If the dates on its inspection stickers are to be believed, this 1963 Dodge Dart has faithfully awaited the return of its owner so long that it should be the subject of its own Richard Gere movie. I first noticed it along the tree-lined edge of an otherwise bustling parking lot at a corporate housing complex in Arlington, Virgina almost 15 years ago and, to the best of my knowledge it’s still there!
OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I took this set of photos during a visit to the DC area in 2014. However, a check of Google street view confirms that the car was still in its place the last time a camera car went by in November of last year. That’s a pretty amazing run – but then these old Darts were always known for their durability.
Its hard to really say when it last moved, but a note on the dash – dated 2006 – tells me I’m not the only person who has noticed this car over the years. Even so, I was careful to keep my hands off lest I rub away any of the decades-old patina.
It is my understanding that cars like this shouldn’t exist in public parking lots. Proactive property managers and profiteering tow truck companies should have sent this car to the crusher just a few weeks after its owner stopped driving it. The apartment complex in question, however, should be glad they didn’t. Checking up on this old girl is one of the reasons I choose these lodgings on my occasional trips to the DC area. Although I know this stalwart Dart isn’t awaiting my return, seeing it there visit after visit is one of the constants that help make this home away from home a little more comfortable. Hopefully this old Dart will be there for a long time to come.
A closer look at the 1963-1964 Dart: CC 1964 Dart 270 – The Valiant Brougham