- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 4, 2004

Lynne Stewart had yet to become Mrs. Loewy in the summer of 1996 when she attended an antique car show in Carlisle, Pa.., with absolutely no intention of buying a car.

She and future husband, Bill, were walking by the car corral, where cars that re for sale are parked, when, she says, “I saw a red thing with fins.”

The pair made a bee line for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the unknown object sporting red fins. They found a white over read 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer two-door sedan.

This was the first year for the Dodge Dart and also the initial offering of the venerable “slant six” engine. Those facts made no difference to Mrs. Loewy, she liked the fins.

Still, thinking the asking price was on the high side, they gave the owner her telephone number to call if he changed his mind on the price.

Later that same day, when she walked into her house in Maryland the telephone was ringing. The owner of the Dodge was calling to say he had reconsidered and thought they could work out a deal. He lived in nearby Kensington so a visit was easily arranged. This time she went home as the new owner of a befinned Dodge Dart with 101,000 miles on the odometer.

Once the car was at its new home an examination showed the need of new brakes and a rebhuilding of the front end. Referring to the 225-cubic-inch, six-cylinder, 145-horsepower power plant, Mr. Loewy reports, “We haven’t done anything to the engine.”

The interior features black carpeting, a black vinyl-covered dashboard along with red vinyl seats. Overhead is a white headliner. The 120 mph speedometer is backlit which is, Mrs. Loewy declares, “really cool.”

Sprouting from the dashboard near the wraparound windshield is a rearview mirror.

Dodge produced three Dart models in 1960. Seneca was the bottom of the line while Phoenix occupied the top end. Mrs. Loewy’s Pioneer was in the mid-range and proved to be the most popular. Her 3,375-pound car when new had a base price of $2,410.

A pair of backkup lights are built into the bumper, one at each end while a small door in the center of the bumper exposes the gas cap when opened. Each fendertop fin has a red reflector mounted at the rear.

Instead of being smooth, the top of the Dodge has a pair of wide ridges which add a stylijng cue as well as a strengthening agent for the roof.

The Dodge rides on a 118-inch wheelbase which permits a spacious trunk in which the spare tire is stored horizontally.

“This is a ‘just for fun’ car,” Mrs. Loewy says. It has made the 600-mile trip to the Mopar Nationals meet in Indianapolis three times and twice to the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, a trip of only 400 miles.

On the dashboard on either side of the “squareish” steering wheel are a series of push buttons.

The buttons on the right side control the temperature functions while the left set of buttons operate the automatic transmission.

The five push buttons from the left are labeled Park - Neutral - Drive - Second - First. There is no parking gear so the big car is secured with the emergency brake.

Mrs. Loewy enjoys taking her Dodge, now with more than 110,000 miles, to antique car shows where invariably, she says with amusement, a spectator will turn to her after inspecting the car and ask, “Do you know this car has a push-button transmission?”

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