Saturday, March 6, 2004

Dart Swinger attracts attention

Angela Jasper bought this 1972 Dodge Dart for $1,000 seven years ago. It had 53,000 miles on it at the time. The car now has 158,000 miles and is still going strong.

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When Angela Jasper was growing up in the 1970s, the women in her family - her mother and a few aunts - drove "muscle cars" like Dodge Darts and Mustangs.

"I grew up having a love for those types of cars," says Jasper, now a 32-year-old Sharonville resident who works at Fifth Third Bank.

So about six years ago, she jumped at the chance to buy an olive green, 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger from her boyfriend's father. He had bought the car from a teacher who had used it to get to work, the store and church, so the mileage was low, and the price was right: about $1,000.

Now, the car is Jasper's primary mode of transportation, taking the place of the Honda Prelude she drove before. She jokes that the light under the dash designed to illuminate a map in the driver's lap and the "cozy wings" - the small, crank-out windows found on many older cars - make the car a special edition.

Jasper also says she gets stopped all the time. The first question, she says, is always "How much?" Then they tell her how they had cars just like it in high school and say that it brings back memories. And the admirers are almost always older men.

"It seems like I get a lot of bus drivers, too," she says. "I don't know why."

But she always tells them the car is not for sale.

"I'll keep driving it until it's no more," she says.

First car: "I think it was like a little Subaru."

Dream car: "A Dodge Super Bee."

Lauren Bishop

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