Factory 340 Car: 1973 Dodge Dart

My eyes could deceive me, but it appears this Dodge Dart is selling at no reserve with bidding sitting at just $500 at the moment. It left the factory with a 340, but now has a 318 sitting in the engine bay. Still, that’s an easy fix if you want to bring it back closer to factory spec, and it even comes with the original keys and a clear title. Find it here on eBay and located in Tennessee.

Now, it’s not all sunshine and puppy dogs as the body will need rust repair. The seller shows photos of floors that definitely need work, and while he doesn’t go into details, the photos show rust blooming behind the paint in numerous spots and thoroughly rotten rear lower quarters. Fortunately, good spares and replacement panels are still pretty easy to find. I love that the factory stripe kit is still visible.

Now, the 318 is a let-down for a car that originally came with a 340. But I’m surprised to see how cleanly it was installed, almost as if it belongs there. The seller describes the running condition as unknown, but it certainly doesn’t look like the 318 was installed by a hamfisted individual. If it’s healthy, yank it out and sell it to fund the 340 transplant is what I’d do. What about you?

You have to love the orange paint, and combined with the factory decal kit and those big, bold 340 emblems on the rear quarters, it’s hard not to want to give this Dart the engine it deserves. Sadly, due to the amount of rust, this will be a labor of love given current values of a Dart Sport Coupe, but hopefully, the documentation and period details will make this one worth saving to at least one enthusiast.

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Comments

  1. Grandpa Lou

    The 318 will make your insurance agent happy, the 340 will not. Back in the day the insurance industry was caught off guard by the 340s, many let them past the onslaught of crazy rates they gave the big blocks, but not any more. Besides, what can you not (legally) do with a 318 that a 340 will? We are all adults here, are not cars meant to drive? A quiet cruise on a sunny afternoon, or squalling tires in an adolescent expression?

    Like 4
    • Fred W

      Gotta agree Grandpa! I enjoy a burnout as much as the next guy, but let’s face it, how many opportunities do you really have to do that and haven’t most of us outgrown that? I vote for the quiet cruise. That being said, I’ll bet this light car with a 318 can do a short burnout.

      Like 6
      • Grandpa Lou

        Maybe we are just getting old, but with age comes wisdom. Burnouts are hard on machinery. An old car deserves better.

        Like 5
      • Johnny Cuda

        My 1968 Barracuda notchback with a 318 can spin the tires very easily. Maybe most of us have outgrown that, but I like a little chirp or squeal every once in a while.

        Like 1
  2. Skorzeny

    Here you go, your insurance man need not know…

    https://www.hotrod.com/articles/mopp-0409-318-engine-build/

    Like 2
    • Grandpa Lou

      My insurance man used to ask if an engine was “stock”. Fun read for sure, but for me, a stock 318 is more then enough get up and go.

  3. Dave

    Just as Chevy fans learned with the original 302 Z28, Mopar fans learned the hard way that the quote from “Blade Runner” applied to the 340:

    “The light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long”.

    Not too many 340s with 100K miles or more, but plenty of 318s and 360s out there. 360 is a good choice because it makes more low end torque, better for daily driving.

    Like 5
  4. Michael Leyshon Member

    I would think the 318/360 would have a lot “bolt on” options available, seeing as these motors went on as reliable EFI powerplants up to 1998 in the truck line. I think the 340 was discontinued in 1974 and was pretty weak stock after 71. Still would want original engine, as the late big bumper models aren’t as desirable. The most shocking revelation is that it has rust issues !

  5. irocrobb

    I always thought the windshield juice squirter on the floor was the best place for it. I guess I am showing my age. I never really liked the Duster and Darts back then but recently have taken a liking to them.

    Like 2
  6. Raymond Jacinto

    The cost is not worth it if you find a Sucker go for it,

  7. Terry Bowman

    Nothing like a early 340 power plant. I have two. The reasons stated above, I’m about ready to sale them. They are a blast to drive, but you have to be always looking over your shoulder. Almost every time I take out my 69′ Dart Swinger I have a officer following me home(i’m in the big city).

  8. Terry Bowman

    If it is a original 340 car, it will go for much more than the $500.00, even without the motor. There are many other special items on the car. I also have a motor for it but it is a 70′, not a 73′. The extensive body work may be a different issue.

  9. Moparman Member

    “I love that the factory stripe kit is still visible.” Um, sorry, but there is NOTHING remotely factory about the stripes on this car. There were approximately four stripe options available: single or double stripe, top of the quarter panel, with/without engine displacement number; top of fender back and over the roof; and one along the middle of the car. This is an owner created stripe.

    Like 3
    • Ken

      Yep. Owner-created, and ugly to boot.

      Like 1
  10. Troy s

    She’s been beaten on hard, no doubt there. Hopefully this old Mopar will get saved, because it’s one of those cars….one of our kind of cars huh.

  11. Chuck C.

    Took out the 340 and installed a 318 ??…..The value of this nice car went from respectable to $4.00 !!

  12. TimM

    Cool car would be a whole lot cooler with the 340 in my opinion!! Price is right though!!!

  13. John

    “Original” Not.

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