Leave it to Mopar heads to see gems behind junk sheetmetal. It's a well-known fact that folks in our particular corner of the automotive universe often view hogged-out Mopar iron as an "interesting challenge" instead of fodder for the scrap yard. Alan Standil's '69 Dart Swinger is a case in point. When Alan purchased the car in 1992, the prevailing assessment was that the A-Body was maybe...maybe...only suitable as a parts car; and even that was a generous notion. But Alan, being the die-hard Dodge fanthat he is, saw something here that others didn't.

Alan, owner of a wrecker service in Winnipeg, Manitoba, says the car originally hailed from Winnipeg, but somehow made its way to Vancouver, which is where he bought it. He says it was rusted from one end to the other, sported a dark brown paint (which was hard to distinguish from the rust), Centerline wheels, headers, a diamond-tufted interior and headliner, and as icing on the cake, a painting of a naked lady on the trunk. One can only imagine the story behind that. Alan, however, was undeterred and soon set out to bring the Swinger 340 back to a more presentable condition.

"The first process in Project Dart was disassembly," says Allen. "Each part was tagged, bagged, and labeled. Whatever wasn't rusted was saved and painfully rebuilt or restored and repainted. New parts were ordered if you could get them, and six parts cars were bought to make one car."

As expected, there was plenty of bodywork involved, including grafting floorpans and body and trunk panels-some components from four-door donors, others from two-door cars. Guy Seewald of Ritcher, Manitoba, handled all the sheetmetal artwork before handing the Swinger over to Sargent Auto Body in Winnipeg for the application of the Firemist topcoat. Wayne Farmer gave the chassis its final spit and polish.

Despite its hardships, the Swinger came with a matching-numbers 340 block and four-speed backed by a 3.23 limited-slip rear. For the drivetrain work, Alan sent the car to Aime Verrier at ALV Automotive in LaBroquerie, Manitoba. Aime rebuilt everything to stock specs with the exception of treating the engine to a .030-inch overbore. Once Aime was finished with the wrench turning, his wife, Verna, gave the engine and powertrain a thorough detailing.

The next pro on the scene was Rolly Boadway, who set his upholstery talents to work by installing Legendary Seat Covers seat, headliner, and carpet replacements. To complement the Firemist exterior, Rolly also layed black vinyl down on the roof and added tinted glass all around. Other enhancements came from the handiwork of Aime and Verna, including installing an AM/FM radio and adding power steering and a light package.

Remarkably, the Swinger's restoration was completed in time for the '95 Mopar Nationals, where it finished First in the A-Body Dodge category. Since then, the car has added numerous Best of Shows and assorted awards earned at events stretching from western Canada to the eastern United States.