1974 Dodge Dart Custom from North America - Comments

25th Mar 2004, 15:14

Re the reference to emissions controls reducing horsepower, yes they probably did have some effect, mostly from having to reduce compression ratios to be able to use the lower-lead (and eventually, no-lead) gasoline. But the biggest reason that hp ratings dropped significantly in 1972 was that beginning that year, the manufacturers had to advertise net horsepower, not gross horsepower like they had been doing before.

I found the review to be much more accurate and realistic account of a Dart with a 318 than the comment above. You do not double horsepower ratings by adding a 4-bbl and a dual exhaust. And you are not going to get six second 0-60 times in a 1974 318 Dart--you might as well be claiming that you flew it to the moon-it would be about as believable! The fact that you can spin the tires means only that you don't have much weight over the drive wheels-you can spin the tires on a 4-cyl pickup truck if you want to.

I guess, though, to someone who is 16, a 1974 model must seem like a rare old collector's car--even if it is a Dart!

21st Jul 2004, 01:09

Hello. I wrote the comment about my bro with the dart above. Well I'm sure most darts are crappy old cars, but this one is actually pretty nice. it's been garaged all it's life and was owned by an old lady. that's why it is so nice. it is a great car and it's reliable. we have had to replace a lot of things in it, but it runs good now. it is my car now. I bought it off my bro. it does run 260 horses with what it has because it does not have power steering or ac. I turned it into more of a muscle car. it has a low powerful gear ratio which is why it's 0-60 time is quick. it is probably more like 7 seconds, but still pretty fast. I think it has the torque-flight tranny? I'm not sure though. I put rims and tires on it so it looks cool. it looks more like a muscle car. heck it is one now. well my experience with it has been great and I'm glad I have it. it's quick enough to beat those imports because of it's low power range.

21st Aug 2004, 18:05

Darts are VERY popular Mopars and a Dart with a 318 that has performance upgrades can easily have a low 0-60 time. And yes, they are all 30+ year old cars, I'd like anyone to find a 30+ year old car that DOESN'T have problems. In its day the Dart 340 could easily outrun a big block mopar, a Charger for example. Basically it comes down to this, a Dart is a car that is basically going to need full restoration, just like any classic Mopar. And once it's restored and equipped with an upgraded small block 318-340-360 or even a big block 383-440 it is an awesome car for street or strip.

P.S. Good luck with your '74.

20th Jan 2005, 20:34

I have a '74 Dart Custom with the 225 slant 6 and 244,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt at 189K, but it is the original engine. It does have the original TF 904 transmission in it though and stills works perfectly. I don't why people have to give these cars such a bad rep. After 31 years and almost a quarter of a million miles the only thing that don't work is the speedometer (the odometer stills works though-the needle just bounces around a bit). The only rust through is in the bottom of the trunk, but the spare tire fixes that. The body is completely strait and the only sign of rust is the paint bubbling on the rear quarter panels. My point is that not all old Mopars are in need of full restoration. I paid $500 for the car and the money I put into except for gas is $50 for new front shocks and things like oil changes and filters---and I have put almost 30,000 miles on the car! That just goes to show that if you take care of your Mopar it will last forever.

28th May 2005, 01:00

Hey my name is Billy and I am 17 years old and I live in Kansas City Missouri I too have a 1974 Dodge Dart 4dr.Slant Six. I think that they are great old cars. Mine is Sublime green with Crager S/S rims. the only thing wrong with mine is the heater core. I have an all original motor with 147k miles. It just runs great. I just recently won the Chrysler Classic car show with first place in the A Body modified class 70/76. I'm telling you fix em up and they'll win the shows because the are so rare because everyone wants the 2 doors. Good luck on yours.

25th Sep 2005, 15:55

Why people like Darts

I won an eBay auction for a 74 Dart custom 4-door, an "old-lady" Sunday car from Florida with 23,000 miles on it. $1,700 I paid. I had it trucked to my boyhood home in Pittsburgh, flew one way to Pittsburgh from my current home in Alaska, started her up -- the slant six purrs like a kitten even at age 31! -- and drove it home to Alaska, about 4,025 miles. I just arrived yesterday (9-23-05).

She never gave me a problem!

Of course, I first had a mechanic look her over to make sure the odometer reading was authentic, that the car was all original and strong enough to take a beating on the Alaska Highway. It was. I then got new tires and shocks on her and replaced hoses and anything else that looked to be weak.

And then I pointed her north and gave her some gas. (Lots of gas, by the way, especially in Canada where it was selling in some places for about $5 a gallon!)

The only setback was the windshield and grille took a beating from rocks on the Alaska Highway. And now there's 27,000 miles on her.

The body, by the way, is solid for a 31-year-old Dart, which seemed to roll off the assembly line with rust in the trunk and back quarters.

Indeed, I got dozens of comments from people -- Nice Car! -- and lots of beeps from passing truckers.

And I was passed by a lot of truckers. That's because darts with 225s were made to be passed. And that's OK with me. My passing days are over.

Anyway, I got the feeling that people liked the Dart because it was, well, a Dart.

It's funny. The car that was least likely to turn heads in 1974 was a Dodge Dart. Now, however, the Dart seems to get more attention than your typical classic car with all the bells and whistles.

Perhaps we've reached a time when these simple, practical, sensible cars are what people miss.

Look for the resale value of these "old-lady" Darts to increase as more and more people in this complicated world yearn for a simpler time.

Mine is not for sale.

Stay warm.

-Tony (b7bingo@mtaonline.net)

23rd Jun 2006, 09:14

Back in high school, My brother and I built, and raced, late 60's - early 70's Mopars for our fun. since that time I have progressively gotten into more and more complicated projects, and have of late been into the import scene. A couple weeks ago my brother called me up and says "Hey I found a car... Dart, looks to be a 74 model, sitting in the weeds at this guys house" so yeah, I jump in the car and run out there, and sure enough, check the VIN, it's a 74 2 door, 318 but its nothing, but a shell and motor.

After a couple minutes of discussing what it COULD be, I approach the owner and ask how much he wants for it, he says "take it home boys, and make her shine". so I did, and I am.

So right now, I have a 74 2 door in my garage, engine on the stand getting worked over, a lot of rust to get rid of, paint, and some interior work to do, but you know... it's a refreshing break to open the hood and see the engine instead of a layer of wires and hoses, and know I don't have to worry about a silly computer. Besides, having experience with these bad boys in the past I know what they can become. My driver car in high school was a 67 with a 383.

Before you comment that dart are old junkers or a waste of time, maybe you should take a moment and try one out, gimme a couple months, and I guarantee this lil 318 powered mini monster will eat everything in the area alive. 0-60 in 6 seconds with a 318? yeah, I've done it. I believe the kid.

Good luck on the project lil man. rock on!