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 of a seriously modified show car, but Troy spends most of his
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.
'69 Dodge Dart GT
Engine: the original 318 was pulled out by prior owners Tom and Scott Smith; the Dart now features a fortified '72-vintage 360 that Scott built himself. Punched out .060, the stock crank swings Milodon Super Series rods and mild 8.8:1 Federal Mogul Hypertech pistons in the bores. The cam is a Comp hydraulic version, moving Mancini stainless steel replacement valves in the OEM heads. The stock 360 intake and an 800-cfm ThermoQuad span the distance between them, with tti ceramic-coated headers and exhaust handling the dump chores. A Mopar Performance mechanical distributor and Mallory fuel pumps round out the engine.
Transmission: A 904 TorqueFlite reworked for power, with a Turbo-action valvebody and a 2,800-stall Mopar Performance converter.
Differential: Good old 742 banjo 8.75 with a 3.91 cog and Sure Grip.
Horsepower and Performance: Guesses are 320 off the crank
Suspension: Nothing super gnarly here, but Competition Engineering front shocks, Super Stock springs with MP rear shocks, and a set of frame connectors get the job done.
Brakes: All OEM parts, with four-piston discs up front and factory drums at the back.
Wheels: Custom-made 17-inch Intro Matrix on a 4-inch bolt circle.
Rubber: Yokohama H4S: 215/50-R17 under the nose; 225/55-R17 off the rear.
Body: Scott Smith gets credit for getting the car into shape.
Paint: Smith also did the gun work using Glasurit Aquatone Blue. It still looks great even after seven years.
Interior: The most modified section of the car features design and embroidery work done by Rob Stifley (Embroidered Image, York, Pennsylvania). Credit for the dash panel, stereo installation, and sound system goes to Bob Roland. Lee Gorrera at New Image Upholstery reworked the front seats from a B-Body, did the recovering of all surfaces with Z-tone Ultraleather pieces, and assembled what you see here. The trunk was already done by the Smiths, but Troy had it redone in the colors shown here.
Best Performance: To date, a 13.66 at 104 (with 14-inch rims and 2.76 gear)
Under that ram-inducted air cleaner is a '72-vintage 360 opened up .060 inch. The stock cr
Custom-made INTRO wheels with 4-inch bolt circles add to the custom touch.