Cruising has always been a big part of the car subculture-driving to favorite haunts for no other reason than to enjoy the ride. Some cars are basically street race monsters; that joy ride may be lacking in joy itself due to noise, heat, and ride issues. Others are restorations that may wow onlookers, but still don't offer any amenities beyond what was bolted on during assembly 30 or more years ago. For styling and ride comfort, Troy Snyder's reworked Dart GT is just the ticket.
Troy can't take credit for everything the car is now. The York, Pennsylvania, native happened upon it during the annual Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals in 2005. "I was looking for a '68 Charger," he admits, "but something about this car attracted me to it from across the show field. After a closer look, I could see how nice a car it was, and the color and condition sold it in my eyes."
The sellers were Tom and Scott Smith from Virginia Beach, and for 10 years, it had been their labor of love since the mid-'90s. The tired 318 came out, and a built 360 went into the engine bay, backed by a strengthened 904 transmission and a 2.76 highway gear in the Sure Grip-equipped 8 3/4 rear. The car was shod with those scarce 14-inch small-bolt-circle Cragar SS rims and all-season radials, with factory front disc brakes added for good measure.
Initially, what really caught Troy's eye was Scott and Tom's terrific bodywork and paint-the original reason the Dart had been taken apart in 1995. After prepping the panels, a gun full of Glasurit Aquatone Blue was laid down with a mirror coat of sheen that is still spectacular seven years later.
So with money talking, by the end of the day Troy had a title and a car that could have held its own without any additional work. However, Troy felt the Dart needed to become a more personal statement and began adding the touches shown here.
The interior looks the part...
The interior looks the part of a seriously modified show car, but Troy spends most of his time driving this modified beauty.
On the outside, not a lot was needed. the old-school Cragars, however, were sent up the road. The replacements were custom-cut, small-bolt-center Intro Wheels-a 17-inch design called Matrix-wrapped with a set of Yokahama H4S tires. The driveline was left pretty much as the Smiths had built it. Troy did decide to get a little more off-the-line punch and a 3.91 gear is in the diff now.
The interior was another story. At the time he bought it, the inside was mostly black with the exception of white seats that were taken out of a Nissan. There was no rear seat, no radio, but a custom console filled the open space up front. That wasn't going to cut it with the Saturday night Route U.S. 30 crowd, so Troy enlisted the help of pal Rob Stifley, who owns Embroidered Image in York, Pennsylvania, as well as Roland with Sounds (Bob Roland) and New Image Upholstery (Lee Gorrera). These guys worked at creating the coolest, modified Dart interior in history. They used Z-tone white ultraleather with blue inserts for the seats and panels, plus a new dash and face panel, JVC stereo/cd player, custom console, Auto Meter gauges, and custom seat tracks from Summit. Lee at New Image actually reshaped a set of '68-'70 B-Body seats into what you see here, so it's still all Mopar. Baughman Auto Parts in York had a back seat available, and a Jeg's supplied Grant steering wheel was the final touch.