Dream Dart: Rick Huckleby’s 1968 Dodge Dart Swinger

Do you really need a reason to build a rowdy car beside the fact it puts a giant smile on your face every time you smash the loud pedal? Absolutely not, and that’s exactly why Rick Huckleby has built his 1968 Dodge Dart Swinger the way he has — it’s designed to put a giant grin on his face every time he drives it.

Huckleby grew up in the era where your car was what people knew you by and every teenager wanted to have the best ride in the parking lot. Throughout his teenage years, Huckleby spent his free time doing anything automotive he could with his friends. It was during that period of time that Huckleby grew fond of Mopar products, specifically the Dodge Dart.

“This car is actually my second Dart; I purchased a 1968 GTS with a 383 in it when I was in high school as my first car. That car had to go away after we started having children, but I always wanted to find another one just like it. I actually found this car when a racer was looking to get out of drag racing, so I purchased the car and redid it to be exactly what I wanted,” Huckleby explains.

Huckleby’s Dart is packing a 440 cubic-inch mill under the hood with stock heads that have been heavily worked over. The top end of the engine is completed by an Edelbrock intake and Quick Fuel Technology carburetor. Behind the engine is a 3500 RPM stall torque converter that’s mated to a 727 Torqueflight transmission. The rearend is a Dana S60 filled with Strange Engineering parts, including a set of 40-spline gun-drilled axles. Huckleby and a few friends painted the car its luscious shade of red.

The Dart has seen its fair share of track time since Huckleby redid the car and it has run many low 10-second passes. What makes the Dart super-cool is that it ran those stout numbers while still being a street car. These days, Huckleby mostly takes the Dart to local shows that he drives it to along with bigger shows all over the United States.

According to Huckleby, the Dart’s racing days are far from over — soon it will be getting some horsepower upgrades that will make it even more fun to race or drive.

“The plan is to make some changes to the engine and bolt a 6-71 blower to it with a pair of carburetors on top. After that’s done, I want to do some nostalgia racing with the car because that looks like a lot of fun. There are some shows I take the car to that have a drag racing portion and I want to be able to do both when I take the car out,” Huckleby says.

Ultimately, what brings Huckleby the most joy when it comes to his Dart is the sensory experience it provides. It makes driving the car anywhere a real treat and Huckleby tries to savor every moment he’s behind the wheel.

“I really enjoy the noise that comes with this car. People hear me coming before they see me and the car is a real head-turner. The car has plenty of power and is a real blast to drive, it gets my adrenaline going and puts a smile on my face every time I get behind the wheel,” Huckleby explains.

You can’t beat the looks of a classic Dodge and Rick Huckleby has done an outstanding job of making his Dart stand out. Just looking at this Mopar you can see what makes it so special to him and the pride he takes in showing it has just as much show as it does go.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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