Tired of all the high dollar “I’m scared to drive it!” muscle cars? Tired of high horsepower gas gulping collector cars? We love these kinds of cars but even more we love to drive our old cars. Most of the time these two desires are in conflict with each other. Therefore we have jumped off in a new direction for our next short term Project Car and it is inspired by one of our most recent Project Cars, the 1967 Mustang “High School Hauler”. If you have not yet read about this car, it is one we have owned for a long time and never could decide how to build it. We finally decided to just fix it up at minimal cost and drive it. It has even stared in a music video with the band Gloriana, people love it just the way it is and the way it would have looked if owned by a typical high school kid back in the day.
The 67 Mustang Fastback High School Hauler “inspired” use to try it again. We decided to build the cheapest cruise night car we could. The only requirements are that we need to get it on the road for minimal bucks and it should be accepted at any cruise night as a cool car. In addition we need to be able to have fun with it while we fix it up over time. Minimal bucks means we are going to be REALLY CHEAP! We also decided that if we get the opportunity we might sell it as soon as it is drivable to someone who would like to finish the car with their own ideas.
With that behind us, we decided that another 1967 Mustang Fastback is not exactly the cheapest way to start an inexpensive cruise night car. Although everything is available for a Mustang by the time you fill out the restoration catalog order form most of us will have emptied the bank account. We therefore began looking around for a cheap two door that is unique and cost less than $1,000. That really narrows the field! We spotted a 1963 Dodge Dart GT with a slant six and push button automatic! It is far from pristine but could be a good starting point and it met our budget.
We realize that this car is not really a muscle car or probably not on the top of many car guys list of must have cars but that is part of the reason it wasn’t real expensive to acquire. As soon as we got it off the trailer everyone said the same thing; “Put a straight axle under the front and install a HEMI!” Hey, it is tempting but such a project does not fit within our budget or game plan.
Our goal is to first get this little girl running and diagnose what critical safety items are required. We will then give her a little makeup and hopefully somewhere along the line we will find her a new home with a guy or gal who wants an old car to drive and attend a cruise or two. She will be perfect for a Saturday night cruise into the nearest A&W or DQ with the family for a nostalgic night out.
Our budget for the first phase is to be able to sell her to a new owner for $2,500 and we will post every expense we spend on the car.
We found a reasonably good car for a hell of a good price. We will not be going crazy on improvements or modifications. We are sticking with the low buck High School days look that is fun, safe and cheap to drive.
This Project Car will be known as “Bulls Eye” because this little Dart is right on target for what we want to do!
Follow this project right here. We will give you regular updates on what we find and what the ultimate result will be.
About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California. The time there was very rewarding but the urge for a slower pace moved us to Tennessee a few years ago and we love it. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle. As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. When they don't we are usually out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.