Dodge Accessories

Dodge Dart Accessories

Dodge Dart Introduction

The Dodge Dart is an automobile built by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation from in North America, with production extended to later years in various other markets. The Dart was introduced as a lower-priced, shorter wheelbase, full-size Dodge. The project planners proposed the name Dart, only to have executives demand an expensive research program which produced the name Zipp. This was promptly rejected in favor of Dart. The name found favor as the market had been recently introduced to a new military aircraft called the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, commonly known as the "Delta Dart", in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race during the early 1960s.

The Dart was refreshed for 1970 with front and rear changes designed to bring the car closer to the design themes found in Dodge's full-size vehicles through grille and contour changes. In the rear, the Dart's new rectangular custom tail lights were set into a wedge-shaped rear bumper design continuing the angled trailing edge of the new deck lid and quarter panels. The revised rear styling cut trunk space almost in half compared to the 1969 model. 14-inch wheels became standard equipment, and the 170 cu in (2.8L) Slant-6 was replaced by a larger 198 cu in (3.2 L) version for improved base-model performance and greater manufacturing economy (since the 198 shared a block with the 225, while the 170 had used its own block).

Dodge Dart ScoopChanges to the fuel system improved drivability, economy and emission control. Part-throttle downshift was added to the 8-cylinder automatic transmissions. In compliance with FMVSS 108, sidemarker lights and reflectors were installed at all four corners. All 1970 Darts were built in the Windsor, Ontario (Canada) assembly plant, regardless of engine / model / designated country. In 1974, the US federal 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumper impact standards were expanded to cover rear bumpers as well as front ones, and as a result the Swinger and Dart sedan's rear bumpers grew much more massive. Taillights larger than the previous year's items were set above the rear bumper, rather than within it.

Shoulder and lap belts were finally combined in all Chrysler products into a retractable, inertia-sensitive, single-buckle design Chrysler called "Unibelt", replacing the difficult-to-use separate lap and shoulder belts that had been installed through 1973. For 1974, the "Convertriple" option on the Dart Sport included a fold-down rear seat/security panel offering 1.96 m of lengthwise space, and a manually operated chrome trim sunroof. It was advertised as "Three Cars In One": an economy compact, a convertible alternative with a sunroof, and a roomy station wagon alternative thanks to the fold down rear seat. The fastback roofline and fold down rear seat were similar in concept to the 1964-69 Plymouth Barracuda.

Dodge Dart WheelsThe Convertriple was the basis for the "Hang Ten", a car directed toward surfers in an attempt by Dodge stylists to better determine consumer preferences in a declining performance market. The Eggshell White car took its name from the surfing expression for balancing at the end of a surfboard with ten toes over the nose of the board while riding the wave. The fold-down rear seat permitted the loading of a surfboard through the trunk. With no need to transport the surfboard on top, this permitted the factory-installed sunroof. These two features were already available on the Dart Sport, but the Hang Ten went further with the surfing theme. Swimsuit material in various colored stripes was set into the seats and door panels.

Bright orange shag carpet covered the back of the fold-down rear seat. The orange was picked up on the dash and on the center console. The swimsuit material pattern was repeated as red and blue exterior stripes started at the quarter panels with a wave-riding surfer graphic. A surfboard design ran down the center of the hood. Between the taillights, the stripe pattern fattened into surfboard-shaped letters that spelled out "Hang Ten". Production of A-body Darts continued in Brazil and Colombia. Dart-based A-body cars with various names including Coronado, GTX, and Polara were produced in Argentina. The Dart name (rather than Aspen) was applied to Dodge-branded F-body cars in Mexico, corresponding to the Mexican Chrysler-branded F-body cars badged as Valiant Volare.