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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    A friend at the gas station tried to sell me his Dart with a 340...said it only had 20,000 miles. Course, he said he got those 1/4 mile at a time....that's why he had to hold the floor shifter in 2nd manually, otherwise it would pop out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    My logic was that the Barracuda was built on the Valiant chasis, so all the 'cuda parts should bolt right on.

    Well, they made Hemi Darts too, so it sounds like it would be a feasible thing to do, as long as you swapped everything you needed, and did the appropriate beefing up.

    A 2-door Valiant would probably be sturdier, too, as it had a B-pillar and framed doors, whereas the Hemi Dart/Barracuda were hardtops.

    But yeah, a 340 would probably be a much better bet overall. In the Dart GTS, the 340 was good for 0-60 in about 6 seconds, with an automatic tranny and middle-of-the-road 3.23:1 gearing. And that was just the 4-bbl 340, not the six pack.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    I heard the Hemi is a lousy engine for a daily driver. It doesn't idle well, like slow speeds, or stop and go driving. It likes to be driven flat out.
  • 6 seconds? Did you get that from a GTS club website or maybe some "published times" from an old mag?

    A 440 in that car wouldn't even run that. Show me the time slips is my skeptical response.

    I'm thinking 7.5 to 8 is more real world.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    That 0-60 time has been in my mind for years now, so I don't know where it came from. I remember some test where they compared a 340 Dart, a 440 Dart, and a Hemi Dart. I want to say the times were around 6 for the 340, 5.8 for the 440, and 5 for the Hemi.

    I know those buff rags tend to get a bit optimistic with their 0-60 times. Case in point, the infamous 3.9 second 1965 Catalina 2+2.

    However, stuffy old Consumer Reports once tested a 1969 Charger with a 440-4bbl. automatic tranny, and 3.23:1 gears. Even they got 0-60 in 7 seconds flat...and CR's times tended to be a lot more conservative than the buff rags.

    I remember an old test somewhere of either a Barracuda or a Dart GT with the hot 273-4bbl V-8, and with the automatic it came in around 7.5-8 seconds.

    I think even a 1974 or so 360-4bbl in a Duster/Dart Sport was still good for 0-60 in around 6-6.5 seconds. And the 360 wasn't the performer that the 340 had been. Peak hp, when you're comparing net ratings, was similar, but the 340 had a broader power range.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    I found a summary of road tests showing a '70 Duster 340 at 5.9 seconds - no idea what was done to it, though. Next closest 340 was a '68 Barracuda at 7.1 seconds. The table had the '74 360 Duster at 8.2s.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Somewhat true of older performance hemis. The big block Wedge is a better daily driver.
  • Cant' believe those numbers. I know when these old cars are run today, or put on dynos, well, they don't correspond to those numbers from way back when. Not even close.

    Magazines of that time were notorious in faking numbers or....more excusable, very sloppy in how they did the tests.

    The old big blocks make a lot of noise but they can't get much power to the ground, like a modern car.

    I'm sure you could get 6 seconds out of a GTS with a balls to the wall modified 440.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Oh, I know they're not what you'd call 'objective' - other thing was makers giving the mags specially-prepped versions. I seem to remember CandD catching one red-handed (Pontiac?).
  • That was one famous one, but really some of these guys were using wristwatches while driving to gauge 0-60 speeds. I mean, c'mon.

    And sure, you can install very low rear ends, use racing slicks, aviation gas, radically advanced timing, ice up the fuel supply, take out the spare and back seat and all that stuff and get at least another second or two out of it I'd guess.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I'm sure you could get 6 seconds out of a GTS with a balls to the wall modified 440.

    The usual caveat about taking it with a grain of salt applies here, but I remember a test back in the early 90's, where some Mopar buff magazine got ahold of a '69 Dart with a slant six, and a '69 New Yorker with a 440. Not a hopped-up 440, but just the regular one, that put out 350 hp gross (rather than the hotter 375 hp version, or the 390, which I guess was a 6-pack?).

    Anyway, they dumped the NYer's engine and tranny in the Dart. I'm hoping they also found a way to get the NYer's 8 3/4 rear in there too, because I imagine a 440 would shred the Dart's 7 1/4 rear!

    Still, even with that relatively low-suds setup, they got 0-60 in about 6 seconds. And more than likely, that was just with a 2.76:1 axle.

    Again, take it with a grain of salt. And I wasn't there, so I couldn't tell ya how they measured the acceleration, whether they power-braked or took off normally, or what.

    As for using a stopwatch, sometimes that can give you a pretty sad 0-60 time, too! I timed my '69 Dart from 0-60 once. This one had a 225 slant six. Well, I was stopped at a traffic light and had to make a right turn, so that threw it off I'm sure! Plus, there were four people on board. Anyway, I clocked it at 0-60 in 17.9 seconds, under those less-than-optimal conditions. :blush: But if you want to hear one even of my friends back then had a 1980 Accord with an automatic. We timed it from 0-60, with only three people on board, and a straight launch from a traffic light rather than having to turn. Came up in a whopping 26 seconds!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    And sure, you can install very low rear ends, use racing slicks, aviation gas, radically advanced timing, ice up the fuel supply, take out the spare and back seat and all that stuff and get at least another second or two out of it I'd guess.

    Actually, even the time of year and weather can make a difference. MT or C&D tested a 1986 or so Buick Grand National once, and got 0-60 in 4.9 seconds! However, even they discounted the time, because it was in the wintertime, and temps were a bit extra brutal. They said that most drivers should expect 0-60 in about 6 seconds.

    When the Michigan State Police did their annual police car test, which was in August, the 1985 models they tested all did horrible, compared to the 1984's. Now one problem was that the Mopars went to different carburetors that gave more peak hp, but the torque bands were narrower. However, that was also a brutally hot, humid summer, something the MSP noted in their testing.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,444
    guess what the MSP still recommends are their #1?
    while we are on the subject of maximizing the performance of vehicles tested by various reviewers, in the old days, guess it would be a cheater engine.
    these days, i can see fiddling with the computer, and/or replacing some of the factory fluids with some high performance substitutes.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I'd imagine the Crown Vic is the highest-rated these days? It may not be the fastest, as I'm sure the Hemi Mopars are quicker, and even the 3.5 Mopars and 3.9 Impalas may be close. But overall, it's still probably the best bet. Big, roomy, and durable.

    IMO though, the Crown Vic sort of won by default. When the Panther first came out for 1979, it tended to be rated last. The Chrysler Newport/Dodge St. Regis were the top rated back then, with the Impala coming in next and then the Crown Vic at the bottom of the heap.

    The Mopar R-body went away after 1981 and for 1982, the M-body Diplomat/Gran Fury were used. I think they still tended to be the top rated, although by 1985 they were slipping, while the Impala was steadily improving. Ironically, for 1985 the cop Mopars started using GM 4-bbl carbs. Maybe it was sabotage! :surprise:

    By 1989, the Caprice (they dropped the Impala name after 1985) finally surpassed the performance levels of the 1979 St. Regis/Newport. Kinda sad, when you think about it, that it took police cars a full decade to get back UP to performance levels achieved by a car that was issued in one of Chrysler's darkest hours! 1989 was also the last year for the Gran Fury/Diplomat, but I think they still ranked it higher than the Crown Vic. So once it went away, the Crown Vic moved up to #2.

    I've heard that the 1991-93 "Whale" Caprices were pretty good police cars, even just with the TBI 350, which put out 185 hp. And when the 1994-96 models came out, with the 260 hp LT-1, they simply blew the Crown Vic away. After the Caprice was discontinued, many police departments would rather refurbish a used Caprice, rather than buy a new Crown Vic!

    After the Caprice, GM did try putting out police versions of the Lumina and Grand Prix, but they were best suited to patrolling neighborhoods, serving court summonses, doing doughnut runs, etc. Chrysler experimented with a police version of the Dynasty, but never really went anywhere with it. I think it actually performed fairly well, but just wouldn't have been very tough and durable...and a police car has to be both. Probably wouldn't have been any worse than the police Taurus, or the Lumina/Grand Prix, though.

    I dunno if there was ever a police version of the first-gen Intrepid, but around 2001, IIRC, Mopar did issue a police version of the 2nd-gen. 3.5 V-6, 250 hp. It was actually a good performer. Tied the Crown Vic in 0-60, but had a higher top speed. The next county over from me uses Crown Vics and Intrepids, and one cop I talked to said that in his opinion, the Intrepid blows the Vic away. Whenever I go over there, I still see Intrepids in circulation, so they must not be doing too bad. They do have one little achilles heel, though. Evidently, work the brakes too hard, and they'll burst into flames! I think the MSP managed to achieve this in their testing, and that scared away a lot of police departments.

    There's a local used car lot that has a 2004 Intrepid copcar, ~41,000 miles. Dark grayish-green. I've looked at it, and have to admit I've been tempted. They're asking $7995, but it's been there for months now, so I'm sure they'll take much less.

    The last thing I need right now is another car though. And if I do replace my 2000 Intrepid, I'd feel kinda silly replacing it with another one!
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I,too,pine for a weekend,hobby car....but it must be a European car from,say 1960 to about 1973....

    Speed doesn't matter,nor does exclusivity.....I just don't want a money pit......

    I'd love a Fintail,or the model after that,like a 220 or 220D...I do like a lot of oddballs like a Renault 12 or a Fiat 124 sedan.....I wont mention my admiration of the Renault LeCar......
    Hemmings just featured a 1975 Opel 1900...that was nice..

    Any suggestions?

    Any suggestions?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    An old MB doesn't have to be a money pit, a car that has received proper attention will not be bad to own. Mechanical failure will consume a chunk of change, but if the car is maintained, this won't be a huge risk. My old car doesn't give me many problems - it has small needs, but isn't a problem to keep going as a sunny Sunday driver. I'd bet a cared for fintail or replacement is less troublesome than a Fiat or a French car...

    A nice fintail can be had for 5K today, I think it is a good deal for a good driving old car. Of course, I carry some bias :P
  • Well if you don't want a "money pit" you need a car with a very active aftermarket parts network. That might include VW, Benz, MG and to some extent BMW and Alfa Romeo. (less so Fiat). Renault parts are almost unobtainium, ditto Opel.

    How about an Alfa Berlina 4D sedan 1750/2000? Way fun to drive, don't cost too much, and you can get parts and service.

    Or a BMW 2002?

    Or an ordinary Alfa Spider, 1982-93?

    I'm trying to think of cars that are FUN to drive as well, so I'm limiting suggestions somewhat.

    MGB--GT. You can get any part you need, 2nd day UPS.

    Triumph Spitfire -- tinny piece, but easy EASY to work on, and really fun in summertime.

    Peugeot 504-- parts are hard to get but they have a certain charm and are tough as nails. Good cars. Avoid the ZF automatic---good trans but if it breaks, you junk the car.

    Renault LeCar -- you could buy 1/2 dozen of them for the price of one very tired BMW 2002, and then cannibalize them into one possibly good running car.

    Fiat 124 coupe -- hard to find but handsome and fun to drive.

    My bias suggests that you generally don't buy anything European that is a) big, b) heavy, and c) has 4 doors. Why? Because you end up putting money into something that isn't worth much and generally isn't fun to drive, IMO. Of course, if the deal of the century comes along, or the car is so quirky that its very weirdness compensates for all the rest, well then....
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    My real choice for a future older car is a 1970 or so Alfa GTV. I had a chance to buy one with a mildly tuned engine and panasports back in 1977 but turned it down to buy a Spider instead. Many's the time I've regretted that I just had to have that convertible top - but I guess it was the right thing to do at the time. I enjoyed that Spider.

    Still - ain't they pretty? I have no idea what a decent one would cost these days. eBay didn't have any and neither did Craigslist in my city.

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    May I offer some suggestions- and here is my Swedish car bias kicking in:

    How about a late '60s Volvo (122) Amazon? They're reasonably priced, well-built and generally last indefinitely. Shifty will probably tell you to go for the '66-'68 models, as those will usually have the durable B18 engine. Avoid automatics, and look for camshaft wear in the engine.

    Maybe a mid-to-late '70s Saab 99? Nimble handler, and quite fun, if you can find one that hasn't blown its transmission or head gasket. If you can get a '78 Turbo, you'd be looking at the first mass-produced turbocharged European car.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    i'd really love an old Benz. and many here say they shouldn't cost much....But in Virginia Beach,any $5,000 or so one i've seen would have numerous issues...Cracked interior parks,a dash warning light on,small rust perforations by the wheels....I still often look,though....

    A Peugeot 504 is one of my all time favorite cars.....I want to buy local,if possible,and 504s are never seen here.....Even though we were a major port of enty for them.
    the first Bugeye is the only roadster that has any real appeal.....i'm forgetting personal favorites like a Caravelle.....
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