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When it was time to start our muscle car search the choice wasn't as easy as you might think. Though we loved both the classic American muscle cars (the '71 Charger and the '71 Cuda) we cruised in during our high school days, we didn't set our sights on getting one of those dream rides back.

First of all, they are both outrageously expensive even in terrible condition. Second, we wanted to be able to drive the car frequently which wouldn't make sense with a high value vehicle.

find-your-muscle-car: Dart Swinger emblem

Cindy always had a fondness for the ScatPack cars and there were tons of little Darts produced in the early 70s making them easy to find and not in huge demand yet in the car collector environment, even though muscle cars are the rage right now. After some lengthy discussions we narrowed the choice to a 1971 Dart Swinger.

Do you read the last chapter of a book first? If so, CLICK HERE for the end of the story. Otherwise, keep reading.

Here are the specifics of our muscle car search, along with what we'd be willing to settle for if we couldn't find exactly what we wanted in our price range:

Preferred Acceptable
1971 Dodge Dart Swinger 1968, 1970, or 1972 Dart
340 cu small block V8 318 cu V8
Automatic transmission 4 speed (love it, but killer in traffic)
Bucket seats Bench with center armrest (would love houndstooth interior!)
Factory Rallye Wheels Standard wheels and hubcaps
Air conditioning Not negotiable!
Body Color
  • High Impact Limelight
  • Plum Crazy
  • Root Beer
  • Gold
  • Military Green
Dual hood scoops, Scatpack emblems, tailstripe Plain Jane, the other can be added
Block vinyl top None
Factory dash and interior components Don't want hacked up dash, front door, or package tray
Minimal to no rust This is a must

So our expectation was that we can get a good basic car in the price range we want but only if we keep looking persistently. We saw a bunch of rust buckets that would take thousands of dollars to repair for sale for $12-20K.

Obviously people are trying to take advantage of the muscle car mania that is happening. Our plan was not to pay more for the car than it is realistically worth.

find-your-muscle-car: 1971 Dodge Dart SwingerWe hoped our muscle car search would end with a 1971 Dart Swinger like this one

The purpose of this website is to help people who are in the market for a classic muscle car to find that dream ride with a minimum of risk and a lot of fun. Our experience can help you make a smart purchase. Why don't you sign up for the Muscle Car Alert? We'll send you regular updates on great muscle cars for sale in a range of prices and conditions.

By the way, one of the keys to success in your muscle car search is to be very sure you know exactly which muscle car you should buy. As mentioned above, it isn't as simple as thinking, "man I want a Hugger Orange Camaro." Click over to the selecting a muscle car page for more tips.

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