Turbo V8 Sleeper! 1964 Dodge Dart

Only the lowered stance and side-exit exhaust pipes give away the performance potential of this little Dodge. A darling of penny-pinchers and unassuming citizens everywhere, the economy-minded Third-Generation Dart compact only occasionally got caught up in the swirling eddy-currents of the burgeoning horsepower wars. This 1964 Dodge Dart in Coal Valley, Illinois, though, is a different story entirely! With a fuel-injected and turbocharged V8, it promises stout competition to performance cars of any decade, yet the relatively tame exterior lets it pass as a “nifty old Dodge” that might still house an original straight six or 180 HP 273 V8. This well-finished sleeper comes to market here on eBay where it awaits a $12,500 opening bid as we head to the presses.

The tidy engine bay suggests forethought and smart engineering, as does the 70mm turbo and MegaSquirt electronic fuel injection. If you haven’t heard of MegaSquirt, take a minute to peruse their history here. With a sound scientific foundation, the MegaSquirt system has no problem handling a custom build like this turbo 360 (5.9L) cid LA mill by controlling fuel, air and spark across all manner of boost and temperature conditions. Where you often hear people talking about switching their turbocharged customs between a “Summer Tune” and “Winter Tune,” this MegaSquirt-controlled Dart should let you drive coast-to-coast while handling altitude and climate changes with aplomb.

Other upgrades include four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes and a dual-channel brake master cylinder. With only 16,000 miles on the clock, this original paint coupe is claimed to have enjoyed garage storage its entire life. The 15″ steel wheels were painted to match. Cosmetically I wouldn’t change a thing. Nothing in the listing disputes the seller’s claim that this EFI Dodge is “totally rust free.”

New front seat upholstery looks perfect with the mostly-stock interior. The no-nonsense rubber-booted floor shifter stirs a classic A-833 four-speed manual. The durable Dodge 8 3/4″ differential houses 3.23 cogs with Sure Grip limited-slip to transmit the boosted V8’s power to the ground via both rear wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and aftermarket tachometer suit the performance nature of this deadly Dart without giving too much away in traffic. Turbos tend to quiet the exhaust which also helps maintain the sleeper persona. Would you suspect an EFI turbo V8 powers this once-dowdy Dart?

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    I. Love. It.

    Finally, a car which lives up to the moniker “Sleeper”.

    Kudos to the builder!

    Like 47
  2. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That’s cool as heck. I love the scared-eye Darts, ones with a turbo V8, even better.

    Like 18
  3. Jcs

    Very cool.

    Like 9
  4. Poppapork

    I like the idea but its useless with tiny tires like these. One big burnout is what this car is good for.

    I would try to order two custom made steelies for the back to retain the stock look but with a +300 size tire

    Like 7
    • JoeNYWF64

      I bet those 15″ wheels & tires are a tight fit.
      You call 15’s small? The huge ’68 charger came with 14″s & the early ’65 mustangs came with 13″ five lug wheels!!

      Like 2
  5. Robt

    Beautiful car. Nice build.

    Like 3
  6. JoeMac JoeMac Member

    Save this article for the next time someone asks you what a “sleeper” is. Lovin’ this one!

    Like 12
    • Poppapork

      Thats not a good example- this car is not going to transfer any power thru these tires.

  7. Joe Haska

    The only thing ,I would change is the steering wheel. I love it, I bet it goes over opening bid, what a “COOL CAR”.

    Like 1
  8. Stangalang

    It should definitely make a mess out of those little tires (poor tires they never hurt anyone) alas…they must be melted down!!

    Like 7
  9. Troy s

    If I heard the slightest notion of a V8 coming out the side side exhaust I would not think of it as a “grandma” car, not now days anyhow. Low stance, purposefully plain steel wheels, side exits,,,, any number of hot mopar powertrains could be lurking under the hood fifty six years since new. 340, 383, or even more,,, or a late model engine swap, a…mega squirt 360, well I never even new about that name ’till today.
    Nice ride, and consider the modest 3.23 gears the lowest with those tires.

    Like 2
  10. Neal

    That would be a cool car to own.

  11. martinsane

    Real nice car all around. The steering wheel as mentioned is just wrong but i dig everything else. I also agree that a sneaky wider tire would be a nice add.

    I do wonder if this car is such a great condition survivor then why the new running gear?

    Like 2
    • Robt

      Who wouldn’t want a higher performance upgrageded driveline/suspension to go with a good solid survivor chassis/body?

      Like 2
      • martinsane

        Purists. Plenty of cars out there with no engine and tranny’s and awaiting a resto mod. It just seems a little strange to take a survivor, a presumably stock one and resto mod it.

        Like 2
  12. Arthur Brown

    My Dad bought new one of the Two Dodge 50th anniversary Darts allocated to Missouri, White with aqua interior, typewriter push button automatic trans and the 273 V8, the first in the Dart. 4″ wheel rims standard. Would switch ends on a dime if given too much throttle, which I experienced several times from the back seat as Mom drove us around St. Louis county. She come in the door telling dad how “it did it again” and he had to “do something”. I sure hope those 15″ wheels are not original.

  13. Donald McMahan

    while I would generally take a stick over an automatic any time, I kind of wish it had a Torqueflite with pushbuttons

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