It's said that it takes a village to raise a child. If that's the case, then it takes a pack of friends, a couple donor cars, and a willing bank account to build a musclecar. That is what Brian and Stacie Pfefferle discovered when Brian came home with this '72 Dodge Dart Swinger.
Brain's brother purchased the Swinger for $800 to use as a daily driver while he built his own A-Body Scamp. the Dart was then handed over to brother Brian once the Plymouth was finished. Brian relates, "My wife hated it when we brought it home. she said, 'that's the ugliest thing I've ever seen.' I kept trying to tell her to give it time."
At first, Brian only intended to give the Swinger a quick paint job and interior replacement, but the project swelled into a full-fledged restomodification. Brian decided to swap the front suspension with a '74 Dart to utilize its stock disc brakes. Completing the initial setup, Brian sat the Swinger on aggressive Weld Drag Lites slathered with BFG radial T/As. Gabriel shocks were posted up front, while Mopar Performance drag shocks were ordered for the necessary launch response.
Brian wanted his wife to be involved in the process, assigning her to help in the restoration of the dash and gauge cluster along with friend Randy Gerber. Auto Meter silver-faced gauges were put in place to read the vitals. The '74 Dart donor car was scavenged again for its power steering equipment. The front buckets came from a salvaged Aspen and were recovered with matching black vinyl, along with the rear bench and door panels. ACC Carpets' black carpeting was used for the floor.
Brian and Stacie opted for PPG Silver to give the Swinger a more unique, modern look. Randy Gerber was brought back to straighten the Dart and coat its panels in the rich metallic silver. Finishing off the Swinger's outside, a period bumblebee stripe wrapped around the rear quarters.
Brain admitted he really didn't intend to drive the Dart hard, but in his words, "going slow is not for me."
With all the meticulous work put into the Dart, Brian, in fear of his own right foot, chose to go with the smaller 318 instead of his previously planned 340. The stock cast-crank and rods move the 9.5:1 compression pistons, and a Comp Cams hydraulic .480 lift camshaft works the deep breathing valves. Cast Chrysler 360 heads were selected to receive a three-angle valve job, hardened seats, and some mild blending and porting, giving the 318 a little more oomph.
A Weiand Action Plus intake is topped with an Edelbrock 650 carburetor resting atop the small-block, and the gases are expelled through Dynomax 151/48-inch headers and Flowmaster mufflers exiting 211/42-inch pipes. A Mopar Performance electronic distributor and Accel coil were used to keep the spark. The trans (with a TCI shift kit) and rear 2.76 peg leg are scheduled to be swapped for a 904 nonlock-up trans and a 3.55 Sure-Grip, so that the Dart can really dig in.
Already Brian and Stacie have begun their plans for a 340 to really bring the little A-Body to life. Brian laughs, "In the beginning she wanted to sell the Dart or trade it towards a Road Runner when it was done. But now that it is done, she doesn't want the Road Runner anymore. Now she considers the Dart hers, and you couldn't pry it out of her hands." We think she made a good choice, Brian.
Fast FactsOwner: Brian and Stacie Pfefferle, Snellville, GeorgiaBody: '72 Dodge Dart SwingerEngine: 318, cast crank, rods, 9.5:1 pistons Comp Cams hydraulic .480 lift camshaft 360 Mopar Performance heads, MP valves 2.02 intake, 1.60 exhaust, Weiand Action Plus intake, Edelbrock 360 carbTransmission: stock Chrysler O.D., TCI shift kitRearend: 811/44 open 2.76 gearsWheels/Tires: Front: Weld Drag Lites 15x5, BFG 215x70x15Rear: Weld Drag Lites 15x8, BFG 235x60x15