The Dodge Dart is finest referred to as a humble economic system automobile, however the 1968 Dart GTS featured on this episode of « Jay Leno’s Storage » exhibits the compact Dodge had a sporty aspect too.
As a substitute of the inline-6 engine many Darts left the manufacturing unit with, this automobile has a 383-cubic-inch V-8 with a 4-barrel carburetor. The identical engine was used within the extra standard Plymouth Road Runner, however the Dart is smaller and lighter. Energy is shipped to the rear wheels by a 4-speed guide transmission.
The Dart was ordered new by a Wisconsin couple, and has now outlasted their marriage. It has been totally restored to inventory situation, except for period-correct aftermarket Cragar wheels and an aftermarket tachometer. Leno is just the second proprietor, and he obtained the unique construct sheet, a lifetime of upkeep data, and extra paperwork to attest to its authenticity.
This was thought of a small automobile in 1968, and with about 325 hp, it was additionally fairly highly effective for its time. The Dart is not small or quick by fashionable requirements, however its torquey V-8 means it is nonetheless decently enjoyable to drive, in keeping with Leno. Drum brakes and unassisted steering imply it is no canyon carver, nonetheless.
Dodge launched the Dart for the 1960 mannequin 12 months, downsizing it to a compact automobile for 1963 to compete with the Chevrolet Nova and Ford Falcon. The Dart remained in that position till manufacturing resulted in 1976. Twinned with the Plymouth Valiant, the platform additionally served as the premise for the unique Dodge Demon (later Dart Sport) and Plymouth Duster coupes.
The Dodge Dart returned for the 2013 model year after a decades-long hiatus, however this time as a contemporary compact automobile with front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder energy. It wasn’t as long-lived, nonetheless. Fiat Chrysler Cars (now Stellantis) killed it off a number of years later to deal with better-selling, more-profitable SUVs and pickup vehicles.