(first posted 2/12/2016)
Did you think every obscure special edition and forgotten limited-run Mopar model had been covered in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series? Not true! Presented for your perusal are six special Dodges.
Ram SRT-10 Nightrunner
Years produced: 2006
Total production: 400
Could this look more like an archetypal drug dealer’s truck? They even called it the Nightrunner! Dodge (and now Ram) have offered myriad limited editions over the years but, despite the unsavory connotations of its appearance, the Nightrunner may well be the most aggressive both in appearance and in performance.
All Nightrunners were painted Brilliant Black metallic with Dark Nickel Pearl 22-inch wheels. The grille featured black chrome inserts and the headlights were darkened for menacing effect. Each Nightrunner had a numbered dash plaque and a black center stack inside. A regular Nightrunner with the “humble” 5.7 Hemi V8 was also available, with 2000 units produced; these were distinguished from the SRT-10 through the use of smaller (but still sizeable) 20-inch rims.
But if you wanted the most badass Ram you could get, you had to go with the SRT-10 Nightrunner. Packing the Viper’s 8.3L (505 cubic inch) V10, the SRT-10 pumped out a fiery 510 hp and 535 ft-lbs. Gas mileage? Much like a Rolls-Royce buyer never asks about the price tag, an SRT-10 buyer should never ask about fuel economy. For those of us who are concerned about such things, the SRT-10 was rated at 8/11 mpg. Perhaps it was better rated in gallons per mile.
The SRT-10 Nightrunner was available as either a regular cab or a quad cab. The former came with a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual, while the latter was available only with a four-speed automatic borrowed from the Ram HD. 0-60 was accomplished in just under 5 seconds with the regular cab, and 5.6 seconds with the quad cab.
Total production of all 2004-06 SRT-10 Rams was under 10,000 units, but the Nightrunner was limited to just 400 units. No Ram since the SRT-10 has come close to matching its power and no Ram since the SRT-10 Nightrunner has looked anywhere near as menacing.
Years produced: 2005
Total production: 8698
After talking about the SRT-10, any so-called “performance” Ram is going to be just a tad underwhelming. And looking at the 2005 Ram Daytona, you can’t help but shake your head at the package Dodge came up with.
It’s not that the idea of a sporty Ram was crazy – hello, look at the SRT-10 – but rather, the Daytona was trying far too hard to tap into Dodge’s rich muscle car heritage. Notice the words “muscle car”: instead of crafting a homage to the L’il Red Express or Warlock trucks, Dodge decided to style a special edition Ram after the 1969 Charger Daytona, giant rear wing included.
That rear wing was 11 inches tall and was complemented by flat-black graphics on the bed sides. Other additions included a hood scoop, body-colored grille and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels. However, there were no changes to the engine, the 5.7 Hemi V8 with 345 hp and 375 ft-lbs of torque, mated to a five-speed automatic.
The Ram Daytona was available in either quad cab or crew cab and only in Go ManGo or the less whimsically named Silver Metallic. Really, no clever name like QuickSilver or Problem Silver or Sil-very Fast?
Ultimately, everybody has different tastes and Dodge did an admirable job catering to a wide variety with its myriad special editions over the years. The Daytona was just a rather puzzling truck, although we should be grateful it didn’t come with an aerodynamic nose cone.
Dart Hang Ten
Years produced: 1974-75
Total production: ~700
Looking at the exterior of the limited edition Hang Ten, there’s not much to excite the senses. Subtle (by 1970s standards) decals were applied to a white Dart Sport body. The theme, as the name implied, was surfing and the decals included a little stick-figure man riding a wave. Although the color white hadn’t yet come to dominate the most popular car colors list, the Hang Ten still had a relatively subdued exterior treatment especially at a time when white special edition vehicles were common(see: Spirit of America Chevys). Inside, however, things took a turn for the wild.
Orange shag carpeting. No three words can call to mind the 1970s better, except for perhaps “polyester leisure suit”. The dash and center console were also painted a red/orange color to match, while the seats were white like the exterior but with multicolored, striped, woven inserts. The stripes also continued on the door panels. The overall effect almost made a Pierre Cardin Javelin look subtle. But the interior was as practical as it was bold, with all Hang Tens featuring a fold-down rear seat.
Photos courtesy of CarDomain user Rick Rage
The Hang Ten package came in only one color/trim combination and cost $254 and was available with any of the Dart Sport’s engine lineup. The Slant Six was standard, but 318 and 360 cubic-inch V8s were optional. Rallye wheels, air-conditioning and even a vinyl top (white, natch) were available options. The Dart may have been getting old but the Hang Ten was a fresh and funky special edition. Or should I say a gnarly, primo special edition?
Daytona IROC R/T
Years produced: 1992-93
Total production: 341
The powerful Spirit R/T had managed to outgun the Taurus SHO and undercut it price, all while doing the sleeper Q-Ship schtick the SHO was known for. But all good things must come to an end, and the Spirit R/T’s end was after its sophomore season and a total production of 1,399 units. However, Chrysler was still squeezing the last few drops of life out of the basic K-Car platform and saw to it that the boosted 2.2 Turbo III engine found one more home before the turbocharged era (and the K-Car era) ended at Chrysler.
The IROC R/T was, in essence, a last hurrah for the Daytona. The double overhead cam Turbo III engine had been developed with Lotus, who designed the heads. With an intercooler, balance shafts and a new, slicker-shifting 5-speed Getrag manual transmission, the IROC R/T was a true performance flagship for the Daytona range and pumped out 224 hp and 217 ft-lbs of torque. That was over double the horsepower of the base Daytona four and, while those figures don’t sound as impressive today, the Daytona weighed approximately 3,000 pounds which allowed for a 0-60 time of 6 seconds.
The Daytona had received a questionable facelift for 1992 and was still looking rather tired. However, long product cycles were nothing unusual in the Daytona’s segment: the rival Mustang had debuted in ’79, the Camaro in ’82. The IROC R/T had more horsepower than the Mustang’s 5.0 V8 but it also had a considerably higher price. In 1993, the flagship Daytona listed for $19k, while the sleek, new ’93 Camaro was around $2k less and a Mustang LX 5.0 hatch around $2k less than that. But the Daytona was a very different animal, being front-wheel-drive and turbocharged. The Daytona sold about a third as well as the Mustang and Camaro, while total production of the IROC R/T was also less than a quarter of the Spirit R/T’s numbers despite an identical two-year run. At least Dodge’s venerable sport coupe went out with a bang.
Years produced: 2005
Total production: 1175
Just because the SRT-4 had 6 fewer cylinders than an SRT-10 Viper or Ram, didn’t mean it wasn’t ferocious. The ACR was a $1,195 option package on the already powerful Neon-based SRT-4 compact sport sedan. It was even louder and stiffer-riding, but this factory competition package was both a Neon on steroids and yet some of the most fun you could have in a compact sedan.
The ACR package (American Club Racing) was an exciting grab-bag of performance additions. Wider tires, lowered ride height, adjustable Toxico dampers, a thicker rear stabilizer bar and Viper-style racing seats were but a few of the goodies in the keenly-priced option package. The turbocharged 2.4 four-cylinder engine was unchanged, with 230 hp and 250 ft-lbs of torque. With just 2,900 pounds of sedan to haul around, 0-60 was done in a rapid 5.6 seconds. The only transmission was a 5-speed manual.
Photos courtesy of Justin Bondurant
Like the Daytona IROC R/T, the SRT-4 ACR (another jumble of acronyms) was a grand finale for its line. It was noisy, crashed over bumps, torque steered, droned on the highway… but it was a helluva lot of fun for around $20k.
Years produced: 1990-92
Total production: 20,406
Shag carpeting. Giant rear wings. V10 engines. The 1990 Monaco can’t begin to match its featured companions in excitement or visual drama, but it certainly meets the criteria of being a forgotten limited-run model. The dormant Monaco nameplate was dusted off to sell more units of the slow-selling Eagle Premier inherited from Renault and American Motors Corporation. Despite the extensive Dodge dealer network, the Monaco was one of the few mid-size sedans that managed to be outsold by the Eagle Premier.
Chrysler hadn’t just inherited the competent Premier, it had also inherited a contract to purchase a set number of Renault V6 engines. And while 40-45k Premiers were produced annually in its first two years on sale – mind you, this was around a third of Mercury Sable volume but not awful for a new, unknown brand – those figures sunk for 1990. Chrysler manufactured just 15,368 Premiers that year and they had a contract to honor. The AMC 2.5 inline four was hurriedly dumped – nobody was really buying it anyway – and Chrysler made a last-ditch effort to shift more units of the unloved Franco-American sedan. With a crosshair grille and new taillights, the Monaco was born.
It actually outsold the Premier in 1991, but only to the tune of under 2,000 units. In 1990 and 1992, it managed a mere third of Premier sales despite being priced and equipped comparably. Why did the Monaco flop so badly? The below-average reliability ratings and quirky switchgear may have been to blame, but Chrysler certainly didn’t help the car by giving it so much showroom competition. The Dodge Spirit had a roomy enough interior to be classified as a mid-size and the larger Dynasty undercut the Monaco on price by around $1,000.
But even if buyers had managed to learn of the Monaco’s existence (no easy feat, considering Chrysler’s scant advertising) and even if they were unaware of the Monaco’s Renault origins, their very first impression would have been sitting in a rather cheap interior and trying to make sense of the finicky air-conditioning controls bafflingly placed on a steering column wing. As Motor Trend so succinctly put it, “This kind of ergonomic insight is one of the reasons Renault is the force it is in America today.” Ouch.
Once on the road, there was sufficient power from the 150 hp/171 ft-lbs 3.0 V6 that had caused Chrysler so many headaches. The only transmission was a console-mounted four-speed automatic and 0-60 was around 10 seconds, comparable to the Mercury Sable 3.0 and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The ride was wonderfully compliant and although body roll was marked, overall roadholding was quite good.
Photo courtesy of CarDomain user “AMC Ambassador”
Chrysler had inherited a rather competent mid-size sedan but chose to foist it on a no-name, dead-end marque (Eagle, a missed opportunity) and on another division that had more than enough sedans to sell. One must wonder if the car would have sold better as a Plymouth. After all, the Gran Fury died in 1989 and left the Spirit-based Acclaim as the brand’s largest sedan. With some advertising and a quick rework of the controls, Chrysler could have fulfilled that engine contract a lot better.
Dodge City was fun, but now it’s time to get the hell outta there. Which was your favorite?
Mopar special edition coverage will conclude with a selection of Chryslers and one last Plymouth.
Curbside Classic: 1982-83 Dodge 400
Curbside Classic: Dodge Li’l Red Express – Dodge Dakota Edition
It’s been some time since i’ve seen a SRT-4, so much so that I nearly forgot about them. Crazy performance for the money at the time, and they seemed to attract the most reckless of drivers. I would imagine the majority have long been thrashed into the ground as a result.
I am curious of the demographics of the SRT-4 when compared to the WRT Subaru or the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. Were the buyers domestic muscle car fans or ricers? Chrysler was the only domestic to dip a toe into these waters, at least until the forthcoming 350hp AWD Focus RS.
Not quite. Performance compacts were offered by each of the Big 3 that decade. There was the Cobalt SS in supercharged and, later, turbocharged form. The Escort ZX2 offered a special S/R track pack, which I’ve written about previously. Saturn had the Ion Red Line which also came with a Competition package.
Good catch William. I assumed the -4 in the name meant AWD. It did not.
There also was the Focus SVT’s after the ZX2 S/R.
They’ve all dabbled…but Chrysler has has by far the most entries, dating back to the K car days
“I am curious of the demographics of the SRT-4 when compared to the WRT Subaru or the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.”
In 2005, there was about a $5,000 difference on entry price between each of these. $21k for the SRT-4, $26k for a WRX, and $31k got you into an Evo. I’d imagine the demographics are quite a mix as a result.
Price of entry was all over the place in real dollars at that point, however. That was the heyday of RFs GM deathwatch and GM fire sale pricing. At that point in time, you could buy the saabaru for between 15-20k. I was offered one in Houston for 18k. While I was considering it, I went to the Mopar dealer across the street to look at the srt4, which they weren’t keen on haggling on. I wound up with a new quad cab hemi ram with the big chrome wheels for the same price as saabaru. Interesting times those were.
Noteworthy is that there was a 350 hp Ford Focus before, the 2010 limited production model RS500. It had a 2.5 liter 5-cylinder Volvo engine (the most powerful Focus-editions had a Volvo turbo engine back then) and…FWD only.
Compact Ford RS models date back many decades, of course.
Ricers. In 2005 the newer cars I pined for we’re the 2003-2004 Mustang Cobra, Mach 1, GTO, WS6 Trans Ams and the like, a FWD turbo four Neon wasn’t even on my American muscle centric radar. The SRT-4 was a bargain stepping stone to the WRX/EVO the owners really wanted. Muscle cars and imports were very polarized in 2005, this was when even non V8 Mustangs Camaros and Firebirds were a joke to American muscle car types, while pushrods were archaic old tech to import fans. Now a days it’s all changed of course, things like turbocharged LSx powered RX7s are almost mundane in the culture and modified tuned turbo four Mustangs can be beasts at the track.
For me, the wrx/evo/srt were obtainable while the terminator Cobra or M3 I really wanted weren’t. I looked at all of them, and really liked the wrx. It was just an honest inexpensive fun car. The srt seemed hokey and try hard in comparison.
The Monoco was revealing about the pickle the domestics were in the nineties. Renault had invested a lot of money bringing their large offering to the States. The specs put it right on top of high end Euros like the Peugeot 505 and the Volvo 700 series with even the PRV V6 in attendance.
By the nineties, the younger generation was not going to pay a premium for a domesticly branded car no matter what it really was. While nothing much was selling, the k car streched life cycle extensions were better bets for buyers and sellers. As the generational change and massive quantities of domesticly assembled Japanese tore though a weak market. it was only the cheap K cars, A bodies, Corsicas, and Tempos that kept what happened in 2008 from happening in 1992. Keeping the lights on and riding it out is often an achievement in itself.
The Nightrunner looks like it should be driven by a real bad ass up to serious wrong doing.
Not so struck on the Dodge Neon’s facelift, I liked the friendly frog eyed look better. There were a few SRT 4s made it to the UK but in Chrysler clothes. Neons sold quite well here but I’ve not seen one for a while now.
With the possible exception of the Daytona IROC, I think I’ve managed to “run across” at least one example of each of these cars or trucks.
About a half mile from my house I discovered a SRT-10 Nightrunner a few months ago. The front fenders were within a foot or two of the street (it was parked in a driveway beside a house) and I was surprised to see that V10 emblem nearly at eye level.
The Ram Daytona I also thought was a cheap attempt to move a few more pickups. It was bad enough that Chrysler put the Charger name on a 4 door SEDAN, but to water-down the Daytona nameplate by attaching it to a truck….
I guess it’s possible attempts haven’t been made (so far) to re-create The Warlock or The Little Red Express because both those trucks were regular cabs with stepside beds.
It is odd that Chrysler gave the Monaco to Dodge dealers who had 2 sedans that it would compete with and not to product poor Plymouth. Perhaps there wasn’t any way to get the price low enough to entice potential buyers to chose the new….Fury? over an Acclaim or a sedan from the Chrysler side of the showroom.
Probably the only CAR here I’d like to own would be that Dart Hang Ten with any engine that was available. The slant six or 360 would be preferable.
TRUCK? I hate the name because it belongs on a car, but I like the orange color, so a Ram Daytona.
The Daytona’s wing is pretty goofy. Luckily, it’s easy to remove as many owners have done. The ‘Tona and Rumble Bee were basically trying to ride the wave of excitement created by the 3rd gen Hemi. Mopar performance at this time wss either a fwd compact or a truck for those of us who cant buy a Viper. These homages to old school muscle foreshadowed what was on deck with the LX cars.
As a Rumble Bee owner Im torn. It looks cool and even the first Magnum Hemis are formidable. Still, its a sticker package, considering that monochrome paint and a fake hood scoop could be had as a sport package on other Rams. Id have liked there to have been SOME true upgrade, even if it was just an intake/exhaust. I really wish the Bee and Tona would have gotten the Srt-10’s manual transmission option.it would make total sense on a sport truck.
The spoiler should have been cab height, then it could have doubled as a board rack. Or something.
Trying not to be to off topic, but why is that basically only with trucks can you get a complete range of gauges? It kills me that a full gauge set isnt even an option with most cars. Maybe with new LCD instrument panels there will be a screen option with a gauge set. Who knows?
I once read or heard somewhere that dealers began to detest gauges because most car owners wouldn’t interpert the gauge readings correctly. That, and they were often ignored just as folks now ignore the infamous “check engine” light until their cars are just barely running.
I used to think that what set Chrysler products apart, and made them special/better? was that even the cheapest models had a full set of gauges when their competitor’s cars had warning lights.
The only issue with the Neon was that there was no 2 door version available like the Gen 1 Neon. I had a regular one that my wife was terrified that I would get hit in until she saw one get broadsided by a F-150. The truck driver went away in a hearse while the Neon driver walked away. The Neon was a little tank
+1 on the 2door. I specifically snubbed the SRT-4 for a PT Cruiser GT (same basic drivetrain) because of the sedan only body style. Id have even half considered a Cobalt SS. Sedans are near worthless. I think they’re ugly as a bag of buttholes. Obviously coupes look better but usually lighter and structurally superior. Wagons/hatches offer a ton more utility and I think they usually look better than a sedan too.
When Car and Driver did a story on used vehicles that were now performance bargains the profiled the SRT-10 truck. Funnily enough the gentleman they found who owned one for them to test had purchased it (used) for his work as a contractor!
That photo of the grey interior of the “Dodge” Monaco somehow accomplishes the seemingly impossible: making the Premier/Monaco dash look even cheaper than in real life.
My favorite? The Dart Hang Ten. With swapped in pre-smog 360, please!
The Dodge front clip on a Plymouth Duster body never looked right to me…The rear wheel arches of the Duster never matched up to the Dart front fender wheel openings……It seemed to work better the other way around when they put the Valiant front clip onto the Dart Swinger Coupe to make the Scamp and then later onto the Dart 4 Door sedan body……The rear wheel cutouts on the coupe and sedan seemed to match up well to either front clip…….The Dart front clip looked mismatched to the Duster body.
Agree. Although, I never liked the ’73 up Dart front clip all that much, with its ‘beaked’ look. The Plymouths after ’73 weathered that freshening and the 5mph bumpers FAR better.
When the 1970 Duster was a huge hit for Plymouth, of course, Dodge dealers wanted the action, so they got ’71 Demon, renamed to Dart Sport. But, then the Dart Swinger was given to Plymouth as the Scamp.
Badge engineering and divisional competition did in Plymouth, and now Fiat may kill off Dodge or Chrysler names.
About 10 years ago I’ve seen a Dodge Ram Rumble Bee. I’m not sure if it was owner modified or a special edition. It was plum color with yellow stickers and had a distinctive exhaust note. Perhaps you could shed some light on it?
Fake. I own an ’05. Rumble Bee stripe kits are readily available and you see them on all manner of Dodge trucks. Ive seen them on non-Dodges! First tell is if the truck isnt either a yellow with black stripes or black with yellow stripes ’04 or ’05 single cab (2wd and 4x4s were available) then its immediatly a fake. They had special door panel inserts as well as a yellow dash panel with a numbered plaque. Even THAT is easy to swap off of an authentic Bee into a regular ole’ Ram…the VIN is the only way to tell for sure.
The Premier based Dodge Monaco wasn’t a “special edition”, it was a whole car line. Sort of like the Pontiac G5, Mercury Milan, or Olds Bravada, badge engineered to try to sell more units.
If there was a “Monaco GT”, whatever, it would count.
That’s why my series is called Obscure Special Editions and Forgotten Limited-Run Models. And the Monaco fits the latter criteria, much like the 1970 Buick Estate I’ve featured previously.
Fortunately I know how my own months-old article series works 😉
Objection! The Bravada tried harder than most to be different from its lesser siblings. SmartTrak AWD was unique at its time
My guess is that the Premier/Monaco would not have worked as a Plymouth. First off it was marketed as a higher end car (hence the names) and wouldn’t have fit the (perceived) Plymouth demographic. In addition it would have had to have had a price advantage over the Eagle and, considering the geographically disparate nature of it’s components and the costs of partnerships, the margin most likely just wasn’t there to compete in a sea of like sized and market positioned sedans.
Some Chrysler-Plymouth dealers had Jeep-Eagle added in early 90’s, and would have been awkward.
But also, seemed like the Mopar was culling Plymouth line up, after AMC/Jeep was bought, to make room.
I never knew about the Night Runner. Its a subtle little styling on an already badass truck. The Daytona IROC R/T is a prime example of Ma Mopar letting a fantastic product sit unknown. They never pushed them, which is abysmal stupidity considering Mopars’ performance heritage. When you can spank the big dogs (Mustang/F bodies) and all you have in your arsenal is a fwd 4 banger then thats something you brag about…loud and often! The Lotus heads demand a premium if you can find one undamaged since thats a huge upgrade to any turbo 2.2/2.5. The better bang for the buck is the easier to find DOHC head from the later 2.4 and 2.4 turbos. Its a crossflow design also and with some work it can swap onto later 2.2/2.5 engines.
I think Chrysler always deserves credit for such a huge range of interesting special editions through the years. The Ram trucks I find especially cool.
Interesting idea about the Renault becoming a Plymouth–that would have made more sense than adding another Dodge sedan. Plymouth was seemingly on the way out even then, so the company just starved the division of unique models and let it die on the vine.
My sister bought a Monaco, based largely on my folks’ enjoyment of their Premier. It may have had an MSRP similar to the Spirit, but by the time my sister bought hers, Dodge dealers were so sick of them wasting away on their lots, that she paid $9999 + TTP.
It was a lot of car for $10 grand. But it didn’t last long.
How about the 1996 Indy Ram truck and its successor the SST? My brother in law and I attended the Mopar Nats in 1996 and the Indy trucks were everywhere–about 2 weeks after getting back home to Canada he got one and still owns it.
Great article. In November 2006 I had the opportunity to lease a ram SRT10 for $199 a month with $1999 down. I thought it was too good to be true but it was legit. I found the posting on an SRT forum and followed up on it. Woodhouse Dodge in Nebraska had 150 of the ram SRT10s and they had the lease deal. They had 10 SRT10 quad cabs available and 140 regular cabs. I called the dealer and he asked me what options and color I wanted the price was $199 per month regardless of options. The quad cabs were gone the first day. He had a few of those Night Runners, but i picked a red one. It was an amazing opportunity on an amazing truck. Woodhouse delivered it to my house in NY.
I had it for 2 years and was so sad to see it go back. What a great truck. They sent me some pics of the SRT10s at the rail yard. I attached them.
Holy cow, what a deal you got. Usually about the only vehicles I see with those kind of lease terms are crappy economy cars that even at $199/month are overpriced. And icing on the cake, they delivered it to you and you got a “decent” color.
Holy wow. That’s a heck of a deal! Maybe they figured they couldn’t move 150 SRT-10s (I wonder why they had that many) but $199/month is ridiculous. I would have jumped on that and I’m not even a truck person!
It was November 2006 when they ran that deal. Gas prices were rising and Dodge was having problems. This was also the last year of the SRT10 truck. The ram got 8 city and 15 highway. I got 18 when i drove it from NY to Florida on a trip, but the MPG went right to 8 as soon as i was off the highway. When i used to really get on it the MPG would drop to 2 or 3 MPG. The MPG was funny to check on, but this was a monster and was all about hearing the V10 scream. What an experience.
more rail yard pics..
The red was the only choice for me.
Great article. I missed both trucks somehow – had not seen them before.
I’ve seen a Daytona and even a few SRT-4s around town, but had never heard of the Nightrunner. Neat.
Mopar had so many of these it’s hard to keep track and if you add Jeep your gonna go nuts they add more every year.
As mentioned there also the RAM SST
2nd gen Neon ACR
2nd gen Neon RT
Intrepid Police special
1998 Ram 1500 offroad package (2 inch lift and reinforced axles one of the most extreme half ton off road packages short the raptor)
Rod Hall Ram
Dodge Ram Miser
Dakota Intrepid Neon Stratus Motor sports package
Dodge pickup custom sports special
I had forgotten the Daytona IROC had that much power. Definitely a fitting send-off for a model that was otherwise well past its expiration date!
The girl I took to Senior Prom in high school drove a Monaco of that vintage. It was really a sharp-looking car–black with gray lower body, and black BBS-style wheels with polished lips. I know they were nothing special under the hood (though the rep of the later PRV engines is undeserved) but somehow the subtle tweaks made it much more attractive than a Premier. I knew they didn’t sell well (I didn’t realize they even existed until I saw hers) but 20k is low production indeed.
I am the original owner of a orange blast 2005 SRT4 ACR as pictured in this article. I am 62 years and it has always been very well taken care of. Most of the 23,000 miles have been put on going to car shows. Very few SRT4’s are left anymore, and hardly any that are stock as mine is, including original tires. My SRT4 is kept company by my 1991 Spirit R/T which also is a rarely seen car, about 1400 made in 1991 and 1992. That car is also a 1 owner and all stock.
Remember the “Hang 10 Dart”; sister car the “Dart Lite” and cousin the “Feather Duster”. All were advertising at that time.
The Dodge “Little Red Wagon” p/u was pretty cool too.
I don’t know if it was possible to get a Hang 10 package on a Dart Lite. I’m going to say ‘not’ due primarily to the Hang 10’s folding rear seat not being compatible with the weight saving features of the Dart Lite.
Apart from the Hang Ten, Dodge also made a Spirit of ’76 Dart:
I’ve actually seen one of those in the flesh. Never spotted a Hang Ten, though.
That Ram Daytona swallowed up that little Jeep and put it in its box to take home to play with.
The Hang Ten was one of the least sold Darts ever, if not the least, but is perhaps one of the most photographed in ads that survive. A lot of promo went into that car for $250 per copy. Had they just promoted the regular model as having fold down rear seats, it would have saved them a lot of trouble. Much orange carpeting would have survived to live another day.
That orange shag carpeting!
Back in ’95 the river flooded, and sent three feet of water through much of our town. One elderly couple we helped had to rip out a whole houseful of this stuff. Jack took me aside and quietly said it had been his wife’s choice, but he was glad to see it go!
The rest of their seventies décor survived.
I was working at Chrysler’s New York Distribution Center when the Hang Ten was marketed. I always liked it for being refreshing with a bright interior. I never knew that production was so slow. Now, has anyone, anyone of you ever seen a 1977 Plymouth Volare LOADRUNNER? I have not. The car was supposed to be a mid-year model featuring the lowline Volare wagon equipped with the 318 CID V8, bucket seats and heavy-duty suspension. MEH! Still, I have never seen or heard of one being produced yet we in Distribution had received the data in anticipation of dealer orders. I look forward to knowledge of this rare bird, if it even was produced.
That’s one I’ve not heard of.Sounds interesting. Got to look it up a bit. Was i one of those “regional versions”?
In today’s (2/20/2022) post about the Marlin, Paul posted a pic of the fold down rear seats of a 1966 Dodge Charger. A beautiful setup. If something like those seats had been available in the Dart Hang Ten, methinks it could have made that model more popular.