When Chrysler Corporation separated Dodge and Plymouth vehicles and their design in 1960, Dodge set out to create a more affordable full-size car in hopes to attract Plymouth buyers – hence the birth of the Dodge Dart.
The Dart was built on the 118-inch wheelbase borrowed from Plymouth’s unibody chassis and was offered in three levels: the entry-level Seneca, mid-range Pioneer, and more luxurious Phoenix.
The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix D-500 convertible that, according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com, is one of only 68 Phoenix convertibles built with the D-500 powertrain and one of just 6 in this color combination.
Chrysler design staff head Virgil Exner gave the Dart a facelift in 1961 with design elements only seen for that model year. These features included a concave front grille, quad headlights placed on the outer edge and reverse sculpted fins.
“Mid-way through the year, the Dodge dealer network offered round taillights as an extra cost option to be installed for better brake light visibility, which our example has showcased here,” the dealer notes.
“The restoration continues to present remarkably well with the paint quality nothing short of exceptional,” the dealer continues. “The same can be said for the complete interior, convertible top, chrome and stainless, etc.”
The body is finished in the factory-correct Midnight paint with a matching black power convertible top over an all-red vinyl and cloth interior.
This Phoenix is equipped with an AM radio, heater and defroster and a fender-mounted rearview mirror.
“Under the hood rests its original 383ci High Performance V8 with D-500 dual carburation resting on the impressive Cross Ram tuned intake system to produce 340 horsepower and 460 lb. ft of torque,” the seller ads also noting the engine is linked to a pushbutton TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission.
The dealer gives us some insight into this Phoenix’s history, noting that the current owners purchased the convertible in 2012 from the “Cars From Dreams” collection in 2012 and it has remained in their collection since.
Included in the sale are two sets of ignition keys, one truck key, one key blank, and the factory owner’s manual.
The asking price for this rare Dart Phoenix is $99,900.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.