You know that old story about the rich uncle who comes through to save the day? Well, in David Brandenburg's case, that uncle, Charles Brandenburg, didn't have a suitcase full of money or a even a fool-proof plan and an airtight alibi. No, what he had was even better.
You see, in March of 1967, Charles had gone to Watkins Burdette Motor Company in Frederick, Maryland, and ordered what would end up being only one of 229 Dart GTS 383/automatic models produced that year. The car designated Dodge Dart GT for 1967 came with some great standard features like full vinyl interior and carpeting. The new body panels used the same clean lines that had made their appearance first in the B-Body group in 1966; up to this point, the small-engine Dart had been a fairly humble machine. Now a full-fledged member of the "Dodge Rebellion," it looked ready to take on the world, especially with the GTS option packages, which consisted of either the 273 A-motor (as standard fare) or the 383 as a brutal alternative.
To get his version of the new-for-1967 "GTS" option, Charles took charge and ordered the 383, which included tuned dual exhausts, Red Line tires, front disc brakes, heavy-duty suspension and a Carter AVS four-barrel topped by a low-restriction air cleaner "that your mother-in-law won't understand and your wife will eventually get used to," according to Dodge's advertising for the car. The 727 Torqueflite and a 3.23:1 831/44 differential rounded out the driveline. In addition to the standard GTS stuff, the car got buffed AA1 Silver Metallic paint with red interior trim, tinted glass, and a #577 console-mounted tachometer. Brandenburg drove the car for about six years, until he graciously sold it to his then-15-year-old nephew David.
Still in like-new condition, David had to wait a year before he could take it cruising around the Frederick area, and even then, he knew it was pretty special. Therefore, in the ensuing decades, the odometer has moved to only 40,600 original miles. Still, it did spend some time outside, so ten years ago Dave began upgrading those parts that age had taken its toll on.
Searching the swap meets at places like the Carlisle's All-Chrysler Nationals and the Mopar Nationals yielded some NOS stuff. The front bumper was replaced though the rest of the trim is original. To get exact details correct, Year One came through with the right stuff like hose clamps, while Legendary Interiors retooled a set of correct red vinyl covers and headrests for the seats. The trim and exhaust tips were rechromed as well. Meanwhile, David, who installs glass for a living, pulled the 383 and rebuilt it to stock specs. He also tackled the bodywork (which was minor) and paint job himself.
When we saw the car at Carlisle, we knew it was something special. David has taken home many show awards with the Dart GTS, but its rarity and super-clean condition make it a tribute to the heritage of Chrysler performance. We can all thank his "rich uncle" for that.