3R Automotive was chosen by the owner of this 1968 Hust HEMI Dodge Dart 'Clone' to repair crash damage the car recently incurred. The car mainly suffered damage to the rear end of the car so 3R essentially replaced the back 1/2 of the car to bring it back to straight and true and good-as-new condition. A day after the car was completed in April 2014 the car was taken to a car show by the owner and it won 1st place in its class.
The ’68 Hurst HEMI Dodge Dart – code L023 – is said to be the fastest muscle car of all time. Differing greatly from the base Dodge Dart produced for 1968, bare Dart bodies were shipped to the Madison Heights, Michigan, Hurst Performance facility for further outfitting.
Arriving at the Hurst facility without an engine or transmission, the LO23 models were also without their exhaust, shifter, driveshaft, battery, cables, trays, stock front bars and fuel lines. Inside, the Darts came without seats, brackets, tracks, window regulators, consoles, carpeting, radio, heater, sound-deadening materials and arm rests. All but the driver's lap belts were left in an effort to save precious weight and help the car achieve "fastest" muscle car status.
The cross-ram HEMI was rated at 425hp, but were more likely closer to 535hp. Hurst equipped the cars with Hooker headers and either a TorqueFlite automatic or A-833 four-speed manual. To slash even more weight out of the Dart, Hurst installed fiberglass fenders, hoods and acid-dipped doors and thin-gauge front bumpers. Chemcor side windows were also added, secured by seatbelt straps replacing the heavier manual cranks. A pair of fixed A-100 van seats replaced the OE buckets and industrial-grade batteries were placed in the trunk.
Chrysler placed a sticker on the L023 cars that stated, “This vehicle was not manufactured for use on Public Streets, Roads or Highways, and does not conform to Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.” While the car was not a “street car” there where still a few that drove them on the street and took them to the track on the weekends. In 1968, ’68 Hurst HEMI Dodge Dart sold for $4,500! Today the price for one of these cars is climbing up to rare exotic-car levels.