By on August 11, 2014

07 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo many Chrysler A-bodies in junkyards these days, even though the last ones rolled off the assembly line in 1981 (in South America and Australia; the final Detroit-built A-body was a 1976 model). These cars were cheap and simple, and they’re still useful transportation in the 21st century, so many of them manage to stay on the street well into their 30s and 40s. Sadly, even the most fanatical Dart/Valiant restorer has all the affordable two-doors and/or factory V8 cars he or she can handle, and so when a made-by-the-zillions Slant-6 Malaise Era sedan craps out, it’s going to The Crusher. So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’60 Valiant wagon, this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, and now we’re adding yet another ’75 to the list.
01 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is a California car, so there’s absolutely zero rust and the upholstery is pretty well roasted by the sun.
06 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDid it finally die?
05 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen I shot this car, it had only been on the yard for a few days. You can tell because the front brake parts, which are highly sought-after because they’ll bolt right on to B-body cars such as Chargers and Belvederes, were still there. By now, of course, the car has been shredded, dumped into a shipping container at the Port of Oakland, shipped to China, and melted down; I photographed it last October, in a yard that keeps inventory for a mere two months before scrapping it.
09 - 1975 Dodge Dart- Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAccording to my favorite junkyard-inventory site, there are two Darts, six Valiants, a Duster, and two Swingers in the inventory of the 90 yards Row52 tracks, which means there are many hundreds of fresh A-bodies in the junkyards they don’t cover. If you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time!

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50 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1975 Dodge Dart Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Air filter lid flipped for improved performance!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think this one needs your attention.

    • 0 avatar
      Curt in WPG

      And that awesome sound! Well, at least on a V8, not so much on a slant.

      A flipped air cleaner lid is something the kids nowadays will never experience.It was kind of like a prehistoric version of a K&N filter. Also an easy way to p***-off Dad if you forgot to flip it back.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Kids these days use some sort of open intake and cone filters and what not for the same net effect. More noise, zero (sometimes negative power increase).

        And I am guilty as charged – I have the BMW Performance Intake on my wagon. I doubt it does a darned thing for the power, but it sure sounds good! Ditto the Performance Exhaust. It may not go any faster, but it sure sounds a lot faster. Like the Valkyries at full charge.

      • 0 avatar
        Crabspirits

        In theory, it probably actually does “something”. If the car is equipped with a Thermac type of device and the air is relatively cool up top, it might get a more dense gulp of air and slightly better flow. Enough for perhaps 1hp.

        I recall someone (Hot Rod mag?) once did a credible test, but don’t remember the outcome of it.

        • 0 avatar
          skor

          The result was that most of the underhood air intake kits do exactly the opposite of what they are suppose to do: They lower the HP output of the engine. The idea behind those ‘low restriction’ air kits is that by straightening the air path to the throttle body, the engine can breath better and produce more HP. The reality is that hot air is sucked in from under the hood. Hot air is less dense than cool air, the results are less HP.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Too bad, the body looks clean and straight aside from that one fender dent that could have happened at the yard. This would actually get some money here in the rust belt. Not a lot, but definiely a lot more than scrap value.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Yep, that would have been a keeper here in the rust belt…

      I had a 1975 Dart Sport (w/360 & TorqueFlite). Outside of the (relative to the times) sparkling performance, the car had pretty good space inside and a huge trunk. It met its fate on a snowy Ohio highway in 1980, it lived a life too short.

      I’d almost like to find Grandma’s Dart and have it as a driver, I think it would be low maintenance fun, as compared to a cherry Road Runner or something you would stress over…

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “I’d almost like to find Grandma’s Dart and have it as a driver, I think it would be low maintenance fun, as compared to a cherry Road Runner or something you would stress over”

        I think the same thing every time I come accross one for a reasonable deal, but the fact that I have a steady rotation of new daily drivers means it would end up being just another occasional use vehicle which I’m running out of places to store.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Nice catch ‘Crabspirits’. Use to do the same on our Cordoba. If nothing else it did to our minds improve the sound of the engine.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I can’t see any of these cars without remembering this movie…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za-1E89j6cU

  • avatar

    Those of us of a certain age know that these things were just everywhere back in the day. Older folks especially loved them as frugal-but-comfortable choices: In the neighborhood I grew up in, the distinctive sound of a slant-six often meant that someone’s grandparents were coming to visit, and we’d all look toward the car to see whose…

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Your post brings back memories. My grandmother had two Dodge Darts – a 1966 270 sedan, and a 1973 Custom sedan.

      The Chrysler A-body sedans were the cars your grandparents drove, as you noted, although plenty of young, single women drove Plymouth Dusters.

    • 0 avatar

      Where I come from (Boston area) these cars were beloved by academics and similar, before Volvo Bricks were. My neighborhood was full of slant sixes, and my parents ultimately bought one, which they had longer than any other car (16 years).

      But one car–the last car they ever bought, and little more than three years later, both were gone–has been in the family almost as long as that Valiant. It’s a ’95 940, which they bought used in ’99. My nephew, their first grandchild, has it in California. But I don’t think he’s going to keep it much longer.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I commuted with a guy who had one of these and he scared me with the way he drove it. Then one day he was sick and asked that I drive. I had to step on the pedal about half way before it would go and then it would launch itself, I’d step on the brake and do it all over again. Maybe it could be fixed but I always blamed the smog controls of the day.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Smog controls weren’t kind to this engine. I had a buddy who drove his mom’s Valiant, and it needed 3-4 starts and stumbled a while although it ran just fine once warmed up.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I had a girlfriend back in the 1970′s who had one of these with the slant six.

      IIRC, there was an issue with the carbs where they would routinely stall while making a left turn. I can’t remember how many times she would try to make a quick left turn (with me in the passenger seat), the car would stall and I would be face to face with whatever was coming through the intersection…

      Now that I think about it, maybe she really didn’t like me so much…

      • 0 avatar
        eManual

        I had the same problem with a 1975 and it was due to the carburetor float – the hollow version would leak and get filled with gas. A newer solid version solved the problem.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          eManual: Yes, that’s what it was. The hollow floats.

          geeber: Back in the early cat-con and smog days they ALL were terrible. All kinds of fuel and exhaust system problems. It was a not a fun time to be a driver.

      • 0 avatar
        EMedPA

        Yep. My parents had a ’74 Dart that had the same problem. The mechanic I got to work on it didn’t believe me at first when I told him about the problem. I made him ride in the car with me and took a hard left turn.

        That car and a ’69 Saab 96 taught me to hate carburetors.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Those problems weren’t limited to the slant six engine or Chrysler products in general. Unfortunately, by the mid-1970s, Chrysler had essentially thrown in the towel on quality control, which probably didn’t help matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      It wasn’t just the 6. My aunt had a Swinger with the 318, nice looking little car but flooring the gas pedal resulted in very little motivation and a cabin full of smoke.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Haven’t found one of these yet, but I did find a damned Volare of all things at the same yard I get parts for my T-Bird. First Volare I’ve ever seen too.

  • avatar
    Curt in WPG

    It seemed like 90% of these cars came in either s*** brown or puke green. Ah, the 70′s.

  • avatar
    bfisch81

    Check out the old school Dodge “Fratzog” logo on the steering wheel.

    Love it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Old Valiants never die, they just fade away…

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Still and all it’s a sad thing to see a nice clean car like this being scrapped ~ it appears to have been towed to the Junk Yard judging by the bent front bumper .

    More’s the pity , some hipster would have had the $ to keep it on the road a while longer at the very least .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Some bitter irony in something this ‘Murican being shredded up and shipped off to China.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    “Valiant” is one of my favorite names for a car.

  • avatar
    mars3941

    Did you find the red one from Duel yet? Mr. Dillon.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I saw some A-bodies similar to this one doing taxi duty in third-world dumps during the mid ’90s. These were probably the best American cars, considering how many of them are still seen in daily driver duty decades after all of the awful mid-sized GM and Ford cars that outsold them many times over have been gone.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      You mean those awful Nova’s and Malibu’s that are still seen all over the place from the 70′s? I would hardly lump this in with the Ford Maverick’s and Fairmont’s that have all but evaporated. Just take a look on Craigslist. Type in Malibu or Nova. Loads of results everywhere you look. My dad’s 74 Malibu rans 10 times better than my high school A-body nut friend’s 74 Slant 6 Valiant ever thought of, even after the carb was replaced and rebuilt several times. They both were rust bucket 70′s crap but the Malibu had far less problems than any of the A-body cars my friend had. My folks used to joke that he spent more time under the hood of those cars than he did in school.

  • avatar
    ronhawk62

    I own a 73 Dart Sport and I can tell you for a fact, these cars are as reliable as an anvil and are easy to maintain. It’s a shame not to see more of them being restored. Mine gets a lot more attention than my El Camino, and drives better, too.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Miss metal hubcaps SO much. Stamped sheet metal is a happy thing to me. Don’t know why.

  • avatar
    Ostrich67

    The “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” was real.

    No, not the hod-rod granny from the Jan and Dean song. She was the legend conjured up by a million fast-talking used-car salesmen from the ’50s and ’60s while trying to move their used, abused, rolled-back odometer junkers quickly spiffed up and presented on a lot with multi-colored flags on a string waving in the breeze overhead; beckoning the unwary and lower of income.

    But Loretta’s car never saw such a lot. No, the copper-colored Dodge sedan was the last car bought new by her frugal late husband. The Dodge Dart was made for such men as Harold (never Harry). It’s unremarkable, frill-free stalwartness appealed to him. The Slant Six already had a reputation for being indestructible; likewise the Torqueflite 904 transmission. Harold liked that. He believed that the kind of car a man drove reflected his personality. Harold was equally stalwart and unremarkable. Grew up on an orange grove, served in World War II, then was employed in a factory for the next thirty years. There was really nothing more you could say about him; other than he was a good man who provided well for his family, sent his son and daughter to college and was proud of how they turned out, then he passed away during the Reagan years; quietly satisfied that the world turned out just how he hoped it would when he voted for him.

    His wife Loretta continued to drive the Dodge. Her kids said, “Mom, why don’t you buy a new car?” They didn’t get it. They spent freely; a new car every couple of years, usually German and priced twice what a car should be. A giant house in the far suburbs, cheap looking and priced dearly; not like the solid Craftsman house on a tree-lined street closer to town that they grew up in. Why, the drive to work takes them nearly an hour in each direction! Loretta shook her head, but never mentioned her concerns; after all by all appearances they were doing well.

    Loretta drove the Dodge. Why not? It was paid for, and still ran like a watch thanks to Uncle Al, the family mechanic who owned a little shop that served a dwindling number of regular customers. The oil changes were inked onto a little strip of paper with the Pennzoil logo on top, stuck to the door jamb. Al made sure the oil and filters were changed, valves adjusted, suspension greased, new brake pads installed on freshly-turned rotors, and the carburetor and timing were dialed in just so-which was getting harder and harder to do on cars every year; then he returned the car freshly washed and vacuumed inside.

    Loretta drove the Dodge, after Chrysler nearly went bankrupt, when a Dodge was a punchline on a long-running sitcom, when they stopped making Plymouths; even when she finally sold the Craftsman house-for nearly a million dollars!-and moved into a retirement community. It never went faster than 40 miles per hour on the streets of Pasadena; and it went even slower on Southern California’s perpetually jammed freeways.

    Loretta drove the Dodge until she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Her kids thought of offering it to one of their college-age children but none of them drove or even had a license. They thought of putting it on Craigslist but were wary of the hassle, or donating it to charity; but in the end the Dodge took it’s final journey to the Pick and Pull behind a tow truck. Her kids couldn’t find the keys.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Darts were pretty popular in Finland back in the day. They were sold as executive cars, and without emissions equipment tended to be fairly quick – there were no emissions testing or ratings at that time, and apparently export cars had very little if any emissions gear installed in the first place.

    Darts and Valiants were also pretty well made, as there are hundreds of them still on the roads. Most of the best selling cars of the era, and even many 1980s models, have disappeared almost completely.


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