EXCLUSIVE: 1974 Dodge Dart Sport Desert Find

UPDATE 6/19/2019 – Alan sent over additional information and photos of his Dart, which you can find below!

From 6/17/2019 – This is how this Dart looked when Derek B found it in the Arizona desert. After a ton of work, it looks significantly different and is ready for daily use! He’s cleaned up the paint, rebuilt the 360 V8, installed a new interior and upgraded it with a few creature comforts. It looks to be a sweet find and is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner. If that person is you, be sure to contact Derek via the form below!

What Makes It Special? It’s still wearing most of its original KT5 Sienna Poly paint it was born with. It’s just a super unique and unusual Mopar muscle car that has been tastefully upgraded and modernized at a super affordable price for the entry-level Mopar/Muscle Car buyer. With its freshly rebuilt 5.9L Magnum 360 engine with bullet racing camshaft, the modern conveniences of Denso style alternator and Sanden AC compressor all on a serpentine belt it’s a great car to drive. These modern touches have been perfectly blended with late ’60s and early ’70s original 340 looks. The interior is completely restored with Legendary seat covers and ACC carpet. The dashboard has been removed/rebuilt along with the gauge cluster with polished original lenses and completely redone wiring harnesses throughout the entire car. Correct detailing under the hood and in the trunk along with a correct white stripe and Legendary canopy vinyl top round out the “Desert Rescue” I lovingly refer to as “SunBURNT”

Body Condition: The body is 100% original sheet metal and I would say 85% original paint with the only rust on the whole car behind the drivers side rear wheel. The only reason it rusted was a cheap 1/4” drive socket set dumped down the quarter extension 30 years ago and rusted inside the quarter panel and the trunk extension. The underside of the car is simply amazing. The dry desert sand just preserved it beautifully. While it is scratched, worn and dented I wanted to preserve the exterior so it could tell the tale of this beautiful Dart Sport’s life. They are only original once and I personally love the look and it gets a ton of attention sitting right next to a completely restored Hemi car!

Mechanical Condition: The Magnum 360 is freshly rebuilt with Bullet Racing camshaft and Hughes Springs. The exhaust consists of a Magnum passenger side manifold, drivers side 1968 HP manifold for proper clearance of the power steering box and column. It flows almost as well as headers. This leads into 2.25” downpipes into 2.5” H-pipe into Magnaflow style straight through mufflers into 2.5” tailpipes that exit at the rear bumper through 1970 Challenger R/T quad tips. The A904 transmission has been rebuilt utilizing a full TCI kit and Shift Kit for amazingly firm and crisp tire barking automatic gear changes. The original 7.25 rear differential was retained so it can cruise at 80 MPH while loafing along with its 2.76 rear gears. This will be the Achilles’ heel of the drivetrain as the potent 5.9L Magnum 360 has enough horsepower and torque to break the axle in half if slicks were bolted on. So I had intended to install an 8.75 but never got around to it.

This really is an impressive transformation! Derek did a great job making it look good without losing all of the car’s history. The rebuilt V8 should keep things interesting and having things like AC will make it a nice daily driver. So, what do you think of this Mopar?

From Alan – The original AC box has been restored with a new heater core and evaporator and vacuum harness. All hoses have been upgraded for the use of R134 refrigerant and are in the process of being adapted to the Sanden style compressor (not functioning as yet, but won’t take much!). The car rolls on 14” Mopar Ralley Wheels with older but new 245/60/14 BF Goodrich White letter tires on the rear and 235/70/14’s up front with 1970 style cone center caps (I like them better than the mushroom caps). The front suspension has some new parts and is nice and tight.  I am including a PST add-on front sway bar that bolts on. If I have time prior to the sale I will install the sway bar otherwise it will be in the trunk.

It would cost the average person $25k+ to build this car (I know!!!) the way it is.  This is your chance to jump into a fresh built Rat Rod Mopar Muscle Car that you can cruise and enjoy immediately that is guaranteed to blow people’s minds when they see it and then they lose it as soon as you open the hood, doors or trunk! It’s a conversations starter like no other! It could easily be disassembled, prepped and painted in a few short weekends if the new owner so chooses. The hard stuff has been done! It’s all outside work that won’t take much time or cost much money to have done and then you would definitely have a class winning show car! (If that’s your thing!) It is not a common car, it definitely will not be lost in the sea of Corvettes, Camaros, Novas, Chevelles, and Mustangs at every car show you go to! This is a fresh build that has very few shakedown miles on it and needs final tuning and final bugs worked out so driving the car from my garage to your house is at your own risk, I personally would trailer it but if you are a risk taker… best of luck, it should do amazing really eat up the interstate! Mopar to Ya!

  • Asking Price: $15,500
  • Location: Queen Creek, Arizona
  • Mileage: 100,000
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: LL29G4G108417

Contact The Seller

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


  1. Todd Zuercher

    Looks like you found it in Northern Arizona, judging by the juniper trees in the background? Could easily be my home stomping grounds of Prescott, or north of there.

    Like 7
    • Bill Member

      I was gonna say the same thing. That’s not Queen Creek in the background. Could be Prescott, Snowflake or even Concho. However, awesome car and an incredible amount of work done.

      Like 5
      • Mopower76

        Thanks! It was rescued from The Kingman AZ desert area.

        Like 7
  2. CapNemo

    Hats off to this guy for busting his rearend to rescue this car and bring it back to a cool, respectable machine! I hope he gets his price!

    Like 18
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Just curious on the title. Were you able to track down the owner and title or is there some other option there that allows for title issuance if apparently abandoned?

    Like 3
    • Mopower76

      The vehicle was not abandoned, it was on the PO’s land just 26 acres away from his house for some reason, possibly where their old house was located. It does have a clean and clear AZ title in my name.

      Like 7
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Thanks for the info. It is a good looking car, hope whoever gets it appreciates it.
        Thanks for sharing.

        Like 1
  4. Robert May

    Way more car for the money than the Nova!

    Like 4
  5. Gerry

    Very cool. One suggestion. Black out the front grill. I had the exact same car in yellow with black stripes and when someone pulled out in front of me just outside of Lackland Air Force Base in 1978, I replaced a couple parts that were damaged and blacked out the grill while I was at it. It looked very very nice. Good luck with your sale, great car.

    Like 3
    • Mopower76

      I can completely appreciate the idea of blacking out the grille as I’ve seen done before and like the look but I decided to restore the grille and paint it the correct silver/black and Argent as it came from the factory. I tried to stay fairly factory with a few touches of my own done to mimic other 60’s/70’s Mopar Muscle Cars.

      Like 10
      • Gerry

        You did a great job. Thank you for taking my suggestion in the spirit it was given! If I had room, I’d take it but, it just doesn’t work for us at this time! I’m in 85048…good luck with the sale!

        Like 9
    • Boatman Member

      Excellent suggestion, Gerry!

      Like 5
      • Robert Hubbard

        Great job bro. Tastefully upgraded and restored by a guy that actually cares about muscle cars. The price is where pretty much the average Joe could afford it. Props brother.

        Like 4
      • Miguel

        I did the same on my Dart, but I painted the silver line that goes around the turn signals and across the grille.

        It really stands out that way.

        Like 2
      • Gerry

        Yep. Exactly like that. Beautiful!

  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Saved a great car and did it right!

    Like 6
  7. JoeMac Joe Mac

    4spd and a rallye dash would have made it attractive enough for me to consider. Cool car nonetheless.

    Like 1
    • Mopower76

      I agree but the auto makes it an easy Cruiser, Phoenix traffic is no fun with a 4 speed. I had the opportunity to swap the dash over and install a rallye cluster, I liked the idea that it came this way and it’s super comfortable.
      Aside from the 5.9L Magnum 360 it’s the way the Fender Tag says it should be!

      Like 3
  8. David Zornig

    Dart Sport was the name it was given in `73 after Demon was dropped by Chrysler after objections by religious groups over the devil and pitchfork imagery.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      My how times have changed. Nobody said boo about the Demon or the redeye, which is a demon possessed hellcat.

      Like 5
  9. Moparman Member

    WOW! Great job! I thought you’d repainted the car! The only quibble I have is that the wrong exhaust tips were used. Those were used on Challengers, GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 1
    • Mopower76

      You are correct, the tips are off of my 1970 Challenger.
      I thought they would compliment the quad taillights nicely and they are one of my favorite tips. (Aside from 1971-74 B Body machine gun tips, IMO the best exhaust tips ever designed.)

      Like 3
      • Mopower76

        They would be easily changed to a correct A-Body tip if someone wanted to.
        The changes I’ve made to the car are all cosmetic and could easily be put back to all factory, again why it’s built very close to the fender tag.

        Like 2
  10. bigdoc

    A great job! The car shows the amount of hard work and money you put in to it.

    Like 2
  11. Daniel G Rawinsky

    Car really looks great. I would always prefer a standard, especially a 4 speed over an automatic, but since the car came with an automatic I would definitely leave it that way.
    Looks like you put in a lot of work on the paint.
    How did you get that shine on the paint?

    Like 1
  12. Daniel G Rawinsky

    I forgot to put my name and it sent it back to me, sorry for the extra post.

    • Mopower76

      It’s all good! I’ve been doing paint remediation for over 25 years and doing sympathetic restoration work on survivor cars for most of those years.
      Thanks for the compliment, it’s a fantastic car and I’m still adding and improving it daily/weekly. They are never finished!

      Like 2
      • Daniel G Rawinsky

        My dad was a body and fender man, (yes, fenders were not part of the body back in the late 40’s and 50′). When he died in 1983 I inherited his tools. He lived in California and I live in LA. (Louisiana). I hauled all those heavy grinders and orbital sanders and welding equipment back home and stored them until I could build a nice shop with plenty of room. It is now 2019 and I have not built my shop yet, yet, we are still rebuilding after Katrina. I have replaced lots of the older heavy tools with DeWalt 18v and now 20v tools. I have not yet replaced the very heavy polishing buffer. I did get a very light angle grinder which I love. I also have lots of pneumatic tools which I run off my 5 hp 80 gal compressor.

        To restore paint like you did on the Dart? I have several motorcycles which need the paint cleaned up. What buffers do you recommend? What rouge would you use to clean up the paint without cutting down to the primer? And what wax would you recommend for the final shine? Sorry about all the questions, inquiring minds need to know. Thanks for your help!

        Like 1
  13. RickJay

    Only downside with this car is the 7 3/4 rear axle, must have had a 318 in it originally. I had a ‘73 Dart Sport 340, and it had the 8 3/4 in it.
    Nice car, I think I’d try and locate an original console, and shifter, and a set of buckets, which shouldn’t be too awfully hard.

    Like 1
    • Mopower76

      Not hard at all and an easy swap, I thought about doing a 4 speed swap also but as I have started earlier I wanted to stay fairly true to the Fender Tag.
      I like a bench seat and a column shift is kind of refreshing in something done to this standard. IMO…
      I’ll still swap the 8.75 in the car if I have it long enough, the original rear end will hold up for a long time as long as it’s not mistreated.
      Plus she’s a Monster from 70 MPH and up with the 2.76 rear end gear and will cruise and get decent fuel mileage.

      Like 2
  14. Little_Cars

    Where did the front over-riders go for the bumper? They looked restorable and in keeping with your originality mantra.

    • Mopower76

      They will go with the car, they are in really good shape but have some splits in the rubber and I like the look with them off.
      Again, I took some liberties to personalize the Dart Sport because I really didn’t have intentions of selling it.
      The bumper guards like everything else I’ve changed can be bolted right back on and make it just as it would have been in 1974.

  15. Mountainwoodie

    Looks to me like the seller could give a few other sellers lessons on sympathetic refurbishments. Well done. I hope he gets what he needs out of it. He certainly deserves it!

    Like 4
    • Mopower76

      Thank you for the great compliment!
      The car definitely deserved being saved.

      Like 1
  16. Kurt Member

    Very nice. Good work!

    Like 1
    • Mopower76

      Thank you Kurt!

  17. Mopower76

    Responding to Daniel G Rawinsky,
    Unfortunately it’s many, many years of practice and a whole lot of patients!

    I use a Dewalt corded adjustable High speed buffer on about the lowest setting, a Milwaukee 3” cordless mini buffer set and a corded Maguire’s MT300 polisher for final buff (random orbit) and polish/wax.

    I use Auto Magic chemical compounds exclusively. I know the products very well and have used them for over 25 years. Excellent products.

    Off the shelf products I use at high end custom paint/fab shops I travel to I use nothing but Maguire’s products. They are available at about any jobber.

    Practice on some old junk and teach yourself. Find some friends that have old cars you can pull parts off of or take the whole car and figure out what works for you.
    All paints are different, age, manufacturer, single stage (no clear) and base/clear will take different processes to make look right.
    Wet sanding, buffing, polishing and final waxing are necessary to restore most old paint but not always.
    A good high end body shop or a Restoratoin shop would be a good place to ask about basic cutting and buffing.
    Thanks and good luck! Hope something in there helps!

    Like 1
  18. TimM

    Great find keep them coming!!

    Like 1
  19. Daniel G Rawinsky

    I looked up Auto Magic and it is available here in town. Thanks for the great advice! I am thinking about getting a DeWalt corded buffer because it is a pain to have to go change batteries just when you need it the most. Compared to my 60 year old all metal buffer the battery models are so much lighter and seem to get the job done. Great work and show us some of the next few jobs. Thanks for the reply, your information and experience is a breath of fresh air.

    Like 1
  20. Stevieg Member

    Mopower76, I hope you can take another compliment here lol. Great car & excellent job with the paint. I would like to know was the interior originally black, or was it beige? I am looking @ a beige dash & column/steering wheel with black seats & door panels.
    I think the black is a great contrast to the dark brown & white stripes -n- roof, but I would think in the Arizona heat the beige would be more comfortable. I would have went with the beige myself, but taste is subjective & it looks fantastic either way. I wish I had the funds, I wish you luck with the sale, priced very fairly!
    I also think when I do land permanently in Arizona, I would like to come to you for any paint restoration work I will need. I am VERY impressed!

    Like 1
    • Mopower76

      Thanks for the compliment! The interior was another area I varied from the fender tag, the original color interior is Parchment. (Again, I built it to my liking) I went black because I had everything needed to do it in black. I painted the dash the correct dark taupe and column and correct parchment carpet. The only way to get the seat covers in the original parchment color is through Legendary Interiors and it is all NOS material/covers at $1600 for the front bench and $900 for the rear seat… again, I built the car so anytime anyone could easily revert back to the original if wanted. (This is why I did the dash and column correct) I had the black interior and thought (and still do think) it’s an excellent contrast as you stated to the TK5, white and Taupe.
      Thanks again, look me up when you get in the area.



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