Dart chassis, Valiant transmission – my first hybrid

The car I bought after my ’81 graduation was a used ’74 Dodge Dart. Man I loved driving that thing with "three on the tree." It was fun to shift and easy to work on.


The transmission went out after nearly a million miles. A buddy at the Salvage told me it would be simple to swap parts with a similar Plymouth. He was right. I did it myself in the parking lot and drove on down the road.


Later I sold the car for $20 and a case of beer to my friend Mark. He needed a second car (his family grew by adding twins). I explained the car’s electrical problem resulted from an auto accident by the previous owner.


Mark repaired the wiring harness and put another million miles on the Dart. Eventually it ran no more so he sold it to a scrap yard. He bought an electric ice cream freezer with the money and shipped that to me via UPS.


I remember thinking “Thank you but you didn’t owe me anything.” Our friendship traveled more miles by association than any vehicle warranty could have ever delivered.

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