The Dodge Dart has a rich history in the car industry as it jumpstarted Dodge's rise to fame. It managed to compete with other big names and grew to encompass much of Dodge's sales. It was a staple in many American homes back in its prime and still lives on in their memories today.
There are some things you probably didn't know about the Dodge Dart and its past. Luckily, we have uncovered the facts that this car has harbored beneath its name so you can learn more about this car's history. Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn't know about the Dodge Dart!
10 It Was Discontinued In 2016
This car had a long and drawn out life that ended back in 2016. It was actually released twice as it was originally put on the market back in 1960. It continued to hold a place in the Dodge lineup until 1976 when it was discontinued the first time.
This manufacturer decided to bring it back in 2012, but its low performance led to its official retirement in 2016. This car had a long run and was a favorite among many, but it fell to the competition after all.
9 Dart Boards Were Used To Advertise It
This car utilized its name as a selling point when it arrived at dealerships. If you drove past a Dodge dealership in the '70s, then you might have seen a giant dartboard set up on their property in honor of this car. This was used to grab people's attention as they drove by, but it wasn't just used to advertise the Dodge Dart.
All of their current vehicles were displayed as a different dart on the board and it showcased the major attributes of each vehicle. This made it easier for customers to compare different models and choose the one that was perfect for them and their lifestyle.
8 They Capitalized On Taxi Companies
A part of the reason why Dodge Dart gained such a following was that people from certain cities saw them everywhere. They were one of the cars that this company sold and promoted to taxi companies in the '60s and '70s.
The design was adjusted to better suit their needs and better handle the wear and tear of commercial driving, but these taxi companies loved them. These were so popular that by 1976 there was an entire package made specifically for taxi drivers, and it included the tell-tale yellow shade.
7 It Was Based On The Dodge Hornet Concept Car and Plymouth Valiant
If you look at the older and newer Dodge Dart models there is quite a difference, and the reasoning for this is that they were based on two different cars. The original 1960s Dart was based on the Plymouth Valiant as a way to increase sales for Dodge, as both companies were owned by Chrysler at the time.
The plan went a little too well as it essentially replaced the Valiant altogether, but it was the start of Dodge's great success. When the car was brought back into production in 2012 the design was largely based on the Dodge Hornet concept car, but its obvious that people were not as sold on this idea as the models before it.
6 They Almost Switched The Name
The Dodge Lancer was a car produced between 1959 and 1961, but it almost became the name of the new Dart. The other brand was being retired so the company wanted to use the name to jumpstart their new line, but they decided against it.
The Dart had a higher model that was called the Dodge Demon, but this name was changed after a few years due to the heat they were receiving for the evil connotation. Soon after they changed it to the Dart Sport to prevent naysayers from decreasing their sales on this wonderful vehicle.
5 They Were Sold In Mexico And Brazil
The Dodge Dart might have ended production in the United States following 1976, but in a few other countries, these cars continued to sell. Brazil kept this model in production until 1981 but continued to keep the same body style as that of the last cars made in the States.
Mexico also kept this car on the market, but they called it the Dodge Diplomat instead. They kept the Dart on the market until 1989 and released a few different body styles in order to keep with the changing times.
4 One Model Came With A Surfboard
There was one model back in 1974 that actually came with a surfboard as part of the package deal. It was called the Hang Ten Dart and it was a sport version of this classic vehicle that featured a white body with red and blue stripes.
The surfboard matched the vehicle and was the perfect way to entice consumers to buy this limited edition style. The sleek design combined with the fact that you could go out and ride the waves made it desirable to many, and especially those living in coastal states.
3 It Competed In The Trans-American Sedan Championship
This vehicle was originally created to be a family-style car that could be used on a daily commute. In 1966 it was reimagined as a racecar when Dodge released the Dart GT, despite the hesitation of upper management.
The car was then entered into the Trans-American Sedan Championship and it managed to win two of the races. This was the start of the Dart's racing history as it amazed everyone with its prowess on the race track. It might not have looked like a racecar in the beginning, but with time it transformed into the racecar of our dreams.
2 There Was A Chinese Version Called The Fiat Viaggio
The Fiat Viaggio was released on the Chinese market in 2012 as the dual creation of the revamped Dodge Dart. It was different as it featured a sportier design, and the question was brought up as to why the States did not go in this direction.
It saw things like a wraparound tail light and a chrome grille, and the inside felt more luxurious than its American twin. The engines were also different as this car featured the popular European fiat engine that managed to sell well in their markets, but it is still a mystery why the designs were so different.
1 It Was Built As A Full-Size, Mid-Size, and Compact Car
This car went through a lot of changes in its early years in order to become the car that we know and love today. The first car released in 1960 was considered a full-size car, and over the next three years, it gradually moved from a mid-size to a compact car in order to compete with the other cars in its division.
People were looking for something smaller, and as stated earlier, the Plymouth Valiant was the perfect example of what consumers wanted. They managed to downsize this car even further into something that became a bestseller.