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By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 11 hours ago EventsVideo9 min read AUCTIONSDODGE CLASSICS
It’s July, Mopar® fanatics, and that means The great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event is getting closer. Mark your calendars for October 13th when over 250 vintage, classic and special interest vehicles will be auctioned off at no reserve in this online-only sales event. Then on the next day, October 14th, another online-only, no reserve auction will be held for the thousands of items of parts, tools, dealership sales materials and automobilia that once made up the estate of John Haynie, a Texas-based Mopar lover and collector who passed away, leaving all of this behind.
Though we mourn the passing of Mr. Haynie, his estate is excited to see his prized possessions get back into circulation with the collector community, and we’re sure the late John Haynie would agree. Facilitating this sale is Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions, a unit of Assiter Auctioneers. If the name Spanky Assiter is familiar, that’s because he was the lead auctioneer for the esteemed Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction company for over a decade. In fact, you may even recall Spanky’s wife Amy shouting excitedly advancing bids between bidders and the auctioneer during hundreds of hours of live TV coverage.
Spanky, Amy and the rest of the Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions team are preparing for a massive – perhaps record-breaking – online auction event this coming October 13thand 14th. Be there! Until then, let’s continue our preview with another five delectable vintage Chrysler products that “could be yours” if the bid is right! –Steve Magnante
1967 DODGE POLARA: LOT #146
After so much attention being given to Dodge’s muscle cars, it’s easy to forget the full-size Dodge vehicles for 1967. Sold as Polaras and Monacos, they accounted for just 8.0% and 5.6% of Dodge sales volume that year. By contrast, the major sellers were the mid-size Coronet (44.9% of sales volume) and compact Dart (37.6% of sales volume). Though these big Dodge vehicles handily outsold the sporty Charger (just 3.9% of all Dodge vehicles sold in 1967 were Chargers), today it’s nearly impossible to find a surviving Polara or Monaco.
That’s what makes Lot 146 so important. A very solid California car (with its original “black plate” still present), it’s got the upscale 4-door hardtop body type without the usual fixed door pillar and full window frames found on sedans, a detail that added $110 to the Polara Sedan’s $2,918 base list price. Packing the base 383 2-barrel big block V8, extra cost options found on this example include the $183 TorqueFlite®automatic transmission, $16 power-assisted drum brakes, $311 air conditioning and factory radio. Sporting a recent re-spray in the original WWI White color, the trunk floor is as solid as the body and the grille, bumpers and tail light areas are nearly perfect. Though not a big gun muscle car, what’s to stop you from installing a Mopar Performance 472 HEMI® crate engine and surprising the Charger and Super Bee set?https://www.youtube.com/embed/q-FPu3bfyx0
1962 DART 330 POLICE: LOT #142
Now here’s something very special! Beyond the fact Lot 142 is an example of Dodge’s first mid-size B-Body – which quickly morphed to support classics like the Charger R/T and Super Bee – this 1962 Dodge Dart 330 is a cop car! As proven by the “9” in the second spot of the VIN, for 1962, Dodge offered four levels of potency; the “Highway Patrol”, “General Purpose Patrol”, “Municipal Partol” and “Public Safety”. While the “Highway Patrol” was marketed by Dodge for “jobs that call for rubber-burning acceleration, rapid interception and continuous high speed operation…where man and machine seldom get a chance to cool off,” this one is a General Purpose Patrol unit with the 318 2-barrel polyspherical V8.
Though not the sexy 318 4-barrel or top-tier 361 4-barrel big block (the 383 was on vacation until 1963), the rest of this one is pure, no-nonsense police material. From the extra-duty 3-row radiator, manual 11-inch drum brakes, manual steering, front sway bar, extra-leaf rear springs, heavy-duty 15×5.5 fleet wheels with clip-on hub caps for better retention at high speed, double-pulley fan belt, massive Leece-Neville alternator, heavy-duty push-button TorqueFlite automatic transmission, radio delete plate on the dash and – the “POLICE de resistance” – a certified 120 MPH speedometer for “court admissibility”, this is a true life police car!
Knowing that these “fleet specials” were driven hard until reaching their mandatory retirement date (typically 80,000 miles), buyers from the private sector were few and far between when they were disbursed at auction. If a taxi company didn’t snap them up for a few final years of unsavory usage before scrapping, they often sold to hot rodders who scavenged the heavy-duty parts and junked the empty shell. We dare say this might be the sleeper of the auction. Smart bidders will lurk and pounce on this incredibly rare offering!
1954 DODGE PICKUP: LOT #141
Unlike Dodge passenger cars from the same time period, which enjoyed fairly obvious year-to-year styling changes that make them easy to tell apart, Dodge trucks from the 1948-1956 era kinda look the same to the untrained eye. But we know better, right? This is Lot 141, a 1954 C-series half-ton step-side pickup. We know it’s a 1954 because it has a one-piece windshield that’s different from the two-piece 1953 windshield and the 1955 wrap-around windshield. The 1954 grille also went from a rectangular outline to a trapezoidal form.
Beyond all that, this ’54 is very significant thanks to the V8 emblem on the nose. Before 1954, Dodge’s ground-breaking Red Ram HEMI V8 – which was introduced in 1953 – was offered only in passenger cars. But then in 1954, the Dodge Truck Division was granted access to this exciting new development. But at first, the 145-horsepower 241-cube Red Ram HEMI – some fifty percent more powerful than the 100-horsepower flathead sixes offered before – was only offered in medium- and heavy-duty 1 to 5 ton trucks, buyers of ½ and ¾ ton pickups were stuck with the six.
Then, in August of 1954, the HEMI floodgates opened and the mighty Red Ram HEMI was offered in smaller half-ton step-side pickups – like this one. Before going into further detail, let’s remember that when Dodge’s all-new third-generation 5.7-liter “Hemi Magnum” V8 arrived in 2001 (for the 2002 model year), it too was initially restricted only to large and hefty Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 trucks. Buyers of more sporty Ram 1500s had to wait until the following model run to gain access to the sweet 345-horsepower 5.7 HEMI engine. So there’s a familiar ring to the initial Rad Ram HEMI story presented here!
Ok, getting back to business, as the walk-around video indicates, the cab, step-side bed and front fenders are all extremely well preserved without any perforation or structural rust. Though the original 241 Red Ram HEMI (a $120 upcharge over the base 217-cube, 100-horsepower inline six) and column-shifted three-speed manual transmission are missing, the rest of this amazing Texas time capsule is accounted for and ready for rescue. As an example of Dodge’s first-ever V8 pickup truck, there is a ton of historical value sitting on its half-ton chassis.
1960 DODGE DART PIONEER: LOT #140
The 1960 model year was important for all of Chrysler Corporation and Lot 140, a 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer, is a perfect example of the breed. While younger folks may assume the Dart name first appeared in 1963 aboard Dodge’s replacement for the A-body 1961-62 Lancer, the name actually debuted on a mass-produced offering right here.
To cover the marketplace, the Dart was offered in three series: the Dart Seneca, Dart Pioneer and Dart Phoenix. Above them were the Matador and Polara, which shared basic items but with specific differences – but were not part of the Dart line.
The body-on-frame construction technique used in 1959 gave way to semi-unitized construction for all 1960 Dodge cars wherein the body shell from the fire wall to the back bumper was a one-piece item with the frame rails and suspension attachment points welded to the floor pan. The front suspension and sheet metal was another bolt-on unit that attached under the floor and jutted forward. This semi-unitized design differed from the fully-unitized configuration employed on the compact 1960 Valiant / 1961 Lancer (A-body) and mid-size 1962 Dart 330 (B-body) which had their front inner fenders and frame rails welded to the cowl to make a one-piece body shell from the radiator wall to the tail light panel.
Both forms of unitized construction (“semi” and “fully”) were rugged, light – and susceptible to rust after exposure to salted winter roads. By the mid-1960s most of these cars were rusted beyond salvation and with their wild, space-age styling being out of step with the pony car craze, few people cared enough to rescue them.
But now, some six decades later, they’ve become red hot among collectors, restorers and customizers. This 1960 Dart Pioneer (Lot 140) has the graceful fastback greenhouse configuration with its smart “reverse angle” B-pillar base which would reappear on the 1963 compact-size A-body Dart through 1966. We mention this styling quirk so folks who think BMW’s styling chief Wilhelm Hofmeister was the first to use the theme (on the 1962 “Neue Klasse” BMW1500’s “Hofmeister kink”) can think again.
Best of all for Lot 140 is how complete it is, including the ultra-rare unsilenced air cleaner atop its so-called Ram Fire 383 4-barrel big block V8. As the pictures show, the three-piece Ram Fire 383 air cleaner has a round base plate, open-element filter unit and very unique circular lid with a non-concentric secondary circular region stamped in place at the leading end. This is where an adhesive-backed engine call-out logo would go. Today, this unique air cleaner stands as one of the rarest Mopar single 4-barrel air cleaner designs, and it’s still present! The only thing hotter than this 383 4-barrel would have been the Ram Induction D-500 383 with its twin Carter AFB’s criss-crossing the block. At an extra $418, very few were built.
And while the exterior body panels are very solid, the floors are in need of rust repair, as are a handful of localized areas on the quarter panels and elsewhere. Other options include power drum brakes and steering. Inside, the factory AM radio, push button TorqueFlite automatic transmission, “rib raker” dash top-mounted rearview mirror and front bench seat all remain in place. Purists will want to see this rarity restored to perfection. Customizers will see beyond the showroom floor, enhancing the graceful sloping fastback roofline by chopping away an inch or two and setting it atop a custom Viper frame with massive V10 power feeding all four wheels.
But before any of this can happen, some lucky bidder has to cast the highest bid…
1963 CHRYSLER 300 SPORT: LOT #139
The mighty Chrysler 300 ceased to be known as a “letter car” after 1962 when the 300 Sport series was added to capture the excitement of the full-sized 300 muscle machines without the mechanical distress of adjusting solid lifters, tuning dual carburetors and coping with a harsh ride. We love that stuff, but some folks didn’t. As proof, a mere 400 300-Js were sold versus 24,665 of the watered down 300 Sports.
This 1963 Chrysler 300 Sport (Lot 139) has the desirable 2-door hardtop body style (a less sporty 4-door was offered) but lacks the dual carburetor 413 of the 300J. But again, that’s ok and while we couldn’t get the hood to open (we never force stubborn latches or hinges on vehicles we don’t own), inside we discovered a big block rocker arm shaft with the stamped steel (non-adjustable) rocker arms and separate cast aluminum rocker arm stands used for the final time in 1963. Also discovered inside was an unsilenced single 4-barrel air cleaner lid and base indicating this one was ordered new with the optional 413 big block, a mid-point engine offering between the base 300 Sport’s 383 2-barrel and the 300-J’s ram inducted, solid lifter 413. Out back, a set of factory dual exhaust tailpipes support the 413 premise.
Inside, bucket seats and a center console add some sport to this 300 Sport while the factory push button AM radio remains in place. Speaking of buttons, to the left of the steering wheel are the exotic TorqueFlite automatic transmission’s controls set next to a 120 MPH speedometer (the 300-J speedometer read to 150 MPH). With minimal body rust, this 1963 Chrysler 300 Sport 2-door hardtop is ready for resurrection.
Ok, that’s it for this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event, which will proceed on October 13th and 14th of this year. Go to Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions and the Steve Magnante YouTube channel to learn more and see the rest of this amazing 250-plus vehicle hoard. Next week, we’ll be back with another preview that’ll include something with the rare two-door, big block taxi!