Muscle Car Drive

JD's 1969 Dart Swinger 340

This web page is dedicated to the story of my father's 1969 340 dart swinger. On May 31, 1969 , JD, strolled into Crestview Chrysler in Regina Saskatchewan to place an order for a new car. He knew exactly what he was going to order on that day. He wanted one of those new hot small block darts with a 4 speed. He knew these cars were the best bang for the buck you could buy in 1969. At first the salesman did not believe he would be able to have the dart built as a 1969. Being so late in the production year, it appeared that it may have to be ordered as a 1970. Fortuneately for JD he was able to have the car produced as a '69. Here is the exact order:

On June 26 of that same year, Jan went to Regina to pick up his new dart. Following the recommendations of Chrysler he drove the car gingerly, making sure to break in the motor properly. He took the photos below shortly after arriving home.

1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340


The car's innocent appearance and stock motor did not remain that way for very long. Jan had plans for the car. The high-winding 340 was born for street and drag racing.

1969 Dart Swinger

Jan raced this car for several years at many tracks in Western Canada. Over the years the car would see many different motor combinations and eventually run a best of 12.96 @ 105 mph at Saskatchewan International Raceway.

1969 Dart Drag Racing

1969 Super stock racing

340 motor racing

By the late 1970's Jan had a family and the "need for speed" was replaced with a need for 4-doors. The dart was no longer a great source of transportation for the kids and the family pet. The car was sold to an Air Force employee and sat at the local Air Force base for several years. In the early 1980's the car disappeared from it's usual resting place. That was the last time Jan saw the car. Several times during the the next 20 years Jan attempted to track the car's location with no luck. Eventually, Jan was content with the thought the car was crushed and therefore stopped trying to find it.

During the winter of 2001 my brother and I decided to secretly search for his old dart. Our hope was that we could find it and present photos of it to our dad on father's day. Even if the car is completely rotted, it would still be nice to know what happened to it. After 6 months of phone calls, letter writing, and brain-storming the car was found! It was in a small community in Nova Scotia, nearly 2000 miles from where we are. It seems that an Air Force employee took the car to Nova Scotia at some time and it passed through several hands until arrived with it's current owner. After several conversations with the current owner he sent photos of the car. It has not been driven since 1987 and was rolled before it was parked. A new roof was placed on the car but it was never fully completed. On July 6th, 2001 Jan was presented with the photos below:

Dart Front

Interior

motor now

Although noticeably different from when JD owned the car, the VIN tag matches and the cuts in the inner fenders identically match JD's old photos. As far as we know the 340 is still in place under the hood.

UPDATE 2007

During the summer of 2006 I had a chance to see the car in person. Unfortunately, the harsh East Coast weather had reduced the cars overall condition even further. The motor had been removed and safely stored in a barn. Sadly, the general condition of the vehicle makes it not worth fixing. Jan was presented with a few keepsake items following the trip.