’s maybe a character from Dragnet’s ride. Well, I tried. Maybe $5k would get it moving someplace else. $9k still gets a decent contemporary used car these days.

      Like 6
    • Gary

      From a old timer from Colorado, all Rocky Mountain region four speed wagons had pistol grip shifters after 70. Those would be cool to own. Stick shifts were wanted for mountain drive due to the ablity to hold the road better than autos. One of my friends (RIP Brian) has a 65 Valiant 4 door with a 340/4 speed back in the early 80’s, a little stop light terror.

      Like 0
  2. Zen

    He’s dreaming. Rare doesn’t always mean valuable, it can easily mean because no one wanted it. It’s neat that it’s a V8 w/ a 4 speed, but there’s nothing special about a tiny V8 like a 273, and in a rotted 4 door, no one is gonna pay $9000 for it, unless maybe if it were a low mileage car in great condition. I repeat, he’s dreaming.

    Like 34
  3. Claudio

    There has to be a mopar aficionado out there that will gladly pay the asking ?!
    As i wouldn’t pay scrap price for this and wouldn’t drive if it was free
    To each his own …

    Like 12
  4. Robert Holt

    I’d be super interested in this car for a couple of reasons, but the absence of the original 340 is unfortunately a deal killer for me. I’m a ’68 model, for one, and secondly, my first car was a 4-door ’76 Dart. It had the 225 slant 6, and it was a peppy little car! I learned how to drive (and a good deal about how NOT to drive) in that car, and I’d love to find a good ’68 to tool around in, but this one ain’t it…

    Like 6
    • Yblocker

      The car didn’t come with a 340

      Like 17
    • Greg in Texas

      That Dodge Slant 6 is the desirable motor for sure. This car may have a movie car last hurrah but that’s not $9k in my opinion. I do love that lounge seat and dash retro look interior. I don’t love the big thirsty motor, rust, different shades of red like it had a front clip replacement look. It’s possible someone loves it the way it is. Let’s say your girlfriend nags about your hygiene, style and clutter. You get this car, she’s sneaking out and doing the breakup for you! Then you get all spiffy and make the car look nicer and run nice. Hoping she learned a lesson or someone else new says “hello!” Nagging is a sign sparks are no longer the good kind.

      Like 1
      • Yblocker

        A 273 is a big thirsty motor?

        Like 8
  5. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Nice color match on the obviously replacement front fenders, pops. Before anyone gets visions of wheel standing Dodge Darts, the 4 speed was merely a “manual” all synchro transmission, while, I believe the standard box, was a column , non-synchro 1st, 3 speed. Pops had no intention of full throttle powershifts. He wanted an all synchro trans, for convenience, that’s it. It reminded him of his old pre-war, floor shifted Dodge. He never cared for that column shift.The grandchildren had different ideas, however. Library my butt.Vacuum gauge under the hood? Isn’t that something that should be on or under the dash for constant viewing?
    I’m sorry, only a fool would spend this on that, and only shows that someone actually thinks the 4 speed, all the rage on TV, btw, adds $5grand to this rust bucket( with new, mismatched front fenders). Exploitation to a new level.

    Like 0
  6. Peter Teller

    no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 5
    • Kevin

      This car could live again, if the unibody isn’t rusted out, it’s priced way too high, it probably got very respectable mileage for what it is, small v8, 4-speed,and probably highway gears, I had a 73 satellite 4-door 318 auto that got 14 mpg with my lead foot,delivering pizza back in the 80s,I really liked that car, only paid like $250 back in late 80s.

      Like 0
  7. Maggy

    I could see 2k tops for this car if its solid underneath imo.I’d do all the usuals and leave the body alone and drive it.Neat car but not 9k neat.

    Like 14
  8. Yblocker

    This would be another one of those “save the motor and transmission, and scrap the car”

    Like 10
    • Michael Hainsworth

      9,000 dollars??????

      Like 10
  9. Troy

    $9,000 for a maybe $700 dollar car talk about inflation

    Like 17
    • Chris

      Made sure a fan shroud was used to túnnel air through the radiator. A must for sufficient cooling in hot weather.

      Like 0
  10. Doug

    Car from the movie dual the car Dennis weaver drove.

    Like 6
    • TomCat440Member

      I think the Duel car was a 1971 Plymouth Valiant. Pretty close though

      Like 14
      • Bob C.

        Actually, three were used. One was a 1970 with a 318. The others were 1971s with slant sixes.

        Like 2
      • TomCat440Member

        Thanks Bob C. Didn’t know that. But at some point in the movie, the Valiant magically has a V8 fender tag. That explains it. Thanks 4 sharing that!

        Like 0
      • Brent in Winnipeg

        Reported your comment in error, Tom. Ooops.

        Duel is one of my all-time favourite movies. Spielberg’s first full-length feature.

        Like 0
      • Yblocker

        Dang, I’ve watched that movie a dozen times, never noticed the cameraman focusing in on the fender tag, good catch. Lol

        Like 1
  11. Geoff C

    Remember folks, it’s just a rusty old Dart.

    Like 7
  12. Steve Mehl

    $200 might be a generous offer. But who would want to restore something like this? Has to better finds in any local junkyard.

    Like 9
    • Tony

      I was generous and said _3000.00 you are right $2000.00

      Like 1
    • Kevin

      The parts value would clearly go above a few hundred dollars!, 273 v8s were extremely durable with some forged internals, and the 4-speed transmission is worth several hundred as well, but would agree the price is way off base, and I personally would not restore it, despite being a Mopar man.

      Like 0
  13. Bick Banter

    Ugh! Neat options, but so rusty. These are unibodies. As I’ve said in other threads, my recent experience tells me that If most body shops will not want to touch this with a ten foot pole, And if you can find one, who will, you are likely going to be paying through the nose.

    Like 7
  14. Evan

    I once sold a VERY rusty 1977 Mercedes 240D 4-speed manual. I listed it on Ebay as “Mercedes 123 manual transmission conversion kit in a rusty box”.

    I got $99 for it, and the buyer hauled a trailer from GA to MI to pick it up. I thought I did okay. I think that’s about what this Dart is worth.

    Like 5
    • AnthonyD

      I agree with your evaluation of this sled. BTW..wouldn’t that buyer even give you a $1 tip?

      Like 4
  15. Sunshine

    Early production ’68 built before Jan 1, 1968, shows a lack of headrests [or likely shoulder belts].
    Standard 273 CI V-8 Dart, not optional 318, 4 speed all synchromesh transmission, AM Radio, and there was change left over from $3000 [$2703 + shipping].
    His Father bought a dependable appliance, and got a lifetime [220k miles/23 years] in return for his money. I like the aftermarket useful items which stretched the useful life.
    $2500 would be a generous offer, if the rust is not structural.

    Like 3
    • Bick Banter

      Sadly, I can virtually guarantee there is some structural rust here. The suspension components mount directly to the body on these (there’s no separate frame), and the floor pans in these were known to become Swiss cheese in fairly short order. My grandparents bought a brand new 1969 Coronet 500 and by 1975, after a mere five Chicago winters, Gram couldn’t even put her groceries in the trunk because they’d get wet or dirty due to all the holes in the trunk floor!

      Like 3
    • Kevin

      I think that’s even too generous, and I love Mopar, maybe $1200… more than likely just pull motor and transmission, maybe a few other select items, and scrap the rest, especially if the unibody is rusted, far too costly to restore a more door.

      Like 0
  16. LCL

    I had a 68 Dart GT hardtop and
    I think it came with 13 ” rims, and the frugal owner had A width recaps.
    I found 14 ” rims with the small lug pattern of the Dart and stuffed H width radials in there (scrounged of course).
    It handled much better and I felt really cool.
    The 225 ran well but I could never get the cooling right for hot weather unless I removed the thermostat every summer. Flushed it, had the radiator boiled and rodded.
    What else could I have done?

    Like 3
    • Yblocker

      Removing the thermostat is not the answer to overheating, in fact, it can make the problem worse, with no thermostat, the coolant doesn’t stay in the radiator long enough to cool. A colder thermostat, like a 160, usually helps, but you won’t have much for heat in the winter. But given the fact that most vehicles didn’t have the issue when new, I’d say there were probably plugged passages in the block or heads, flushing can only do so much.

      Like 3
  17. Paul

    A four door with a four speed from the South, if it had a 383 it would be the ideal set-up for a shine runner on a budget. It would make a real sleeper, nobody would expect a four door grandma car.

    Like 0
  18. Tony

    Good luck it’s a $3000.00 car. Tops and it’s just a car nothing more nothing less. A car

    Like 1
  19. Mr C.

    I’ve been racing and repairing A bodies since 1970. Most have been 340’s. I currently own a 71 Demon 340 4speed with 14,300 original miles. The only parts of any value is the 4 speed and related clutch parts. Bellhousing and peddle assy. If it has a 8-3/4″ rear-end that would be great if not rusted out. Maybe $1,000-$1,500 max. The rest is just junk to part out.

    Like 0
  20. Michael Berkemeier

    The coolest part is, all 4-speeds came with a factory Hurst shifter. This one has the correct, factory A-body Hurst in it. This just needs a good 4-door donor car for the shell and those are plentiful.

    Like 2
  21. Michael Berkemeier

    This car isn’t all that bad, rust-wise…it will sell. All of you Negative Nancys wouldn’t buy it anyway, you’re just here to spout off.

    Like 5
    • AnthonyD

      I plead guilty. I wouldn’t buy it.

      Like 3
  22. Mitch

    most of us wouldn’t buy it cuz it ain’t worth it, like I’ve said before just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it has any value to it and this car has no real value it’s maybe a $2000. car to be used as a parts car, anyone that is restoring 4 door cars does it because they can pick them up dirt cheep and $9000. aint cheep!

    Like 1
  23. Steve Mehl

    The car was ugly when new, is uglier now, and will still be ugly after a restoration. A Hurst shifter is worth spending money for this car?

    Like 0
  24. Don Davenport

    Their not that rare! I’ve seen several, from a slant six to a 340 in a ’69. Their common here is the Southern Appalachians. Good cheap transportation!

    Like 0
  25. Moparmaniac

    Don, I’d have to see a “P” code as the 5th character of the VIN to believe they ever made a 340 68-9 Dart 4-door. I live in the southern Appalchians as well, and have never heard of that unicorn before. The car in question is a factory 273 car. The article only mentions that they made 340 Darts from 68-up until production ended for the 340’s in 73. All were either Swingers, GTS’s, Dusters and Demons, and 2-doors. Never say never though, as Dodge & Plymouth both made early to mid-sixties B body cars with 413 & 426 Max Wedges, as well as a few 426 Hemi cars in 4-doors. I won’t say never when it comes to Mopars, I would just have to see a P code 4-door car to believe that one.

    Like 0
  26. Chris

    Made sure a fan shroud was used to túnnel air through the radiator. A must for sufficient cooling in hot weather.

    Like 0
  27. Steve Mehl

    The true cash value of this car is whatever the rate is for scrap metal.
    I would be interested in doing a psychological battery of tests on the future buyer of this rust bucket.

    Like 0
  28. JoeNYWF64

    In the main description above, dad must have not been watching Mannix, because the 2 door dart(convertible or hard top coupe) looks MUCH cooler than grandma’s 4 door – for less money!!! Even being married, up to 3 kids could fit in the back seat of a 2 door. & the use of seat belts & child safety seats were unknown back then, let alone mandated.

    Like 0
  29. Steve

    Yes. Definitely fits the valiant that Dennis Weaver drove in the movie Duel! One of my favorite Spielberg movies other than “Jaws”. It never gets old! As mentioned about the V8 fender tag. Thanks for putting that out! I never was aware of that! Did you also notice in most of the movie,when Dennis would start up the valiant it had a different “starter sound,when cranking. Chrysler/dodge/Plymouth starters had a very distinctive sound when engaging the engine. They were gear reduction starters. Until near the end of the movie when he slams the valiant into that rock outcropping after losing control at the bottom of that hill can you hear the actual starter sound as he desperately tries to get her going! Just another neat movie quirk that I always noticed. Love that movie though! Very well done!!

    Like 0

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