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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

BUYERS' GUIDE

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1970-1976 Dodge & Plymouth A Bodies — Page 2

The transmission choices range from the light duty 904 three speed Torqueflite to the heavy duty 727 Torqueflite automatic. The slant six and 318 engines got the 904 while 340 cars got the 727. The manual transmissions included a base equipment three speed and optional 833 four speed. The 833 was designed for the racing version of the Challenger TA 340 and was extremely stout. Only heavily abused cars will show damage and extreme wear. The three speed manual was available in two versions, the base unit A-250 had a non synchronized first gear while the optional unit A-230 had synchronized forward gears. All the V8 cars had fully synchronized manual transmissions. They are all good transmissions but many favor the four speed.

Popular Options: The most popular options are the Swinger 340 and Dodge Demon 340 packages. From 1972 onward, Dodge called their fastbacks Dart Sport and it was offered with Rallye Trim including stripes, floor shifted manual transmission and Rallye Wheels. Many of these items were available separately and are desirable. These items include floor console, Rallye gauges, bucket seats, body stripes and decals, Rallye wheels, sport hoods. Mechanical options include Sure Grip limited slip differential and chrome tips with dual exhaust. There were many trim packages available and these changed yearly. Major nationally marketed packages included the Gold Duster, Feather Duster, White Hat Specials and Hang Ten Special Edition.

Semi fastback Dodges were called Dart Sports after 1972, this is the rare Hang Ten version. The 340 stripes were added by current owner.

Semi fastback Dodges were called Dart Sports after 1972, this is the rare Hang Ten version. The 340 stripes were added by current owner.


The Hang Ten was available from 1974-1975 and included a vibrant multi color interior with bucket seats, console and exterior dress up trim.

Dusters had some options available including Tuff steering wheel, console, bucket seats and cloth interior. This Hang Ten model has it all.

Dusters had some options available including Tuff steering wheel, console, bucket seats and cloth interior. This Hang Ten model has it all.


There were several regional sales promo models as well too numerous to list here.

Other options included folding rear seat with matching color keyed load floor and a manual retractable canvas top. When these were combined you had a Convertriple according to Mopar. It was the closest you could get to a real convertible 2+2. They are pretty rare since the glass sun roof idea was catching on and many buyers had their hardtops converted after purchase. Power steering, power brakes are nice extras but aren't vital on such a light car. High Impact paint was very popular in 1970-1972 but dropped away by 1974 as earth tones and metallic hues took over.

High Impact colors like Panther Pink and Sassygrass Green are usually found on 1970-1971 models. Earth tone metallics predominated afterwards with a few special order colors added in here and there.

High Impact colors like Panther Pink and Sassygrass Green are usually found on 1970-1971 models. Earth tone metallics predominated afterwards with a few special order colors added in here and there.


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You couldn't order much in the way of power accessories as the A body was built as an economy car. Power seats and windows don't exist and air conditioning is rare. You'll find that kind of goodies on an SE or notchback Dart sedan but it's very scarce in fastbacks.

What to Look Out for: The engines and transmissions in these cars were very reliable. Other than high mileage, your concerns are few and far between. With the slant six, the main problem revolved around the exhaust manifold cracking and creating a leak. The two piece manifold was known for splitting. Usually the lower casting failed, leaving the upper log in good shape.

The slant six is very durable and efficient on gas, main problems center on cracked exhaust manifolds and poor carburetion.

The slant six is very durable and efficient on gas, main problems center on cracked exhaust manifolds and poor carburetion.


The single and two barrel carburetors on the slant six and 318 V8s respectively were poor units. Common problems included poor cold starting and flooding during hot starting. A rebuild is essential for Ball Brother carbs and it's not unusual to find the B&B carb substituted with a Holley or Carter version instead. Some owners disliked the Carter Thermoquad carb and have switched to some other brand.

When it comes to bodies, these cars had few rust concerns. The front fenders usually rusted out but the floor pans, frame rails and rear sections are usually good on this model. Check the entire fender apron area from the rad cradle to just before the cowl begins. It's very common to see rust near the hood hinges and creeping underneath where the fender bolts to the inner aprons. The top of the front fenders are known to be either rusty or filled with bondo. Check it with a magnet if it looks suspicious. Sometimes the trunk floor rusts out with the fast back model if exposed to moisture. The lower shock towers should be checked as well for collision damage repairs. Look for wrinkled metal and signs of straightening with a hydraulic jack. You can also check for front end damage using a procedure outlined in the Verification & Documentation section below. At the rear, what usually rusts is the spare tire well, leaving the rest of the floor intact.

The A body Chryslers weren't bad for rust, main area to watch include spare tire well in trunk and top of fenders leading into cowl areas.

The A body Chryslers weren't bad for rust, main area to watch include spare tire well in trunk and top of fenders leading into cowl areas.


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