Curbside Classic: 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix – How Did I Miss This?


This 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix sedan was offered for sale in October 2022 in Hawthorne, New Jersey (just 25 miles from me), but I just found out about it now.  Had I known about it, I definitely would have gone to check it out.  Apparently it was sold to a “flipper” who took it to Langhorne, Pennsylvania and re-sold it there.  For the moment there are still good pictures available, so I thought I’d preserve them here because this is just too special to ignore and forget.

Seller’s Description:

1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix 4-door Sedan

  • 1 owner
  • Driven 54,000 miles
  • Automatic transmission
  • Exterior color: Green · Interior color: Green
  • Clean title
  • This vehicle has no significant damage or problems

1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix  –  54,000 miles  –  Automatic transmission  –  Great classic  –  Runs and drives!  Price:  $6200.

1961 Dart Phoenixes apparently don’t have the little chrome “roof vents” as on the ’60.



1960 roof.  Those “vents” are a 1960 Phoenix-only feature.



I have identified this color combination as “Snow White” over “Frosted Mint Poly”.  Almost certainly this paint is original.  Is this just the right amount of patina?

Here are more photos:

N.J. inspection sticker on the passenger side: early 1980s or older.


Doesn’t have those “extra” round taillights–that’s a relief!


Another “complex modern art masterpiece”.


If you think this ’61 Dart Phoenix is pretty wild, check out the top-of-the-line “senior” Dodge: the Polara–“The finest of everything Dodge. You will respect its masculine authority.”


Back to our featured ’61 Dart:

Front and rear seats have been covered in clear plastic, thus preserving them beautifully!


Dash and steering wheel look to be in excellent condition! Don’t know why there’s an aftermarket accelerator pedal.


V-8 engine power–probably a 318.



So that’s it.  All I can tell you is that I really love this car:  the color, the rarity, the far-out space-age design (I’ve always been iffy on the ’61, but looking at this car, I like it!)  And of course there’s the super-original, unrestored but not ragged condition–a real time capsule which is so seldom seen today.  Unless there’s something radically wrong with it, this is a real hidden gem which you will never find again.  The $6000 range is totally reasonable for something like this.

According to my source, the flipper reduced his price from $10,500 to $7,300 and the car was sold.  So maybe the flipper made a little money.  But I’m wondering what will happen to this Dart now?  If it were mine, I would make necessary repairs, shine it up the best I could, and just preserve it as-is.  But with that mint interior and nice bumper chrome, a full body restoration and repaint in original colors is another possible alternative.


What do you think? My ’60 Dart Phoenix with a slant 6, and a ’61 with a V-8. Point and counterpoint. Wouldn’t that have made a great pair?


More photos and details here.