England, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Spain, and Japan-it seems Mopar fever is catching on everywhere. Can you blame them? Mopar's distinguishable body lines, aggressive styling, high-impact colors, and insane amounts of power came to embody the musclecar generation's youthful angst, making any would-be enthusiast a convert in a matter of milliseconds.
Overhauled by her long-time...
Overhauled by her long-time boyfriend Brendan "Bren" McCarth, his brother Kevin, and her nephew, John Taylor, the 360 small-block was pulled, machined, ported, polished, and loaded up with plenty of go-fast goodies, with enough polished chrome and aluminum to disrupt satellite imaging.
We've featured several Mopar machines from outside the U.S. borders in previous issues, and this month we are showcasing Angie Brindley's awesome orange '69 Dart from Northwich, Cheshire, England. at a young age, Angie became enamored with the growling torque rumbling out of her television while watching The Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit.
Now a mother of three, Angie's taste for horsepower bubbled back to the surface thanks in part to her boyfriend, Brendan McCarth. His '97 blue Ram stands out like a sore thumb in the Cheshire traffic, rumbling past gas-sipping four-cylinders and austere German sedans. Wanting a big V-8 of her own, Angie located this '69 Dart in nearby Billing in April 2005. Because it was in such solid condition when purchased, she enjoyed the A-Body through the summer season until November, when it was pulled inside to be overhauled.
Custom vinyl stitching covers...
Custom vinyl stitching covers the seats, while factory OEM carpet, door panels, and headliner covers the cabin.
Wanting to tackle paint and bodywork first, Bren stripped the running Dart down to bare bones and wheeled it over to New Platt Motors, which is owned by Angie's brother, Steve Taylor. The body panels were straightened, smoothed, and prepped to be coated in several layers of Lamborghini Arancio Orange. Though slightly peculiar, the color is striking, especially under the bright summer sun. Bren called upon his brother, Kevin, to assist with the electronics and rewiring. The brothers installed the custom Stewart Warner gauge cluster and Pioneer CD/MP3 head unit with new JBL speakers all the way around the interior. The collar of the stock steering column was polished and topped with a Grant woodgrain steering wheel. Custom stitching covers the seats with stark black vinyl and brilliant orange striping. The carpet, door panels, and headliner were replaced with factory-correct replacements.
Bren, his brother Kevin, and Angie's nephew, John Taylor, were instrumental in pulling, rebuilding, and returning the 360 small-block back between the Dart's fenders. When apart, the LA motor was stripped of its cylinder heads for a quick porting and polishing. A Carter 625-cfm four-barrel carburetor was bolted to a Weiand Xcelerator intake manifold; an Accel Super Coil with a Mopar Performance ignition was wired to give the engine a spark of life. The trio added Hooker headers that would flow into Flowmaster mufflers, while an electric fan, a Mopar Performance high-volume water pump, and a 160-degree thermostat helped keep the small-block cool.
While all these goodies add up to a fun ride, some added flair was added to the engine compartment. A billet "Dodge Girl" radiator cap was milled along with a ball milled air cleaner nut. Nearly everything that would take a polish was rubbed to near-blinding brilliance, including the intake, carburetor, fuel pump, braided hoses, and the March pulley system.
A custom dash fabricated by...
A custom dash fabricated by Rocky Mountain Dashes with Stewart Warner gauges, a Pioneer CD/MP3 stereo, and a Grant steering wheel sum up the personalized trickery.
The demure 904 automatic transmission was tricked with a B&M shifter and a driveshaft loop, while the factory Chrysler 8-3/4 rear was fitted with 3.23 gears mated to a Sure Grip differential. The stock leaf springs enjoy some added traction via a pair of Lakewood traction bars. The front drum brakes were replaced with a set of '74 B-Body discs, while the 8-3/4 retains its original drums.
For the final touch, Bren cinched down a set of Cragar 15x7s up front and 15x9s out the rear, all wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber. with the lion's share of this work done in Angie's driveway, most of the wrenching was conducted when Mother Nature allowed. While Bren, Kevin, and John conducted most of the heavy labor, Angie was found right alongside them, happy to turn screws and tighten bolts, polish chrome and aluminum, and otherwise ruin her manicure all the while wearing a big smile.
The final result was this awesome orange Dart that has taken home several accolades, including First Place at the AACI Cruising Angles Summer Nationals event and Best in Show in June 2006 at the American Car and Truck Show.
When the question, "How much would you sell it for?" is asked, Angie replies, "Nothing. It's definitely not for sale." Good answer, Angie.
Wanting to stand out among...
Wanting to stand out among the usual high-impact-painted Mopars, Angie went with Lamborghini Arancio Orange paint.
Fast Facts: '69 Dodge Dart - Straight Away
Angie Brindley • Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire, England Mopar Power
Engine: The LA 360 small-block was pulled and rebuilt by Bren and Kevin McCarth, and Steve and John Taylor. The cylinder heads were ported and polished, while the block was tanked and honed, and repainted to match the custom body paint. The Weiand Xcelerator intake is topped with a Carter 625-cfm four-barrel carburetor. Hooker headers flow into a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. An electric fan blows into a stock radiator that is pushed by a MP high-volume water pump and a 160-degree thermostat. A billet radiator cap marked with "Dodge Girl" and a bill-milled air cleaner nut is matched by an acre of polished chrome and aluminum.
Transmission: The factory 904 automatic is rowed by a B&M shifter and secured by a driveshaft loop.
Rearend: The original Chrysler 8-3/4 rear was rebuilt with a Sure Grip differential and 3.23 freeway flyer gears.
Horsepower & Performance: More of a street and summer cruiser, the Dart hasn't been clocked at any quarter- or eighth-mile tracks nor has it seen any dyno time.
Suspension: Mainly stock with factory torsion bars and leaf springs, added Lakewood traction bars help the little A-Body hook up.
Brakes: While the rear drums were freshened, the front drums were replaced with a pair of '74 B-Body discs-one of the easiest tricks in the book.
Wheels: Angie went with polished Cragars: 15x7s up front and 15x9s out back.
Rubber: BFGoodrich skins cover the rims with 195/60/15s fore and 235/60/15s aft.
Body: Pretty straight when Angie discovered it at a springtime show in 2005, the Dart was stripped down to a shell that November and sent to her brother's shop in nearby Northwich for the bodywork and paint.
Paint: Wanting to distinguish herself from the rest of the highly visible Chrysler paint hues, Angie opted for Lamborghini Arancio Orange with factory trim and markings.
Interior: The seats are covered with custom black vinyl and orange seams, matching the external skin. OEM carpet, door panels, and headliner were an easy choice, while the factory steering column's collar was polished and topped with a Grant woodgrain steering wheel. A Rocky Mountain-made dashboard was fabricated for the Dart with all Stewart Warner gauges and a Pioneer sound system with JBL speakers.