This awesome 1970 Dodge Dart belongs to Mike Dawson of Vashon Island, Washington. The car has quite a bit of history to him in that it was purchased brand new by his father in 1970 as the dealers’ demo-car.
“At 14, I got down on my knees and begged my father to buy the plum crazy 1970 Swinger 340 on the showroom floor,” he explained. “Dad finally bought a demo 1970 Dart Custom with a 318, automatic, A/C, and lots of extra trim for $3,200.”
When Mike got his license, his dad insisted that he had to take a mechanics course if he wanted to drive, so at that time he started taking over maintenance on the car. His dad bought a new Dart in 1975 and sold this one to Mike. Over the next few years he installed headers, a four-barrel carburetor, and an 8 and ¾-inch rearend.
In 1978 Mike had the chance to buy a 340 cubic-inch engine with T/A heads and 10.5:1 pistons. “It was my dream engine,” he explained. He bought it and ran it in the car for the next seven years. It sat for a while from 1986 until 1999 while Mike focused on other projects. It was at the turn of not only the century, but the millennium between 1999 and 2000 that he restored his dad’s old car to what you see today.
This ’70 Dart now features that same 340 cubic-inch engine, an Edelbrock STR 12 Crossram intake, dual Edelbrock 500cfm carburetors, MSD ignition, an A727 automatic transmission, and 8 and 3/4 -inch rearend.
Although his father passed away in 1992, Mike knows his dad would be proud of his old car today. “He always taught me that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing right,” Mike detailed. “This car has driven over 185,000 miles. If you can’t drive it and enjoy it, why own it? Trailers are for boats.”
We love Mike’s Dart, and we’d love to see what you folks are driving out there. If you love it, odds are good that we will too, so shoot us an email with a couple pictures and a little information on your ride, you might just see it here as one of our Street Features. Still a work in progress? No worries, we’d always like to see a project for our What Are You Working On series.