Those in muscle motor circles have heard all of the names and descriptors before from elite sects too good to bathe in grease. We're freaks, animals, degenerates, just human enough to avoid ape classification, yet have the same manners. So the best thing to do is accept it all and throw their verbal spears back attached to steel missiles. Let this car shake the windows out of frame as your Leave it to Beaver dinner table eeeks and balls up on the floor. Things are shaking up across the neighborhood without any interest in mass approval. What better club to practice ritual octane boosting than the Mopar house. Goals were simple and brutally direct: Take a Dart, then cram a Hemi down its throat to hurl it through those traps at the end of a straight track. This is the 1968 Dodge Dart S/S.
Drag racing by this stage had begun a climb into prime time show lights with names like Garlits, Prudhomme, Landy, Jenkins, and Sox ride the lightning in machines not too difficult for the average citizen to own. Those final three names assembled their legend in Super Stock class action. In this class, showroom models were massaged with headers, camshafts, slicks, cylinder heads, and weight reduction to turn 10 second blasts. Out of any group, the Super Stock heroes were the closest thing to being reached by their working class observers. Sure those fellows received strong factory support, but look at the archives and you'll find a ton of independent pilots taking on the Super Stock Goliath
In 1968 Super Stock mostly consisted of Plymouth Barracudas, Ford Mustangs, Chevy IIs, Chevrolet Camaros, and now the Dodge Dart. Dodge's little coupe "only" came with a 383 as a directly from the floor heavy pill. For some more blood-rushing adrenaline, anyone willing could take a trip to Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago where Mr. Norm found a 440 could in fact fit if only Dodge tried. Hurst-Campbell assembled the 440 Dart using Dodge shipped 383 Darts sans engine with a factory 440 big block in a crate with it. The big lump automatically deleted power steering so combining this with a heavy nose made canyon bends something of a spine chilling endeavor.
Fortunately, we're not even at peak insanity yet.
One of the hallowed halls of performance, Hurst, put together 80 of these 426 Hemi Darts. It was a 1968 only package and took to total annihilation. Shipped wearing steel wheels, fiberglass panels, and base primer, these were meant to roll off a trailer into Mopar team's stalls. If you think you're going to the drive in think again because the Hemi Dart was illegal for road use, further demonstrating its focused soul. With that big plate intake manifold and open headers there wouldn't be much foot required to throttle this little weapon to 10 second passes on par with everyone else. Consider the Hurst S/S Hemi Dart one of the line that inspired the Demon. We enjoy air conditioning, full warranty protection, and forced induction with our drag terrors today. There's hardly a fearful apprehension before getting behind the soft wheel, but look at what our fathers and grandfathers wrangled: Pure primal instinct riding atop a lead-burning, carbon snorting, tooth rattling missile.
Excuse the 10 year old quality, but this gives one of the better looks all the way around.