HomePick of the DayFull-size 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop

Full-size 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop


Before there was the compact Dodge Dart with which we are all familiar, there was the great, big full-size Dodge Dart with space-age styling and plenty of space inside.

The Pick of the Day is a rare survivor, a 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop coupe in mostly original condition with 78,000 miles on the odometer. This one-year-only body style, which looks like the designers threw everything they had on it, shows best in this color scheme of black with red interior.

Full-size 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop | Journal
The styling is loaded with curves and chrome-plated details

“Forget the GM bubbletop coupes of this era, own one you won’t see in 100 shows,” says the Lakeland, Florida, dealer advertising the coupe on “Rare California survivor, ready to become part of any Mopar collection.

“In 11 years, have never seen one of these cars in person in any condition. Own a piece of Mopar history.”

Full-size 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop | Journal
The engine compartment looks very clean

The Dodge is the top-of-the-line Phoenix model, powered by a 318cid V8 with four-barrel carburetor and push-button automatic transmission. Garage-kept since new, according to the ad, the Dart sports its original wheel covers shod with newer wide-whitewall tires, which are nicely set off against the curvaceous black body.

The paint appears to have been partially reapplied sometime in the past, says the dealer, who offers to dual-stage repaint the car if the buyer opts for it. The body is “laser straight” and “accident free,” according to the ad.

Full-size 1961 Dodge Dart hardtop | Journal
The original seats show like new

The bright-red cloth-and-vinyl interior is described as excellent by the dealer, as are the original chrome and trim. The car is sans air conditioning, which the dealer says it also could install.

The asking price for this seldom-seen Dart is $34,500, plus the cost of a repaint and AC, if the buyer wishes to have those things done. Otherwise, drive, enjoy and turn some heads.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.                                   

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.



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