Thursday, August 7, 2014

NYC Hoopties is proud to announce a West Coast contingent!

So far this blog has featured various cars I've encountered in and around New York. The condition of these rides varies from pretty nice to downright awful (which are some of my favorites). However, I have an old friend in Southern California who documents old cars on his daily travels as well. Invariably these rides are in great shape! The condition and variety of the classics lucky enough to be parked in the hermetically sealed climate of the Golden State is, as you will see, staggering. After long admiring his pics and being gobsmacked by the cars he stumbles upon I am proud to present Rob from L.A. as our West Coast contributor!
We will kick off Robs NYC Hoopties involvement with the most So Cal car pic I've ever seen:

Yes indeed that is a Mexican wrestler mask hanging from the rearview mirror of a '60s Dart with a devil's head lighter and a white cassette deck from the '80s! The thing about California is that these classics are just cars to be driven every day. People don't bat an eye when someone pulls up in a 50 year old ride with original paint. This is why I think the tape deck is a telling detail; it was installed 25 or more years ago but isn't bothering anybody because this Dart isn't being treated as a show car.
The thing is, this could or would be a show car almost anywhere else in the world! What we have here is a 1964 Dodge Dart 270 in the official Dodge color White.
The Dart was introduced in 1960 as a full-size car with all the trappings of the era; huge, gaudy chrome grill, fins, and massive V8 motors. Starting in 1963 they were downsized greatly to the scale we see here. The year before this one introduced unibody construction, which is where the rigidity of the body itself takes away the necessity for a large frame. The unibody cars are lighter, more low-slung, and more balanced overall for good performance using smaller, more efficient engines.
This taillight seems to have lost its flashy chrome ring. From this close-up you can see that this humble little ride actually has chrome all over it, just in sleek little doses. How about the chrome around the bumper opening on the rear quarter panel though? Classy!
This badge explains the bits of flash scattered about; the 270 was the top-of-the-line trim level for the 4-door (there was a higher-tier GT, but it was only available on 2-door hard tops and convertibles).
"Why is the passenger side mirror bolted to the fender instead of the door?" you might ask. I have no idea as it ought to be next to that little vent window, if offered at all. Both mirrors are aftermarket replacements but the drivers side is in the correct location.
These beautiful matching hubcaps are not original to this car, but are from the same family at least. After scratching my head and doing some research I believe they originally belonged to a 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury (which is the same make & model of the movie car Christine, but a year newer). Great wheel cover choice for this car!
Dart's not terribly proud or conceited, but will let you know its name if you know where to look. This placement of the name tag on the front fender just behind the headlight is a curious one! Usually this space is reserved for an engine badge or a reflector. That bumper looks cool but it offers about as much protection as the helmet of the kicker in American football.
Here's our eager little fresh-faced Dart ready to go wherever you ask it! The features on this car are so delicate; look at those turn signals! Regardless this is a California car so here she sits, well-used but close to perfect.
Big thanks and a warm welcome to Rob from L.A. for this first submission. He has runaway success just about every time he steps out of the house so stay tuned for plenty more where this came from!

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