The Cleverness Dart is an indelible part of classic American car history. However, depending on the model year, the car’s shape, size, and features can vary wildly, making it a pretty tricky car to look back on. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less fun to reminisce, since almost most cars from the great 1960s are classic delights. Having jumped three different generations in its first three years, the Dodge Dart still managed to become a go-to car for the market for a decade.
1964 was quite a year for the Dodge Dart GT. In its third generation, the top of the range got a fantastic V8 engine, which competed adeptly with contemporary rivals. While more of a cosmetic upgrade rather than a performance-enhancing package, the 1964 Dodge Dart GT still managed to be a great car that we love even today. Gearheads love to talk about V8 classics from days gone by, especially as the internal combustion engine enters twilight. In that vein, here are 10 facts gearheads should remember about the 1964 Dodge Dart GT.
10/10 The Dodge Dart GT started out as a full-fledged sedan
The early years of the Dodge Dart were certainly a turning point for the car. In 1960, the Dart was launched as a full-sized large sedan. However, Dodge changed it almost immediately, turning it into a mid-size, multi-body vehicle for the 1962 model year.
Additionally, by the time the 1963 Dodge Dart model arrived, the car had morphed back into a smaller compact car. Three different generations in three years may sound chaotic, but the Dart still managed to have a great run over the next several years.
9/10 The 1964 Dodge Dart GT V8 competed with Ford and Chevy
The Mopar Wars had fueled in the 1960s, and before the golden era of muscle cars began, major manufacturers were equipping their cars with big, fat V8s for more power.
Following the Ford Falcon, the Chevy Nova and the Mercury Comet, the 1964 Dodge Dart GT also received an impressive V8 power mill for a performance boost. Dodge introduced this V8 engine for the Dart GT in the second half of the 1964 model year and sales immediately increased.
8/10 Dodge only offered the ’64 Dart GT as a two-door hardtop or convertible
While the Dodge Dart changed body styles almost every year in its early model years, Dodge managed to narrow down options for the 1964 Dart GT. A distinguishing feature of the 1964 Dodge Dart GT was that it was only available in two body styles.
The ’64 Dart GT was only available as a 2-door coupe, with only a hardtop or convertible option. This helped the car achieve its sporty image and remained a small, compact and stylish car that customers loved.
7/10 The 1964 Dodge Dart GT could accommodate three different engines under the hood
Dodge offered three different engine options for the 1964 Dart GT. The entry-level engine was a 2.8-liter slant-six cylinder that put out 101 horsepower. This bike was slower on acceleration, but still performed well when up to speed.
The second engine was a 3.7-liter Slant-Six, producing 145 horsepower. Midway through the 1964 model year. Dodge also gave the Dart GT a small-block 4.5-liter V8 engine, producing 180 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
6/10 The V8-powered Dodge Dart GT can hit 100 km/h in less than ten seconds
Thanks to the small-block V8 engine that Dodge gave to the Dart GT in 1964, that car became the fastest version to date. Until then, the most powerful engine was the 145 hp 3.7-liter slant-six, but even that engine reached 100 km / h in just 15 seconds.
Thanks to the 4.5-liter V8 that arrived in the second half of 1964, the Dodge Dart GT then made 180 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. This eventually helped the car reach 60 mph in less than ten seconds, making for some very nice acceleration.
5/10 The 1964 Dodge Dart GT also came with Chrysler’s TorqueFlite transmission
Chrysler’s TorqueFlite transmission was one of the best transmissions available on cars in their heyday, which is what the ’64 Dodge Dart GT came with as well.
The TorqueFlite was the gearbox of choice, as opposed to the standard 3-speed manual or the 4-speed manual, especially when paired with the V8 engine that came with the 1964 model. This was also the last year for the push-button mechanism on the TorqueFlite transmission, which makes the ’64 Dart GT all the more special.
4/10 Dodge sold nearly 200,000 Dodge Dart GTs in 1964
The Dodge Dart GT was undeniably an instant success for the brand. Not only did the Dart GT outsell its rivals, but it also managed to outsell every previous model year.
1963 was already a great year for the Dodge Dart, with 154,000 units sold. But the 1964 Dodge Dart proved to be even more successful, selling nearly 200,000 units. This phenomenal sales figure was partly due to the addition of the V8, of which Dodge sold about 13,000 units.
3/10 The ’64 Dodge Dart GT was one of the best handling cars around
Simply put, the 1964 Dodge Dart was one of the best driving vehicles on the market at the time. This was all thanks to the excellent weight distribution and rear-wheel drive.
Owners could even customize the car’s handling characteristics off the assembly line, with the option to replace the standard heavy steering with upgraded power steering. The chassis of the car remained calm when you threw it into corners too, making for fun moments behind the wheel.
2/10 The 1964 Dodge Dart GT is still a sight to behold
You can’t stop looking at the 1964 Dart GT once you take a look at it, thanks to its fantastic visual appeal that holds up even today. Brilliant round headlamps flank the front, with perfectly formed front side panels containing the chrome finish.
The front also featured a chrome grille with large ‘Dodge’ lettering, making for a sleek chrome bumper that attracted attention and stare wherever the Dart went. Furthermore, no one complained that the car was only offered as a 2-door hardtop or convertible, since that was the most beautiful version anyway.
1/10 The 1964 Dodge Dart had new and refined features
The 1963 and 1964 Dodge Dart models were the only ones to have the push-button TorqueFlite transmission that Chrysler’s top models had at the time. Apart from that, the car also came with more features.
For the 1964 model, Dodge introduced stronger door locks on the Dart, along with a refined automatic choke that made life easier. While the standard axle ratios for the manual and automatic variants were 3:21:1 and 2:93:1 respectively, there was also an optional gear ratio of 3:55:1.