Devilish Baby Demon: 64k-Mile 1971 Dodge Dart Demon 3-Speed

  • February 11, 2021
The Rundown
  • Single Family Owned From New
  • 318ci V8 (230 hp)
  • 3-Speed Manual Transmission
  • 64k Original Miles
  • Resprayed Original Color
  • Rust-Free Example
Why We Like It

One look at this Mopar time capsule and you recognize the breadth of muscle mobiles being offered in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It was a crowded segment, with all of Detroit maneuvering to get as many pieces of the ever-growing hot rod pie as they could. Dodge Darts were always meant to be mid-sized versions of the big bruiser models, in this case the newly released Challenger. The fact that the Demon was really a rebranded Plymouth Duster meant that most buyers stayed true to the point of inspiration and didn’t jump ship to the Dodge variant. It also didn’t help matters that Dodge couldn’t decide on a name for the sporty Dart, starting with “Swinger”, considering a switch to the problematic “Beaver”, and ultimately landing on the controversial Demon. Maybe this was why focus groups later found a place in the planning process! With the benefit of hindsight, we wonder how that animated beelzebub and his cute little pitchfork could have caused such a being scared of Yosemite Sam “Back-Off!” mudflaps.

devilish-baby-demon-64k-mile-1971-dodge-dart-demon-3-speed00c0c h7MtUBgQPJfz 0CI0t2 1200x900

devilish-baby-demon-64k-mile-1971-dodge-dart-demon-3-speed00E0E 1PxdI26rrREz 0CI0t2 1200x900The base Demon, like the one found here with a 318ci, was more common than the top of the range 340ci, with 69,861 produced instead of 10,098. It's somewhat of a moot point, as not too many have lived as charmed a life as this red beauty. The person responsible for ordering it in this devilish hue did a good thing, and the respray appears to have lots of luster left for the next owner. Moving inside, the original-looking black interior offers a surprisingly tasteful cabin that would almost look at home in a new challenger! The Demon details are great reminders of what a splash of silly marketing can do for a vehicle – Infusing character into this proletarian aspirant. We can spot a flurry of aftermarket gauges hanging from the center of the dash console, and a modern aftermarket stereo as well, although neither too heavy handed to detract from the experience. Under the hood there aren’t any surprises, everything stock, accounted for, tidy and neat. The extra space in the engine bay is a little jarring, however, forcing your mind to spin yarns of various “hellcrate” HEMI shopping sprees. Sigh, maybe someday, this car is clearly content terrorizing the town as-is.

devilish-baby-demon-64k-mile-1971-dodge-dart-demon-3-speed01717 lpsGSur85Ksz 0CI0t2 1200x900

Valuation Verdict

The seller’s ask for this one-owner family heirloom may include a bit of a nostalgia premium, and checking the Hagerty pricing guide, we find the base Dart Demon in #2 “excellent” condition to fetch $11,400. Well, that’s a head scratcher. Stepping back and shaking off that bad news, we punch in the higher powered and lower produced Demon 340 and Hagerty spits out the following numbers, a #2 car at $33,500 and a #3 at $24,400. All Demons aren’t created equal, and unfortunately this one wasn’t well enough endowed from the factory. Apparently, the seller just sold this car on eBay, but may have had a non-paying bidder? Another optimistic Demon seller appears to have just experienced the same thing with their purple restomod. If you want one, this example is cherry and looks to be a nice ride in its own right, and even though it’s priced steeply, perhaps a little education and persuasion will land a mutually beneficial deal.

People reacted to this car