Plain But Pretty: 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger

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Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

Here’s a true garage find, a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger! Complete with gas stained fender, a few dents and scrapes and even a little rust, this Dart wears the scars of a full life. It’s located in Broomfield, Colorado and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is up to $1,000 but hasn’t met the reserve yet.

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As you can see, there’s some more issues on this side of the car. However, let’s point out that this is the original paint here, so what you see is what you get. You can tell there’s no body filler hidden under this paint! Nice to see all four original wheel covers as well. Not only that, but the Dart is a pleasing body shape with clean styling.

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Here are some examples of the rust. I don’t think it will be that hard to repair as long as you don’t mind some work with a cutting tool and a welder. By the way, have I told you folks that my plasma cutter is my favorite tool I’ve ever used? It has me almost looking for rust to cut out! A little work with some card stock (I use old manila folders) and some sheet metal and these would be patched up in no time.

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The interior has definitely seen better days. It looks like there’s 90,919 miles on the car according to the odometer and I don’t see any reason why it’s not true. The seller says this would make a great start on a hot rod, and while that may be true, it seems a shame that could be the eventual end for this car. That being said–the thought of lowering this a bit, adding some nice wheels and some shiny paint went through my mind as well.

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Naturally, under the hood we find a great slant six. Now–it doesn’t run at this point. And the seller hasn’t done anything to get it running, although of course they tell us that it ran when it was parked! Well, I’d like to see it run again, and I’ll bet it wouldn’t take too much to do it. What do you think?

 

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Comments

  1. Another Bob

    I bought a wrecked Valiant as a winter car in the mid 80’s. Knew it was ugly but really grew to love how indestructible it was. I liked the way they drove too.

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  2. Rocko

    A newfangled hemi would probably get better gas mileage as well as losing the humdrum monotone drive , 2010 Challenger heated leather seats would find their way in here as well. Some late model disks up front and finnish it off with 15″ wheels.

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  3. mark

    That 225 slant six is probably the best in line six ever made. Some people called it the “leaning tower of power”. My first car was a 67 Plymouth Valiant and it had that we a “3 on the tree”. Perfect first car. I would all but bet that a fresh battery and some fresh gas and someone could drive it home.

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  4. JW

    As much as a modifier that I am this would be a nice daily driver as is with the mechanicals sorted out and the rust / interior taken care of. I would keep it as original as possible then use it daily.

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  5. Howard A Member

    I remember the ’69 Dart was THE Mopar to have with a big motor. Kind of like the V-8 Nova. They were fun, fast, cheap little cars. I had a ’65 Valiant, V-8, 4 barrel, and 3 speed, and it was a fast car. Nothing wrong with the slant 6, on the opposite end of the spectrum. Like Mark sez, probably the best in line 6 made. I’ve had several, all good motors, and can’t kill a Torqueflite. ( I’ve known several people that tried) Great find. Be a great driver for years to come. BTW, I’m old enough to remember when gas used to stain fenders like that. Mostly because, some stations still didn’t have automatic shut offs, and always had a puddle of gas on the ground. Does gas still do that?

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  6. Joe Defelice

    We got 160,000 miles out of a slant 6 in a 65 Valient convertible, and 25,000 of those miles the poor engine had a cracked block, patched with JB Weld. A telephone pole falling on the car is what led to the car’s demise. I would patch the body up, match the paint as good as possible, and run it as is. My guess is stale gas in the tank. Rebuild the carb, flush out the gas tank, fresh oil and trans fluid/filter, and maybe a tune up, check the brakes and hit the road.

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  7. Ed P

    This brings back memories. Get it running and reupholstered. Then drive and enjoy. Fix the rust as you go. Gas mileage is not bad either.

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  8. scooter8

    OH THE HUMANITY! the ozone layer will be lost forever if people keep topping up like that!

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  9. RNR

    Whatever the Reserve is, it recognizes that this will end up a Swinger 340 clone, which I’d do myself if I was in a position to buy it for reasonable bucks. Repop blister hood, bumble bee stripes & Legendary interior kit, drop in a 360 crate motor – that’s been my daydream for some time.

    It’s not that I don’t respect slant sixes, but there are a lot of worthy 6 Dart and Valiant more doors out there looking for a good home.

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  10. stillrunners

    solid car….even with the rust…..had a four door same color same year….

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  11. Eric_10cars Eric Dashman Member

    I have often heard people sing the praises of the Chrysler Corp slant six, but I’ve never gotten an explanation for what made it such a good engine. For example, why is it better than the Chevy 292 (I think that’s right) that was in a late 60’s pickup I got to drive a bit (and was it a horse!)…or for that matter any of the OHV sixes from GM or Ford? I can tell you why the Studebaker 289 was better than the GM 283 or Ford 289 (crank, swept-bearing area, cylinder wall thickness, etc.). So what gives with the slant six?

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    • Ed P

      The slant six was known for ruggedness and long life. Some estimates say 250k miles. While the Chevy 292 was more powerful, due to its larger size, it was not available in cars, only trucks.

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  12. Rando

    I have never heard that any 6 is “bad”. They all seem to live forever. Could it be that most folks that bought a 6 cyl car didn’t regularly thrash them? I had an 84 Dodge full size 4wd truck with slant six. It did get thrashed, but only ever needed the distributor replaced. It was painfully slow, but would go off road wherever it would fit. We hauled the race car an hour to race with the u joints singing a sad sad song one weekend when the regular pull truck broke down. 4 spd with granny low. And part time 4wd, so iut wasn’t pulling the fronts all the time.

    Nothing wrong with sixes. at this point in life, a 6 would suit me fine. Electronic ignition and whatever speed parts I could scrounge aas I went. I would probably go dog dishes on this car for extra poverty appeal and the tackiest seat cover I could find. Just for grins. And drive it till it died or someone came along that likes it better than me.

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    • Ed P

      I can remember people telling me how great v8’s were. However, all the old timers (at the time) were also telling stories about how long their six cylinder Chevys and Plymouths gave dependable service.

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