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Slant-6 Mopar: 1965 Dodge Dart GT

The Dart was Dodge’s compact offering from 1963 through 1976. The cars were built on the same platform as the Plymouth Valiant, which would be the bigger seller of the two. In 1965, the Dart GT was the top-of-the-line model and was only offered as a 2-door hardtop or convertible due to its sporty nature. This example has Chrysler’s Slant-6 engine and runs quite well run, though you’ll find a few cosmetic issues the closer you look. Located in Elkhorn, Nebraska, this fuel-sipping Mopar is available here on eBay where you can take it home today for $10,500 (or make an offer). Thanks, Larry D, for bringing this Dodge to our attention!

The Dart replaced the Lancer in 1963 when Chrysler redid both its A-body compact automobiles (Plymouth kept the Valiant name). It was a roomier car than before (and not as awkward looking), gaining five inches between the front and rear wheels. The changes were well-received, and sales increased nicely over the prior models. Between then and 1966, the annual styling changes were enough to keep the autos fresh in appearance and Dodge sold 40,700 Dart GTs in 1965, of which 18,000 had a six-cylinder engine like the seller’s car.

This GT was the subject of an earlier restoration where the goal was to keep everything as closer to original as possible. While the paint shines up nicely, there is some surface rust on the undersides of the quarter panels that may be trying to get worse and there are some rust holes at the bottom of the passenger door. There was some corrosion in the floorboards that have already been addressed and treated with POR-15 to prevent it from coming back.

The interior looks practically new, and several things have been updated, like the upholstery, dash pad, and carpeting. The factory air conditioning has been refreshed and brought up to current standards regarding freon. As a GT model, the car has bucket seats and a console for the automatic transmission shifter (pushbuttons were gone after 1964). If you want to listen to some tunes, you’ll have to work on the AM radio as it doesn’t play.

We’re told this Dodge runs quite well, thanks in part to a newer and rebuilt engine that has less than 1,000 miles on it. It’s not the original Slant-6, with the seller estimating its vintage as 1970. The front suspension has been refreshed with some replacement components, and new shock absorbers and Coker retro tires can be found at all four corners. The exhaust system is also new, so someone has worked hard to keep this car on the road. With just a little time in the body shop, this Dart could be almost as good as 1965 again. Documentation comes with the deal, including the original build sheet.

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I’ve owned 4 of these, and they are great cars. My ’64 GT had the 273 V-8 with pushbutton transmission.

    Like 10
  2. Cadmanls Member

    A 273 would have been excellent but for local cruising the six will do the job. It has air!

    Like 15
    • Grant

      The 225 was a great engine, but those Chrysler air compressors took gobs of HP to turn. My 318 used to moan when I turned the air on, a slant six might keel over.

      Like 9
      • Wayne

        It’s already leaning over from the strain!

        Like 6
      • Karen Bryan

        How about a ’64 Dart GT convertible, with a 318, EFI, discs all around, new 5-speed, and Vintage Air? Mopar purists might cry foul, but we intend to enjoy it. This car rolled off the line right about the time I started college, and would have been my dream car back then–except that I didn’t know how to drive yet. I was a bit late to the party in that department.

        Like 4
  3. Howard A Member

    Always liked the Dart. While they did use a lot of Valiant parts, it seemed, people that wanted a bare bones car, went with the Valiant. My 3rd and 4th cars were Valiants and I don’t think they even had sun visors. People who wanted just a bit more, went with the Dart. To be clear, the Dart was offered as a full size car in ’59-’62, and down sized, as mentioned for ’63. It didn’t take back yard mechanics long, to realize, that big block V8 from grannies Polara wagon would be untouchable,,for a while. I can say from experience, the slanty will move this car along just fine, and get decent mileage. No bids on such a nice car tells me people today just don’t know a nice car when they see one.

    Like 8
    • Psychofish2

      Yes. It also had a longer length and wheelbase than the Valiant. The 63-66 Dart was a far better “reimagining” of the Valiant base than the Lancer was.

      It was substantially different enough that it was an attractive alternative to both the Valiant or the mid/full size Mopar offerings.

      Like 3
  4. Jerry Bramlett

    A good friend drove one of these in the seventies in Houston. It didn’t even have a.c., but he loved it anyway. He claimed to be saving it to become his infant son’s first car.

    The child became old enough to drive in the late eighties. When offered the car for free, he turned it down because it wasn’t considered cool by his friends. In fact, he called it the “Dodge Dork” and didn’t want to be seen in it. The kid actually wanted one of those piss-ant foreign minitrucks.

    Go figure.

    Like 8
  5. Charles M

    I love my 1967 Signet.

    Like 2
  6. Malcontented Misanthrope

    I think I’d replace the bias-ply tires. I do like it

    Like 1
  7. Joe Haska

    I love this car. I had the same year V8 Convertiable. Yes one of the dumbest thing I did ,was sell it. It was just the perfect little driver and I got bored and wanted something else.

    Like 2
  8. Psychofish2

    Nice. Very nice.

    Mine’s a ’63 Signet, same color combination. Three speed on the column.

    Out in it, I am struck by how viable a package it still is, even with it’s unboosted steering and brakes.

    Smooth running, the right size.

    Unlike today’s cars it does take one’s full participation to drive it and to be aware of it’s limitations. But the reward makes it all worthwhile.

    @Malcontented: the radials I put on mine made a substantial difference in the handling, ride and grip.

    Aside from the ’63 the ’65 was my favorite Dart. My folks had a ’63 270 wagon also with 3 speed manual, purchased new. It had to be towed from the driveway within the first year or so because the linkage buggered up [something my Valiant had done repeatedly before it was upgraded to a later model Z bar and linkage] and it wouldn’t go into gear.

    @ Jerry: “Dodge Dork”….. a shame. In ’88 I was having a new 225 installed in my Valiant and it was already getting positive reactions from people, even back then.

    Nice piece Russ. Thank you.

    Like 2
  9. Flipperhall

    My friend’s mom bought a twin to this in ’65. Spent some great time in it other than when we drove through a neighboring towns drive in flipping off the locals. They chased us down despite driving through some yards when we drove into a cul-de-sac. They bent the radio antennae when we stopped at a gas station and called us out. Saved by the station manager. Kids!!!

  10. John Fisher

    I had a 65 Dart with the 273 ci V-8. I drove it for over 200k miles before I gave it to my brother. He drove it for almost 100k before he totaled it in a roll over accident. 23 – 25 mpg on the road, fast or slow, up hill or down, it was a great car. Only problem I ever had with it was the freeze plugs rusted out at around 175 – 180k miles. I loved this car….if it had air conditioning and disc brakes and a modern sound system it would be the perfect car.

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