Built-Up 318 V8: 1974 Dodge Dart Sport

Plymouth added a fastback to its compact Valiant line-up in 1970 and had an instant hit with the Duster. Enough so that Dodge wanted its version for the Dart, so the Demon was born in 1971. Two years later, the Demon would be rebranded as the Dart Sport and remain in the lineup until the Valiant/Dart were retired in 1976. This ’74 Dart Sport is wearing 340 decals, but that engine wasn’t offered that year and the VIN calls for a 318 V8. On what may be an older restoration, this Dodge can be found in Tacoma, Washington, and is available here on eBay where the no reserve bidding has reached $6,400.

The Demon would sell well for two years, but not in the kinds of numbers that the Duster did. Except for the front clip and rear taillights, they were essentially the same automobile. Legend has it that the Demon name stirred up some controversy within the religious community, so the car became the Dart Sport going forward. Dodge built some 23,000 of the cars with a 318 V8 but there were more assembled in Canada for the U.S. market that isn’t included in that number.

We don’t know if the 318 under the hood is numbers matching. The engine has been treated to some upgrades such as 360 swirl port heads, an Edelbrock intake, and a 4-barrel carburetor. Paired with a TorqueFlite automatic transmission, the seller says the car runs well and believes it has a posi-traction rear end. The Dodge left the factory with air conditioning, but the hardware under the hood is no longer there.

The dark green paint job on this Dart is about 15 years old and – when that work was done – someone likely wanted to disguise the car as a Dart Sport 340. That’s technically inaccurate as the 340 small-block wasn’t offered after 1973. There is some bubbling in the paint on the driver’s side rear quarter panel and inside the trunk, which we don’t get to see. The seller is throwing in a new floor pan to take care of that problem.

A rare option on the car is a sunroof that’s built into the vinyl top. No production numbers seem to exist for that accessory and the seller tells us it doesn’t leak. The upholstery is good overall but has a couple of small cuts and one of the door panels could stand to be patched up. Bucket seats and a console make for an attractive passenger compartment. The Rallye wheels have new tires wrapped around them. Overall, this car looks like a decent daily driver that may be perceived as a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

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Comments

  1. Gary

    Love that sunroof picture. It is so seamless, it is like it isn’t even there! Should have kept the 318 stock. They were reliable, ran forever. Smooth as well, with great MPG, I bet this engine has none of that.

    Like 4
  2. Steve Clinton

    Is it true the ‘Demon’ was rebranded due to protests from the religious right?

    Like 6
  3. Mikefromthehammer

    I’m surprised that the “Sport” has 3-poimt seat belts. I didn’t think they became widely adopted until 1976? Perhaps this was an upgrade the seller or previous owner added?

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      I know several people that bought 1974 cars and they all had three point belts

      Like 2
      • Mikefromthehammer

        I guess I have old-timers disease, then. I wonder if 1974 was the first model year they were required.

        Like 1
      • Poppy

        My ’73 Cutlass Supreme still had separate shoulder belts that snapped into a keyhole slot on the steel lap belt tab. My guess is ’74 was the changeover year.

        Like 1
    • Ralph Kruse

      3-point seat belts became standard equipment in 1974 along with the much hated seat belt interlock system. I would be interested to know if there are still any of those 1974 interlock systems out there

      Like 2
  4. Al

    Yeah naming a car ‘Demon’ that looks more like grannies Sunday church mobile, wasn’t too wise an idea. These cars remind me of an elongated Chevy Nova.

    Like 1
  5. JP

    Bought a new ’75!

  6. Hot Rod Lincoln

    My son has a ’73 Dart Swinger with factory 3 point seat belts. The shoulder harness is separate with clips to store the belt above the window when not used. I worked on a ’71 Nova with the same setup.

    • Dave

      My 71 Fury had the same setup.

      • Mikefromthehammer

        @Hot Rod Lincoln and Dave:

        Those were two piece 3 point belts. The one in this car (Sport) is a single piece, with a single clip. This is what we enjoy today and I thought that they did not become standard until 1976. It looks like they became standard in 1974.

  7. FrankY Member

    I had a 74 Dart Convertripple ( crank sun roof and fold down seats/panel into the trunk) Mine was maroon with the White Swoosh Stripe like this one) and white vinyl top. Was a Column shift with a 318. After a slight fended bender the shop I took it to asked if I wanted to add hood scoops. For $25. So on they went Added a 4bbl and duel exhaust. Wide tires in the back small in the front with slotted mag wheels and traction bars. After college I got a real job a little ways away so sold it to buy a better gas milage car. Wish I had it back along with the fun times back in the good old days.

    Like 1
  8. Erik

    Everytime I see that 340 decal on the hood of these Dusters immediately I think of the band THE CARS album cover

    https://images.app.goo.gl/JZPKjrQ8UYLjr6qo7

    Like 1
    • bone

      Well i do too, but this is a Dodge….just sayin lol

  9. DON

    This is a high line Dart Sport which unfortunately someone put some stickers on it that would never even been on any year Dodge , let alone a 1974. Removing them would be a big improvement

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