We’ve been discussing many cars at the ClassicCars.com Journal that were part of the buckets and console brigade — cars that seized upon this latent thirst for sportiness as influenced by imports and the burgeoning Baby Boomer youth culture. Our Pick of the Day is another one of those sporty compacts that led the way, a 1966 Dodge Dart GT convertible listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Kentwood, Michigan. (Click the link to view the listing)
The first Dart was a lower-line Dodge introduced in 1960. So good was its value that it actually poached sales from Plymouth, but the name was transferred to the redesigned A-body for 1963, taking over from the Lancer. For that final year of the Lancer, Dodge introduced the sporty Lancer GT with bucket seats. “GT is our abbreviation of an Italian term, Gran Turismo. It means smallish fast car for touring in a grand manner. A car that will corner level, stop fast, and leave the long shots neighing at the gate. That’s what the Lancer GT will do,” said the brochure at the time.
It was only logical for the 1963 Dart GT to feature similar equipment. “Dart’s answer for the sports-car enthusiast who could never see paying a premium price. It’s the deliverance for lively people fallen prey to unwieldy gas hogs.” Standard was the 170cid “Slant Six” with the 225cid version of the same. Like most cars, a three-speed manual was standard, though only on the column, with TorqueFlite being the only option. A four-speed was added in 1964, with a consolette being available for 1965 for those cars ordered with TorqueFlite or four-speed. But the big news was the available 273cid V8 with up to 235 horsepower. Equipment was similar in 1966, the last year before the Dart was redesigned, though now the Dart GT was available with a full-length front console.
This 1966 Dodge Dart GT is painted in the feminine hue of Mauve metallic, a color so beautiful that men gravitate to it like Pontiac’s Iris Mist. “This 1966 Dodge Dart GT Convertible is more than a car; it’s a nostalgic voyage into an era where craftsmanship and style reigned supreme,” says the seller. “A blend of originality, elegance, and performance, it awaits an owner who appreciates its heritage and the sheer joy of open-top motoring.” The white vinyl bucket seat interior now features a floor-mounted four-speed, replacing the original three-speed on the column. That stick is harnessed to a 180-horsepower 273 two-barrel, a nice combination of V8 power and economy for those so inclined.
Other features include a remote driver-side mirror, AM radio, and tinted windshield. Those items help make the drive in modern traffic conditions a snap but, let’s be honest: traffic will stop for you when they see this mauve and white ragtop cruise the pike. Could life get any better? For $27,900, you tell me!