The Dodge Dart is finest referred to as a humble economic system automotive, however the 1968 Dart GTS featured on this episode of “Jay Leno’s Storage” exhibits the compact Dodge had a sporty facet too.
As an alternative of the inline-6 engine many Darts left the manufacturing facility with, this automotive has a 383-cubic-inch V-8 with a 4-barrel carburetor. The identical engine was used within the extra widespread Plymouth Highway Runner, however the Dart is smaller and lighter. Energy is distributed to the rear wheels by means of a 4-speed handbook transmission.
The Dart was ordered new by a Wisconsin couple, and has now outlasted their marriage. It has been totally restored to inventory situation, excluding period-correct aftermarket Cragar wheels and an aftermarket tachometer. Leno is barely the second proprietor, and he bought the unique construct sheet, a lifetime of upkeep information, and extra paperwork to attest to its authenticity.
This was thought-about a small automotive in 1968, and with about 325 hp, it was additionally fairly highly effective for its time. The Dart is not small or quick by trendy requirements, however its torquey V-8 means it is nonetheless decently enjoyable to drive, based on Leno. Drum brakes and unassisted steering imply it is no canyon carver, nonetheless.
Dodge launched the Dart for the 1960 mannequin yr, downsizing it to a compact automotive 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 mannequin yr after a decades-long hiatus, however this time as a contemporary compact automotive with front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder energy. It wasn’t as long-lived, nonetheless. Fiat Chrysler Cars (now Stellantis) killed it off just a few years later to deal with better-selling, more-profitable SUVs and pickup vans.