ericpetersautos.com / By Eric Peters / January 3, 2013
Before I write a new car review, I like to do some background research – which helps provide context and hopefully makes the published review informative. Well, I found some interesting information while doing some background research on the new Dodge Dart. Actually, the information concerned the old Dodge Dart – last sold new in 1976.
That year, Dodge offered a high-mileage version of the Dart called the Dart Lite (the Plymouth Duster version was called Feather Duster). To be precise, it was an option package that included a specially tuned version of the famous “slant six” 225 cubic inch engine, teamed up with an overdriven four-speed manual and a mileage-minded 2.94:1 rear axle ratio (vs. the standard car’s 3.21:1 ratio). Also included were lightweight body parts such as an aluminum hood and trunk lid bracing – which cut about 200 pounds of deadweight off the already-lightweight car. The result was 36 MPG on the highway.
The package added $51 to the cost of a ’76 Dart – which had a base price of about $3,300.