Friday, March 11, 2011

Street Parked: 1973 Dodge Dart winter driver

Seattle is blessed with relatively mild winters. The occasional paralytic light dusting of snow we get completely shuts down the city. The average Seattleite will only venture onto the road cloaked in airbags, traction control, antilock brakes, and all wheel drive, peering from the precariously fall-overy commanding view of their SUV. This makes today's feature car stand out even more! I spotted this lovely brown Dodge Dart on a sleet-filled trip to the video store.
This is a handsome car, even with the underbite

From the battering ram 5mph front bumper and the tight chrome panty of a rear bumper, I'm betting this is a 1973 Dodge Dart. You'll notice this impeccably kept survivor has a Michigan plate. Has it migrated west for a rust free retirement?
Such a spankably clean posterior
This is an honest, standard car; the sort we don't see anymore. Purposefully capable with no overt pretense of luxury. Gold kit Accord, I'm looking at you...

This car is 'just right', not too small, not too big

This is a Dodge Dart Custom, a mid-level model in the Dart range. The vinyl roof "Vinyl Roof Topper" in Mopar-ese was a dealer installed accessory.
Custom, one of just 62,626

My suspicion is the full wheel covers come with the Custom package, rather than the dog dish hub caps that would probably be seen on a base model car.
Look at all that comfy sidewall!

Also part of the Custom package was the snazzy vinyl and cloth bench seating. The cloth seating surface makes this a great winter car. There is no way to make a person more uncomfortably chilled than by forcing them to plop onto a freezing cold leather seat.
Bench seats: the cure for separation anxiety

This Dart was born with the legendary slant six backed by a Torqueflight automatic. In 1973 it made 95 horsepower from its 198 cubic inches (that's 3.2 seriously unstressed liters). This car is so original looking that I bet that same slant six is still living underhood. This car looks new, I'd love to know its story. Is it a survivor? Has it been restored? Is it a Hemi-packing Q-ship?

Regardless of its backstory, this is a very cool car to see being used - especially on a day that chased most drivers into hiding.

1 comment:

HellTygr said...

My grandparents had a white one of about this vintage... green interior. Lovely car, sold it to my brother in the 80s.