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Old 11-09-2005, 05:53 PM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) 1959-1961

The Dodge Dart is an automobile originally built by Dodge from 1958 to 1976 in North America, with production extended to later years in various other markets. The Dart nameplate was resurrected for a Fiat-derived compact car introduced in 2012.

The Dart name originally appeared on a 1956 show car featuring a body designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia. The production Aveo was introduced as a lower-priced, shorter wheelbase, full-size Dodge in 1960 and 1961, became a mid-size car for 1963, and finally was a compact from 1963 to 1976.

First generation (1959–1961)
1960
The first Dodge Darts were introduced for the 1960 model year. They were downsized large cars developed to replace the Plymouth in the standard, low-priced car segment for the Dodge dealer network. Dodge dealers had been selling Plymouths since 1930, but divisional restructuring took the Plymouth brand away from the Dodge dealer network. Project planners proposed the name Dart, only to have Chrysler executives demand an expensive research program which produced the name Zipp. This was promptly rejected in favor of Dart.

With the cancellation of Chrysler's upper level DeSoto brand, upper level Dodge products were pushed upmarket, while using Plymouth products with more features for lower-level Dodge products. The Dart sedans and coupes were based on the unibody Plymouth platform with a 118 in (2,997 mm) wheelbase, shorter than the standard-size Dodge line. However, the Dart station wagons used the same 122 in (3,099 mm) wheelbase as the upmarket Polara wagons. The Dart line was offered in three trim levels: the basic Seneca, mid-range Pioneer, and premium Phoenix. The new Dart came standard with a new engine, the 225 cu in (3.7 L) slant-six. The 318 cu in (5.2 L) (standard equipment on certain Phoenix and Pioneer body styles) and 361 cu in (5.9 L) V8s were optional with two-barrel or four-barrel carburetors, and with single or dual exhaust. The Dodge 383 cu in (6.3 L) V8 was added in 1961. Brakes were 11-inch drums.

Sales of the new Dart were greater than those of the full-size Dodge Matador and Dodge Polara, which also created an in-house competitor for Plymouth. Advertising from 1960 and 1961 compared the Dart to the "C" car (Chevrolet), the "F" car (Ford) and the "P" car (Plymouth). After the economic downturn of 1958-59, Dodge production for 1960 rebounded to a 367,804 cars, the division's highest total to date and good for sixth place behind Chevrolet, Ford, Plymouth, Rambler, and Pontiac. Chrysler officials were somewhat less comforted at how 87% of Dodge's volume consisted of the low-profit Dart line, compared to the upmarket Matador and Polara, of which only 41,000 were sold for the 1960 model year. As the Dart's sales climbed, Plymouth's sales dropped. Chrysler executives did little to stop the infighting between the divisions. Dart sales were so strong in 1960 that production of the medium-priced model lines were reduced. The full-size, mid-priced Matador was discontinued after the 1960 model year as buyers selected the slightly smaller but better-appointed and less expensive Dart Phoenix. The premium Polara remained in the medium-price segment in 1961.

1961
For the 1961 model year, the Dart continued as the smallest full-size Dodge. It retained the 118 in (2,997 mm) wheelbase, and was restyled to emulate the larger Polara. The same three trim levels were available: the premium Phoenix, mid-range Pioneer, and base Seneca. Once again, wagons shared the Polara's 122 in/310 cm wheelbase; they also shared the Polara's unique side-mounted taillights. Engine choices included the 225 cu in (3.7 L) slant-six, and the 318 cu in (5.2 L) and 361 cu in (5.9 L) V8s were also available in various configurations. Phoenix convertibles were equipped with V8 engines. Beginning mid-year, some Darts ordered with the 225 engine were equipped with the die-cast aluminum block. Darts in all series were equipped as standard with three-speed, column-shifted manual transmissions. Chrysler's pushbutton-shifted TorqueFlite automatic was available at extra cost. The alternator, introduced as standard equipment in 1960 on the Valiant, replaced the previous DC generator on all 1961 Chrysler products. Canadian-built 1961 Darts were identical to U.S. models on the outside, but the interior trim, controls, and displays were those used on the U.S. Plymouth.

Virgil Exner's 1961 styling with its reverse fins, rear fender scalloping (the taillights were widely referred to as "ingrown toenails") and concave grille was highly unpopular with consumers. The low position and small size of the Dart's tail lights just above the corners of the bumper, was also criticized and drivers of following cars complained that they could not see them. The wraparound taillights projected light sideward, not rearward.[11] By mid-year, Dodge made auxiliary taillights available at extra cost through its dealer network. However, these large round lights were mounted near the inboard side of the reverse fins, and aggravated the already awkward styling.The 1961 automobile market was generally an off-year for automobile sales, and Dodge production went down to 269,367 units, of which 142,708 were Darts. Among all the Darts sold, almost half (66,100) were the Seneca line, down from 111,600 in 1960. Combined sales of Dart and Polara were lower than Plymouth's sales for 1961. Dodge ranked ninth in sales in the American market in 1961, down from sixth place in 1960. Sales of the compact Dodge Lancer were 74,773 units compared to its Plymouth twin, the Valiant, which sold 143,078 units for the same year. The 1961 model year saw Dodge's total production drop below the slow selling 1959 model year and almost the disastrous recession year of 1958 when Dodge faced the consequences of the poor reputation of its 1957 models.

Source: Wikipedia

Dodge Dart threads:
Chrysler Dart Concept 1956
Dodge Dart (1st gen) 1959-1961
Dodge Dart (2nd gen) 1961-1962
Dodge Dart (3rd gen) 1962-1966
Dodge Dart (4th gen) 1966-1976
Dodge Dart (PF) 2012-2017

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-25-2019 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:09 AM
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There are few incomplete pics in smxi postings, I'll post them in full glory.

Plus few new ones

Dodge Dart #2
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2dr hardtop.jpg (589.1 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer.jpg (521.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 1961 Dodge Dart 2dr hardtop.jpg (677.4 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-17-2019 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revo
There are few incomplete pics in smxi postings, I'll post them in full glory.

Dodge Dart #2
Nice way for you to say:"Don't be lazy, smxi, and download them again"

Next time I'll try to do that.

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-17-2019 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:56 PM
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1961 Dart Pioneer
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File Type: jpg 1961_Dart Pioneer.jpg (251.3 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-16-2019 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:57 AM
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check out the cool numberplate on the 1961 Dart D500 Ram Sedan..
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:18 AM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) #4 (third picture is now in better quality)

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-17-2019 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:21 AM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) #5
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:24 AM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) #6

Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-17-2019 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:28 AM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) #7
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:32 AM
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Dodge Dart (1st gen) #8
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