I posted the original review of my 1964 Dodge 440. The preceding two comments require clarification. Both responders are quite right--there was no Dart 440. If you will note, this site does not have a category for a Dodge model 440, only a Dart or Polara. Given the two choices, I went with the Dart category because my 440 was not a performance car, had no stylish options as found in a Polara, and had a Slant 6. I figured that anyone who knew the difference would know what I meant, although I didn't expect any commentary......Don't worry, fellows, I know my old MoPars pretty intimately!
I should also add that I had two Slant 6 engines in this car, and both of them failed by throwing rods. The original engine developed a knock and lost power; the replacement was a slightly lower horsepower '76 vintage and the oil seal apparently failed, and when that engine failed, the pieces of broken rod actually blew out through the oil pan and bounced off the road surface under the car. The Slant 6 has always had a great reputation, reportedly, but with two blown ones, I've been somewhat skeptical and prefer the 318.
I have two dodge darts one 64 270 and one 66 170. I think any engine given enough time will blow a rod or something. How many miles did you have on the 1st before she blew? I have never met one with less than 128,000 miles on it, I also have heard of them blowing, but not going easy. One I have started after sitting in a farm field for 6 years. EXCELLENT car buy one in any condition and leave it on the road. Easy to work on, easy on the eyes.
The Dart 440 on the other hand is an entirely different story that I am not qualified to comment on.
My family had several Plymouth Volarès with the Slant 6, most with the automatic transmission and one with the 4-speed manual. They were all great cars and I like Slant 6's, and wouldn't be afraid to own another in a heartbeat. In fact I did own a Dodge 440 with a Slant 6 and loved it. Although they are a great engine, as were virtually all engines made by Ma Mopar in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, I don't know that they necessarily deserve the mythical status that some people give to them. What the heck, I've seen plenty of them in the bone yard along with the rest. I would have to say that having owned a variety of Slant 6, small block, and big block Mopars over the years, it is awfully tough to beat the 318 for dependability, durability, economy, and just plain comfortable driving. Those are the reasons why my 318 Charger is my preferred daily and long distance driver, rather than my 340 Barracuda or 383 Newport. But hey, I wouldn't turn up my nose at another Slant 6, 3-speed manual Dodge. My Ramcharger also has a 318, but I could go for a Slant 6 in that as well and be satisfied.
When I was 15 we found a '65 Dart GT, slant 6, also with a thrown rod (which is why it was sitting a gas station). They sold it to us for $200 + $75 for another engine from a wrecked '68 Valiant they had sitting out back. We had a lot of fun learning how to swap the engines and got it running again. The '68 had low oil pressure at idle. Incidentally we had a '68 Valiant at this time, since new, and never had any oiling issues with the engine) I never drove the '65 Dart much and sold it a few months later (back in 1979). It was still running 2 years later when I spotted it at a local shopping mall. It would be cool if I still had it today.