(first posted 2/8/2012) Not all Darts spent their lives shuttling old folks or cheapskates. In Spain, the Dart was the biggest, most luxurious car made there, and given the severe restrictions on imports then, it was the choice of top government officials and other society big-wigs. Not only was there this wagon version (quite different than our recent What If gen3 Valiant wagon fantasy), but all Darts/3700s had front disc brakes, four speed stick shift, sumptuous leather interiors, full instrumentation and other delights withheld from us US bumpkins. Welcome to the Barreiros/Chryselr of Spain parallel universe.
Berreiros was a maker of heavy duty trucks, and in 1965 arranged a deal with Chrysler to build a modified version of the Dart. Not exactly “build” in the usual sense, since these were SKD (semi-knocked-down) kits. But they had some substantial modifications, as the front end of the Berreiros Dart (1965 – 1970) shows. All were powered by the 225 cubic inch slant six (3700 cc), which was a monstrously big engine in Spain at the time. As mentioned above, four wheel disc brakes and a four speed stick were standard. You see, Detroit knew how to build proper cars back in 1965!
The story gets even more interesting in 1971, when the gen 3 Dart was given substantially more body modifications, resulting in the Dodge 3700 (1971 – 1977). It looks like a Dart mated with a 1968 Coronet; with those upswung hips and substantially different front end rear ends. Basically, it’s all new sheet metal with a Dart center section.
This Dodge 3700 presents itself quite differently than the boxy refrigerators we were bestowed upon. It just occurs to me; this could have made an interesting gen4 Dart, instead of the problematic Aspen/Volare.
Chrysler bought out Barrieros, and took control by 1969. And in 1978, Chrysler bailed on Europe, so the Spanish ops built Talbot cars and such. But the Dart and 3700 have become a unique link to the time when they were the car of the 1%.