|I've never considered myself as a make fanatic, but somehow I've usually ended up owning GM cars, so this Dodge was a sidestep from that path. Despite the few oddities like left hand threaded wheel nuts on the driver's side, it seems that it's possible for a GM oriented owner to also operate and repair an example from Mopar product line. This Dart has been in Finland since new. It was ordered with rather minimal options, including a 225 cid slant six, 3 speed manual (with floor mounted selector, though), 8 3/4" posi axle, and no power accessories whatsoever. The car has undergone repairs/restoration in the mid 80's, and is still in very good shape, even the 20 year old paint job is still nearly flawless. That was the major factor contributing to me buying this car. Although I'm not a very big fan of earlier Dart/Valiant styling, I really like this body style with a Challenger style front end. The ride comfort is naturally not comparable to more upscale full size sedans, and the lack of power steering and manual transmission with an unsynchronized 1st require some driving effort. However, I still consider Dart to be a rather fun car to drive, I guess you could describe a six-banger Dart as a rather sympatic little car.
Some pictures of the Dodge ( 50-120kB each )
The annual American car meeting at Himos ski resort culminates to a hill climb race. The winner is not the one with the best time, but the one who manages to drive two heats with the smallest time difference. With this in mind, I also decided to unleash the power resources of the mighty slant six for the competition. The track is a narrow gravel road climbing up a mountainside. This year the length of the track was about 0.5 kilometers (0.31 miles) with an elevation of about 50 meters (165 feet), making for a very steep climb. Manual transmission requiring double clutching to downshift to first did not contribute to steady times, but with luck, I managed to get times 46.17s and 46.77s, which was good for 7th place in the tight race.