How to stand out in New York City? Drive an old Dodge Dart.

Photography by David S. Wallens

New York City contains so many timeless, enduring landmarks. Grant’s Tomb. The Statue of Liberty. Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8, aka the Ghostbusters’ home base.

And what’s commonly known as the Manhattan GTS, a dark-green–or is black?–1968 Dodge Dart GTS often seen street parked in the East Village. Its checked paint punctuated by fiberglass patches and the ghosts of stickers that have long since faded away.

Check out the hood pins. They’re now secured with household hardware.

Unlike a fully preserved example nestled away in a climate-controlled facility in hopes that it will one day score big on Bring a Trailer, this one oozes character. It’s the ultimate in not giving a you-know-what.

During our last visit to the City, we came across the Dart while heading to Rivington Guitars: E. 4th St. between 2nd Ave. and Bowery. The Dart’s owner, Alex Harsley, is curator of the 4th Street Photo Gallery. As the name suggests, it’s located on the same block. It’s been open since 1973 and, today, serves as one of the City’s only “ground-floor alternative exhibitions spaces for both emerging and professional photographers.”

What we’ve learned from some online sleuthing since returning home: 450,000-plus miles, at least one engine rebuild, and powered by the 340. Now that we know the car’s backstory, next time we’re in the City, we need to visit the gallery.

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Comments
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/24 11:00 a.m.

And some photos of the Dart from an earlier visit. I took these in 2017.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/4/24 11:13 a.m.

I feel like that GTS is a fun reminder that, at the end of the day, most cars were simply someone's daily driver at some point, and that you can still use old cars as a "normal" cars–with the right amount of patience, of course.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/24 11:14 a.m.

And a little backstory to that day in the City. I first met a friend for lunch on the Lower East Side.

From there, we decided to visit some guitar shops, including Rivington. We also walked to Rudy’s in SoHo.

We eventually hit the Highline plus a book store on the west side. Then we walked up to Penn Station and said our goodbyes.

From there, I had dinner in Chelsea and walked back to my hotel on Park Ave.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/24 11:15 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Exactly. A friend has a GTS convertible. It’s been his only car for like 20 years. He lives in downtown San Francisco. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/4/24 11:54 a.m.

Here are some I've seen walking the streets of NYC. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/24 12:19 p.m.

Hey, another Dart!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/5/24 10:35 a.m.

The GTS could be had with a 383, but the standard 340 still made a lot of horsepower and was lighter so it made for a better balanced car.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/5/24 11:21 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

Yeah, it’s a cool spec. Plus those Darts just looked good, with bonus points for the concave rear window. Our neighbors had a red one. 

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