Dylan stands proudly by the car he and his father built. "I'll never get rid of this car!"
When Dylan Abbett of St. Louis turned 15, his grandfather gave him this '68 Dart. It originally belonged to Dylan's grandmother but she passed away, and his grandfather wanted to see it go to him. With the car in good hands, Dylan and his father, Barry, decided to restore the car together. The process has been ongoing, but the results have proven to be time well spent.
Dylan and his father had never rebuilt a car before, but that didn't stop them from working on this one. They started by removing the damaged roof and replacing it with a solid piece from a donor Dart. This was accomplished successfully, and the same method was applied to the tail light panel and the floors. After working on the body, their attention turned to the driveline. The Dart was originally equipped with a Slant Six, so they found a 318 with a two-barrel to shove under the hood, and backed it by a 904 transmission that they got for a paltry $300. The carburetor was rebuilt and a new filter was installed in the transmission before cleaning the engine up, adding new seals and gaskets, a distributor, freeze plugs, and some new paint. The engine and transmission assembly was bolted into the car along with a used driveshaft they located in a local Mopar junkyard. While there, he also found the necessary parts to rebuild his brakes.
As the car was coming together, some customization ideas started floating through his head. He knew he wanted to upgrade the audio system and decided to go with a unit that had provisions for his iPod. He and his dad modified the ashtray in the console to conceal the iPod, and now Dylan can drive around listening to his entire library of music. Other alterations to the interior include a floor console they acquired from a swap meet, and a pair of bucket seats-since the car was previously filled with a bench seat.
The most striking feature of this Dart isn't the Mopar powerplant under the hood; it's actually its paint. Dylan and his father completed most of the bodywork themselves, but had a local body shop fix a few spots and paint it. They removed the hood, doors, fenders, and trunk lid before they sprayed the custom hue down on the A-Body. After the paint was applied, they proceeded to wet-sand and buff it to a crystal luster. "My dad knows the manager's brother, and he gave us an incredible deal." he says. Talk about a hookup.
Dylan couldn't be happier with the way the Dart has turned out. However, he would like to upgrade the car more with American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels and a 340 at some point. But, as is the case with most of our Young Guns, the future plans are dictated by limited funds.
Restoration Specialties & Supply of Windber, Pennsylvania, is one of the world's largest and well-known mail-order suppliers of finishing hardware, clips, screws, fasteners, and weatherstripping for cars, trucks, street rods, and muscle machines. Started in 1974 as a small antique auto parts supplier, Restoration Specialties & Supply manufactures and markets a large variety of replacement window channel and belt weatherstrip kits under the brand name Topcat Whiskers. They also manufacture and carry a full line of weatherstrip packages for the Mopar enthusiast. For more information, to order a catalog, or place an order, call 814/467-9842, or visit their website, www.restorationspecialties.com.
Do You Feel Lucky?
Do you want to see your Mopar here? Do you want to be immortalized as a Mopar Muscle Young Gun? Is your car the nastiest thing on four wheels at your high school or college? Then send in your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Mopar Muscle, Young Guns, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Here's all you need to do: Send us some photos of you and your car, a description of your car, what you have done to it, and future plans for it. Be sure to include contact information and current email address. Good luck!