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Dodge Dart Lesson for Potential Project Builders

Can a 1973 Dodge Dart “garage find” make a good restoration project for this coming Spring? Here’s a recent find that demonstrates what you are more likely than not “find” in garage find, barn find, and field find project vehicles.

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The Family Dart

When I was a kid, my old man bought a brand new 1970 Dodge Dart sedan with the 225 slant-six engine and 3-speed automatic transmission. He bought it because we were about to take our first (and it turned out to be last) family summer road trip and he wanted a car that looked brand new for out-of-state relatives to see as we border crossed through America, was economical in price, and probably reliable.

To this day my life is scarred by the memories of riding cross country in the backseat which he had covered with those thick, clear plastic covers with a slightly beaded pattern to it. I know this because that beaded pattern is still embedded on the back of my legs. Imagine if you will that those covers were so soft and sticky on hot summers, that you did not need seat belts to hold you down.

In short: I was not overly impressed by our new family car.

A little over 50 years later, I wish that I had had the foresight to park that old car in a barn under wraps when I had the chance in the ‘90’s to hang onto “just in case” if for no other good reason. Alas and alack and all that.

Related article: What to Do with a Used Car That Needs to Go

What got me thinking back about that Dart was a recent stroll in St. Petersburg where I saw a fairly decent looking 70‘s-era Dodge Dart parked on a small street with just a bit of rust on its edges. It was then I realized how unappreciative a young mind can be and how foggy an older one becomes.

Gears turned and heartstrings pulled as I considered what a great Spring project a Dart would make. In fact, driving from Florida back to Ohio would likely reveal a potential barn find along the way that just might turn a possibility into a dream… or a nightmare.

Related article: From Wreck to Race Car on a Budget Bucket List

Turning to the internet searching under “Dodge Dart,” a recent video about a “garage find” Dart caught my attention and gave me a good slap back into reality. Yes, I know better than to get excited about any potential restoration project, but I am after all…human…sort of…and easily fall for the whole “Storage Wars” and “Pawn Stars” myth from time to time.

A Lesson Needing Reminding

That said, here is the video posted below that serves as good reminder why you really, really, really have to be wary of “garage finds” and unrequited dreams of a restoration project where you can see yourself tooling around in style with the only one in town.

Please note: The video is a little longer than usual, but the host does an interesting analysis of his Dart garage find that is humorous and enjoyable and,,,yeah, probably somewhat staged…but a good lesson for anyone who has not ever been burned by a garage or barn find.

Forgotten for 30 years, can this Dodge Dart Run and Drive in a 1350 mile Race?

And finally…

For additional articles related to car projects, here are a few for your consideration:

Bad Husband Car Repair Projects

Fix That Old Hard to Start Ford Truck

DIY Car Painting with a Cheap Wedding Tent Solution

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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