Sublime
Black
440 Super Commando V8
4 Speed Manual

There's no secret formula for building a fast car, simply remove weight and add horsepower. In the case of this '71 Dodge Dart Swinger, the lightweight part was already done, and the builder went crazy in the adding horsepower department, with a 440 cubic inch big block and a 4-speed. Just in case you didn't hear it coming, he also went ahead and bathed it in a killer Sub-Lime paint job that any Mopar nut would say is perfectly appropriate.

This car started out as the proverbial “little old lady special,” packed with a slant-six and probably a putty-colored paint job from the factory. Purchased with just 38,000 miles on the clock in 2007, it was rust-free with straight body panels that needed exactly no work to look this good. Nevertheless, they threw it up on a rotisserie, stripped it to bare steel, and set to rebuilding the car from the ground up. They put in a lot of time making that Sub-Lime paint look so good, and it DOES look good. Even under the harsh lights in the studio here headquarters, it's glossy, smooth and flat, with good panel gaps. The fiberglass lift-off hood was given a coat of semi-gloss black, recalling the A12 cars that have suddenly skyrocketed in value over the past several years. Adding to the A12 theme is a black bumblebee stripe out back. To be honest, knowing what these cars looked like when they were new, I don't have much trouble calling this finish “better than new” throughout.

The chrome bumpers front and rear were refinished during the rebuild, and all the stainless trim was replaced after the bodywork was done. It still carries all the original “Swinger” emblems, although Dodge never intended their economy car to be bristling with this much horsepower. A new black vinyl top was installed just to prevent you from having Sub-Lime overload, and I've got to admit, vinyl tops are starting to grow on me. This one is well done, with no bubbles or wrinkles, and the grain looks authentic to me, too.

But the real story is under the lift-off hood, and that's 440 cubic inches of 1969-vintage big block Mopar. The crank is a standard 440 piece that was balanced, then a set of Eagle rods and Diamond 10:1 pistons were attached. The heads are fully ported, closed chamber 915 castings with big valves and roller rockers, while the camshaft is a custom-grind solid lifter unit. There's a Holley carburetor on top of a Mopar Performance Parts intake manifold, and MSD supplied the ignition system. Long-tube headers feed a massive 3-inch exhaust system, which really lets the big engine breathe easily and sounds nasty doing it. Keeping things cool are a big aluminum radiator, an electric fan, and an electric CSR water pump. And because they add performance-stealing weight, the power steering and A/C were jettisoned when the big motor was installed. Honestly, do you really need that stuff when your car is capable of running 11.60s on street tires? I didn't think so.

The engine churns all that horsepower through a big-block appropriate rebuilt A833 4-speed manual. And the cool thing about a big motor in a small package, you don't need super-steep gears to get it moving - this one packs a set of 3.55s in its 8.75-inch rear, which are ideal for cruising. The floors were painted to match the body while the tub was up on the rotisserie although it's not super-detailed for show at the moment - easily remedied with a weekend of hard work. Up front, disc brakes were added to keep things under control, and heavy-duty springs were fitted to handle the weight of the big block. Drag shocks round out the suspension modifications, partly responsible for the car's impressive acceleration abilities. Wheels are nice Rallyes, carrying P215/70R15s up front and P225/70R15s in back.

The black interior remains in near-stock condition, and I'm guessing that much of it is original. The seats and carpet are new, but the dash, headliner and door panels are the same ones that came with the car in 1971. Three auxiliary gauges have been added under the dash, along with a Pioneer stereo head unit, but the original dashboard is in great condition and remains unmolested. A monster tach has been added on the steering column, and that switch on the shifter controls a line lock. As part of the “add lightness” mission of this potent little missile, the heater was removed as well, another few pounds the engine doesn't have to move. All the gauges and lights are fully functional, and the stereo system sounds great - a big improvement over the original 2-watt AM Music Master unit. The trunk is completely stock, with a new mat and a lot of additional evidence that this was a rust-free car from Day One.

So that's the magic formula, all wrapped up in a Sub-Lime green package and ready to rock. The drive train is virtually bulletproof, with a period-correct (if not accurate) build, the parts are all high quality, and the workmanship is very good. Placed in a body that's several hundred pounds lighter than any car the factory built with a 440, and you have a very potent street fighter that isn't ashamed to show up at the local cruise and pop the hood (or remove it as the case may be). This is another one of those cars that you just couldn't duplicate for the asking price, not with that bodywork and engine. And just try to find a cleaner Dart anywhere! Set up to run, fully sorted, and 100% reliable, this is a lot of fun in a small, inexpensive package. Call now!

Email Us

Contact Details

Trade in for this 1971 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 1971 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