My Classic Car: David’s 1973 Dodge Dart

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1973 Dodge Dart Swinger, now black, was lime green when new | David Crabtree photo
1973 Dodge Dart Swinger, now black, was lime green when new | David Crabtree photo
1973 Dodge Dart Swinger, now black, was lime green when new | David Crabtree photo

The first car I remember from my childhood was a 1969 Dodge Dart. I was 5 years old. I remember when my dad drove up in it and the discussion how $4,500 was entirely too much to pay for a new car.

When I began looking for my own classic car, I looked for several months, at everything from trucks to rat rods. Then the Darts started popping up with the early ’60 rounded fenders.

I found a ’65 and was going to drive from to Tuscon to pick it up, but it got sold before I could get a deposit down.

Then there was a 70 that I missed.

In November 2013, I saw an online ad for Maples Motors in Tennessee. The black Dart intrigued me the first time I saw it and I had a video sent to me. Once I heard the rumble of the 318 motor with its performance cam, I knew it was the one.

I put the deposit down and traveled down to pick it up. I also drove about 10 other classics at Maples Motors, which is a playground for car enthusiasts.

In the end, I stuck with the Dart. They threw in a set of universal custom Keystones and new tires.

Home successfully with no issues, I jumped right into tinted windows and stereo speakers and a custom box so I could leave my stock radio in. Unfortunately, rain revealed a leaking window and shorted out the stereo system.

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My son Troy drove it to Kohl Motors in Long Beach, Mississippi, where he works, to adjust the car’s ride height (it had been set up as sort of a low rider and was bumping and grinding down my not-so-smooth driveway).

A few weeks later, I lost the transmission.

There were other things as well, but today, with Cragar GT wheels, she runs wonderfully and I get compliments 4-5 times every day I drive.

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