1968 Dodge Dart GTS 340
The gray primer and hogged rear wheel openings tickle the Hemi Dart button, but there’s no way, right? True, it isn’t a forgotten LO23 Hurst rig, but the truth is almost as shocking. While the dash VIN plate is missing, the fender tag reads LS23. Yup, this is…er was a Dart GTS! Note the red spray painted marking on the quarter panel alerting the DVAP crew to salvage the A-body specific 8 ¾ rear end. The circular side marker lights have been filled on this brutalized ’68 Dart.
The LS23 stamped into the bottom line of the fender tag proves the Dart’s ’68 GTS status. If it was a low-performance GT (Slant Six or 318 only) the tag would read LP23. But is this verified GTS a 340 or a 383 car? The number 52 – stamped to the right of the body code - denotes the 275 horsepower 340 small block. If it read 62 – for 383 Magnum power - we’d cry even harder. Continuing, the digit 5 tells us it’s a 727 Torqueflite automatic car (3 would be 4-speed) and the MM1 paint code defines Bronze Metallic paint while code S6X identifies the black vinyl interior. Despite its significance as a true one-of-8,745-built ’68 Dart GTS, the missing B-pillar dooms it. Only a masochist would attempt a save at this point.
Mopar Madness turns to sadness when they end up like this sorry Challenger. There’s not much left to go on here, but the bisected rear marker light openings are recessed so it’s a 1970 or ’71. Originally a vinyl roof car, the full size rear window opening rules out SE (1970 only) or A78 Formal Roof (1971) status.
The torched 10-point roll bar adds a shocking contrast amid the loose rubble. If the five-hole instrument cluster bezel sitting under the horizontal brace is from this car, we can conclude this is not an R/T and couldn’t have been built with anything bigger than a 383 4-barrel. R/T’s featured a standard four-hole Rallye instrument cluster with a 150-mph speedometer and wood grained face bezel. Non R/T’s got a 120-mph speedometer and this black textured plastic 5-hole face bezel.
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