The Dodge Dart was an automobile built by the Dodge Motors Division of the Chrysler Corporation, then headquartered in Highland Park, Michigan. The Dodge Dart was introduced as a lower-priced, shorter wheelbase, full-sized model of Dodge in 1960/61, became a mid-size car for 1962 and then a compact family of cars between 1963 and 1976. Dodge also used the "Dart" name for a Ghia built show car in the 1950s.
The Dart was significantly redesigned for the 1967 model year. In addition to more boxy styling, the cars received changes to the front subframe and engine compartment to accommodate larger engines such as the 383 in³ big-block V8. It would keep this new boxy style, with only front and rear changes until the line's demise in 1976. The "Swinger" appeared for 1969 replacing the base 2-door sedan along with a performance oriented Swinger 340. For 1971 the "Swinger" name was used for the old Custom hardtop while the base hardtop was called the "Swinger Special". Plymouth, which wasn't granted the hardtop option, introduced the Plymouth Duster for 1970, based on the Dart/Valiant body.
Dodge was granted its version of the Duster, named the Dodge Demon for 1971, and Valiant got its hardtop, which it named the Plymouth Scamp.
The Swinger 340 was replaced by Demon 340 for 1971. In 1973 the Demon became the Sport, and Dart introduced a new luxury Special Edition series in hardtop and sedan. The Dodge Dart was replaced by the Dodge Aspen beginning in 1976. The name was briefly used in 1980 and 1981 on Mexican-market Dodge Diplomats. The Dart would be the highest-selling model that Dodge had during this period. They earned a well-deserved reputation as dependable, and bulletproof cars. It was this model that would become the iconic Dodge Dart. Whenever people think of the name Dodge Dart, the 1967 to 1976 models are usually the ones that they think of.
There is a rumour that the rear tail panel of the Dodge Demon was actually supposed to be the tail panel of the 1971 Plymouth Duster, but due to timing and manufacturing constraints it never ended up on the Duster and instead was only on the Demon.
1971 Dodge Demon 340
1971 saw the addition of the all new Dodge Demon to the Dart lineup. Based on the Plymouth Duster, it was a pillared two-door fastback with a 108" wheelbase (three inches shorter than other Darts) and was available in two trims. The base Demon had the 198 cid I6 standard and minimal equipment, all for the bargin price of $2,343, just $30 more than the Duster. Performance minded buyers went for the Demon 340, the spiritual successor to the Dodge Dart GTS. The Demon 340 featured Chrysler's strong 340 small block rated at 275 bhp. A three speed fully synchronized floor shift was standard, along with the Rallye instrument cluster, heavy-duty suspension, E70x14 rubber, stripes, and dual exhausts. Options included a dual-scoop matte-black hood complete with hood pins, rear spoiler, "Tuff" steering wheel, four-speed manual transmission, TorqueFlite automatic, or upgraded interior. At mid-year, the Demon Sizzler became available. Based on the base Demon, the Sizzler added some of the 340's appearance and trim pieces. Both Demon models feature little cartoon "devil" decals which didn't sit well with some religious groups, but definitely added to the Demon's flair.
1972 Dodge Demon 340
The Dodge Demon continued into 1972 with the only major change being that the 340 V8 was now rated at 240 bhp SAE Net as opposed to the previous year's 275 bhp SAE Gross. Smaller changes included the switch to more generic side marker lights shared by all A-bodies.