PARK SLOPE SWINGER
I was a block from my house when I walked past this sweet beauty:
This is a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger in Honey Gold. It sure looks like Honey Gold or honey mustard. I want to dip a chicken nugget right into it.
I love this car as I do all Darts from the larger 1960 original through 1976 when the baton was passed to the Aspen (the newer Darts share only a name with these cooler, earlier examples).
Pinpointing the year on a Dart means paying attention to the grill. This (the 3rd) generation lasted from '66-'76 with the body pretty much untouched. The grills changed every year.
Chances are excellent that this is equipped with the 225 Slant Six cylinder engine though it might have the 318 V8. Both are legendary for their durability, eclipsing anything else on the road by a solid 100,000 miles. It wasn't until the improved Japanese imports of the '80s and the Diesel VWs powered by Mercedes engines that there were other cars good for several hundred thousand miles.
This seems to be a lovely original example. The dot of rust in front of the rear wheel is almost reassuring in its honesty. While we're on this angle dig that intensity of the concave rear window!
Here we have one of my favorite details: the fiber optic powered turn signal indicator that does double duty in reminding you that you left your signal on as well as giving a heads up that you need to change the bulb.
This is a pretty sweet original interior! The drivers side is almost always torn at least a bit.
From those under dash vents we can see that this ride is outfitted with air conditioning. There is also a radio in the dash. The '72 Dart sales brochure brags that it was the first year am/fm was available in a Dart! Lower your expectations folks and you'll rarely be disappointed.
That single exhaust means that this is not equipped with the awesome 340 V8. Cars that have that motor are highly sought after today.
This design pleases me with its folded paper lines and clean overall look. The last Dart convertible was built in 1969 which is a shame. When you see the flat body lines going right past the roof to the front it seems a natural drop top shape.
I guess the paint is original! The fact that this sweet ride was sold new in Brooklyn and remains in the borough to this day is remarkable.
The vinyl top is immaculate. Once moisture gets underneath it will rot the metal underneath. This must have been garaged its whole life.
This was a compact car in 1972 America, and to this day it is a very parkable size.
The Swinger name with its awesome flower dotting the I was the name given to all coupes.
Well there we have it - one of my favorite cars of all time. Over the years I've owned both a '72 Plymouth Duster (a twin sibling to this ride) and a '74 Dart. Both had the 225 Slant Six and both were spectacular cars. My Duster was the greatest value of all time. I bought it for $60 (yes SIXTY DOLLARS) and delivered pizzas with it. It paid for itself in a shift or two. Then I had to replace the transmission with a $300 unit. Once the new trans was installed I drove it from Rhode Island to New York every weekend as well as trips to Philly, Baltimore, New Hampshire and Maine. Somebody ran a stop sign and smashed into it but their insurance company gave me $700 for it and I sold the wreck for an additional hundred. Fantastic cars!
PS - the Duster was gold with a green faux snakeskin roof from the factory!