The sixties were a great time in the world of cars. Engineers were working tirelessly on advances that saw leaps in horsepower ratings, bringing back direct experiences from the track to the shop to make core improvements in the underlying engineering. Often times cars were over-powered and under-advertised, almost as if there was a secret brewing within the community. This, to some degree, led to the creation of almost mythical creatures in the world of muscle cars, and even today many of the rarer models are talked about in hushed whispers almost as if to keep the underlying demon at bay. What this really translates to is an avid community of enthusiasts who love the genre. Today we’re heading back to the “Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2013” where we continue our running photoblog series “The Toads At The Sportsplex“, taking a brief look at one of the awesome cars on display there; a 1968 Dodge Dart GTS.
The last three years of the sixties, ’67, ’68 and ’69, are today considered almost legendary. Many different car models came out during that period that are still celebrated as some of the best classic muscle cars of the era. Ranging in size from pony cars all the way up to full-frame models, you could get into the hobby with almost any budget and interest. During that time Dodge created their own version of the smaller sized car, the iconic Dodge Dart.
The Dart was available in many trim levels, with a myriad of options available for drivetrains. This included the well-known inline 6’s that were deemed to be bullet-proof by the community, all the way up to HEMI editions of V8’s that were almost exclusively big blocks. Some of the rarer models, like the 1968 Dodge Dart GTS we see here today, were produced in very limited production runs and in our current times we just don’t see many of them anymore.
This makes finds like this all the more exciting. By 1968, the Dodge Dart GTS was available with two engine options; one being the venerable 340 CI small block, and the other was the 383 CI big block. According to some articles and reviews out there, the 340 small block version was much more streetable, providing a reliable and predictable platform from which to perform feats of power and might on the streets of our cities at night.
Body style changes were often times subtle, and those who are very familiar with some of these nuances can use these to pick out the exact year of production. For this car, I referred to the front turn signals to properly identify the year as that was really the only obvious change between the 1968 and 1969 model years.
A quick peek under the hood of this beast reveals a car that has seen much love over the years. A great deal of expense, time and expertise have been applied to this car to bring it up to the standard we see here today. I am not entirely sure if we are looking at a small or a big block, but a couple of subtle cues lead me to believe it’s a small block. An expert in Dodges can probably verify or dispel this; please let me know if I have misidentified the powerplant. The big blocks were well-known to produce almost stratospheric numbers in terms of power, but the small blocks revved a lot faster and weighed less. In the case of a car the size of the Dodge Dart GTS, this meant the difference between burning up a set of tires in a sitting or booking on down the track. Neither way is wrong, they each have their own character and personality that suits the owner.
As we find ourselves in spring up here in Canada, I begin to plan and think of visiting our local car shows once again this summer. Compositions are challenging with all the activities that go on at these events, and this is all part of the fun of a visit with the idea of coming home with memory cards just full of photographic magic.
Thank you so much for popping by to see us here at The Hollow today! As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have. And on that note, I must bid you all farewell until next time!