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Running Project: 1963 Dodge Dart GT Convertible

The Dart began as a full-size car in the Dodge lineup in 1960. When Chrysler redesigned their compacts in 1963, the Lancer name was dropped, and the Dart took over those duties. It would continue in that role through the end of the compact’s production in 1976. This ’63 Dart is a GT convertible, meaning it’s a little snappier in appearance than a regular Dart but still uses the Chrysler Slant-Six engine. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, this drop-top is described as a running project so it could still be used while being restored. The car is available here on eBay where the Buy It Now has been set at $5,495, but you can also make an offer.

1963 would be the first year of the Dart as a compact. Along with the Plymouth Valiant, they lost the quirky styling of the 1960-62 models, like the fake spare tire hump in the trunk lid.  Dart production figures for ’63 are a bit sketchy and there is no known breakout by body style or model, just that about 120,000 of them were built. The stylish GT in convertible trappings may not have been rare then, but it probably is today.

Compact cars in the early 1960s weren’t yet built to go fast, so you couldn’t get a V8 in a ‘63 Dart. A 170 cubic inch Slant-Six was what you had to settle for as the bigger 225 was reserved for the full-size cars. The Slant-Six was Chrysler’s inline-6 internal combustion engine with a reverse-flow cylinder head and a   cylinder bank inclined at a 30-degree angle from vertical. It was a brand-new engine design in 1959 and versions of it would remain in production through the year 2000.

The seller describes his car as a running project and that sounds about right. He’s owned the Dart for about four years, and it’s still registered for highway use. We’re told it has 72,000 miles on the odometer and that the I-6 is flanked by Chrysler’s push-button automatic transmission which would begin moving to column shift the following year. The seller is a bit more optimistic about its physical appearance, indicating that the frame is solid and body good. But there is rust around the wheel well on the passenger side and it looks as though similar rust has already been repaired in the same place on the driver’s side.

Rust is something that if you can see it, there’s bound to be more where you can’t see. So, the next owner should be prepared for more than a little Bondo and paint. The red and blue interior (red being material and blue being metal) looks good from what we can see, but the dash pad for sure will need replacing. The car has bucket seats which I believe was part of what you got when you bought a GT. The convertible top needs replacing, and the photos provided show two sets of wheels used on the back of the car, so we’re not sure how it will come delivered.

Our apologies for a couple of the low-resolution photos used, but that’s how there were uploaded to eBay by the seller. NADA estimates a ’63 GT coupe to be worth $15,000 on the high end and a convertible should fetch a little more. The seller’s asking price isn’t crazy money compared to some we’ve seen.


  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Entry level convertible. Elbow grease required. Weekend labor of love. Someday I’m going to finish this car. Fifteen years later it’s listed on bind finds by family members who don’t want it.
    God bless America

    Like 7
  2. Roger Hackney

    Column shift automatic didn’t go into production until the 65 year model in the Chrysler cars.
    There wasn’t a lot of convertible Darts
    built 63 ,64, 65 they were rare 40 years ago.

    Like 3
  3. Gary

    Wrong, 170 was standard but the 225 was optional. The 273 came in 64 I believe.

    Like 4
  4. Gary

    Saw a 66 Valiant Signet convert today at the Iola (WI) car show. Weird combo, 170 with a three on the tree. Liked it a lot, but you think it would have been ordered with at least a 225, if not a 273. Great little cat though, wish it was mine. Really enjoyed that car show today, missed it so much last year, glad the shows are back.

    Like 4
    • RNR

      Back in ‘67 my sister bought a ‘64 Signet convertible from a local Chrysler Plymouth dealer – 170, 3 speed on the column manual steering and brakes. It did have an AM radio and a power top (I think manual tops were standard then, but I could be wrong).

      This Dart is a decent start if the right offer is accepted

      Like 4
  5. moosie moosie

    When I was in High School I had access to a ’64 Dart GT convertible, 273″ V8 push button torqueflite. It was my older sisters car that I could use when she was at work in N.Y.C. It was pretty quick but I could never beat a friends 260″ 4 speed Falcon Sprint, a ’64 IIRC. That Dart GT along with her 1962 VW Beetle with a sunroof got me started on my love affair for open air motoring.

    Like 2
  6. JG Owens

    If you’re interested to see how one of these cleans up to better than show room condition….


    Like 0
  7. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    Neat Car. Reminds me of a Friend’s Mom’s 64 Dart she had when we were kids. It was an Aqua blue close to this.

    Like 0
  8. RodL

    Absolutely think this car is ugly and if I have a few extra, I would buy it in a heart beat. Do a full frame off, and pass it down to family members. The reason being is, “IT HAS LINES, IT IS A CONVERTIBLE, IT IS OLD, IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

    Like 0

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