OCTOBER 26, 2014 (NOVEMBER 2014): A ONE OWNER 1969 DODGE DART SWINGER 340 HAS A LONG HISTORY WITH ONE FAMILY

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We spotted Lynn Flewitt’s car at a local car show and realized we better get the story behind the car because it was a long way from its home.

 

We have learned one hard and fast rule at MyStarCollectorCar:

 

Do not wait when you have an opportunity to interview a car owner-especially somebody who lives hundreds of miles away.

 

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Obviously, a well-preserved 1969 Dodge Dart 340 with a factory four speed is already a good story out of the chute. It becomes a great story when it still has its original owner and 45 years of history with him.

 

Lynn obtained a bank loan to purchase the car from the dealership and was able to negotiate the sticker price down from a little under 4000 dollars to 3000 cash back in ’69.

 

In recent years, Lynn was able to show the car to his banker from that era and prove that it was still a good investment after all these years. His former banker agreed with him.

 

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It was a sizable investment at the time, but it was clearly a great investment because the Swinger is now priceless for Lynn. It holds the key to countless memories, including use as a family hauler for his kids in the early years.

 

The Dart was stored from 1977 until 2008 when Lynn and his wife Marlene decided to restore the car back to its original glory. The rear quarters were gone and the interior required work, but they gave the Dart a brand new lease on life.

 

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Lynne wanted to preserve as much of its originality as possible so the seats were left alone, save for the tops of them because of weathering over the years.

 

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The engine was also rebuilt in 2012 because Lynn and Marlene wanted to hit the road in a big way with the Dart. They headed west for 5 weeks and then east for another 5 weeks in 2013 for a total of 16,000 miles on the road trip in their Dart.

 

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They also made things even more interesting when they decided to haul a 17 foot hybrid fold-out holiday trailer behind the car. Their journey included the Roger’s Pass through the Rocky Mountains, a road well-known for its steep grades.

 

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The little Dart did very well as a trailer hauler and Lynn recalled he was able to maintain a good pace through the mountains, although he did have to drop down to third gear a few times along the way.

 

The Dart also did well when they hit weather in the high 30s Celsius (high 90s Fahrenheit). The reliable road warrior never overheated during the hot spell, even though it had the trailer on behind it. In fact, the entire adventure was essentially a trouble-free run for the Swinger.

 

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The Swinger has a special license plate that reads “Momnme”; short for “Mom (Marlene) and Me”. The car was always a part of Lynn and Marlene’s life as a couple and he wanted to acknowledge the bond.

 

The 2013 road trip would prove to be a memorable adventure for the two of them and unfortunately it was also their last big road adventure together in the Dart. Marlene passed away in 2014.

 

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Lynn will continue to hit the road with the Swinger because it brings back so many good memories for him.

 

He can relive those memories every time he gets behind the wheel.

 

Jim Sutherland

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