Curbside Outtake- A Pair of Chrysler A-Bodies (Update)


Ah, look- A pair of Curbside Classics sitting together under the California sun. Two A-bodies, both built after 1973. There’s no need for a full write up, as there’s plenty of A-body (and slant-six) love to be found here at Curbside Classic. A quick Google search generated the following links:

Dart Sedan, Dart Coupe, Dart Swinger, Feather Duster, Gold Duster, Just Duster, 340 Duster, Scamp

If that’s not enough for you, I didn’t search using “Valiant,” “Demon,” or “Slant Six,” so you’re welcome to research further.


A close look at the grilles (and hoods) indicates these two A-body coupes share a sporty roofline, but do not share nameplates. The front car is a Duster, while the rear doppleganger is a Dart Sport. I’m not sure if the difference in marker light locations helps differentiate the Plymouth from the Dodge, or simply moved down from one model year to the next. Given the common fenders, door skins, glass, and door handles, I’m guessing the change occurred between model years. These A-Bodies may have been the most egregious examples of badge engineering from the seventies, but Chrysler took it to an even higher level with the Neon- two cars that shared everything except the Division badges.

Given how these two cars are parked nose to tail, I’d assume they have common ownership. Thank the Chrysler Gods that the Dodge came with a half-vinyl roof. Without it, the owner would have a hard time telling these identical twins apart.

Wheel Arch

The A-body aficionados have spoken, and it turns out there are differences between the front fender wheel arches (and perhaps the opening around the headlights). A close examination proves them right, but the two fenders are close enough in shape that I missed it on first examination. I could see myself buying a Duster fender for my Dart at the Junkyard, and bolting it on without noting there is a difference.