A rare concept car that still lives today
Mark and I love going to the Chicago Auto Show each year. We get to see what’s new but one of the coolest exhibits are the concept cars. Not so much by the current manufacturers but tucked away in a corner of the North Hall is the Klairmont Kollections display of this year’s show. This week’s car spot is one of its, the 69 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 Concept Car.
RELATED Spot: See another from the Klairmont Kollections, a Lincoln Bubbletop.
The fourth generation of the Dodge Dart, which began with the 67 model year, was the budget muscle car of the brand when compared to its bigger brothers, the Charger and Coronet. In 68, the Dart was offered with the legendary 426 HEMI, but in 69 it got even better as you could get the small Dodge muscle car with the 440-cubic-inch big block V8. While the Dart from the late 60s doesn’t get the same level of respect as the Charger, it was still a very popular model, both as a performance car and as an affordable daily driver.
RELATED Spot: Its pony car cousin the Plymouth Barracuda.
This Dodge Dart was built specifically for the 69 Chicago Auto Show, by Detroit’s Alexander Brothers. It’s powered by a 340-cubic-inch V8 mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, with power steering and power brakes.
Inside, it features bucket seats, a radio delete plate, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, along with the familiar chrome Hurst shifter. Outside it has rectangular headlights with small, circular driving lights mounted in the middle of the custom chrome grille along with a custom hood scoop that surprisingly is non-functional. It rides on Ansen Sprint slotted aluminum wheels and adds the chrome flip-up gas door of the Dodge Charger.
RELATED Spot: A restomod Charger.
The biggest difference is in the back where the designers created a uniquely sculpted tail with an integrated spoiler that flows down into the rear section of the quarter panels. The taillight panel is also very different, with a recessed area and custom elongated taillight lenses stretching across the rear end. Quite a difference from the production ’69 Dart which had small, stacked taillights on the outer edge of the rear end flush with the downward-facing portion of the trunk lid.
RELATED Spot: The ultimate Mopar, a Viper GTS.
A lot of other concept cars end their lives after the show circuit in the crusher but this one was saved and sold to a lucky collector and was passed on to a few more before ending up at Klairmont Kollections. It’s sad that so many others were not.
Thanks for stopping by and reading about this unique car. Be sure to check out my other spots and Mark’s reviews of new cars. Check back next Friday for another one of my spots and have a great weekend.