I’m not going to always do classic American cars. It’s not that I don’t appreciate them. I do! It’s just that if you’re interested in seeing a ’69 Chevelle, you can go to a car show in any podunk town and there will be one there. I guarantee it. And yes, it’s cool someone restored it (or even kept it original) after over 40 years, and yes, it’s certainly different from 99% of cars on the road. But if you’re interested in seeing a Nissan AXXESS, or a Subaru XT, or a Ford Fairmont, those aren’t going to be at a car show. They’re also not going to be on the road. There’s no easy way to find one of those, and I think that makes it a much better and more interesting find. That said, there’s plenty of car-show-material cars that I still find interesting enough to put here. I’ve seen a million Dart GTS’s at shows, and yet this one is totally cool enough to post.
I’m pretty sure as street-parked American iron goes, I see more Darts/Valiants than anything else from that era or earlier. There must be some magic combination of high initial sales, robustness, and just enough enthusiasm to keep them running but not to lock them up in climate-controlled garages to wait for Barrett-Jackson 2025. They pretty much run the gamut from restored cars on their way to a show to solid drivers and then on to absolute beaters that you have to wonder how they survived. This Dart falls firmly into that last category.
First of all, it is parked on the streets of Manhattan. In the winter. Last winter, when we had like 50 feet of snow, not this winter. It looks like the driver parallel parks it with the patented “bumper car method.” It has no hubcaps. The paint is faded. And yet it’s a GTS, with at least a 340 V8. It still has the go-fast stripes on the back. Basically this is about as bad-ass a winter beater you can get. I hope it lasts many more winters before eventually being bought, fully restored, and sold for forty grand.