Black
White
440 V8
3 Speed Automatic

One of my favorite automotive quotes of all time comes from Colin Chapman, the guy who founded Lotus. Instead of chasing Ferrari and Porsche with bigger and bigger engines with more and more horsepower, he went the opposite direction, making his cars smaller and lighter. In his own words, he said, “To add speed, add lightness.” With fewer pounds per horsepower, you needed fewer horsepower to perform equally well, and as a result, his teams were Formula 1 World Champions seven times. Clearly there’s something to that philosophy.

Enter this killer 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger. Starting with a lightweight compact, the “add lightness” part was already handled. Then you stuff a giant 440 cubic inch V8 making 500+ horsepower under the hood, and give it all the equipment it will need to launch straight and safe down the drag strip. The result is an incredibly fast car that’s also incredibly reliable, without a lot of over-stressed components that will leave you worrying about breakage every time you crack the throttle. With an extensive list of top-shelf parts and high quality craftsmanship, this is a no-compromises car that is as beautiful as it is fast.

Built in 2006, the body was fully stripped to bare steel and had any rough spots professionally repaired with new sheet metal. An OEM floor and full quarters were installed to facilitate the mini tubs that were used out back. A steel hood with a Hemi scoop was added to augment the Dart’s appearance, and it was finished in satin black. Once everything was bolted back together, it was straightened and sanded until everything lined up just right. We have restoration photos of the car up on a rotisserie being block sanded using a guide coat, so you know that someone really took their time with this one. Two-stage urethane was used, then color sanded and buffed until all the panels were as smooth as an oil slick. A correct white “Swinger” stripe was applied on the rear panels, and it really pops against the black.

At the same time, the chrome and stainless were either restored or replaced, and everything is in excellent condition throughout. There’s nothing modified or painted, giving the car an OEM look, and the original grille is in superb condition. All new weatherstripping was used throughout, so the car seals up nicely. These cars weren’t big on badging, but ‘440 Magnum’ emblems were added to the new hood scoop, and the original DODGE badge remains on the trunk lid.

The big news with this car, however, is the big block V8 under that steel hood. It’s a 1971 vintage 440 block that’s been bored .030 over, and now sports a Mopar Performance camshaft, 906 heads with hardened seats, and a Mopar Performance ignition system. An Edelbrock Torker II intake and 850 CFM Mighty Demon carburetor handle intake duties, while a set of TTI ceramic coated long-tube headers manage the exhaust. A set of polished aluminum Mopar Performance valve covers along with a chrome K&N air cleaner dress up the all-black engine bay, along with a Marsh serpentine accessory system. Look a little closer and you’ll discover some added details that really set this Dart apart from the rest, things like the smoothed and shaved firewall, hidden wiring, and beautifully applied gloss black paint. A big aluminum radiator easily keeps the big block cool, whether you’re cruising or hammering down the track. Note that there is no power steering, no A/C, no extraneous hardware that adds complexity and weight.

The chassis is fully prepped for track duty as well. Forming a stout link in the power train, the race-prepped 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic features a 2500 RPM stall torque converter, and it feeds a narrowed 8.75-inch rear with 3.23 gears on a limited slip. Axles are by Mosier, and when you take a look under there, you’ll see why those mini tubs were necessary. Subframe connectors shore up the unit body’s structure, while a modified K-member up front features an updated suspension with a massive sway bar and KYB shocks. Out back, you’ll discover that the rear end has been reinforced and braced, and hangs on leaf springs with lowering blocks to give this car exactly the right stance. Braking is assisted by a set of vented and cross-drilled rotors to scrub off extra heat. The exhaust system is fully welded, and features Flowmaster mufflers and chrome tips peeking out from under the rear bumper. The wheels are Weld ProStar XPs with billet centers wearing 205/60/15 BFGoodrich T/As on the 15x6s up front, and 295/50/15s on the 15x10s out back.

The no-frills (which adds lightness, of course) approach continues inside, where the pearl white upholstery provides the perfect contrast to the inky black exterior. All the soft parts are from Legendary, so that should tell you everything you need to know about the quality and workmanship. Black door panels, carpets and dashboard keep it from being too bright, and it all works together extremely well. That’s a bench seat and a column shifter for the transmission, both of which work perfectly well for a car that’s designed to do one thing very well: go fast. The dash has been filled and in place of the original gauges are a comprehensive set of AutoMeter Ultra Light pieces that keep a sharp eye on the engine at all times. A comfortable Grant GT steering wheel replaces the thin plastic original and makes handling this cruiser easy. In the interest of speed, things like the heater and radio have received the old heave-ho, and once you get used to all that power available under the loud pedal, you won’t miss them a bit. The trunk was also given the full race treatment, with a custom fuel cell and trunk-mounted gel cell battery for reliable starting and better weight distribution. An original style trunk mat has been modified to fit with the new components, giving it an almost OEM look.

This car also includes a photo album of the complete build.

This car is a perfect demonstration of big performance in a little package and I think Colin Chapman would be proud. The builder remained true to his mission, and left off anything that would get in the way of maximum performance. If this hardcore attitude appeals to you (and why wouldn’t it?), take a good, long look at this black Dart. It’s beautifully finished and probably cost two or three times the asking price to build. And when you roll up against the guy in the other lane—you know, the one with the thumping stereo and giant, heavy rims—you’ll simply smile to yourself knowing that he’s already lost the race. Then you nail the throttle and prove it to him. It’s easy to love a purpose-built car like this. Call now!

Email Us

Contact Details

Trade in for this 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger

As one of the largest classic car dealerships in the world, we are always looking for new inventory. If you are interested in trading your high quality car for one of ours, simply fill out this form.

A member of our sales department will be in touch within 24 hours. No one makes the trade-in process easier than RK Motors.

Shift - or Control-click (Command on OS X) to select multiple photos

Finance this 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger

Please enter your contact information below to begin the financing process.

Recent News

1975 Pontiac Trans Am Build - Assembly

Mar 30 2017

1967 Ford Mustang Build

Mar 31 2017

1970 Pontiac GTO Build

Apr 03 2017