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Larry Arvay was a typical thirteen year old in the 1970s so he did typical thirteen year old kid stuff like ask bold questions.


Kids at that age are undaunted so a negative reply isn’t a deal breaker.


That’s why he was surprised at how a bold question turned out years later.


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Larry’s great aunt was a university professor so her life was based on orderly and logical thought processes.


Her last new car purchase was a great example as Larry recalled, “She bought this Dodge Dart brand new on May 19, 1972. I used to visit her and I was 13 at the time so I told her if you ever sell it, I’m interested because all I did was go down to the garage and look at it. When she passed away it was in her will that it went to me”.


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This Dart on its own is a great example of a survivor but the thought processes behind the purchase tell a great story about Larry’s aunt: “She ordered it without a radio because she didn’t want to be distracted. She was very particular and never married, she was so super organized we had to know what door to open for toys”.


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Larry explained how his aunt mapped out the order sheet on the car: “She had two pages where she checked off and crossed out options because she had a specific figure in mind for the car and it came out to 3675.00-exactly what she wanted to spend”.


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This Dart is a survivor simply because Larry’s aunt didn’t do a lot of driving: “She did about 1000 miles a year because she only drove it for groceries and she walked to work at the university. When I got it, it only had 23,997 miles on it. She had KPH stickers on the speedometer just to be accurate but I took them off”.


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Larry acquired the Dart years after he first saw it and that was part of his learning curve because he was sure he’d get it just in time for his 16th birthday: “I got it in 1992, twenty years later and I was thirty three so it was a twenty year wait. I didn’t have a car when I was 16 so it seemed like a long time”.


Larry hasn’t run up the miles in the last twenty years so the car is like a time capsule: “It’s got 27,913 miles on it now. When I tell people it’s original upholstery they think I’m crazy. It’s even got the original spare. I can drive her all day at 70 miles per hour but it’s very rare that I drive it but I do start it all the time because it is in cold storage. My son is prompting me to drive it more to car shows”.


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The Dart is definitely not leaving the Arvay family because another member of the clan has designs on this mint little Dart: “My son’s interested in it–he’ll probably buy it out of the will”.


This Dodge isn’t the kind of Mopar that stands out like a lime green Cuda at a car show but it was constantly surrounded by people who remember functional cars like this as part of their personal history. Larry summed this up in one sentence:


“Every time I get in the car I think of her”.


Jerry Sutherland

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