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1969 Dodge Dart Swinger

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Vintage Car of the Month

Posted On September 1, 2015

Owner; Kevin and Susan Luckhardt
St Marys Ontario

This 1969 Dodge was discovered in California and brought back to Ontario as a project vehicle. The condition at the time of purchase was basically a body only. The original motor (slant 6) and automatic transmission were gone as was all the electrical and the interior. This gave us a clean slate to rebuild the car to our liking without affecting the original numbers the car was born with.

We purchased this car in 2010 after selling a Corvette that we had owned for 20 years. The Dart body style has always been a favorite of mine from the old Mopar muscle group. (Plus it would fit in my garage!) This project would be the second car that we have built from parts. Our first car was a 1932 Ford Hi Boy – a project that my son (13 at the time) took great interest in working on with me as a father/son project. So doing a second car was an easy decision!

With a blank canvas we set to work on what we wanted to see as our next project – a muscle car. The original T5 copper colour that the car was born with was a strong contender to remain the same, and keeping the car looking clean and old school simple was our goal. We tossed around what the power train was going to be several time before settling on a 426 Hemi. We were lucky enough to find one in the Newmarket area. The transmission choice also changed several times before we settled on a 5 speed Keisler. With the Hemi and 5 speed transmission package a stout rear differential would be needed to take the abuse, so a Dana 60 was used.

Since this car came from the west coast the body was virtually rust free which meant minimal body work before painting. The body went through a complete rotisserie restoration with walnut shell blasting. Once all imperfections were repaired it was painted with a 2010 Dodge truck Mango Tango Orange paint which is very close to the original T5 copper.  Mango Tango has just a little more “pop” in brilliance than the T5 copper.

Once the body was painted it returned to my garage where my son and I finished the assembly which included the interior, electrical, powertrain and glass. Details like the satin black rims, hood and rear stripe around the trunk lid gives it the “old school” sleeper muscle car look we were aiming for.

This is one fun car to drive!

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