"BIG" AMERICAN CARS in 1967: '68 Dodge Dart

What do you do when the hood of the car is the same size as the trunk? Where’s the sex appeal? Well of course, put a babe on the hood and no one notices this “flaw.” It was an American car being downsized. This was considered a compact car. My how times have changed.

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(SOURCE: Sunset, November 1967)
The Dodge Dart is an automobile built by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1960 to 1976 in North America, with production extended to later years in various other markets. The Dart was introduced as a lower-priced, shorter wheelbase, full-size Dodge in 1960 and 1961, became a mid-size car for 1962, and finally was a compact from 1963 to 1976. Chrysler had previously applied the "Dart" name to a Ghia-built show car in 1956.
The project planners proposed the name Dart, only to have executives demand an expensive research program which produced the name Zipp. This was promptly rejected in favor of Dart.
Over its 13-year production run, the Dart earned a reputation as a sturdy, dependable car. "The Dart was one of the most successful compact cars ever introduced in the American automobile marketplace," according to R.D. McLaughlin, then vice president of Chrysler's Automotive sales division, "It enjoys a strong owner loyalty and is a car that has established a reputation for reliability and value...these are [some] reasons why we will continue to market the Dart while introducing the new compact Aspen." Ultimately, the A-body Dart was replaced by the F-body Dodge Aspen beginning in late spring of 1976—a replacement Chrysler President Lee Iacocca would later lament due to the Aspen's many early quality problems.
1968Changes for 1968 were relatively subtle. The park/turn lights in the grille were moved slightly inboard and made round. Side marker lights lights were added to the front fenders and rear quarter panels, to comply with newly introduced Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108. Other changes to comply with new federal safety laws included collapsible steering columns, additional padding on the dashboard and sunvisors, shoulder harnesses (separate, this year and until 1973, from the lap belts) and non-glare matte finish on the windshield wiper arms. Chrysler's "Clean Air Package" emission control system became standard equipment on cars sold in all 50 states. The steering linkage was revised again, as were the windshield and rear window gaskets and trim-lock strips, leaving the 1967 pieces as one-year-only items. The standard rear axle ratio was dropped from 2.93 to 2.76 with all standard-performance engines and automatic transmission. Part-throttle downshift functionality was added as a refinement to the TorqueFlite automatic transmission in 6-cylinder cars, to retain acceptable city performance with the taller rear axle ratio.
Fifty specially-equipped "Hemi Dart" models were built under subcontract by Hurst for NHRA SS/B and SS/BA drag racing classes, today these cars (with their sister Plymouth Hemi'Cudas) remain the quickest production cars ever mass produced, with elapsed times in the low 8-second range (1/4-mile) and trap speeds approaching 160 MPH. (SOURCE: Wikipedia

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