Ride Of The Week 11/01/2021: Rob Paulhamus' 1969 Dart GTS
YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING WORSE TO IT THAN I’VE ALREADY DONE
When I asked if I could take some interior photos of this 1969 Dodge Dart, the owner responded with, “You can’t do anything worse to it than I’ve already done.” That gave me a chuckle, but also told me, 'there's a story here.'
When Rob Paulhamus was 18 years old, he bought this 1969 Dart GTS from the back lot a Van Campen Dodge in 1973 and has owned the car ever since. He paid a mere $1,400 for the fire-engine red A-Body and set out do all the things you do with a V8 muscle car when you’re young: Mods, racing, and all sorts of questionable automotive hi-jinks.
The car survived all of that, along with a couple of paint jobs and 2 wives. In 1984, Rob decided to return the car to stock condition. He removed all the speed equipment from the 340 and rebuilt the engine. He stripped the car down and came to realize that it had been wrecked prior to his ownership.
Thankfully, the correct hood and passenger fender were sourced from a green ’69 Dart. He carefully removed the black-out paint in the engine bay to reveal the T-5 copper finished trim tag, which still resides under the hood.
He knew the car was originally copper because the GT/SPORT & side marker trim pieces were still the original color when the car was painted to red. The aside from paint, headliner, and front seats, the car is pretty much original, including the rare W18 Deluxe Wheel Covers. Another unique feature is the lack of headrests. The car was an early 1969 build with an assembly date of 9/26/68. Any cars produced after Jan. 1, 1969, had to include headrests.
His day job keeps the Dart from enjoying to much time on the show circuit, but here’s hoping that retirement brings more smiles per gallon to Rob’s face.