Spiced Up! 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger With A Big Block

Before “Swingers” took on its current connotation, a “Swinger” was more broadly defined as a cool, easy-going person who was up for anything fun. Dodge began calling some or all two-door varieties of its compact Dart by the Swinger name in 1969. This 1974 Dodge Swinger in Lexington, Oklahoma features a non-original 400 cid (6.6L) and other upgrades. Offered here on eBay, this daily-driver-quality Dodge will sell! Bidding on the no reserve auction has eclipsed $3,000.

A narrowed Ford 9″ rear end leaves room for even wider tires. The fatties and skinnies certainly help in the performance department, albeit while defeating the car’s “sleeper” potential. I’d be tempted to go with more stock-looking rolling gear for stealth and increased cornering. My sister dated a chap with a well-kept white Swinger. Through the fog of time, I recall it had paisleys somewhere, perhaps in the black vinyl top or upholstery, or maybe in stripes.

This is the best picture provided of the 400 cid V8. See the oil pan? Also, it shows what I believe are sub-frame connectors, a prudent addition to any powerful unibody car, and what might be the most questionable exhaust fabrication and trunk-mounted battery cable installation I’ve seen in a while. Still, nobody will see that stuff when you’re cruising on a warm summer evening trolling for victims.

The best picture of the interior suggests the dashboard may be rather sunburned, but the bench seat looks tidy and re-upholstered. Genuine shoulder belts appeared in 1974, replacing the previous separate shoulder and lap belts. The now-infamous seat-belt interlock system graced all American-sold models in 1974 as well, so that will offer some additional fun/cussing for the new owner if it’s not been disabled. What’s your top bid to experience the Swinger lifestyle?

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Comments

  1. Sandy Claws

    Unbalanced and dangerous.

    4
    • slickb

      AND FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      you must have forgotten that

      25
      • Sandy Claws

        If you consider months of painful traction to be fun.

        3
      • Dave

        If’n y’all cain’t run with the big dogs…

        6
      • Snuffy Smiff

        Yep, that’s what the two seniors thought back when I was a 10th grader in HS. That particular Dart was quite the hot rod as it had a 340 6-pack and was estimated to be have been going in excess of 120 mph when the driver lost control and left the road in a slight curve near Powder Springs, GA. The driver was killed instantly and it took rescue around 20 minutes to find his friend balled up in a pine tree about 30 feet up. He passed away before they got him down and into the ambulance. IMO, these cars were and are far too light-especially in the rear, for inexperienced drivers when combined with high-output engines! I took a bunch of pics of what was left of the car once it was brought to a junkyard but have lost them during the 45 years since they were taken. It made quite an impression on me @15 years old and I just gotten my learner’s permit…

        3
  2. Troy s

    This car will never be a sleeper, don’t look the part and most definitely doesn’t sound like one even at idle with the dual Flow’s. Seller really promotes the K and N air cleaner but oddly displays it on the front seat.
    Cool ride.

    4
  3. Miguel

    A glaring difference between the American and Mexican cars is my 1974 Dart was sold new with no seat belts of any kind. There is a place to put the shoulder belts, but that space is empty.

    I have been stopped by the police quite a few times for no seat belts and I had to teach the officer that Mexico did not require seat belts in 1974, however I have installed lap belts and I always use them.

    10
  4. Alexander

    Todd, why “Dodge began calling some or all two-door varieties of its compact Dart by the Swinger??” Just some, not all. It’s a trim level as far as I know, sure someone will correct us if we’re wrong!

    The principal at my elementary school parked her dark green Swinger directly in front of the flagpoles each school day. I think this was in 1970-73.

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Alexander. The world is full of experts and I’m not one when it comes to a Swinger, but I did see this quote “The 2-door sedan was dropped at the end of 1968 and replaced with the Swinger 2-door hardtop for 1969,” which makes it sound like (at least that year) there was no 2-door Dart. For 1970 it states “The “Swinger” name was applied to all the Dart two-door hardtops except in the high-line custom series,” ergo I said “some or all two-door varieties.” However the truth may be different. I am open to comments from anyone with deeper understanding especially if we have folks with Mopar sales / manufacturing knowledge from those days. Thanks for the probing question! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Dart#1968

      3
  5. Bakyrdhero Member

    Another car that I thought was ugly as sin when I was a kid and had now really grown on me.

    9
    • Fiete T.

      I will do a ’76 Valiant sedan next a la A38 flavor but with an iron-case A-835 gearbox (A-833 OD). 12″ rotor conversion (reinforced hubs, 1 1/8″ front swaybar, rear bar, big torsion bars & up rated leaf springs, 8 3/4″ rear, FFi steering box, factory HD cooling…been saving parts for awhile.

  6. cold340t

    Big motor needs Bigger Brakes! Can’t go faster then One can Stop. Well, You can but….. Buy it, get big brakes and Troll away!

    7
    • John Wilburn

      Beginning in 1973, disc brakes were an option and they worked fine. I’ve seen many 1967-1972 models upgraded to those and they are 4.5” bolt pattern with 1/2” studs to boot, a strength upgrade over the 4”, 7/16 studs, and drum brakes they came with.

      2
      • cold340t

        I am very familiar with Mopar brakes. My 68′ GTS now has Wilwoods on ALL 4 corners. And EVERY Mopar I buy will get the same treatment. It is My firsthand Near Death experience that has led me to do this. My Brand Loyalty starts with removing the stock drum/disc brakes.
        If you are going to upgrade buy Wilwood/Bear et al aftermarket ones. The cost is worth it. Your safety is the Prime Directive here. $5 stock type brakes for 1 Life?
        The stock newer brakes really are just ok. They work fine the first hard stop, just don’t try it again. Don’t go fast if you can’t stop! I like to go fast in my GTS! While fully confident I can stop.

        1
      • Fiete T.

        ’73-up, except for some fleet-ordered or ultra-cheap oddballs, were all big-bolt pattern (5 on 4.5″ spread) and had the same wheel bearing size across the board. Another bonus? They had the barrel-style motor mounts and the LCA swaybar tabs are mounted inboard…want to make excellent brakes & better suspension in one move? Install the ’73-up BBP knuckles, LCA’s with the tabs (mandating the engine cradle of the same era) for the A-body. Then go find the last of the B- or R-bodies and grab the calipers & adapters. Get a 1 1/8th” swaybar and the 892/893 torsion bars at a minimum (340 bars) and matching leaf springs. Now you have 12″ rotors, good handling on stock items that will “Bang-for-the-buck” out do the aftermarket.
        You can go further down the rabbit hole with this making it even better, but this is a minimum for a performance A-body.

  7. Karl Sisson

    I remember there being a problem with the torsion bar type suspension on the front of these cars . When rust got to the frame the bar would drop and so would the front end. Had one with a 318 and it would start in a -40 Winnipeg winter!

    4
  8. David Mika

    No engine pic?

    1
    • Danny

      sorry I will have a motor pic on today!

      • Danny

        Here is one more.

  9. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Seems like one hell of a lot of fun for the $5701 that it sold for!

    Dang!

  10. Fiete T.

    I will do a ’76 Valiant sedan next a la A38 flavor but with an iron-case A-835 gearbox (A-833 OD). 12″ rotor conversion (reinforced hubs, 1 1/8″ front swaybar, rear bar, big torsion bars & up rated leaf springs, 8 3/4″ rear, FFi steering box, factory HD cooling, subframe connectors..been saving parts for awhile.

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