Former Drag Racer! 1962 Dodge Dart

The 1962 Dodge Dart was a “tween” car. It had been a full-size model in 1961 and would become a compact in 1963. Chrysler downsized their full-size cars in 1962 with dimensions similar to the new intermediate class because they thought Chevrolet was going that route. But their intel was wrong, and they found themselves in a bit of a marketing pickle. But one positive by-product of that move was that these cars would be lighter for racing purposes. This ’62 Dart ended up becoming a drag car used by Canadian Ron Farmer. It’s in running condition now, but “very radical” for street use. The car is being offered by a dealer in Enfield, New Hampshire and is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $3,250 with a reserve. Barn Finds reader Larry D found this tip for us!

Most people remember the Dodge Dart compact from 1963-76. The name first appeared on a Chrysler show car in 1956 and it turned into a production model in 1959. The 1962 editions were something of a one-hit wonder, from both a size and a styling standpoint. They looked nothing like the cars right before or after them. The car deployed a new, lightweight unibody “B-platform” featuring “Torsion-Aire” torsion bar front suspension and asymmetric rear leaf springs. This arrangement provided for greater rigidity and sound handling, braking, and acceleration. This was especially true with engines as large as the 413 cubic inch V8 being available, good for up to 415 horsepower. As a result, the Dart became popular in sanctioned drag racing where it quickly excelled.

How and when the seller’s auto became a drag racer is uncertain. It may have been built for use at the Mopar Nationals in 1996 by Ron Farmer. Farmer is a retired Canadian race car driver whose record on the track is sketchy, but he may be better known as a track operator. He was involved in the building of the Mission Raceway Park, a racetrack in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. He was the manager of that raceway until 1995 and inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1998.

The seller’s car was in storage for quite a few years and recently brought back to life. It has its race-worthy 413 Wedge back under the hood, paired with an automatic transmission (TorqueFlite) and dual 4-barrel carburetors. But this set-up was not tame enough for highway purposes, so a donor car was acquired at one point to use parts from it to make this car street legal. That includes a “stock” 413 motor that’s still around (but not in the car) and will come with the transaction. So, this is not a car you can drive home.

While the current bidding for this car is somewhat low, the seller adds outside of the bidding function that the car can be immediately acquired for the sum of $39,900 which includes the car pictured, items from the donor car, and the donor car’s motor. This has to raise one obvious question: if you bought the car, what would you do with it? Begin a mid-life drag racing career? There is no indication that the car is still capable of doing that. You could swap motors again, but then you’d have a car that was just one out of 136,088 Darts built in 1962, although how many left the factory with a 413 is not known.

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Comments

  1. mainlymuscle

    I love me some superstockers,and this is cool beans !

    Like 11
  2. mainlymuscle

    I even threw a bid in,but won’t be paying the dealer his $40k anytime soon,even with cool history for me.My interest in cars was largely spawned at Mission Raceway,and I would hit that track with this car again !

    Like 10
  3. Troy s

    Running a 413 MaxWedge, yes I’d say it’s a little bit radical for the highway. Single seat drag car with enormous horsepower and probably a track friendly torque flite automatic so its born to run and run very hard, just not very far. Keep it as a nostalgic racer. Very nice.

    Like 12
    • Art Jacobs

      I thought the Max Wedge had the short ram 2X4 cross ram manifold , this looks like a progressive manifold !

      Like 5
      • Troy s

        Claimed to be a 413 max wedge by the owner. I always thought the Dodge boys got the 413 Super Stock, and Max Wedge was a Plymouth tag. Maybe Im thinking of the 426 wedge.

      • Steve R

        There are only a handful of classes from various sectioning bodies that would require the stock intake and carbs. From the pictures this car was not set up to run any of those classes. This looks more like a bracket car, which means it is unencumbered by anything but rules pertaining to safety equipment.

        Steve R

        Like 1
  4. Joe
  5. Ike Onick

    “Former” Looks like it still is a drag racer to me.

    Like 2
  6. Ron

    This body cell was use and drag racing for it was very airstream with the fence fenders and rear quarters it made it a lot smoother through the year and gave it an edge over Ford and Chevy

    Like 1
  7. William

    This car was made famous by the Beach Boys “shut down”

    Like 1
  8. Phlathead Phil

    I always thought these were in a class all their own. They got weird lines, (imho) but, but, but…it’s styling GROWS on one.

    After seeing this example, I’m now wondering if the “Little ‘Ol Lady from Pasadena” had this ‘tween’ as her backup?

    Nowadays I just think they are KEWL.

    Varoom!!!

    Like 3
  9. Robert Tetlow

    Some “original” features of this year Chrysler product were: Tapered shaft and key rear end. Four wheel drum brakes. Left handed lug nuts on left side of car. Hopefully all of these features have been upgraded on this car. I would hate to have to work on a tapered shaft and key rear again and I certainly don’t want to drive or race a car with drum brakes on all four wheels.

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member
  11. RF

    the seller was lying about the heritage…..this car was never owned by Ron Farmer from Canada…..NEVER

    Like 2

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