9/15/11

1975 Dodge Dart Hang Ten - Gotta keep on moving keep on keep on...

The seventies were mostly an idiot. This cannot be proven or disproven, but I think, if I had to, I could make a strong case for placing a restraining order on The Seventies keeping it away from all the other decades (except maybe The Eighties. They could share a basement apartment on an asteroid orbiting Pluto for all I care). However, this '75 Dodge Dart Hang Ten edition kind of makes me smile.

Kind of like an especially "charming" drawing scribbled out in orange crayon by a child, I want to take this Dodge Dart and hang it on the fridge with a magnet shaped like a banana. I would pat The Seventies on the head and tell it that the car is "very nice! I see that you used lots of stripes to make your car happy!" Then The Seventies would sort of gape in saucer-eyed delight and run off to the family room to do another one... probably a Battle of the Network Stars or something that would be much much harder to feign pleasure about.

That's about as good as The Seventies gets. It's my happy little "special needs decade".

The Dodge Dart Hang ten edition (which I had never heard of before I saw this ad and only found any of this out by searching the web so back off Dodge buffs if I got a few facts nearly right) was a special cosmetic package marketed to surfer types. In '74, Dodge did this thing called the "convertriple" option, which basically was a fold-down rear seat. This has become pretty normal now, but at the time it was a clever new feature. This allowed the stowage of a surf board inside the car, without the need for a roof rack of any kind. So, Dodge had a groovy old time, decorating the interior in striped swimsuit fabric to get surfers more interested in the car. There was a wave decal on the rear quarter panel and a surfboard-shaped thing on the hood.

The Wikipedia article has the ring of truth, calling the Hang Ten "an attempt by Dodge stylists to better determine consumer preferences in a declining performance market". Ouch. By 1975, the Good Old Days of muscle cars was starting to suffer from the realities of oil crises and smog regulations, and things like the Hang Ten were an attempt to keep the good times movin' on through the night.
The glove box is full of cursed tiki necklaces.
Speaking of Greg Brady, there must be a door-panel-and-bucket-seats-shaped hole in his pants. Also, perhaps there's a floor-pan shaped hole in his bedroom carpet, too.

I do like this Dart, partly because it's to ridiculous. Could I use it as my daily driver? Absolutely not. I'd hate to have to show up at a funeral in it. It would be like the one Hawaiian shirt that I own. Nice to have around for occasional use, but I couldn't be seen in it every day. That's just one more reason why collectible cars like this are a rich guy thing. I wish car makers still put white interiors in cars (but maybe not with stripes like this, at least not always). White interiors are very Space 1999.

How collectible? Here's a clean one on Ebay for a buy-it-now of $8900. It's not Enzo money, but it's more than the car sold for in '75.

Anyway, Dodge made it really easy to pull the Hang Ten out of its picture by way of making absolutely sure none of the models interrupted the outline of the car. "The car must always be front and center!" So, get ready to right click this little longboard into your P.A.G. multicar pileup of PNGs. Rude finger... ACTIVATE!






5 comments:

Craig F. said...

Love the Hang 10.

If I remember correctly, it had the little Hang 10 barefoot logo at the end of the pinstripes.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Mr. Craigson, I reckon you have personal knowledge and experience with every car that ever lived. Thanks for the extra info!

[-Mgmt]

Craig F. said...

Ya know, I may be wrong about that.

I remember that when I was a young child of the idiot Seventies, there was a clothing manufacturer named Hang Ten around the same time that had that logo.

But this is Hang "numeral" 10. Probably no connection.

Whatever. Bring on the Spirit of '76 Chevy Vega.

Speedmaster said...

Cool, I remember those well. ;-)

Steve Miller said...

Boy! the DFC (disembodied floating car) shows how lame this design was. For a moment, I was seduced by those interior shots. Great fabric choice! (And what Midwestern boy didn't dream about surfboards? or surf bunnies? Of course that yellow bikini was a MUCH better choice than, say, stripes...)

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