Daily Driver: 1968 Dart GTS in Manhattan

Andrew TannerBy Andrew Tanner

There’s just something about old Chrysler products that gets me, and I don’t know what it is. As a lifelong Mopar guy, there has always been something that drew me to them specifically. Maybe it is because all of the Mopars I have owned, no matter how old or abused, were still chugging along, much like this warrior of an A-Body that lives in Manhattan, New York. Many thanks to reader Michael for sending in this excellent example of a true daily driver. What is amazing about this Dart is that although she’s a little rough around the edges, she’s a survivor nonetheless. Find more photos and information about this 1968 Dodge Dart GTS here on MSN Autos, courtesy of Phillip Thomas of Hot Rod Network.

The circular side marker lights are very characteristic of 1968 Dodges, and the tail stripes scream “Mopar”. Not only that, but the stripes are also indicative of it being a GTS, as stated in the original article. The boxy styling of late 1960s Chrysler products are unmatched in looks, at least in my opinion. This photo is a fantastic shot of the weathered (time-sweetened maybe?) exterior of this Dart.

For being a car that has been driven and maintained for most of its life, especially in a place like New York, this Dodge is in remarkable condition since it has never been restored. The owner stated that it “took me 10 years to not restore it, but just to get it to where it would run,” after he bought it for $500 in 1974. If the first picture of this car didn’t do it for you, this picture will certainly put into perspective how out of place this car looks on a busy city street. That being said, in a way, she looks right at home!

This is what the engine bay of a car that has had a full life of rough service should look like, and in my experience, it is. The engine, a 340, has been rebuilt once and the car has been through four 727 transmissions. Although this car is remarkable in almost all aspects, what amazes me the most is this: this car has covered around 450,000 miles in its days of service, which is impressive for pretty much any car ever made, let alone an old Dart. This car is known as the “Manhattan GTS” and there are many photos of it online, as it is a well-known local car there. This car is doing exactly what it was meant to do, and I am a firm believer in daily driving every car I own. I would be torn between restoring this car or continuing as the present owner has. In a way, it deserves a restoration, but then again it has earned all of its wear. What do you think?

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    “Restoring,” Andrew? Heck, I’m not sure I’d even wash it!

    This car just screams “Yo! Noo Yawk City!” to me, and the only thing I’d consider doing to it is making sure it’s safe to drive. If, on the other hand, I were going to use it on the streets of the Big Apple, fuggedaboutit. Let the others take their chances….

    I’m just sorry it doesn’t have a slant-six in it. Long after that 340 has been rebored so often you can see light through the block, the ol’ Six would still be chugging away.

    The only thing it needs is more rust (did I really say that?)!

    14+
    • Ed P

      Since the 340 & 360 are about max bored out from the factory, how much more has a LA block got to give?

      0
  2. Andrew m

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that this car has earned its stripes.

    18+
  3. LAB3

    Make it run, turn and stop and leave the rest be! Nobody is likely to want to steal it the way it looks. IMO New York might be it’s home but it would fit right in in Detroit as well, or pretty much any other rust belt city for that matter.

    6+
  4. BPermer

    Three nice and thoughtful replies in a row… an internet record.

    15+
  5. Jeffro

    Finally! A car that Patina actually hits the mark on! I agree with Andrew that this old girl has earned her stripes!

    9+
  6. Miguel

    This owner says it has clocked 450,000 miles on it.

    If it is sold I bet the next owner will claim 50,000 original miles.

    9+
  7. AMXSTEVE

    No barn there. What a cool story bro

    3+
  8. Coventrycat

    Looks right at home there. Cool.

    2+
  9. Chebby

    I love this story! Here in SF there is a similarly old and crusty 1972 350SL parked in my neighborhood…I finally met the owner, also an longtime native artist like the Dart owner, and super charming and interesting fellow. Car people are cool, and weird car people are the coolest.

    8+
  10. Barzini

    Is it too early for nominate this for best Barn Finds post of the year?

    12+
  11. CARHUTER

    I have met Alex and got a chance to see his photos of old NY, he was a friend of Mohamed Ali and has unreal photos. The man is a real NY treasure and the car is very cool to say the least!

    8+
  12. Derek

    Big old bruisers make excellent town cars for intimidating other drivers. The scabbier the better.

    5+
  13. ccrvtt

    This is undoubtedly the coolest car I’ve seen all day. Nothing but admiration.

    4+
  14. Superdessucke

    Amen on amazing that it’s even in this condition, being in NYC. Rent the French Connection sometime. There are 1968 cars in that movie which look as bad as this one, and that film came out in 1971.

    5+
  15. Moe

    Make it safe and throw a bitchin set of vintage alloy wheels with some aggressive tires !

    0
  16. Edward Clark

    If l had the money l would restore modernize it. Keep driving it. Maybe swap the 340 for a hemi out of a Scatback. Yeah!!

    0
  17. Gene Member

    True NYC survivor, if t he salt from winter hasn’t got to the frame yet it’s really. Needs to be left alone.
    I put 350000 on my 63 Chrysler Newport before the block cracked. Gave t hat ride. A farewell funeral. Best car I ever had.

    0
  18. Bruce Fischer

    Mopars rule.!!!!!I finally painted mine but want to trade it for another station wagon.Bruce.

    3+
  19. D nice

    Amazing it is as a new yorker,bx ive seen alot of 50,60,70 cars here n there in Manhattan

    0
  20. Steve B.

    Yep, if properly maintained old Mopars will run forever. My 70 D200 is a daily driver and effortlessly hauled several tons of dirt just this morning. Still has the original engine, trans, diff and radiator.

    8+
  21. David Miraglia

    I live here in Brooklyn, the car is typical New York abuse. It’s only a short subway ride or bus ride away. But please lay off the NEW YORK euphemism’s.
    Lived here all my life and even though this city is now a high priced dump, thanks to the failure Bloomberg, this is till my city so please stop knocking it… or you will
    have to suffer hours of Brooklynese torture….

    3+
  22. George

    I’ve seen this car on the streets of NYC for at least 25 years and can attest to its presence. In fact, up til recently there was a ’67 Chevelle in similar condition regularly seen on the street in the Village that had had the original taillights busted out and crudely replaced with fendertop mounted tractor style lights. Great to see a write up of such a familiar face.

    5+
  23. C Carl

    I remember seeing the GTS with 383’s in them. To the JDM crowd out there find yourself an old dart, build a junkyard 440, Wilwood sells clutch pedals, you’ll be doing burnouts on the freeway in no time.

    1+
  24. Kevin

    450,000 miles? One rebuild? Alrighty than.

    1+
  25. Marshall

    Being that the “Manhattan GTS” is famous, and if the owner can document that 450k miles, then he ought to donate it to a museum when he passes.

    2+
  26. American_Badaz

    First of all, I have no brand loyalty, I have owned a little of everything. But I do love most of the mopar products of the late 60s- early 70’s.

    And this Dart is awesome. I would have to compare its looks to Clint Eastwood…. Yes it is getting old and rough looking, but you get the feeling if you say the wrong thing near it, you are going to get your arse kicked by it. HAHA

    2+
  27. Marc NYC

    When I first saw this car, I left the driver a note on the windshield asking about selling it, he texted me back saying “what would you pay”, and he rattled off all the things it had, at that point I knew he knew what he had…I see it every day and wish I owned it, but good for him, may he get many more miles out if it! 🙂

    1+
  28. Mitch Ross

    Back in the ’60s and ’70s M opars ruled in NYC. Chevy’s and Fords were popular elsewhere but Dodge and Plymouth ruled the streets here. The city has gotten a bit too civilized of late,, but the only way your getting me to move out of Brooklyn is in a box.

    0
  29. Ron G

    I remember reading about this car in Hotrod or Carcraft about 7 or 8 years ago. Good to see the guy still has it and it’s still on the road.

    2+
  30. Marc NYC

    Here’s a pic of the car when I first spotted it a few years ago….(hopefully the pic will post)

    2+
  31. Marc NYC

    Another one

    1+
  32. Snotty

    Amazing car. Thanks for the photos, brings it into perspective.

    0

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.