1969 Dodge 440 GTS Dart
(Featured on 19th June 2013)
Sellers original description:
'691/2 M-Code 440 Dart was targeted for NHRA drag racing, and modified by Hurst Performance (just like it's predecessor, the '68 Hemi Dart).
Today, we have coined the phrase “muscle car” to describe a wide variety of powerful cars from the past such as 442s, GTOs, Hemi and Six-Pack cars, big block Camaros and Mustangs, and so on etc…
But, back in the late ‘60s through early ‘70s, there was an actual elite title of “SUPER-CAR” given by the magazines to cars tested that left regular production cars like the ones mentioned in the dust as far as performance on the drag strip went. “Super-Cars” back then were rare, purpose built, and were capable of hitting into the 12s in the quarter mile. Very few actual factory authorized cars like the 440 GTS made the cut. In many cases independent dealers such as Baldwin, Yenko, Dana, Grand Spaulding Dodge, Shelby Inc etc would start with one of these “muscle cars” as a starting point, then turn it into a “super car” with engine swaps and or a variety of modifications . Some of those “Super-car” prices now start at $200K and go up from there due to their performance and rarity.
One of the current sleeper "Super Cars" of the muscle car era that has been long flying under the radar is the factory “M code” 440 GTS Dart. They were truly factory sanctioned race cars intended to be street legal-but raced, extremely rare even then, and crazy fast. The 440 GTS was clearly dubbed by those who tested them as a “SUPER-CAR” of its day and reported as just about unbeatable on the street. But most of these 440 GTS never saw street use as nearly all went straight from showroom to race track, just as Dodge intended. As a result, very few people have been aware that they existed (they were NOT in brochures and Drag Racing Magazine claimed only Grand Spaulding Dodge and Saddle Back Dodge sold them as of their writing) or the real history and performance behind them. Even today, 40 years later, the show room stock 440 GTSs mid 12 second quarter mile times on the drag strip is up there with super cars of today, and that is very impressive! The 440 had nearly 500 ft / lbs of torque at just over 3000 RPM and when shoehorned into the smallest compact car Dodge made the A body, it had a higher power to lower weight ratio than the Hemi or Six-Pack E or B body cars. Drag Racing Magazine reported that their factory stock 440 GTS ran 12.70 off the show room floor (See article pages posted for some enjoyable reading). This kind of performance is not surprising given the sole purpose for the 440 GTS as intended for drag racing as they were built by Dodge as Part of their Super Stock drag racing program. In ’68 Dodge contracted with Hurst Performance to special build light weight 426 Hemi Darts that were stripped down race cars only. The Hemi Darts had modifications such as rear quarters cut for slicks and devoid of even roll up windows only having a strap to lift a Plexiglas window into place. These cars dominated Super Stock NHRA racing but were heavily restricted to certain classes because they were not street legal. With the huge success of the Hemi Darts, Dodge was eager to capitalize on what was a proven winning formula. The following year of ’69 Dodge again contracted with Hurst Performance to install the 440 power trains into the A body GTS, thus creating what we call today the “M code” 440 GTS Dart. According to the Drag Racing magazine article, Dodge planned to only build 300 of these special cars.
About this 440 GTS:
Matching 440 motor, original K member with special motor mounts, escaped being made into a race car and retains its original sheet metal having been spared being cut up for rollcage/engine swaps/back-half/chassis mods/etc., was one of only 20 M code 440 GTS Darts that were shipped to the west coast to Saddleback Dodge of Santa Ana California, has always been in So California and is rust free, was restored by a leading Mopar expert, has been seen in person and verified by Galen and entered into the Galens registry. is in concourse #1 condition, has been featured in July 2010 Hemmings Muscle Machine magazine, recently featured on the T.V. series “American Icon-The Muscle Car”, this 440 GTS won top honors at all the major Mopar shows entered on the west coast including the National Las Vegas Mopars At The Strip, was awarded the Barrett Jackson sponsored “2010 Worlds Ultimate Stock Mopar” award, and more.