The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Dodge is willing to take cash or make a trade for a car that’s even older. Let’s see which of those two options might be the better deal.
With the tenured Mustang and the return of the Bronco, you have to wonder if Ford may once again go all-in on horse names for its models by bringing back Pinto and Maverick. Likely not, but there’s another blast from the past that keeps on keeping on in the Ford lineup. That is Cobra, a name that has been attached to engines — Cobra Jet — and cars alike.
Yesterday’s 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra was just such a throwback. And while that Cobra appeared to be in impeccable shape and sported some seemingly sensible performance mods, when it came down to the $19,900 asking, quite a few of you took issue with those mods and the car’s color combo. In the end, the Cobra got defanged in a decisive 80 percent No Dice rout.
If you’ve ever seen Ang Lee’s film The Ice Storm, you no doubt recall the discomforting key party scene that serves as its centerpiece. The film is set in the early 1970s, a time when the sexual revolution had finally hit the American suburbs.
People who participated in activities like swinging and swapping did so to spice up the mundane lifestyles they lived, masked behind split-level facades and carefully manicured lawns. If you take the film’s depiction as gospel, you’d probably consider the outcome to be less than successful. Also, you’ll never in your life want to have sex in a Cadillac.
I bring this all up because today we are looking at a car that’s also from the early ’70s and is itself a Swinger.
That, of course, is this 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger pillarless coupe. When Dodge introduced the Swinger trim package it didn’t have quite so salacious an implication. This car also hails from the narrow window of time in which Chrysler cars weren’t suffering from terrible quality control problems.
Chrysler’s quality had taken a serious dive in the late ’50s, which forced the company to offer one of the auto industry’s first long-term warranties. By the mid-’70s, the company had fallen back on old habits, with rust and build-quality issues running rampant in its bread-and-butter Volare/Aspen line, a situation that pushed Chrysler to the brink of collapse. Between those periods, the company cranked out solid fare like this humble Dart.
Actually, this particular car is not all that humble. I mean, how could it be with a moniker like Swinger? Plus, under its hood lies not the expected Slant Six but a 318 V8. Back in smog-strangled 1972, that engine made a mere 150 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. This one has a more modern Edelbrock four-barrel feeding it, although that seems to sit on the factory intake manifold, and there doesn’t appear to be any additional effort at boost those ponies.
That 318 also powers an old school RV-2 A/C compressor, which is a nice find and easily adaptable to R134 refrigerant. Transmission duties are handled by a tried and true Torqueflite three-speed automatic.
We don’t get too many exterior shots in the ad, but the one we do see appears to show the car in serviceable condition, with ’70s green paint and the cool butt-belt stripe on the trunk. A black vinyl top offers a nice contrast and fancies things up a bit, as do the whitewall tires and full wheel covers.
You’ll find more vinyl inside, with a pair of bench seats that feature interesting black-and-green upholstery. That’s perhaps not factory and looks almost like Kermit the Frog left a skid mark on each seat.
There are some dangling wires underneath the dash, and while the radio is more modern than the car, it still looks to be old as hell. The title is clean and the mileage is undisclosed. Somewhat humorously, the seller classifies the Dart as full-size in the Craigslist overview. Back when it was new, the Dart was Dodge’s compact.
Also very different from its original era is this Dodge’s price. The seller is open to trading the Dart for what is described as “a 40s and 50s that are running, driving, stops, and that all lights work. No projects at all, has to be a very decent car or truck.”
Failing that, the price is $8,000, which is probably more than double what the car cost when new. Still, time wounds all heels, so that’s what we have to play with today.
What do you think, is this Dart worth that $8,000 asking as it sits? Or, is that too much for you to consider the Swinger lifestyle?
H/T to Hal G. for the hookup!
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