Live Auctions

Rust-Free Survivor: 1976 Dodge Dart

The fourth and last generation Dodge Dart was made for a decade, ending with this 1976 Dodge Dart. Well, not this exact one but you know what I mean. The seller has this preserved beauty listed here on eBay in Moreno Valley, California and the current bid price is $3,055 with no reserve and only a day left to get your bids in on this one-owner, rust-free survivor.

The words rust-free are as good as it gets for me, having grown up in the Midwest where salty, snowy winter roads have ruined so many great vehicles. I guess a person could say that those roads have saved a lot of lives so there’s that. I think that by 1980 in the upper-Midwest or Northeast, a car like this ’76 Dodge Dart would have already started showing rust and it would have gone downhill fast from there.

This car looks like it’s in amazing condition, as a one-owner California rust-free car should look. For someone to have owned this car for forty-six years and to have kept it in this outstanding condition is great to see. 1976 was the last year for the Dodge Dart for North America, at least until the “new” cars came out again a few years ago. They gave way to the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare which came out for the 1976 model year.

The front seat is really the only thing that I can see that has taken the brunt of those hot California summers, and the warm-compared-to-those-of-us-in-the-upper-Midwest winters. It looks as if a family of Burmese ferret-badgers took up residence in the front seat, oddly enough, the back seat looks brand new as does pretty much every other portion of the interior – and exterior for that matter.

The engine is a 225 slant-six with a one-barrel carburetor and it’s showing some heat damage on some of the soft bits, but the seller says that it runs and drives great. In the last month, this car has had a new “Fuel pump, Fuel Filter, Carburetor, Fuel lines, Battery, Starter, Spark plug wires, Spark plugs, Cap, rotor”, so it sure sounds like it’s ready to go. I’d just keep this one maintained and drive it as it looks now, how about you?


  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    “Rust free” and “Dodge Dart” in the same sentence? Almost unheard of. But rust be damned, I’ve owned a half-dozen of these awesome A-bodies and loved every one of them.

    Like 20
    • Milt

      Our 74 Dart Sport was recalled by NHTSA THREE times for faulty brakes Caveat Emptor!

  2. Moparman Member

    Looks good, no explanation, though for the added switches under dash, and extra washer bottle under the hood. The one I had, had the front buckets/console and 318 engine. Repair the front seat and cruise!
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 11
    • Poppy

      Maybe one of the switches and the extra washer bottle is for a water injection system. The other switch must control the “rear window defogger” shown mounted to the package tray…

      Like 4
      • robh693

        The left switch says “Map Light” in Dymo tape.

        Like 2
      • Little_Cars

        HA HA ha ha ha ha ha ha . That seems like something an owner would add who’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Dymo tape was used on not-so-obvious unmarked switches on the dash of my 1965 MG by the previous owner, and even that seemed like something done by a person at the shallow end of the gene pool. Proves a car is just a conveyance or machine to some people. Nothing more.

        Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      Aren’t those just AC vents under the dash? What switches?

      Like 1
      • S

        To the left of the steering column.
        That is a bit odd!
        Probably for the fan for the back seat – as someone else mentioned.

        Like 1
  3. Vin_in_NJ

    Al Bundy wants his Dodge back!

    Like 10
  4. DrillNFill

    Holy cow that is a lot of emissions crap smothering the Leaning Tower of Power.

    Nice car though and at that price is a steal. Throw some Rallye wheels and some Cooper Cobras on her and hit the road! 😎

    Like 7
    • William

      Yes, 1976 was a hard year for the 225. Had a 76 Volare with a 225. Kept stalling at intersections. Finally got a 72 SS set up from a Dart in the junk yard, that cured the problem forever. I felt a little guilty about harming the emission control because I knew how badly that was needed, but it was dangerous, I was worried about it stalling in a bad place and my wife would get into an accident. The 318s with the 2bbl carbs were better that year. Later 2bbl super sixes were much better too.

      Like 3
      • S

        It was that Holley 1945 carburetor they used in 1974-75-76 on the A bodies. It was jetted too lean! Then add the EGR valve and spark delay valve to the mix and they were dogs. As someone mentioned, the 77 and later Super Sixes ran better, as did the 318. And there’s no guilt in improving driveability through modifications. Why stall out someplace and get hit because of it?

        Like 1
      • Jimbo

        If you owned a Mopar of that vintage with a 225 Slant Six and even the 318V8, you learned to keep ballist resistors in the glove box. I had 3 of these 225’s and they all ran like a top.

        Like 2
    • Terry

      That’s California emissions for ya! Also, the second year of “unleaded fuel only” cars. There was a lot of hocus pocus to get the cars to run decently and still light off the cat converter.

      Like 5
      • William

        Not even CA, Midwest boy here! I think they should have kept the Dart/Valiant variants a few more years. (Maybe a new dash as the one they had was getting a little old in the tooth.) I think they would have saved Chrysler’s fiscal butt when the Volares (like mine) started to show their true colors. Lord knows the tooling was paid for, might have cut the prices and made up for it in volume. I know, if I could have bought a refurbished Valiant with a few snazzy new features at a substantial savings, might not have been tempted to buy that Volare. Perhaps that was the rational, didn’t want to pillage from Volare sales.

        Like 2
  5. DON

    It looks nice , and being from California its likely is rust free , but something went on with this car . The hood release lever has been painted brown ,as has the trunk latch – and unless the rear shocks are original, the nuts and shock studs in the trunk area shouldn’t be painted brown either. Maybe it was repainted due the original paint being baked in the sun, but a buyer should check it out before to make sure.

    Like 2
    • R Soul

      You can see the hood has some bondo repair in the first picture.

      Like 2
  6. Terry

    Look at all those extra hoses and bric-a-brac. This was a California smogged car, and it shows.Nevertheless these were good cars, it’s why there’s still many around.

    Like 3
  7. Skorzeny

    318/360 swap, some decent wheels and tires (NOT Coopers) and then drive while fixing minor issues. You can even keep the dang automatic…

    Like 2
  8. Scott Durbin

    Reminds me of the old doctor’s joke. “Take two Aspen and call me in the morning”!

  9. Dan

    Winning bid – $7600!!! Wow!!

  10. Geoff

    Minimal clean up and resto then enjoy. If it stay in CA it could be rented out as a movie car.

  11. S

    Nice car, but – how are the front seats so destroyed in this???
    I’d have to get that fixed right away!!

    Like 1
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I wonder how many ’76 Darts were sold when you could get the brand new Aspen model.

    • bone

      They still sold well ; they were going to be discontinued in 1975, but sales actually went up, so they kept the old A bodies around for one more year

      Like 1
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $7,600.

    Like 1
  14. Ted Mathis

    Actually the Dodge Dart did not end in 1976. It must be remembered that a Fiat based Dart (dis)graced the US from 2014 to 2016.

    But why it must be remembered – I cannot explain.

  15. Kenton Briscoe

    WOW! Doesn’t seem like all that long ago(though it was, I guess) that around where I’m from(Ga.) it wasn’t hard to find an old Dart for 500 bucks. Times have really changed.

  16. MitchRoss Member

    When I saw the price in the original post, i thought it wold do about double that in the end and i was right. Well bought and sold.

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