BF Classified: 1962 Dodge Dart

Here is a first-year example of ChryCo’s “down-sized” Dodge B-platform offering in the form of a Dart. While it is not stated specifically, this car appears to be a 330 trim level but let’s take a close look at it and see what we can determine.  This Dodge is located in Port Jervis, New York and is available here on BF Classifieds for $3,000 or here on eBay for a current bid of $1,100, reserve not yet met.

The ’62-’64 ChryCo B-bodies were a bit of a curveball. While occupying the full-size B-body slot, they were downsized to what really amounted to a mid-size car, supposedly as a result of inaccurate competitive information. The Dart was offered in three trim levels, 440, 330, and a standard Dart. There was also a Polara 500 model offered, essentially a top-shelf Dart, but it did not use the Dart moniker.

Our sale subject is a bit rusty. The body is afflicted with both heavy surface rust and some rot-through in the quarters. The finish is obviously faded and there are pieces of trim missing from both the rear window and the leading edge of the hood. The body panels and bumpers, however, are straight and aligned and don’t look like they have suffered any serious damage. One thing to consider is sleeping rust, that’s corrosion that “hides” under the paint and just hasn’t surfaced yet. The rear valance and rear wheel wells would be places to consider. The seller does advise that there are four new tires in place and they are capped off with what looks like “doggie-bowl” hubcaps from a later generation Mopar police vehicle.

The interior has the biggest problem. That’s where, as the seller states, this Dart has a Fred Flintstone thing going on courtesy of rusted out floors. Of concern should be the underside, it would be best to reach out to the seller to get a more thorough idea of this Dodge’s structural integrity. The front seat is shot and the upholstery covering the rear one is starting to split. The door cards have what appears to be a coating of mold, possibly from water intrusion that took out the floors. The instrument panel is quite worn but it is intact, the gauges and switchgear are all there.

Tried and true lives under the hood in the form of a 145 gross HP, 225 CI, “slant-six” engine. The seller refers to this car as a “running project” as it drives but is not viable for a long journey. The odometer shows 23K miles but there is no testament to that mileage, the odometer has probably been once around. Gear changing is accomplished via a three-on-the-tree, manual transmission.

While sportier and two-door models seem to make the cut for salvation more often than a mid-tier four-door model, it is still nice to see such a car still running the streets, floors, or not. And there is no denying this Dart’s styling, you know one when you see it! This car is definitely a project, but for an enterprising individual with metalworking skills, this could be a worthy challenge. Anyone up for this endeavor?

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Comments

  1. Gloin

    It’s been said before, I would fix the floors and interior and paint it black. Make it a Capt Culpepper tribute

    Like 21
    • William

      Ahh, A “Mad World” reference. Bravo my friend, bravo!

      Like 8
    • Moparman Member

      My first car, handed down to me from my Dad was a black Dart 440 hardtop, 318 Poly, Pushbutton Torqueflite, A/C, PS, PB. I found a factory AM radio for it in a junkyard! It had been damaged in a DUI H&R, and it hurt my heart to see Capt. Culpepper’s wrecked in “IAMMMMW”! I started my automotive journey by repairing it w/ a junkyard sourced fender/hood/grille/bumper. :-)

      Like 3
    • Ensign Pulver

      This is Alois speaking !!

      Like 1
  2. Bob C.

    There is definitely something to like about these cars, as radical looking as they are. The Plymouths of that year were a lot more toned down.

    Like 5
  3. Jake

    That slant six was bullet proof. Unfortunately, the rest of the car around it falls apart much quicker. It’s a Plymouth after all.

    Like 5
  4. Arthur

    With the existence of the 300C, Challenger, and Magnum, I can see this Dart being fitted with an Art Morrison chassis and the new Hellcrate Redeye engine. And since the installation of an Art Morrison chassis requires the fabrication of a new floor, that would take care of the Fred Flintstone flooring issue.

    Like 4
    • Sam61

      Great idea…would be very cool!

      Although…is anyone else getting tired of all the “Hellcat” incarnations? FCA is beating a dead horse and getting close to the “Hellcat’s” 9th life. How about a “Hellcat” mid engine Pacifica mini-van…or bring back the Dodge Neon with a “Hellcat”…or a Fiat 500c with a “Helcat”?

      Like 5
  5. Spridget

    I like it. Fix the floors on the cheap (the Roadkill street sign method being practical if not advisable), fix other structural rust as you go (don’t use too much filler!) and you’ll have a cool, daily drivable classic, one totally different from everything else on the road.

    Like 4
  6. nlpnt

    IMO this would best suit an auto-body repair student as a “thesis” project/rolling resume. That’s the only situation in which someone would see a return on investment into what it needs, with the double bonus of the 3 on the tree meaning a young person would get props from the oldtimers just for being able to drive it, and getting that ROI while keeping and (possibly daily-)driving the car.

    Like 3
  7. Jeff

    62 Four Door 9.55 Quarter 141 MPH

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ynn9f3Bud4

    Like 2
  8. Pete Phillips

    “Love it” or “hate it” styling. I love it! Those tail lights and front parking light lenses are worth quite a bit of $$$ for someone restoring one of these ’62 Dodges.

    Like 1
  9. Jerry Kenney

    I own a 62 Dart 330 sedan built in the St. Louis Assembly plant. The 330 trim level had a chrome strip that connected the taillights across the deck lid. This trim followed the rear fenders down to a bright rocker molding. This car has the spear trim from the taillights and no bright trim on the rear fender line to the rocker (which is also absent) That spear trim is hard to find by the way. The lack of power steering and the manual transmission would aim toward base level trim. The fender callouts include the Dart insignia and the Dodge shield — where the base model would have just the Dart insignia. This is a one year model and a nod to the end of the Exner era. It deserves to be saved (says the person who saved a 330 sedan with the leaning tower of power ;-) If not, the parts are key. I continue to enjoy my Barn finds email each day! Jerry Kenney, Frisco TX

    Like 2
    • Ed P

      Exner got the blame but he had little involvement with this design. He had a heart attack and was home recuperating during the design phase.

      Like 3
      • Jerry Kenney

        Didn’t he call the 62’s ‘picked or plucked chickens’? When I take mine out people either love it or hate it. Mine is Medium BLue (which is close to baby blue) with the cloth and two vinyl color interior. I love driving it (with its way over assisted power steering) because most folks have never seen one!

        Like 2
  10. Andrew S Mace Member

    “Our sale subject is a bit rusty.” Ha! I’m surprised this one is as good as it is, especially the front fenders. Further north in upstate NY, these rusted like crazy! I know; the family had a ’62 Dart 440 wagon from new. By the time it got traded in on a new ’68 Country Squire, that Dart had “more holes than Albert Hall”!

    Like 1
  11. JolietJake Member

    Car 54 where are you ? Gunther Toody, come in…

    Like 2
  12. willowen Member

    The Dart I love is the first one, a Plymouth Valiant without that silly fake “Continental spare” doodad on the trunk lid, a huge improvement. But those, like the Valiants and this one, were cunningly designed to rust away from the floors up as quickly as possible. The production boss at the Smyrna, TN Nissan plant, who was giving me a tour while we talked cars in general, had been restoring one for several years, and said that it was a constant battle with rust, even with replacement panels.

    Like 1
  13. DON

    Sad to say , but I predict that this will be bought by a guy restoring a Max Wedge Dart . Take the front clip, rear bumper , trunk and taillights and scrap the rest. I saw that happen to a 62 Savoy sedan a buddy of mine had about 15 years ago .. Those one year old body parts are getting harder to find.

    Like 2
  14. Phlathead Phil

    Seems there is just no fix for ugly.

    • stu

      Sure is…to fix this car I would say a stick of dynamite! Big improvement…..

      • Phlathead Phil

        Hahaha, toooo phunny!

        On closer look, it’s a green 4 eyed monster!

        Take out the headlights and replace the grill with a deck and you have the rear end of a new model!!!

      • stu

        Phlathead Phil…Why are you being too kind…LOL

  15. Ed

    I’m in the process of repairing the floor on a 64 Belvedere wagon. These are unibody and I think it might end up more involved than patching with a road sign. The torsion bar mounts to a crossmember in that front floor area, they tend to rot too along with the side subframe rails that it is attached to.

    Like 2
  16. Bill McCoskey

    This may well be the base model, technically a Dart 220, but they never put the 220 on the outside of the car. Car has but one single option – an AM radio [heater was standard, but could be deleted on request]. Not even a clock on this one.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find it was ordered for Taxicab use.

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