based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1962 Dodge Dart 440

Ramsey Haig, aka Dodge writes:

1962 Dodge Dart 440

I live just north of Philadelphia, in Willow Grove, and at age 16 I started looking for a classic car to fix and drive during high school. At a local Dodge dealership in Hatboro I found a very clean 1962 numbers matching Dodge Dart 440 2 door Hardtop. It had a 318 with a two barrel Stromberg, manual brakes, power steering, factory undercoating, and original dual exhaust.

1962 Dodge Dart 440 1962 Dodge Dart 440 318

I bought it age 16 and drove it here and there for two years in high school, then pretty much retired it when I went off to college. I'm 21 now and just do minor work on it (carb tuning...etc.)

I have the original 1962 window sticker from the same dealership that I bought it from 38 years later. Apparently, the dealership owner bought it back from a customer in the 70's, restored most of it and then recently sold it to me because he "needed room for airplanes." You know how it is when you can't fit those airplanes anywhere...anyway. I also have the factory invoice from the plant at which it was built, Newark. It has all the options, their codes, their prices, and which ones were installed on my particular car. I've found all the literature and manuals for the car and love living in the past. I'm a child of the 80's but we had uninspiring cars that decade so I transposed my childhood to the 60's.

I was born a car nut and will die one!

Nothing on the car has been changed aside from the paint color and the Charger wheels. It even has the original 62' Rubber embossed MOPAR floor mats!

Originally, the car was a light yellow with a Polar blue roof, a very weird combo. It has all original grey interior with only a 3 inch rip on the front driver's seat. I immediately covered the seats to protect them from sun damage. It has the original working radio, and only 53,283 original miles that the dealer said were original. I never believe dealers, so I brought 3 or 4 different mechanic friends and they said by the cleanliness and condition of some engine paint surfaces that they were in fact original miles. I was delighted and immediately bought the car. The dealer even threw in an extra aluminum grill (mint in original box), something that's worth about $400 or more....

1962 Dodge Dart 440

The only items I've replaced are the water pump, fuel pump, plugs, wires, front bushings, brake shoes, R rear muffler/tail pipe. I've rebuilt the carb, something I don't recommend, just get a remanufactured carb. Nothing else seems to be wrong with it. I kept the original radio and just mounted a CD player under the dash, not destroying or losing any of the originality, just to have some tunes. I'm sure it would just purr and thank me endlessly with a fresh frame-off, but that will come later. The car still hauls butt, dropping rubber on command, fooling numerous Mustang and Trans Am owners when they think I'm taking Granny's old push-button boat for a trip to the ACME, which I proudly do.

1962 Dodge Dart 440 dash I've kept the car original adding only seatbelts so I don't die or anything like that,
since that metal dash is somewhat unforgiving...;)

My mom has also driven it to the super market and dropped a few guys at the line, watching their jaws hanging in the rear view mirror. Men her age come up to her and ask about the car, trying to show off, but she just corrects them, because they ALWAYS misidentify it, saying its a 64 Belvedere or Studebaker...huh?. She rattles off all the specs; horsepower, torque, gear ratios, ci, and aspiration. They always listen in utter disbelief; its the funniest thing to watch.

1962 Dodge Dart 440 pass side

I love the car, its lines, the styling, and especially the color. It was a car during a time when beautiful looking cars had big engines and everything wasn't drag racing and boxy. It has "baby fins" as I call them, kinda like clipped wings of a generation that once had beautiful arching wings like the Desotos and Furys. I especially love all the extra chrome that comes with the 440, it just glistens when highly polished, even after 38 years. There's only minor pitting on the tail light bezels. It turns heads wherever I drive it.

I've shown in a few car shows and am planning a frame-off later in life. I just have to wait until I'm older and have the sufficient funds. I'm not going to sell this baby ever and will put it back to stock original...I'll get some rusty non-matching junker to pro-street later..;) When I'm 40 or 50 I want to be able to say, "I bought this car when I was 16," without having to lie. I'm not much for mainstream classic cars and really love the strange yet wonderful automotive gems of Dodge, the ones that no one else has. If its too popular, I don't want it. If its ugly but has a quirky stance, its good. Virgil Exner really had some bizarre styling techniques...but that's precisely WHY I'm a strict MOPAR fan.

I'll keep you updated on its progress, and whether or not I do that all-awaited frame-off! 1962 Dodge Dart 440

Thanks, Ramsey!

As you note, 1962 Darts are very unique and controversial; even some die hard Mopar fans don't appreciate them.

Too bad, since as you note these are great B Body Mopars.

Definately a "keeper" -- which I hope you do! smile!

Gary H.

May 4, 2002

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