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Custom Or Hotrod? 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer

This is a 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer! It doesn’t look much like one but that’s how it started life before someone with an imagination and some pretty stout skills got a hold of it. There’s a whole lot going on here, so let’s dig in and do a deep dive. This Dodge is located in Sun Valley (near Reno), Nevada and is available, here on craigslist for $10,000. Thanks to local_sheriff for this most interesting discovery.

In 1960, the Dodge Dart was a down-sized, “economy model” large car, offered three different trim levels, the Phoenix, the Pioneer, and the Seneca. Body styles were typical for the time and the Phoenix, such as our subject car, was available as a two-door hardtop or sedan, a four-door sedan, and a station wagon. Dodge had a pretty good year in ’60 with 367K copies finding homes. Surprisingly, about 88% of that volume were Darts in one of its three trim levels.

This Dodge, or maybe we should call it a Dodgemobile, is really a Dodge body sitting atop a 1972 Oldsmobile chassis, though it’s not disclosed if it is an Olds “A” body (intermediate) or “B” Body ( full-size) such as an 88. Whichever the case, it makes a pretty outrageous visual statement, almost Batmobile-like with its flip-up body components, including the “Lamborghini” doors, and the separate high-back rollbars for both occupants. At the same time, this Dodge possesses a dirt-track racer vibe with its radiused wheel openings, low slung stance, tight driver compartment/removable steering wheel rollbar protection around the engine, and outlandish rear spoiler. And speaking of that spoiler, I suppose that’s what it is, or maybe it could double for a satellite TV antenna. This is truly a hard to define vehicle.

Under the flip-up front end, and nestled between the roll cage extensions, is an Oldsmobile 455 CI V8 that has been punched, stroked, or both out to 472 CI and is capable of producing a claimed 500 HP. There’s no mention made regarding operating prowess but it’s probably one of those sit-down, strap in, and hold on kind of affairs. A GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic transmission applies the grunt to the rear wheels.

The interior has two separate compartments, one for the driver and the other for a tag-along rider. It is a complete custom affair with a spec-built instrument panel and gear select lever housing. Custom racing seats have been employed but it looks as if safety harnesses haven’t made the inclusion list yet. Of note is the windshield frame, based on the shape and rake, it came from something other than a ’60 Dart. While the interior is hardly NASCAR  Cup Series spec, it’s pretty impressive for what is probably a home-built, do-it-yourself job.

So, custom or hot-rod or…? You have to appreciate the sense of imagination that went into this creation, it would be interesting to know what the creator’s goal was and whether he feels that he met that goal. Now, what do you do with it?


  1. Steve Bush Member

    Can local sheriff arrest the perpetrator of this monstrosity for assaulting our eyes? LMAO!

    Like 44
    • local_sheriff

      No crime involved here – this is the first responder previously operated by Batman’s no-so-well-known half cousin; Ratman ; protector of the equally not-so-well-known or prosperous neighboring township Goddam City.
      It’s a Jorge Ferris creation of the coachbuilder Ferris Wheel Co, Fricksho, Calisota

      Like 37
    • stu

      Yes he can…
      the local sheriff is allowed to dash gasoline in your eyes and strike a match to cleanse the image….
      Wow…sounds kinda nice looking at this #%@%…

      Like 0
  2. angliagt angliagt

    I almost confused it with a Lamborghini with those doors.

    Like 13
  3. Howard A Member

    Oh Johnny( Cash), look what they did to your song. This is the result of a great imagination and access to all the hardware they needed. Very cool, like one person, the builder, will want.

    Like 9
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    What to do with it? Keep the wheels and scrap the rest of it.

    Like 15
    • Mike

      Pull up in this at your kid’s high school and pick them up. Honk the horn and wave them over then watch them dive into the nearest shrub. After that, they will be more receptive to helping around the house. It would be the dad version of scared straight.

      Like 2
    • stu

      Yeah…keep the wheels…
      Ma please….

      Like 0
  5. CJinSD

    I had to go to IMCDB to confirm that this car wasn’t in the abominable 1996 “Romeo + Juliet” movie.

    Like 5
  6. flmikey

    Barn finds should have an “ugliest barn find ever” contest…this one would be a contender or possibly the winner…and quoting American Graffiti, “waste of machinery that’s for sure….” imho…

    Like 18
  7. scott m

    The pictures don’t help. Thank heavens for small favors!

    Like 6
  8. Scott Marquis

    I squashed one of these in the bathroom last week.

    Like 7
    • Bill Parker

      I think the “why” is just being one of those custom cars that someone just had to do “something” to customize every part of it without regard to how it all fits together.

      Like 3
  9. Jim

    Yet another monstrosity that begs the question “why?”.

    And also….”why is Barn Finds wasting time with it?”

    Like 7
    • RKS

      I like seeing the weird stuff on here. Why did you waste your time reading and commenting on it?

      Like 23
      • Howard A Member

        Got 53 comments so far. I’d say it qualifies as a “BF’s success”. Fun stuff is why I’m here, $25,000 Jeep CJ’s, not so much.

        Like 6
    • stu

      This find is not a waste of time…This shows just how the minds of people work with a few cases of beer!
      Keep these finds coming..
      This is definitely a trash find…lol

      Like 2
  10. Wildfire

    Uh WHAT the heck is that ?!
    was my first reaction In one Pic it appears there is some kind of top ( pic is from the back and what appears to be a piece of sentimental sticking up from where the back seat could be ??😳 ) If not it would be a dry weather toy only
    Most Definitely a ungly piece of 💩 I mean I would pay tens of dollars to have some yard art because this belongs hidden in a barn or field ….
    Key Word Hidding

    Like 3
  11. Tiberius1701

    “Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”

    Like 5
  12. Bob Amoroso

    Shows talent, creativity, ingenuity, and devotion to his objective. If it was all Dodge, I ‘d drive it.

    Like 7
  13. david r

    cars like this are the reason I read barnfinders

    Like 23
  14. greg

    Although the tubing work does not look very bad, at least some thought into it, would still be scared to drive it. For sure would not see another one on the road. But then would you?

    Like 3
  15. Cav427

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, the builder took two wonderful vehicles and built something less than the sum of its parts…

    Like 11
  16. Ralph

    I am guessing that this idea was hatched by someone with a bad meth habit.
    Knew a lot of drug users back in the day, even at their worst I never saw anything that compared to this mess. As Mr. Mackey said, “drugs are bad, umkay?”
    What I can’t understand is why anyone would even attempt this, looking at this mess it seems the meth or money ran out before the job was done…Going to drug rehab must suck, but so does this turdmobile.

    Like 6
  17. Riffraff

    What we have here……is a failure to communicate. GLWTS.

    Like 3
  18. Joe

    This vehicle answers the question nobody asked.

    Like 4
  19. Lou Tripper

    One could drop a hot steaming pile on the hood of this thing and it wouldn’t look none the worse!

    Like 3
    • Solosolo UK ken tilly UK Member

      That hot, steaming pile, comment made me think that it would make a good story for a Christine 2 movie.

      Like 5
  20. charile Member

    Sometimes great ideas in your mind do not turn out so well when you put them into practice. Since my Allante only cost $3000, and had about 140,000 miles on it, and the body design was a joint effort of Cadillac and Pininfarina, I had the idea of scrapping the Cadillac front end and rear and building Ferrari like replacements out of fiberglass. Fortunately for me, and you, (but not my friend) my friend with the fiberglass talents died, and the Allante is still stock and not worth a lot more than $10,000 in today’s market. I think it looks great from the sides, but the front and back are garish.

    Like 3
  21. Howie Mueler

    I think there is too many zeros in the price, like four too many.

    Like 8
  22. Tom Bell

    To borrow an often used phrase from another forum: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”.

    Like 4
  23. CCFisher

    The creator of this beast definitely had imagination, but stout skills? I don’t agree with that. This thing was cobbled together with absolutely zero attention to detail. Skilled at fabricating, perhaps. Skilled at finishing, no way.

    Like 4
  24. Mutt

    Never seen one before.

    Never want to see one again.

    Like 30
  25. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    Imagination? Impressive interior? Hey y’all, hold my crack pipe and watch this!

    Like 4
  26. Mitchell G. Member

    Barn Finds: This is a 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer!

    Me: It’s also an abomination

    Like 3
  27. bobk

    This is what happens when someone just doesn’t know when or how to stop.

    Like 3
  28. Cav427

    The barnfinds post was wrong on the craigslist ad, the seller is actually paying $10,000 to have it hauled away. The first step is sneaking up on the vehicle backwards looking into a mirror, you cannot look directly at the gorgon without your head exploding.

    Like 4
  29. Motorsport Whse

    so many things wrong with this dare I call “buld” …but humorous no less

    Like 0
  30. RNR

    “Hold my beer while I light the torch..”

    – Builder

    Like 2
  31. Steve Clinton

    Words cannot do this car justice, except for possibly BARF!

    Like 0
  32. qmmq

    Can’t possibly imagine this dude is married. That’s a lot of time and groceries into this turd. Jes…

    Like 5
  33. John

    Okay so all too often on here people complain that adds don’t have enough pictures. I appear to complain that this ad has too many pictures. LOL. I’m still trying to unsee the first one yet there are more. In an attempt to give the Builder some credit, I will at least say if there is a possibility it could have devoted all this time to creating something even worse, but that’s just a possibility, like buying the winning lottery ticket.

    Like 4
  34. pwtiger

    I actually knew someone who moved to Sun Valley about 20 years ago, went up there for Hot August Nights and checked out the area. All I can say is “interesting”

    Like 1
  35. Majik

    ~ I’ll row upstream on this one. I kinda like it. With some wicked paint, and some equally Flashy wheels, I’d drive this dude anywhere. You nailed it CCFisher. It does need state-of-the-art finishing to fly. Think I’ll get the welder set up. :0 ~S

    Like 6
  36. casey

    I live in Reno and have seen this creation at car shows. Its unique but will be a hard sell- at $10K –

    Like 3
  37. Kenn

    Fasten your seat belt, we’re going for a ride! Look at all the comments this vehicle has generated. I’d buy this just for the pleasure of seeing the many onlookers who would surround the car at a cruise-in or car show. Regardless of why they are looking. Naturally, I’d have to post a notice that it was not numbers matching, since there would be folks there wondering.

    Like 6
    • Howie Mueler

      Not matching numbers? I don’t think anything matches!!

      Like 6
  38. Mark

    Appears the builder got his inspiration from a drawing held up by a magnet on the fridge…….

    Like 1
  39. That AMC Guy

    OMG – I really wish I could unsee that abomination.

    Like 0
  40. Bob Amoroso

    Why is everyone so critical. Whoever built it had his own idea and got further than most of his critics would have ever been able to do. It shows creativity and thinking out of the box. Remember Harry Chapin’s song about “the grass is always green….and the sky is always blue…..”

    Like 4
    • Mark

      With all due respect, the same could be said of all the ashtrays many a 5 year old created for their parents back in my day.

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Still have mine from 1967. Mom kept it for over 40 years to hold paperclips and I got it back when she passed in 2008.

        Like 0
  41. MattR

    Time to make Death Race 2021.

    Like 2
  42. Cristi


    Like 0
  43. Chris Webster

    Discarded prop from “Batman, The Meth Years”?

    Like 2
  44. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    The answer to what to do with a clapped out front doghouse, bumpers, grille, and a couple rusted out rear fenders of a 1960 Dodge. But who asked the question? Betcha that thing whistles as it picks up speed. And nice chest-piecing steering column!

    Like 3
  45. martinsane

    Potatoee potahto.

    My rub is why not do it but do it right? The interior or lack there of

    Finish it and then go asking for your money and accolades as a “pioneer”…

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Honestly, it wouldn’t be half bad if it had conventional doors, retained the original rear wheel arches, and the Dodge windshield. With that powertrain, the interior with its diamond plate and hard shell seats must be very uncomfortable.

      Like 1
  46. angliagt angliagt

    Cooters Garage loaner?

    Like 0

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