Tag Archives: DART

Coffee, Croissant & Cars 08/15 – Avenue Drivers Club

On the second Sunday of the month I managed to briefly pop by Queen Square for the Avenue Drivers Club meeting and by 8am the Square was already quite busy.

Corvette, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Among the vehicles present this ’66 Chevrolet Corvette C2 which was imported into the UK earlier this year.

Ford Consul, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

It was great to see Mark Richards Ford Consul 375 back in one piece after an unscheduled ground up restoration has been completed. Mark is planning on offering his services with this car for weddings, ffi please contact Mark on FB or leave a message below.

Nissan Stagea, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

I’m not sure Nissan Stagea’s were ever imported by the manufacturer into the UK, this 1997 example with UV Cut Glass was first registered in the UK in March 2009.

Volkswagen Scirocco, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Another car first registered in this country in 2009 was this Volkswagen Scirocco which I have been watching becoming increasingly “modded” over the last few months as it lives not more than a mile from me, looks like the owner has it fully equipped to take everything including the kitchen sink on holiday with him to the Sweetshop Automotive Summer Showdown in Cheddar on Bank Holiday Monday.

Dodge Dart Swinger, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

From 1970 a Dodge Dart Swinger that is shown as officially being powered by a 5.4 litre / 329 cui V8 which I do not believe was a standard size for this model, 318’s and 340’s being the nearest manufacturer supplied size I could find.

Smart Crossblade, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Finally just before I left this cute li’l 2002 Smart Crossblade pulled in, a limited edition model which again I don’t believe was a manufacturer import into the UK even after pop star Robbie Williams bought one.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 08/15” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Cougar. Don’t forget to come back now !


Françoise Hardy & The BMW Powered MOPAR – GALPOT Automobilia

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out whilst reorganising my library and the time has come to dispose of a number of items which may be of interest through my lightpress account on e-bay.

First up is an eclectic collection of some 40 odd car advertisements from the French magazine Connaissance des arts from the late 60’s to early 70’s, which I’ll be posting over the coming weeks, below is a small selection of the ads I posted over the weekend.

François Hardy, Uniroyal,  Advertisement, Connaissance des arts

François Hardy is probably best known amongst petrol heads as one of the stars of John Frankenheimer’s 1966 film Grand Prix in which she plays the role of Lisa girlfriend of the hot Italian rookie Nino Barlini played by Antonio Sabàto. As well as being an actress François is also a popular singer and model. Above she appears in an undated 1969 ad for Uniroyal tyres. The strap line translates as “Farnçoise Hardy has big feet”.

ALFA Romeo, Giulia 105, Rodriguez, Advertisement, Connaissance des arts

Regular readers will know that I have an abstract photography practice based on images of blurry light, one of many antecedents in this area of practice was the French commercial photographer who I only know as “Rodriguez” who took the photo of the 105 series Alfa Romeo Giulia appearing in this advertisement which is dated October 1969 on the reverse.

NSU, Spider, Wankel  Advertisement, Connaissance des arts

The worlds first production car powered by a rotary Wankel motor was the 1964 NSU Spider seen in the advertisement dated March 1967 above. In all just over 2,000 of these 50 hp machines were built between 1964 and 1967. Jay Leno is a current owner of one of them about which he made this linked short film.

Chrysler, Advertisement, Connaissance des arts

Finally for this week there is this undated Chrysler ad which was published somewhere between 1965 and 1966. What is particularly interesting is that alongside a Valiant V200/Dart 270, a Plymouth Barracuda, Plymouth Fury III, Chrysler 300 Coupé and 145 hp Space Saver Parmi marine motor there appears a curiosity built in Thessalonika, Greece called the Farmobile.

Chrysler, Farmobile, Advertisement, Connaissance des arts

The Farmobile holds the disitinction of being the only MOPAR vehicle to be powered by a BMW motorcycle engine, found in the back, which transmits drive to the rear wheels through a Porsche designed 4 speed gearbox. It is thought less than 1000 of these vehicles were built by Farco which was thought to have been acquired by Chrysler in order to gain access to the West German market.

For the rest of the month I’ll be posting further updates of my e-bay listings on Tuesdays to test the water.

Thanks for joining me on this “Françoise Hardy and French Car Advertisements” edition on “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Action Economy Lean Breed – Dodge Dart

I have always thought the 1962 Dodge Dart looked like an amalgamation of two separate designs the middle top half and

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

lower outer half not quite matching but somehow blending at the broken chrome line on the front and rear wings.

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

The design philosophy behind the Dart was based on a comedic misinterpretation by Chrysler executives of an over heard conversation between Chevrolet executives who were talking about the compact Chevrolet Nova, but which Chrysler executives thought was about downsized large cars like the Impala. As a result of this misunderstanding the second generation Dart became an intermediate and inadvertently left Dodge with nothing to compete with in the full size market segment at the start of the 1962 model year.

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

Launched in 1962 with strap lines that included “First of the action economy cars” and “Come in and drive the new lean breed of Dodge” the range included 2 and four door Sedan and Hardtop models along with a two door convertible.

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

The B platform unibody rode on “Torsion-Aire” torsion bar front suspension and could be ordered with motors ranging from a 3.7 litre / 225 cui inclined straight six to a 6.8 litre / 213 cui V8, the car featured here appears to be registered as having a 7.2 litre / 439 cui motor, a big block 440 Magnum dating from somewhere between 1966 and 1978.

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

With it’s light weight and good handling the ’62 Dart fitted with the 415hp 6.8 litre / 413 cui “Ramcharger” V8 proved a popular record braking drag racer.

Dodge Dart, Goodwood Revival

The B platform remained in production with slight modifications until 1981 while the ’62 Dart body was wholly replaced with no carry over at all by the third generation Dart in 1963.

Thanks for joining me on this “Action Economy Lean Breed” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Compact With The Split Personality – Dodge Dart Swinger

The sales brochure for the 1972 Dart Swinger – “The compact with the split personality” makes for some interesting reading.

Dodge Dart Swinger, Shakespeare County Raceway

“1972 Dart Swinger. The car that’s at home both in the city and on the freeways. It’s compact and nimble enough to give you a fighting chance in downtown traffic and to get you into tight parking spaces.”

Dodge Dart Swinger, Shakespeare County Raceway

Careful inspection of the drivers side of today’s featured model, seen at Shakespeare County Raceway, reveals many indentations caused, according to it’s owner, by a li’l old lady who had difficulty getting in and out of her driveway in San Francisco. This 1972 Swinger is fitted with the optional larger 5211 cc / 318 cui V8 which the sales literature described as “easily up for passing”.

Dodge Dart Swinger, Shakespeare County Raceway

The Swinger name was first applied to all forth generation Dart two door hardtops except the top end Custom line in 1970. Choosing a hip name for a model is fraught with pitfalls especially when that name becomes subverted through the activities of a sub culture. I wonder what howlers are being manufactured today that future generations might find so amusing ? If you have any suggestions please chime in below.

Dodge Dart Swinger, Shakespeare County Raceway

The boot / trunk is described as big enough to carry ” three men’s overnight suitcases, a two-suiter, three lady’s overnighters, a lady’s Pullman case, her warddrobe bag, a train case and your golf clubs.” Considerably more than might fit in my Mk 4 Golf Estate / station wagon even with the seats folded down ! I wonder how many Swingers ever carried so much baggage ?

Thanks for joining me on this “The Compact With The Split Personality” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Micro Car Massive Performance – Mini Marcos

This particular MK3 Mini Marcos is kit #7198

The Mini Marcos was designed by Desmond ‘Dizzy’ Addicott who might be familiar to film buffs as one of the B17 & B25 pilots used in the film Memphis Belle.

The Mini Marcos was born out of the design for Dizzies DART a modified Morris Mini van acquired for £5.00 with a caved in roof. This car was converted in to the Dart with a fibreglass body. All older Mini Marcos cars are slightly asymmetrical at the rear as a result of the original DART chassis twisting when the roof was cut off.

This particular MK 3 Mini Marcos is kit # 7232.

The DART project was taken over by Jem Marsh of Marcos cars who used the DART to make body moulds for and sold finished fibre glass bodies as kit cars from 1965 – 1970 and again from 1991 – 1996.

The DART also gave rise to the Mini Jem sold by Jeremy Delmar-Morgan which in turn gave rise to the Kingfisher Sprint.

Perhaps the most remarkable story about the Marcos is its brief international competition history at Le Mans where in 1966 Claude Ballot-Lena and Jean Louis Marnat were classified last in 15th place, the car was stolen soon after the race.

The following year the Chris Lawrence / Jem Marsh Mini Marcos was timed at an astonishing 146 mph on the Mulsanne Straight, but did not finish .

Steve Roberts in his Trans XL Mini Marcos set four British Land Speed records at 1 mile, half mile, kilometre and 500 meters for cars up to 1600cc which still stand today.

Wishing everyone a fabulous Friday, don’t forget to come back now !