Posts Tagged ‘Dart’

Where I Have Been And Why I Am Back

December 26, 2013

1970-Ford-Mustang convertAs an “Internet Journalist” I have the opinion that people want to hear what I have to say. Now that does not mean you have to agree with me.  And it certainly does not mean you need to hang on every word I say or follow along with any of my business practices.  What it does mean is that I feel there is something I have to share and to enrich you or the automotive community as a whole.

This being said, the internet is full of companies claiming to give a journalist the platform to share his or her opinions with the promise of actually getting paid for it.  The problem is those companies all seem to be blowing smoke when they make their claims. They want you to be a member for months and months before you qualify for payment then they give mere pennies while they rake in dollars.  Typical B.S. for today’s society yet sooner or later it all comes to light and those Multi-Million or Multi-Billion Dollar companies end up being worth the mere pennies they pay out and the only person who makes money is the guy who started the business and then sold out to “Investors” who now own “Toilet Paper”.  The actual “authors” move on to the next new deal and keep plugging away.  To them it is the words that drive them not the profit.  In the collector vehicle business the money is in the cars and the concepts behind buying and selling and even restoring them, not in writing about how it was done.

Enough of my rants and ramblings and onto the subject of discussion.  The New Year is almost upon us and January means the “Auction Season” is here.  As I have stated in the past… to most it means Arizona but to me it means Florida.  The hype and “show biz types” tend to go local and stay in Arizona since it is in their area of the country.  That is fine with me because there are more cars and more bargains in Florida at the Mecum Auction.  This has grown to become the “Largest Auction” of the year with around 3000 cars crossing the auction floor.  And that number is still climbing every year.  The 1970 Mustang Convertible shown is up for sale this year.  Even with its 302 V8, it makes a nice summer driver.

1986-Pontiac-Trans-Am 305 ttop Also crossing the block will be this 1986 Pontiac Trans Am with its 305 “tuned port” V8.  These vehicles and ones from its era are gaining traction as “Collector Cars” due to the fact that in most states they are now “emission-exempt”.  That means you are now able to retune or replace the engine without needing to install catalytic converters or smog devices.  Despite the 200 to 300 horsepower available from “factory versions” of these, you can now legally get 400 plus from the GM small block V8’s without spending more than the value of the car.  The added benefit of using this car over its 1960’s or 1970’s counterpart is that you gain better handling for the street or the track in stock form.  You also get vastly improved brakes with discs VS. drums (for earlier versions).  Third reason and most importantly for “new” collectors is that this car can be bought for around $10,000 in most parts of the country versus $20-30,000 for a “Bandit Trans Am” or even $50-60,000 for a first generation T/A.

1971-Dodge-Demon-GSS 340 tripower Then for the “hard-core gearheads” we get to a vehicle that probably represents a “Last Hurrah” for the Muscle Car Era.  This is a 1971 Dodge Dart Demon GSS.  The GSS designation is due to it being sold and equipped through “Grand Spaulding Dodge” which was better known as “Mr. Norms” dealership.  Mr. Norm was a “Muscle Car Icon” during the time of the Muscle Car Era and vehicles left his dealership with certified “dynamometer” papers to show what they were putting out in the power department.  He was the driving force behind several of Mopars “enhanced” models.  Because of the fact his dealership would drop a bigger V8 into your new car even if the factory didn’t offer it, he was also a driving force behind the “Horsepower Wars” of the 1960-70’s.  This particular car has the “Six-Pack” setup on its 340 cid engine.  And because it is a Mopar with “history” it will probably sell for serious cash and deservedly so.

70 Torino 351 4v convertible Final car for this post is this 1970 Ford Torino Convertible.  It retains its 351 Cleveland engine and 4 barrel carburation just as it left the factory with.  The Torino does not get the following of the Mustang but it was Fords true “Muscle Car” representative.  It was a midsize vehicle and every power option was available for it that Ford offered up to and including the 428 and 429 Cobra Jet engines.  Add a top that comes down and for around half of what a Oldsmobile 442 hardtop or Buick GS 455 hardtop will cost you.

So while these are only 4 of the 3000+ cars waiting to run through Mecums January Auction, they represent a wide range of what is out there.  Happy bidding.

Davey Boy

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1967- Dodge and Plymouth

October 23, 2012

  The introduction of the Dodge Charger in 1966 was a success for Dodge, so in 1967 it received minor improvements.  The most obvious was the elimination of its full length interior console that gave it seating for only 4 people.  Getting in and out of the rear seat was the “big” complaint that Dodge chose to deal with.  With the optional front seat flip down armrest the Charger could actually seat 6 now.  The exterior now received the Coronets new side indents as well and front fender indicators for the turn signals mounted on the leading edge of the fenders.  The 426 Hemi was added to the option list during the “66” run and continued to be an option.  It added $712 to the Chargers base price of $3128.  Due to the steep price only 117 were ordered with the Hemi.

The 361 was eliminated and in its place the 383 was offered and new to the engine choices as well was the new 440.  Having sold 37,300 Chargers in 1966, the 1967 model was a disappointment as far as sales and only 15,788 were produced.  Clearly the similarity with the AMC Marlin as well as the Chargers overall “puffed up styling” was not winning over the “Performance Crowd”.  Restyling was in order for 1968.

  The Coronet continued with minor changes including the aforementioned side indents.  The executives at Chrysler decided that other than the Charger they would limit the availability of the “Street Hemi 426”.  The official stance was the Hemi would only be available in the “Letter-Series” vehicles.  That meant the R/T series package for the Coronet.  Despite this there were several Coronet Deluxe built with the factory installed Hemi engine as well as at least 1 Coronet 440, 1 Coronet 500 and 55 Super Stock Drag vehicles known as WO23 models.  The 440 and 500 designation were merely trim level packages and had nothing to do with engine choices.  Some people believe since the 440 was an available engine choice that 440 models came with that engine but such was not the case.  The top engine for Coronet was to be the 383 unless the R/T package was ordered, but this was ignored in most cases and many Coronets received the larger engine.  An interesting fact on Dodge and Plymouth vehicles was their use of “fender tags” to indicate options used on their vehicles.  While Ford and GM only listed basic info on theirs Mopar would routinely use 2 or 3 added tags for “loaded” vehicles that help make them the easiest to authenticate even today.

The styling department did a total makeover for the Dodge Dart for 1967.  Now its 4th makeover since the model first came into being, the Dart had gone from Full-size to compact and now into the Pony Car segment.  Standard engine was the 170 slant 6 or optional 225 slant 6 engine.

V8 choices were the 273 small block or if you ordered the GT or GTS you could get the 340 or even the 383 in the model.  The Dart saw an increase in production from 112,900 in 1966 to 154,500 for 1967.

  At Plymouth they had the same engine restrictions on their Belvedere model as Dodge did on the Coronet.  Their Valiant was restyled since it was the “corporate clone” to the Dart.

Sales for the Belvedere/Satellite fell from 189,752 in 1966 to 148,080 in 1967.  Similar to the Coronets fall from 250,900 in 1966 to 184,200 in 1967.  Plymouth still managed to outsell Dodge as far as cars by over 210,000 vehicles.  636,893 compared to 410,088.

  The Plymouth Barracuda got restyled and sales went from 38,029 in 1966 to 62,534 in 1967.  The Barracuda was standard with a slant 6 cylinder engine but options included the 273 as well as the 340 and even the 383 with the right option package.  The “Fish” was clearly trying to take aim at the Mustang but by 1967 there was no way any “Pony Car” was taking the top seller title from the Mustang.  After all Mustang alone counted for 472,121 units built and sold for Ford in 1967.

Davey Boy