Last week’s photograph showed a blast from the past to get you ready for this week’s profiled automobile: the 2013 Dodge Dart. What Is It? showed a 1970 version of the Dart, the Swinger model in particular. Above is the whole car.
We didn’t ask for the year, but most readers knew it was the 1970 model.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Jose Torres, of Augusta, who told us what the car was and then added: “I had a 1963 Dart, a two-door hardtop, with the slant six engine. It was a hand-me-down from my parents.”
He wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:
AUGUSTA: Gerald Byrd identified the car as the 1970 Dart and that it was a Swinger, judging from the hood scoops: “It has the 340 engine, came with a three-speed on the floor as standard with option four-speed manual or automatic. It also has the mag-style wheel covers. The Dart was a hot little hot rod. It was one heck of a little car in its day and it was fast.”
Also, Patrick Walsh, Tony Brunson, Willie Thomas, Lowell Fritsche and Russ Andrews.
BEECH ISLAND: Linda Wood said she recognized the Dart because “my daddy taught me about cars all my life.”
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “As a teenager of the early ’70s, who didn’t know someone that owned a Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant? These cars were everywhere, and I propose to you that they, not the VW Beetle, were the People’s Car.
“In standard slant-six, 4-door trim, it suited the ‘Little Old Lady from Pasadena’ and her weekly beauty parlor and church visits; optioned out in 2-door GTS trim with the 340 V-8, it suited the weekend bracket racer just fine. And there are trim levels and options in between those two for just about any other taste.
“Boy do I miss cars having a real name instead of the hodgepodge alphanumeric naming scheme of today. Chrysler certainly was not bashful in choosing its sometimes questionable names at the time but all have lived on in infamy: Road Runner, Duster, Demon, Barracuda and later just ’Cuda, Superbird, Super Bee, just to name a few.
“I remember and still see occasional criticism of the original Road Runner name and the teaming up with Warner Brothers for the use of their cartoon image and sound for the horn. …
“Here are a few of the current regrettable alphanumeric naming faux pas. The Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe was truncated down to the ETC; et cetera … really? Toyota proudly displays the moniker of TRD for Toyota Racing Development on the side of its trucks; public decency prevents me from spelling this out for you. And two that will be hitting the streets soon, the Subaru BRZ (Breeze) and the Scion FR-S (Freeze). Really, does no one use focus groups anymore or even research if the acronym could possibly be misconstrued in some negative manner? Maybe these last two are not negative, but I’m pretty sure that during the joint Subaru/Toyota development process, they did not consider that they were making a Cool Breeze duo!”
EVANS: Bill Harding wrote: “I think it’s a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, so named because of its 275-horsepower, 340-cubic-inch V-8. Those neat-looking twin hood scoops were, unfortunately nonfunctional. For the 1970 model year, Dodge began producing its own pony car – the Barracuda-derived Challenger – so Chrysler decided to reduce the Dart’s performance options (which had included Dodge’s big-block 383, 426 and 440 engines) to avoid competition between the less-expensive (and less profitable) Dart and the new Challenger.”
Larry Heath wrote: “The hood scoops indicate this is the Swinger model with the 340/275-horsepower engine. This was the top engine option for that year in this model. 1970 was the pinnacle of the original muscle car era. The performance banner at Dodge was carried by the larger Super Bee and R/T models. The larger cars had the big-block 383, 440 or 426 Hemi engines.
“The Dart model with the 340 engine was actually a better-balanced package. The 340 was not as heavy as the larger engines and in the Dart it provided good performance and decent handling.
“A friend of mine owned a 1969 model with this engine package, and the performance was on a par with the Plymouth GTX/440 engine combination that I owned during this period. Thanks for featuring an old car once in a while.”
HEPHZIBAH: Jason Wright
KEYSVILLE, GA.: Glenn Widner wrote: “It is a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger with the 340-cubic-inch 325-horsepower engine. A three-speed transmission was standard, or a four-speed or Torqueflite automatic was optional. 1971s didn’t have vent windows.”
MARTINEZ: Christopher C. March Sr. wrote: “This week auto is a Dodge Dart Swinger with a small-block 340 producing 275 horsepower. This is a two-door hardtop.”
Also, Jim Muraski
NORTH AUGUSTA: David Clark
THOMSON: Linda Robles
NO CITY LISTED: James Bennett