The 1964 Dart GT was a rare beast because cars like the Mustang—and to a lesser degree—the Plymouth Barracuda stole the market for compact, sporty cars.

That doesn’t mean the Dart GT didn’t stack up well against small-block pony cars—it just means the Dart was ambushed by a cultural shift in the automotive world.

Jerry Sutherland

Steve Comis owns this pristine 1964 Dart GT. Steve was clear about the history of the car–he bought it as-is from the previous owner. That’s because the previous owner did all the right things to his unique little A-body Mopar.

This was a 50th anniversary car, so it came with more cosmetic appointments than a stripped-down, base Dodge Dart.  The seats were redone with Dodge symbols embedded in the upholstery to celebrate the historic occasion of the brand name.

The rest of the car is in great shape. The last owner bought it from the original owner, so Steve is the third name on the car’s biography. The previous owner had a big vision for the little Dart so the factory 273 V-8 and pushbutton Torqueflite automatic transmission were early casualties in the transformation.

A 1997 Dodge pickup donated its power train to the project, so now there’s a fuel-injected 318 V-8 under the hood. This bulletproof Mopar small block is hooked up to the truck’s 4-speed automatic transmission via an aftermarket floor shifter. There’s a tachometer located where the pushbuttons were on the dashboard.

Steve explained how the transmission’s tail shaft was shortened to accommodate the Dart’s different configuration. The rear springs were also upgraded to handle the power of the newer 318, plus the rear end was upgraded to 8 ¼ inch for the same reason. There’s also a 2 ½ inch exhaust to give the new engine a little more breathing room.

The car had 50,000 miles on it when Steve took ownership, and he has added about 2400 miles to the clock since then. The key to this success is the reliability found in the fuelie 318. These engines were indestructible, and the upgraded fuel delivery system in the 90s made them even more bulletproof.

The system also takes fuel economy to another level—Steve was happy to report the Dart pulls over 30 miles per gallon on the highway with its new engine and transmission. That’s a good thing because the car only has a 13-gallon tank. The increase in power is also a huge asset because the Dart is a highway flyer now.

Steve runs the car at highway speed—or better because the transmission drops the rpms down to a loafing level at 75 miles per hour. The car is a better version of its factory self in every way.

The previous owner had his fingerprints all over this ’64 Dart, but Steve admitted he wouldn’t have done anything differently. He was looking for a reliable old car he could drive anywhere, and the Dart ticked off all the boxes.

Steve said the Dart hasn’t cost him a dime since he took it over—he was looking at an oil change but that’s the extent of his costs since purchase.

That’s how you roll in a resto-mod ’64 Dart.            

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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