On an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the 1968 Dart GTS showcased a different facet of the well-known Dodge Dart, typically recognized as a modest economy car.
This particular car deviates from the factory standard by featuring a 383-cubic-inch V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor, in contrast to the inline-6 engine found in many Darts. The same engine was utilized in the popular Plymouth Road Runner, but due to the Dart’s smaller and lighter build, the power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission.
Originally purchased by a couple from Wisconsin, this Dart has endured beyond their marriage and has undergone a complete restoration to its original condition. It retains period-correct aftermarket Cragar wheels and an additional aftermarket tachometer. As the second owner, Leno acquired the original build sheet, a lifetime of maintenance records, and other documents verifying its authenticity.
In 1968, the Dart was considered a compact car, and with its approximately 325 horsepower, it was impressively powerful for its time. Although the Dart does not meet modern standards of size or speed, Leno asserts that its torquey V-8 engine still delivers a decently enjoyable driving experience. However, its drum brakes and unassisted steering mean it is not designed for navigating twisty canyon roads.
Originally introduced in 1960, the Dart transitioned into a compact car in 1963 to compete with the Chevrolet Nova and Ford Falcon. It continued to serve that role until production ceased in 1976. Sharing its platform with the Plymouth Valiant, the Dart also formed the foundation for the original Dodge Demon (later known as Dart Sport) and Plymouth Duster coupes.
After a lengthy hiatus, the Dodge Dart made a comeback in 2013 as a modern compact car equipped with front-wheel drive and a 4-cylinder engine. However, its revival was short-lived, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) discontinued the model a few years later to prioritize the sales and profitability of SUVs and pickup trucks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vintage cars
What is the 1968 Dodge Dart GTS featured on Jay Leno’s Garage?
The 1968 Dodge Dart GTS is a compact car with a sporty side, showcased on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.” It features a 383-cubic-inch V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission.
How does the 1968 Dodge Dart GTS compare to other cars of its time?
In 1968, the Dart GTS was considered a small car but packed a punch with around 325 horsepower. It was smaller and lighter than the Plymouth Road Runner, which shared the same engine. While not as fast or small by modern standards, its torquey V-8 engine still provides an enjoyable driving experience.
What makes the 1968 Dodge Dart GTS unique?
This particular Dart GTS was originally ordered by a Wisconsin couple and has been fully restored to its stock condition. It comes with period-correct aftermarket Cragar wheels and an aftermarket tachometer. Jay Leno is the second owner and possesses the original build sheet, maintenance records, and other paperwork, attesting to its authenticity.
What is the history of the Dodge Dart model?
The Dodge Dart was initially introduced in 1960 and was downsized to a compact car in 1963 to compete with the Chevrolet Nova and Ford Falcon. It remained in production until 1976. The Dart shared its platform with the Plymouth Valiant and served as the foundation for other models like the Dodge Demon (later known as Dart Sport) and Plymouth Duster coupes.
What happened to the Dodge Dart model after 1976?
After a long hiatus, the Dodge Dart made a comeback in 2013 as a modern compact car with front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder power. However, it was discontinued a few years later by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) to prioritize SUVs and pickup trucks in their lineup.
More about Vintage cars
- Jay Leno’s Garage
- 1968 Dodge Dart GTS
- Plymouth Road Runner
- Dodge Dart History
- Dodge Dart (2013-2016)