Cheap Project? 1964 Dodge Dart GT

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The Dodge Dart was one of Chrysler’s answers to its dealership and sales shuffle during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The precipitating event was a sales plunge in response to styling miscues at Plymouth. Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” was a hit in 1957, but not so much as it aged into the waning years of the decade. The subsequent financial stress was causing Chrysler to starve DeSoto, depriving dealers of inventory in that name. Meanwhile, in the compact car segment, Ford was advancing the Falcon and GM had its Corvair brewing, while Chrysler had nothing. Dealers were in a stew: they didn’t want to sell Plymouth any longer, had very few DeSotos to put on lots, and no compacts at all. To plug the gaps, Chrysler delivered the Valiant in the compact segment, and built the Dart as a lower-priced full-size car. The new Dart was quite successful – at cannibalizing Plymouth sales! By 1963, the Dart had spent two years as a full-sized sedan, one year as a mid-sized, and then nestled permanently into the compact segment, leaving thousands of confused customers in its wake. Here on craigslist is a very original 1964 Dodge Dart GT two-door hardtop project car, with an asking price of $2500. The car is located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and it has had only two owners. We owe thanks to Mitchell G. for this great barn find!

A 225 cu. in. slant six rests in the engine bay. One of the family of three six-cylinder motors that Chrysler produced from 1959 through 1978, the 225 offered reliability, excellent torque, and horsepower ratings up to 145 from the factory. That’s where this one should slot in, at the highest output, with a single Carter BBS carburetor. The thirty-degree installation slant allowed for a low, sloped hood line, particularly on the Valiant, but having learned the trick, it was employed for the Dart and other cars as well. This configuration also allowed for a variety of manifolds. Our seller reports that this car does not run. No word on whether the motor turns.

The interior needs work as expected in a car that’s been stored for years. The seller managed to leave out a photo of the really swell pushbutton automatic. Here is what it looks like. The upholstery is typical for the Dart, showcasing the car’s GT logo. Dodge gave its customers bucket seats – a nice upgrade over the bench that was so prevalent in the compact class of the era.

I can’t help feeling affectionate toward a car that uses a brick for a brake. For years, I used a brick for my ’65 Falcon’s brake. The seller doesn’t mention rust, but I’m suspicious of the dark spots around the bottom of the back glass. The Dart name was originally used for Chrysler’s Ghia-built concept car made in 1956, the Dart Diablo. While not as futuristic as that Exner exercise, I love the clean lines of this Dart. If it’s not rusty, the price seems right; what do you think?

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Comments

  1. CCFisher

    Prior to 1960, Dodge dealers were usually paired with Plymouth, as were Chrysler and DeSoto dealers. Starting in 1960, Dodge was no longer paired with Plymouth, and the Dart was supposed to fill the gap. It worked, a little too well, in fact. Dodge and Plymouth became direct competitors as the 1960s wore on.

    Also, the slant six was used in cars through 1983, and in trucks through 1987.

    Like 5
  2. Big John

    64 was Dodge’s 50th anniv. year. Special emblem in steering wheel center. Also last year for push-button gear selector. Great cars, had 2 of ’em. A convertible and 4 door. Both were turquoise and had the 225 225-6. Bring a spare ballast resistor.

    Like 9
    • maggy

      bought a 70 coronet 440 ( trim level not cid) from a girl at jc penney where I worked at 16 years old I was . It was her grandmas car.50k miles nice car . First thing that went bad was the clucking ballast resistor a day after I bought it.Sold that old gal for 750 about a week later bought it for 500 only owned that Mopar and a 86 k car for a winter beater which actually served it’s purpose.

      Like 2
  3. John

    Sorry about the extra 225.

    Like 1
  4. Chuck

    Needs a Hemi

    Like 5
  5. Maggy

    2500 is fair imo. Neat car that would make a cool resto mod with some $ or get er running and do the usuals little by little.

    Like 5
  6. jim

    I had a nice 64 Dart GT factory hurst 4 speed shifter on the floor I bought it with a slant 6 that overheated when I pulled the radiator out there was a plug inside the lower hose not letting the water circulate very much someone had worked on it ,aluminum fan new water pump they could not figure out why it was over heating and the engine suffered. So I pulled it out and put in a 273 Hi performance engine and added dual exhaust That car really ran nice. I sold it to a guy down state for 10 grand and 2 years later it went through Mecum and went for 27 grand

    Like 3
  7. Ffred

    There are 2 Darts on FB and the asking price is only 1400 for both of them! That’s not a bad deal for 2 door A-bodys.

    Like 1

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