Slant-Six Sport: 1974 Dodge Dart Sport

The Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart were battling it out in the sales department within Chrysler’s one-big-happy-family, and the Dart was losing the battle. This 1974 Dodge Dart can be found here on eBay in Glendora, California. There is an unmet opening bid price of $1,200 and a buy it now price of $3,500.

The Dodge Dart was only a couple of years away from going away in the U.S. and sales dropped to around half of what the similar Plymouth Valiant was doing on showroom floors, their lowest sales numbers in a decade. But, they still sold 100,000 Darts in 1974. I don’t think of a “Sport” model as having a slant-six, but the 1974 Dart Sport model came with either the 198 or 225 slant-six as the base engine.

This car has had some plastic surgery as you can tell and it’ll need to be touched up again by the next owner if they’re looking for a really nice rust-free car. It appears to have been restored or at least had bodywork and paint at some point in its life – the badges aren’t on the front fenders and you can see a big patch in front of the passenger side rear wheel. The Dart Demon name didn’t go over well with some focus groups so the fastback was renamed the Dart Sport the previous year. It’s basically a Plymouth Duster with a few subtle tweaks. There was also a Dart Sport 360 with, you guessed it, a 360 V8.

The seller has the original steering wheel, thankfully. The seats will need to be reupholstered and the top of the dash looks cracked and invariably there will be more work to do inside this Dart. There is a fairly long to-do list: the AC, heat, and radio don’t work. The brakes need work, it needs tires, and there is a broken torsion bar on the driver’s side. Any of those things can be fixed, of course, but it all adds up.

The engine looks much nicer than I thought it would, I always like a clean engine bay. I don’t see any sprayed hoses or wires, but this slant-six has been rebuilt so it has more than likely been out and had a nice paint job after the rebuild. I don’t think the intake manifold would have been painted blue but I could be mistaken. They say that it has a new battery and it’s a running project car. Have any of you owned a Dart Sport? What would you fix or change on this one?

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Comments

  1. Boatman Member

    The intake was indeed painted originally.

    Like 2
  2. Boatman Member

    Not sure this is a Sport. Nowhere in the listing does it state that it is. Other than badging, I don’t know what the difference actually is. I know the Swinger body is different, but I’m kind of baffled about this style coupe. Any experts want to weigh in?

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ouch, “experts”. I’ll take that in a good way, Boatman, I think – or was that an April Fool’s joke? While we don’t claim to be world-class, know-it-all scholars here, we do a fair amount of research, believe it or not.

      Andrew wrote about almost the exact same car over a year ago, another Sport: https://barnfinds.com/rust-free-survivor-1974-dodge-dart-sport/ … with a black intake manifold, oddly enough. Although, I have seen engine-color ones, too.

      http://firstbyteashville.com/1974Dodgedart.asp
      http://libwww.freelibrary.org/assets/digital/items/arcd03931/images/large.jpg
      http://bestride.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/dodge-dart-sport-options.jpg

      Sport doesn’t necessarily mean fast in this case.

      Like 4
      • Boatman Member

        Pretty much what I thought too, Scotty, but looking around I saw many Duster-style bodies that did not claim to be Sports. Also, my Sport was bare bones except for the fender badges.

        Like 1
    • don

      All 1973-1976 “fastback” Darts are Dart Sports .It was the Basically a Duster with a Dart front clip and different taillights . The sedans were Darts , the hardtops were Swingers.
      They also came with 318s .

      Like 7
    • Fordfan

      It is in fact a dart sport they came in three styles dart ( four door sedan )
      Swinger ( two door hardtop ) and dart sport ( two door coupe ) which was a duster clone
      A bit of useless information , the dart front and rear fenders are swept back the duster front and rear fenders are not . The rear fenders on the dart sport don’t match the front as they are not swept back
      I guess it was a cost savings move

      Like 2
    • clare Snyder

      definitely a sport. I had one- 225 slant six – it was a pretty nice car that I traded for a ’96 Ramcharger SE.

  3. karl

    This car must have been near the water with that kind of rust in California !
    It looks like the quarters are shot , and who knows what else is hiding behind Bondo ? It sits really low too , the rear springs may be weak , but I don’t know if the torsion bars have been adjusted to lower the car or the mounts are rotted.

    • Steve R

      Cars parked near the ocean rust differently than what you see in the pictures.

      Steve R

      Like 2
    • dweezilaz

      One of the torsion bars is busted Karl. Passenger side. Mentioned in the write up along with brakes, tires AC and radio. You have a good eye.

      Not sure if there’s $3500 worth of value with the rust involved as well.

      Like 3
  4. Brad lindsay

    How in the hell do you break a torsion bar? I’ve been driving A bodys since 79, built plenty Mope’s. Never seen a broken T bar. Slant six bars in RB a bodys…..no broken bars.

    Like 1
  5. Franksave30 Member

    Had a 74 Dart sport “ convertriple” Maroon with white side stripes factory sunroof and fold down rear seat. Had a 318 column shift. ( my dad wouldn’t let me get anything stronger). So I put a 4bbl and duel exhaust on it and after a slight accident the local body shop guy put a pair of dodge hood scoops in it he had around from another car. Had the car till I sold it for a Ford Fiesta in 1982 to start a “ real job”. I wish I had the car back.

    Like 5
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Hey, wow, those are rare, Franksave30! Fantastic!

      Like 1
      • Franksave30 Member

        Scotty. Back then who knew My. Buddy had a 73 Cuda. His brother a 70 Cuda. Their mother a 76 Firebird.
        All gone and the ever popular refrain. Wish we had kept them. If only we knew.

        Like 1
    • Del

      Don got it right.

      All Dart fast backs after the Demon were Dart Sports.

      Nice car but these really need V8.The Tower of Power six was i destructible but slow.

      Some one has installed buckets but they do not look like Mopar buckets.

      This car needs a good inspection. Rust may be worse that noted.

      And of course how in hell do you break a torsion bar ?

      Drive it over a curb ?

      Like 1
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Don’s right, but I’ll take credit for that, too, Del. I mentioned that in the story, about them being basically Dusters with a few tweaks. I must have used invisible ink on parts of this one…

        Like 4
      • Miguel

        Del, where do you see buckets in this car.

        It looks like a bench the with high back back rests.

  6. steve

    A good nick is all it takes! Just think of all those torsion bars through all those years being grabbed by vise-grips in attempts to remove them. The proper fix is to dress down the nick smooth and re-paint!

  7. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Do the torsion bar connection points rust away over time? Could explain it “breaking” when in fact it simply stopped performing its job.

    • Boatman Member

      Yes, Alexander. Both are known to happen to Mopars.

      Like 1

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