Muscle Car Project: 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340

Chrysler came up with a winner when it introduced the 340 cubic inch small-block V8. Between 1968 and 1973, the engine found its way into nearly 217,000 Chrysler-built cars. That made for an especially fast ride when installed in a compact like the Dodge Dart. One such muscle machine was the Swinger 340 which saw almost 14,000 copies for 1970, including this car. The motor is not original to this Swinger, but it has been rebuilt and a parts car comes with the deal in order to complete a restoration. This package is available in Langley, British Columbia, and here on craigslist for $12,500. Thanks, Ron, for this tip!

One of the Dodge Boys “White Hat Specials” in the late 1960s included the Dart Swinger. Their goal was to attract hip consumers who were on a budget. Buyers who wanted some oomph in their low-buck ride bought the Swinger 340, which had an output of 275 hp and came with a heavy-duty suspension, upgraded shocks, and dual chrome-tipped exhaust. The Swinger 340 was only available as a two-door hardtop, but it came with hood scoops and a bench seat, although buckets were easily ordered. Thanks, Dodge Dart Swinger, for some background info.

The seller’s Swinger 340 is a project car that looks to be in fair overall condition. It’s going to need some bodywork, which would include replacing both rear quarter panels which happen to be provided for in the form of a parts car the seller has packaged with the primary car. We’re told that the fender wells, frame rails, trunk, and floor pans have all escaped the rath of cancer.

At some point, the factory seat (or seats) was replaced with some buckets that don’t at all look right in the car. But the parts car comes with the correct bench seat that could be transplanted to the primary car. But the rest of the interior is going to need some effort, including putting a Dodge steering wheel back on in place of the aftermarket. The dash is going to need a touch-up and new radio, along with the door panels, carpeting, and likely the headliner.

According to the seller, this Swinger 340 has a rebuilt motor, although not the one the car came with originally. It’s a 4-speed – which certainly is a plus – although there is no shifter sticking out of the floorboard hump, so we don’t know its status. The clutch and gas tank are said to be new and the car has power steering but manual disc brakes (the latter standard on the Swinger 340). While the car has a set of mix and match wheels on it, there is a complete set of rally wheels coming in the car.

1970 was the biggest year for the 340 motor with some 56,000 Plymouths and Dodges so built. A swell Dart Swinger 340 could bring more than $20,000 according to NADA. But this car is far from that and the seller’s asking price doesn’t allow a great deal of room for the restoration work needed. So, this may be a project for someone more concerned about saving a piece of history than making a profit.

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Comments

  1. Jay

    Rode hard

    Put away wet

    Like 2
  2. Dusty Stalz

    This car is about 5 blocks from me.

    Like 2
  3. DON

    If you , or someone else wants and finds a slant 6 car ,it could be restored ; it may not be worth what you put in it, but it would be a car you’d be happy with ,and that’s all that matters !

    Like 3
  4. bone

    I’m a big fan of A body Mopars , but this one isnt worth the asking price . it has a lot of parts, but who knows what went on with the engine , figure its going to need a rebuild again . Its been repainted , so we dont know what panels are original or what may be hiding under the paint . The replacement quarters look rust free, but they cut the roof panels below where the factory seams were . Luckily there are still plenty of Darts around for trim pieces , and there are now reproduced parts , but I’m thinking its worth half of the asking price

    Like 7
  5. gaspumpchas

    You would need to look at the car and see if its for you, which in itself might be a chore getting across the border with many of the entry points are closed. You might make out ok with the exchange rate also. These are cool cars. Good luck if you decide to tackle it. Stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 3
  6. erikj

    I like this swinger. I,m doing a 71 twister duster thats just finished to its factory fc7 purple Its a 318/3spd,Wish i had the smarts to share a picture,

    Like 3
  7. mainlymuscle

    Hagerty’s is wrong.70 340 /4 speed Swinger is not a $20k car,closer to double that for a VERY nice fresh restoration.The price is 12.5 Canadian,perhaps he takes a ten thousand dollar offer,which is less than 8 grand U.S.,and worth that all day.I think he’s in the ballpark,and this is a project with a decent chance of break even ,which is seldom the case.If I wasn’t knee deep into some bigger ticket projects,I would take this on.GLWS

  8. Troy s

    I dont know, the jazz about the air cleaner not being original or correct is kinda odd, there isn’t a stock part on it like headers, intake, valve covers…the air cleaner in the trunk was probably what was on it anyways. Lol, fender flares with small back wheels and tires looks funny.
    From the looks of things this mighty mite 340 Dart has been out of commission for years.

    Like 2
  9. DaveR

    Now I understand why you’re looking for new writers. The grammar an spelling is unprofessional.

    • Don

      Why don’t you take the job then. Anything to bash someone. This isn’t social media.

      Like 1
  10. Don

    I had a 70 swinger in this exact same color. Bought in the service and had to sell it when I was discharged because I couldn’t afford it going to school. The kid I sold it to rolled it 2 weeks after he bought it. What a shame. I love this car. Blew away a 396 Chevelle on I87 south of Montreal. Had to lift off when speedometer pegged and the front end started to float. Not to good in snow however.

    Like 2
  11. Donnie L Sears

    For all the MOPAR guys who say there is no replacement for displacement.They must not know much about these A body cars with the 340.That saying is there is no replacement for all the RPM’s these motors would turn.Let’s say over 6500 from the factory.

    Like 1
  12. Leslie Martin Member

    Back in the day, I owned three different A body 340 4-Speed cars. They were a riot to drive, but the best part was surprising much more obvious muscle cars at how quick and fast they were. I prefered the flat hood and dog dish hubcaps of my ’69 340 Swinger which made it a great sleeper.

    I see a lot of potential in this car. It’s a 4 speed, a nice color combo, it comes with the rare “5 on 4” Rallye wheels, and the 1970 model has the best looking front and back end, and the best dash layout. But it’s true it would cost more to do the restoration than the car would be worth once restored.

    This is the sad reality of the Scat Pack A bodies that are still out there waiting to be found. Lots of people are willing to take on a project on a 440 Cuda or 383 Roadrunner that they can at least break even on. But if you’ve ever driven a high winding 340 Dart of Duster, you know they are wicked fast and fun and IMHO worth saving. Too bad…

    P.S. That is the correct air cleaner housing for the ’70 with hood scoops. The smaller housing was used up until ’69.

    Like 3
  13. Donnie L Sears

    I had a 68 GTS with a 340.I know how fast they are.One of the best small blocks ever.

    Like 3

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