So just how good was the A-Body back in its day?

Mopar General Discussions

  1. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    Bought a brand new 1971 340 Duster. Great car. Bench seat with the
    fold down arm rest and auto on the column. My brother had a new 1970
    340 Duster with a 3-speed in the floor. His car caused be to buy mine.

    The first pic was mine and the other pics were his.

    I only have the dash pic of mine.

    These cars ran high 13's and low 14's
     

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  2. MRGTX

    MRGTX Well-Known Member

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    ^ awesome stuff.

    By the way... those pants are "far out!" :cool: :D
     
  3. breakstuff

    breakstuff Well-Known Member

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    Nice pants!
     
  4. ir3333

    ir3333 Well-Known Member

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    i lived through the muscle car era, and in '68 and '69 the stock classes at the strip almost always came down to 2 Darts.
    that all changed when the 454 and 440 six packs came out but the 340's were still usually quicker on the street.
    i had 'cudas and challengers but never ever beat a Dart or Duster.
    it was hard to find a town in Ontario where a '340 wasn't about the the quickest car around.
     
  5. 1968FormulaS340

    1968FormulaS340 Well-Known Member

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    Those are some sweet pants!

    EDIT (Oh man..... Someone beat me to it.)
     
  6. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    That was my brother wearing those. I probably had a pair of them
    too.

    You guys that are now 65 years old had some too I bet.:D
     
  7. Bill Dedman

    Bill Dedman bill dedman Legendary Member

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    I'm 74; I think I was too old for them at the time... :(
     
  8. inertia

    inertia Well-Known Member

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    I got my Dart 340 new,, It was a great steet machine,, added all the goodies, running 2/10 ths off the NHRA record, and won lottsa hardware,,

    I can always remember pulling 2, 3, or 4 car lengths outta the hole, on BB Chevelles, and a nasty black GTO in particular,, only to watch them get closer and closer, and sometimes, pass me in the last 30 ft..

    Can't beat cubic inch in the top end - - (naturally aspirated)
     
  9. rlevs

    rlevs Well-Known Member

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    there is something about the darts that i just love. i have had a lot of road runners and even more newyorkers but am looking for another
     
  10. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    You're probably right Bill......did you miss out on the bell bottoms.

    Or how about pegged pants.
     
  11. Bill Dedman

    Bill Dedman bill dedman Legendary Member

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    I felt silly at my age, walking around in bell bottoms, but pegged pants came a little earlier and I seem to remember having some of those.

    Never paid much attention to "male fashion" at the time. Had my head buried too deep in HOT ROD, CAR CRAFT, and CAR and DRIVER, trying to learn something abouit cars. Still tryin', but I think it's too late...:eek:ops:

    Maybe in the next life...:banghead:
     
  12. goldduster360

    goldduster360 Well-Known Member

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    I have owned and driven allot of cars, my favorite of all of them has been the first car I ever drove, my 73 gold duster.

    When these were new competition was fierce amongst the big three. Novas and Camaros were far quieter cars to ride in with less NVH to boot, albeit at a weight penalty for the big heavy stub frames and sound deadening. The GM stuff definitely cost more than the a-body stuff too but you get what you pay for, and in some cases you payed for what you didn't want too. People bought A-Bodies because they were cheap, good, sturdy cars that held allot of payload for their size. Power to weight was superior too.

    If you didn't mine the tinny sounding bodies and the symphony of sound inside these cars, they were a better deal than the more expensive Nova or to a lesser degree the Falcon/maverick stuff.

    My Duster is the only car owned that has been burning up wiring and connectors since it was 5 yrs old. In spite of some of it's short comings in refinement and it was not in the running for most refined amongst it's competition when new either, this car has always resonated with me(slight pun intended). I particularly loathe the placement of the fusebox that acts as a water basin when the wiper pivots leak. I love the gracefully awkward lines and the tinny sound it makes when you close the trunk lid or slam the hood down.

    The car still feels amazingly agile compared to newer cars because it is still a lightweight for it's size by today's standards. I think the smog era small blocks had better heads than my chevy stuff did and they make more power because of it. My lighter Duster will run circles around my 350 powered Camaro.

    Not counting less reliable electrical than the chevy stuff and the noisy interior at road speed I still think these cars were put together very well and were a great value back in the day. The A-Body was Chryslers' best seller for several years and I think they sold more Duster's than Novas some years. I don't think Ford sold half as many Mavericks either. As a collectible these cars may be more sought after now than when they were new.
     
  13. adriver

    adriver Blazing Apostle

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    I like to point out that back in the day Chrysler never made a "bad" motor.
    But people with good memories can name lemon motors that GM made. Maybe some Ford ones too.
    "Extra care in engineering" is what they said
    The cars you asked about were work horses, grocery getters, working man cars. But dress them up or put a hot small block in them and watch them go. Same torsion bar suspension as the T/A , AAR and Imperial. (Why change it now?)
    Very well balanced cars. Considered small cars back in the day. Just the right size now.
    Three words: "Flying Green Brick".
     
  14. 67cudafb

    67cudafb Well-Known Member

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    I had 69 Dart GTS back in high school, 340 column shifted 727 with white bucket seats, red with white painted top. I kick myself for selling it. It was mainly stock with ld 340 intake and headers 323 sure grip. I use to take it to miami hollwood speedway and run 14.0 at 98 mph so not a rocket ship but sweet ride. High school buddies all had bb ss chevys that would run 12.0 at the strip. There was a kid from miami bch. that would come around with a stout 340 demon and street race them on us 1 and spank them good and really piss them off every week. Lmao every time that they kept throwing parts at the chevy bb and the 340 would spank them again, good times. I wish I could find my dart but don't have vin or even any pics I sold it to a old guy who lived in surfside fl. back in 73. I have had a few B bodys over the years but always come back to A bodys.
     
  15. '73red-duster

    '73red-duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Bought my first new car in '72. I had been looking at Novas and Mavericks. Liked both of them pretty well, and probably would have been satisfied with either. One night, my buddies and I were hanging out in the local drive in, and the son of the local Plymouth dealer came rolling in driving a Rallye Red Duster. He let me take it for a drive, and I bought it the next day. Looks, handling, and performance, absolutely no comparison!!!
     
  16. '73red-duster

    '73red-duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Tony, I think I had a pair of pants just like that. Tobias Trousers, if I remember right
     
  17. K.O. SWINGER

    K.O. SWINGER Well-Known Member

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    great story's I to was on the streets in the 70s riding around in my best friends1970 cherry red roadrunner 383 4 speed we would race anyone any time and lost very seldom in 1978 I bought my 340 swinger 4speed the same one I have now, one of my best days so instantly I drove it to his house to show him .The car had already built its own rep as a real runner but my friend was not giving any respect so I called him out. I beat him 3 times in a row and he could flat drive!! apples to apples the 340 A bodies would beat any small block and it share of big blocks...I seen it...I lived it.
     
  18. kevindahle

    kevindahle Well-Known Member

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    My first car was a 69 charger and there was a few nice a-body cars around but most were non performance based cars and somewhat overlooked, speaking for my self anyway, till I bought a 73 Duster to drive since my Charger was a overcamed 383, I fell in love with the a-body after that everytime I drove my Charger it would feel like I was driving a huge Boat!! The Duster was way nicer to drive, since then I have had a few more and the A-bodys are the most fun to drive in my opinion,
     
  19. sireland67

    sireland67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    My second car was a 71 challenger.
    My forth car was 73 duster, I owned both of them at the same time.
    The duster was all around better driver, much more agile just a better all around car.
    The duster did most of the daily driving needs, the challenger ended up just being a second car, I actually sold the challenger in the 90's when the price of mucle cars went thru the roof, but kept the duster.
     
  20. shanson30

    shanson30 Well-Known Member

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    73Abodee, thanks for posting that pic of THT racing
    s 68 dart. They had two for a while. I was the mechanic / truck driver for three years. Wish i had saved some hemi parts
     
  21. K.O. SWINGER

    K.O. SWINGER Well-Known Member

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    just a great thread and would like to see some more story's
     
  22. demoman3955

    demoman3955 Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 valiants, one a 68 4 door, and a 69 2 door, and although theres something about the 2 door i cant shake, the 4 door sure shocks people that think it wont be able to get out of its own way. to me the valiants would make great sleepers, and in my opinion, i think you can get more out of an A body with minor changes then the bigger mopars. anything you can do to a bigger mopar, you can do to an A body...well at least with a shoe spoon...lol
     
  23. norton

    norton Doing the best that I can

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    My first new car was a 1969 Coronet R/T Convertible. When I went to the dealership, the sales guy tried to get me into a Dart. He told me it was more in my price range. I remember telling him if I bought that Dart, all my friends would laugh at me. So yes the a body's were over looked. They were thought of as Granny cars and grocery getters.
     
  24. MoparPhil

    MoparPhil Well-Known Member

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    I own some B bodies but have always had a thing for A bodies. I'm on my third big window Barracuda and have owned two Darts. My son and I were at a cruise night in my '69 Dart 340 Swinger where they had a burn out box. We didn't want to thrash our car but decided to do one big smokey for kicks. As we were approaching the box my son heard someone say, "Oh, it's only a Dart." Then someone else said, "Yeah, but listen to it rumply-rump!" We got a standing ovation.

    Here are some great episodes of American Musclecar:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=556cyHpG_Hs"]American Muscle Car - S03E13 - Dodge Dart GTS - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GI0jaUbDXQ"]American Muscle Car - S03E11 - The Hurst Cars - YouTube[/ame]
    Pay attention at 10:10 into the show.

    There is also a great episode about Dusters and Demons called "Economy Movers" that isn't on YouTube but can be found on iTunes that talks about them being giant killers.
     
  25. red67gts

    red67gts FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I went with my Dad to Carl Price Lincoln, Mercury, Dodge in Jasper, Al in May 1967 looking for a car. Mr Gene Reeves took us to a storage lot up town and when I saw the Red 67 GTS 383 4 bbl with 727 console mounted with maroon interior and 8 3/4 3:23 suregrip I was in love! When I test drove it I was very easy on the peddle because the only thing my Dad had bought until then was a 6 cyl and I knew if he saw the power it had I would not have got it. We struck a deal for $2800 out the door with my payments being $101 a month and my Dad had to leave and come back to milk that afternoon because we owned a dairy farm. I stayed with the car until they got it cleaned up and hubcaps on. When I started out of town there was a slow car running about 45 mph in front of me and when we got to a straightaway I pulled out to pass. The road was a little damp and when I kicked it and that 4 bbl moaned it got sideways and I knew right then I had something. People today still talked about how I walked on everything back in the day when everything was bone stock. In 68 they had I59/20 built thru Tuscaloosa but was not open for traffic so we had a perfect drag strip that you come run as far as you wanted to. Word was put out that anyone wanting to run to meet on the interstate at 2 pm on Sunday. Winner came back to the line, I ran 14 times in a row. The last run for me, I was running a 67 RT 426 4 speed plain jane a buddy had ordered for racing. Mine was so hot it vapor locked but I am sure he would have beat me anyway. I know this is long but I could about write a book on the fun we had. If I had only had this Matt Hensley built 499" stroker that is in in now! Joe
     
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