Restored Entry Level Car: 1964 Dodge Dart 170

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Here’s a smooth beauty, a third-generation Dodge Dart, Dodge’s new “senior compact” car. This is a 1964 Dodge Dart 170 and it’s almost too nice to drive on public streets. You can find it on eBay with a current bid price of just over $2,600, but the reserve isn’t met. I think this car looks great without the front bumper, it’s such a space-age design. This Dart is in Riverside, California.

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This car has an almost-completed restoration and I don’t think that I’ve seen a nicer ’64 Dart in a long, long time. The 170 line was Dodge’s lowest level trim followed by the 270, and the top of the line GT. I love these entry-level cars, they were what a lot of people drove and to see one restored to this level is pretty amazing. Most people may have added fancy bits that weren’t originally on this trim level. I’m just glad to not see spot lights and a Continental Kit on the back!

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This car could be in a museum, the body is probably better than when it left the factory in 1964. The Lancer name went away for this generation of Dart and Dodge toned down the unusual grille treatment quite a bit. The 1962s were my favorite and as a one-year model they’re arguably the most valuable, unfortunately, for those of us who love that look. That’s not to say that this Dart design isn’t fantastic. I love it when someone cares enough about a car, even an entry-level model like this 170, to spend so much time and money on restoring it. This car has new paint, window and door seals, exhaust, fuel tank, fuel pump, and sending unit, brakes and lines, the entire front suspension was removed and restored, front and rear windshield gaskets, door and trunk rubber, etc. Wow, I wonder what their reserve price is?

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This is it for interior photos, unfortunately. Well, unless you count this photo of the interior when it was stripped and the Dynamat-like heat and noise shield is always a nice addition if you take things down as far as they did here. This fabric is all NOS original fabric from SMS Fabrics and the headliner also looks new but there is no mention of it. This car isn’t as base-model as I thought, it has an automatic transmission instead of the 3-on-the-tree manual. Being a 1964 Dart, this one should have had the push-button Torqueflite automatic transmission selector on the dash, the last year for that that in a Dart.

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This is a spoon-and-fork engine, one that a person could eat off of and I probably would if this were sitting in our garage. I’d change at least that valve cover back to an original color. It’s unfortunate that they went to all this work to restore this car and painted the engine a non-1964 color. I have never understood that, but to each his/her own, I guess. This is what it should look like in there. This is the 225 slant-six which was a $50 option for the Dart in 1964 and it had around 145 hp. The carb was rebuilt and there’s a V8 radiator in there for hot days. The transmission was just rebuilt and other than the missing dash photos, which could show what work is left to be done, this car is stunning. Is anyone else a fan of this generation of the Dodge Dart? Would you ever put the time and money into restoring a base model car like this one?

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Comments

  1. Alan (Michigan)

    This really does have a certain amount of appeal, both from style and fit/finish perspectives. But I expect that the seller is hoping for a large multiple of the current $3K bid. I know generally what it costs to reupholster an interior in a quality job like this one, and a good paint job alone is $5K at least these days.

    As is unfortunately true, money spent on a less desirable/popular model goes out in the same amounts as when spent on “hot” models. For the former, it is rarely recouped.

  2. Bill

    The “Dart” model name was around since 1960 but 1963 is really the first year for the downsized Dart platform that continued on through 1976.
    Hence, a ’62 is a different animal . . .

  3. Joe Muzy

    I was thinking the same thing Alan. I can’t find my Haggerty price guide but I’m guessing it should sell for the 10 -15 k price range.

  4. Cassidy

    Is it just me, or does it look a lot like a Vega? Didn’t you BF guys buy a Dart awhile back? I haven’t read anything about your progress on it

  5. Dolphin Member

    Reminds me a lot of the 1963 Chrysler Turbine car.

  6. roselandpete

    I love the loaded Caddys and Rivs but I also find these entry-level cars to have their own charm.

  7. Ck

    Don’t get your panties all up in a bunch boys but, this car is screamin for a V8. All the hard /expensive work is done Drop in a 340 with a 4spd and a posi .Finish it off with a pistol grip shifter one of those tall ones that come up and over the bench seat.Don’t worry boys its just a dream ,just a dream.

  8. larry b

    Wishing I had the room for this. I own a 1963 Dodge Dart 270 4 Door my grandma bought for me when I was 12. White with tan interior I’ll be 35 next month great little cars the rusty cancer bug unfortunately have taken out a lot of these and the aftermarket parts are starting to finally be made but not many unfortunately. Each year they changed it, a lot of one year only parts like the grill the stainless trim the 63 heater controls are mounted at the bottom of the dash in its own plastic housing where this will have it mounted in the dash above the radio. My grill curves in one year only this curves out one year only I can ramble on about the one year only parts lol but I’ll refrain. Still absolutely love these econo box cars the 225 is a hearty virtually indestructible engine that you can get 300hp from you can run them out of oil I never tried I’ve talked to older guys and people who worked for salvage yards. And say they will keep running. The leaning tower of power.

    • S Ryan

      Yes you can run with out oil. I had a 64 Belvedere winter beater that I assume had the oil pump quit, no dash lights worked. I got louder and I just kept driving. Eventually it kicked a rod out the side, still running I drove it for another 2 weeks with a rod out the side before swapping a junk yard motor in it. I’ve been a Fan of these ever since.

  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Around 1980 a friend in college had a granny-car Valiant with a 225 in it. When he bought a cooler car to replace the Valiant, the bright idea came up to blow up the 225. So, he drained the oil out of the car and started driving it.

    Three days later the car was still running fine, so he put some oil back in it and sold it for $300.

  10. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great story! There are some Kahrs you just cant Rex!

  11. "Cousin Jim" Mitchell

    My grandfather (Orville Anderson Mitchell) bought one of these new “Golden Anniversary” Dodge Dart 170’s in 1964 at the Dodge-Plymouth-Chrysler dealership in Bartlesville, Oklahoma-remember the horn button stating this fact. I loved that little car as a kid, which for me was unusual-as I had always hated “Grandma 4-door” vehicles. It was actually a station-wagon in an unusual “tan” color (more like some sort of weird “tan-patina-metal” color) with the little “slant six” engine and “three-on-the-tree” standard transmission. (I remember the black and silver “170” emblem on the hood, and chrome-metal “wings” mounted on each side of the rear tailgate window on the body-each one of those wings was about a foot long by eight inches wide.) That car didn’t have air conditioning when “Granddad” bought it, so he had the dealership install an “under-dash” unit before he picked it up…Granddad (“Mitch” as most people around Bartlesville called him) was in the oil business and owned several farms, and it soon became his “daily driver” around his oilfield operations. He seemed to prefer it to any of his work pickups, stating “his tools didn’t get rained or snowed on” when they were inside-as opposed to all the open-bed pickups we had at that time. He had “mud tires” put on the back of it- also had a local blacksmith over in Nowata County (Grant Truman) weld a trailer hitch on the back so he could pull farm and oilfield trailers around Nowata and Washington County. That little car was tough. Even with the low ground clearance (and the 13-inch tires) Granddad drove that thing all over the place-think I only saw him get that thing stuck once! A few times over the years, my parents would borrow it for “road trips” up to Garnett, Kansas or Phoenix to visit our relatives….That car never failed us-I still have photos of it when we stopped to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona around 1966. Granddad died on July 8th, 1970. My Uncle Phil then drove it for another seven years-replaced the engine and one or two clutches, as he had a bad habit of “riding” the clutch-HA! One summer day in 1972, Dad and my Uncle Phil hit “head-on” in their vehicles-the location was on an “S-curve” at the “Curl Creek Bridge” in southwest Nowata County near our farm. (Dad was driving on the wrong side of the road in a red, 1963 Chevrolet 3/4-ton, long-narrow bed pickup….Uncle Phil was driving the “Dodge Dart 170” station-wagon….I was shocked later when I saw both vehicles…The “Dodge Dart” had a very slight buckle in the right-front fender and the headlight beauty ring was flattened out. On the other hand….GEEZ-the Chevrolet pickup Dad was driving! The left-front fender was smashed in badly-as if it had been hit by a battering ram! The headlight was shattered. Half the front grill was mangled….After that day, I had EVEN MORE RESPECT for that little Dodge… ;^) Respectfully yours, James “Cousin Jim” Mitchell http://www.IMDB.com: Jim Mitchell (XXXII)

    • roselandpete

      Great story. Great memories. Thanks for sharing. I’ll bet that there are a million stories like this about the various cars we grew up with.

  12. Rustytech Member

    Had a 1965 and a 1966 years ago and did restorations on both, the 65 was a sedan with slant 6 and the 66 was a 273 V8 GT. Restoration on these was simple as both had very little rust. The V8 was a great driver, I also liked the grill better on the 66. Would love to have another. By the way, it looks like there a pictures of two different cars here!

  13. John B

    The year was 1977. My dad brought home a red 1964 Dart 270 convertible from the local Plymouth dealer’s back lot(which could have been a death sentence). It was a little too tired for them to offer it on their used lot. 700 dollars later we had it home and dry, so the resto could begin. Rebuilt 273 V8 motor and tranny, new Holly Economaster 2bbl carburetor, new top and paint, Dunlop whitewall radials and a Walker Royal Scot single glas-pack muffler to top it all off. One of the most recognized and popular cars in the city for several years. Sold it to our next-door neighbors, and their son kept it going long after that. This one offered today is just too cool, and done nicely! Seems a shame he had to go with mismatched tail lights, but body and trim parts for these rascals are scarce. Love that illuminated push-button shift!!

  14. Jason

    This is my car. The write up is excellent.
    I love the look of the car without the bumper, but it will come with one as well if the new owner requests.
    Yes the headliners new as well.
    The dash is all original, no holes cut into it, along with the original radio.
    Along with the car are original service records and paperwork. It truly was a barn find when I found it 7 years ago for my first car. I’ve put a lot of hard work into getting this ole thing to the condition it’s in now. It will be hard to see it go, hoping it’s new owner puts as much love and admiration in it as I did. If anyone would like more photos of the build processor information, please let me know.

    • Joe Muzy

      Beautiful car Jason. I hope the next owner will appreciate it and enjoy it.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Jason! Best of luck with the sale, it’s a beautiful car.

  15. Jake

    I had a ’64 Dart 270. It was a 4 door and it was a PILE. Rusty wheel wells all around, needed the frame cut and welded when I got it for $500. The engine smoked out of every crack I didn’t have patched shut, and that was with an extra PCV valve jerryrigged on. Push button automatic couldn’t get out of its own way, and those 4 wheel manual drum brakes… I live on Long Island. Might be my favorite car I ever had. Daily drove it, and never once did it leave me stranded. Drove it on the highways at 70 and in rush hour traffic. The stock original radiator never overheated. It was a hell of a car.

  16. Polyhead

    Lots and lots of red flags under the hood. It’s certainly NOT a restoration. Why isn’t the radiator yolk blacked out? Why is the intake manifold painted black and the valve cover white? Why is the breathing system compleatly wrong and not using the proper pcv valve at the rear? Why are the manifolds retained by hardware that is not only incorrect but not even really functional! Why are the oil dipstick and master cylinder crummy and ugly? why isn’t the water pump painted? Why are the head and block painted the wrong color? Why is the battery retained by a crummy universal strap? Why doesn’t the air cleaner have a wing nut on it? What is the strange wire comming off the positive battery terminal? What is that screwed into the shock tower? Don’t pay any more than $2000 for this car, anyone that does is an idiot.

    • Dave Wright

      Sense when is the definition of “restoration” concourse ? This is is just a nice driver. There is nothing wrong with that. Get out of your ivory tower.

  17. Paul B

    Some of the best Ametican cars. And I for one like seeing a 225 Slant Six plain Jane restored as it was first equipped. The roads were crawling with these things in the ’60s and ’70s. Nice to see one again.

  18. Guggie 13

    I had a 65 Dart 270 2door ,225 slant six 3 on the tree one speed wipers no PS red cloth seats am radio that was in 1967, good little car , put 70k on it in less than 2 years. Sold it , and about 5 years later saw it still running and looking good .

  19. Doug

    We have several of these and the same era Valiants running around town-
    most are daily drivers. Of the early mid 60’s compacts, I see more of these and Studebakers as unrestored daily drivers than anything else. Of course there are the restored and restomodded compacts that show up for Hot August Nights and other car shows, but are not the main transportation vehicle for somebody.

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