According to the corporate press release, of the 60 Darts to be produced, 25 would be built with four-speed manual transmissions and 35 with automatics. Manual-transmission-equipped cars came with a Dana-built 931/44 heavy-duty axle with a special 4.88 gear ratio, a special 1011/42-inch heavy-duty clutch, steel bellhousing, and a special torque shaft and pivots. The four-speed transmissions were modified by removing the synchronizers. This would allow power shifting without the likelihood of missed shifts. A Hurst floor-mounted shifter unit was the choice for gear selections.
Automatic transmission models incorporated the then-new Chrysler-built 831/44-inch large-stem pinion center section with a 4.86 gear set and heavy-duty axle shafts. The automatic tranny featured a 2,600-rpm high-speed torque converter. This converter had larger drive lugs and used 71/416-inch diameter attaching screws to help bear the brunt of the rough work. The heavy-duty 727 TorqueFlite transmissions were modified for manual shifting with a Hurst floor-mounted shifter.
In order to save weight, Chrysler employed lightweight steel doors, lightweight bumpers, and lightweight side-window glass (manufactured by Corning Glass). The following items were deleted on this body type: heater, body sealers, sound deadeners, silence pads, outside mirrors, right-side seatbelts, and body color paint. To hold the windows in the closed position, a seatbelt-type strap material was attached to the base of the glass. This strap had a snap on the other end, and when the window was in the closed position, the snap was attached to the bottom of the door on the interior side. The cars weighed approximately 3,000 pounds and met the '68 specifications of the major sanctioning dragstrip organizations. Although they conformed as closely as possible to street production cars, the Hemi Darts were not for use on public highways.
The yellow unmolested original pictured here is owned by Larry and LeeAnne Nash of Lebanon, Indiana. Larry grew up watching Hemi Super Stockers in NHRA Division 5. This included drivers like John Hagen, Ron Peters, and Judy Lilly during 1972, 1973, and 1974.
In 2000, Larry decided it was time to begin the search for his own "Land Rocket," so he started investigating and heard about a Dart in Pennsylvania. He made the call and couldn't believe what he was hearing. Larry wasted no time hooking up with the owner, Tim Hain, who'd had the car since 1993. After Larry was satisfied the Dart was what he was looking for, Tim received a deposit and then arranged to complete the purchase in November 2000.
According to Larry, one of Tim's most appealing attributes during the whole arrangement was his appreciation of the car. He knew the history of the car and had the respect to maintain it as opposed to altering it. Tim had even facilitated the car's ability to pass a Pennsylvania State inspection and then drove the car to local drive-ins and hangouts.
The Nash's Dart is now considered by some to be the only unmolested '68 Hemi Super Stock Dart in existence. How could this be true? Larry has a documented history of the car dating back to when Lou Mancini, the former owner of Mancini Racing, claimed ownership of this factory-offered fire-breathing dragon.