2012 Dodge Dart.JPGSince the day that the 2013 Dodge Dart was introduced at the
    2012 Detroit Auto Show, some old school Mopar lovers have been grumbling that
    this Dart was nothing like it used to be…and that Chrysler should have gone
    with a vehicle more like the original Dart if they were going to use the
    name.  The crowd of naysayers is also complaining
    that this Dart won’t become a collectable in the future.  As the owner of a 1972 Dodge Demon 340 (which
    is technically a Dart), I am here to say that I like the new compact sedan just
    the way that it is and before hating on the new Dart – old school owners should
    consider a few things.

    First of all, the 2013 Dodge Dart is a front wheel drive,
    4-door sedan with a range of compact and efficient 4 cylinder engines where the
    vintage Dodge Dart was available as a 2-door or 4-door model with a spread of
    slant 6 and V8 engines.  While the old
    Dart saw performance models like the unforgettable 1968 Hemi Super Stock Dart,
    the Dart nameplate back in the 50s, 60s and 70s was a compact car.  Back then, compact cars (like almost all
    other cars on the road), were rear wheel drive and in many cases they were also
    very similar in size to the higher end models like the Challenger or the
    Charger.  However, in the modern era of
    the automobile the 2013 Dodge Dart fills the same class as the original Darts
    but with the changes in the industry, today’s Dart is smaller and utilizes
    front wheel drive with a small engine lineup than the “compact cars” of the 1960s. 

    The old school Darts were produced in high numbers with a
    low purchase price and more often than not, those older models were purchased
    for the low price and fuel economy numbers rather than to go fast or put away
    for future value.  When someone bought a
    1967 Dodge Dart 4-door sedan with a slant 6, those folks surely didn’t expect
    their new car to become a collectable but at any large Mopar event – you will
    see a dressed up 1967 Dart 4-door – although in most cases the slant 6 will be
    gone in place of something more reasonable like a 340.  The 2013 Dodge Dart was not designed with
    future collectability in mind much like the run of the mill 1967 Darts weren’t designed
    with that in mind but in 40 years, there is a better chance than not that any
    existing 2013 Darts will be as collectable then as 1967 Darts are today.

    Finally, some are griping that the 2013 Dodge Dart should
    have been rear wheel drive and either a coupe or sedan.  Again, this isn’t the 1960s where a company
    can have a lineup of rear wheel drive cars that are only slightly larger or
    smaller than the next car in the lineup. 
    With the popular Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in the current
    lineup, there is certainly no room for a vehicle as similar in size to either
    of the modern muscle cars as the Dart was compared to the Charger and
    Challenger in the good ol’ days.

    Most importantly, the Chrysler Group needs a vehicle that
    will compete in the incredibly quick growing compact sedan class.  Not since the demise of the Dodge Neon has
    Chrysler had a major player in the compact segment but with the introduction of
    the 2013 Dart – the next big compact sedan could be here.  As for collectability, there are rampant
    rumors of a high performance SRT variant for the new Dart and if those rumors
    are true – Mopar lovers will have a new performance model as well as a Dart
    with future collectability.

    Click here to visit DodgeForum’s new Dodge Dart section and tell us what you think of the new compact sedan!