Drive Reviews A Classic Dodge Dart: Video
When it was originally introduced in 1960, the Dodge Dart was just a low-priced, full-size alternative to the top-of-the-line Polara. The first-gen Dart quickly became a sales success, but Dodge decided to downsize it for 1962, and yet again for 1963, when it became a compact. More changes occurred with the fourth-generation car, launched in 1967, which also saw the introduction of bigger, more powerful V-8s. By the 1970s, the Dart coupe had joined the muscle car wars by receiving the 440 V-8. Nearly five decades later, fourth-gen Darts are getting the love they deserve from Mopar enthusiasts, spending their days as either neatly restored cars or beefed-up restomods. Such an example is this menacing, all-black Dart built by Alloy Motors’ Geoff Gates.
Even though it sports a murdered-out appearance and rear drag slicks, the Dart is actually more of a traditional restoration than a modern-day build. Most of its factory parts are still in place, especially inside the cabin, with only a few go-fast parts, mostly from Edelbrock, added under the hood. Power comes from a 5.9-liter V-8, one of the 10 engines Dodge offered for the fourth-gen Dart, that cranks out a little more than 300 horsepower. Not exactly spectacular by today’s standards, but just enough to enjoy the ride. With so many gearheads focusing on the Mustangs, Camaros, and Cudas of that era, I’m actually glad Drive picked this slightly modified Dart for its new "Big Muscle" episode.
Yeah, I know, the new Fiat-based Dart has nothing in common with the old car, but I just wanted to point out the nameplate has returned in the 21st century. Launched for the 2013 model year, the new Dart used the Fiat Compact (or Compact U.S. Wide) platform, which also underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Jeep Cherokee and the Chrysler 200. Also called the Fiat Viaggio in China, the Dodge Dart uses three engine in the United States. There’s the 1.4-liter MultiAir that produces 160 horsepower, the 2.0-liter four-banger also rated at 160 horse, and the 2.4-liter Tigershark churning 184 horsepower. Read more about it here.