We've seen this happen before. A guy sets out to spruce up the old car a bit, but discovers a little rust here, a few dings there, rearend makes a little noise, engine smokes more than it should. one thing leads to another and before you know it, the snowball is picking up speed and growing larger. The engine comes out, the body is stripped, interior's all over the garage floor, vinyl top gets peeled off, and while the engine's out, might as well go through the trans. whew, when it's all over, and the car has achieved perfection, a full seven years have elapsed. That's what happened to Mike Lucas. He bought his '67 Dart GT back in 1988 from his stepdad. It was in pretty good shape with only 32,000 miles showing on the clock. In 1991, he dropped a 340 into it, wanting a bigger gun to handle those pesky Brand-X guys on the street. In 1993, he started stripping it down a bit for a little clean up. Then BAM! It's 2001, and he doesn't even know how he got there.
Starting with the obviously stellar body work, Mike commissioned Jeff Little of Venetia, Pennysylvania, to make the exterior perfect. When completely ironed out, Jeff laid down the PPG '96 Chrysler Forrest Green base/clear coat. Since the interior was in good shape despite its advanced years, only the front seat needed covering, and the carpets replaced with new Year One pieces. The S&W six-point rollbar was painted the body color, Autometer Ultra-Lite gauges were installed, and an E-body pistol grip shifter was fitted for an unmistakable look.
S&W was also sourced for the frame-rails, making room for the narrowed Dana 60 (packing a 4.30 gear set and Moser axles), and the 15x12 rear Weld wheels. Mickey Thompson supplied the 1511/42-inch-wide Sportsman Pro rear tires.
A '73 Dart donated its front disc brakes, while the rear drums came off of a B-body. Super Stock leaf springs hold up the rear like countless other Mopars.
Mike decided to stick with the 340 that he added to the mix back in 1991, but freshened and warmed it up a bit with buddy Jimmy Dhayer, since he wasn't leaving a single bolt unturned. The 340 was punched .030-over and filled with TRW forged flat-top pistons squeezing a pump gas-friendly 9.75:1 compression. The stock rods and cast crank were deemed strong enough for the power output, so they were retained. A solid flat-tappet cam of unknown origins wound up mysteriously in the block, and the short-block was topped with a set of ported J-castings with 2.02/1.68 intake and exhaust valves respectively. Valve lash is adjusted via a set of Crane Gold roller rockers with a stock 1.5:1 ratio. An M-1 single plane and Holley 750 Double Pumper got the nod to handle the fuel feeding chores, and a set of tti step headers and 3-inch exhaust system with 40-series Flowmasters are tasked with shuttling waste. A Mopar Performance electronic ignition with chrome box provides the spark. Mike is a guy that likes to row his own, and he does with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter with the aforementioned Pistol Grip heisted from an E-body.
Mike got married last year, but recalls telling his then girlfriend many moons ago that he had to finish the Dart before they got married. He finally did, then they finally did. Was it a stalling tactic? Fear of commitment? Nah, we don't think so. Anybody who can dedicate seven years to the restoration of an inanimate object has no issues with commitment. Mrs. Lucas, you've got nothin' to worry about.
Fast FactsOwner: Mike Lucas, Washington, PennsylvaniaBody: '67 Dodge Dart GTColor: PPG '96 Chrysler Forrest Green
Engine: 340ci LA4.07-inch boreStock 3.31 stroke cast crankTRW 9.75:1 pistonsMystery Brand solid flat-tappet cam, 289/299-degrees of advertised duration, 473/.496-inch liftChrysler J iron casting cylinder heads, ported, with 2.02/1.68(AMC exhaust valves) Mopar Performance M-1 single-plane intake manifold, Holley 750-cfm carb
Transmission: 833 four-speed manual transmission
Rearend: Dana 60 with 4.30 US Gears, Sure Grip, Moser axles
Wheels/Tires: Front:, Weld Drag Lites 15x5 with Kelley 165R15 front tires Rear, Weld Drag Lites 15x12 with Mickey Thompson 29x15.5x15 Sportsman Pros