Let's face the facts, most of us like unusual Mopars. The more unusual the car and its options, the more rare (usually), the more desirable (probably), and the more valuable (typically). Rich Bellerby has to have one of the most unusual color combinations to ever make it down the Dodge Dart assembly line in 1969. This was an era of great civil unrest and rather "odd" fashions reflecting those tumultuous times. Enter the Mod Top. If you are not familiar with the Mod Top, suffice it to say it is a flower print vinyl top, a true reflection of the times.

Rich, a Mopar aficionado from the Great White North, purchased this '69 Dart Swinger 340/four-speed car about 4 years ago, after answering an ad in his local paper. Upon calling the seller, he learned the Dart in question was supposed to be "one of those flower top cars." So Rich promised to call the guy back, hung up, did some quick research on Mod Top production figures, decided the Dart was worth owning (what 340/four-speed Dart isn't worth owning?), and made an appointment to see the car for himself. After verifying that it was indeed a psychadelic '60s-inspired Mod Top 340/four-speed Swinger, he struck the deal and the flower child was his. Seems the last owner wanted an orange Dart with a black vinyl top and that is what it almost became, when Rich came to the rescue. Rich was going to return it to its former green, flowery glory.

That winter Rich embarked on a search for the correct green Mod Top material necessary to correctly restore his Dart, and found it in California, date coded 3-69. All body work was performed by Rich, while Mike Pilkey of Custom Sport of Collingwood, Ontario, laid down the F6 Bright Green Metallic to perfection. The interior and Mod Top vinyl installation was handled by friend Mike Burch, and Henry Neuller of Singhampton, Ontario, rebuilt the already potent 340 back to stock specs, save for the slightly hotter Mopar Performance hydraulic stick. Rich felt the stock steel wheels with hubcaps just didn't do the car justice, so he went with a set of '70 Rally wheels sporting modern BFGoodrich rubber.

Since completion, Rich has wracked up 17,000 miles and can brag two Power Tours under his belt. Considering only fifty 340 Swingers were purportedly built with the Mod Top, we'd say that Rich has stones. But that's what the Power Tour is all about-driving with like-minded lunatics.

Fast Facts
Owner: Rich Bellerby, Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada

Body: '69 Dodge Dart Swinger
Color: F6 Bright Green Metallic

Engine: 340 LA

  • 4.06-inch bore
  • Stock 3.31 stroke steel crankshaft
  • Stock 10.50:1 Pistons
  • Mopar Performance hydraulic flat tappet cam, 268/272-degrees advertised duration, .450/.455-inch lift Stock factory iron X-castings
  • Stock iron intake manifold, 750-cfm Edelbrock carb

Transmission: 833 four-speed manual
Rearend: 8 3/4 with 3.23 Sure Grip

Front Chrysler Rally 14x5.5 with BFG 215/70R14 tires
Rear Chrysler Rally 14x5.5 with BFG 245/60R14 tires