At the Wedding Channel, you’ll find the short-cut links to register your nuptials with Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s, Crate and Barrel, Bloomingdale’s, Pottery Barn — you know, the usual suspects. Who decreed that we’d necessarily want designer sheets and waffle irons for our newly minted unions?

At a certain age you attend more funerals than weddings, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still in touch with the trends. I know how to use my iPhone to simplify matters. Wedding Registry by iList Apps “helps take the stress out of planning your wedding. Instead of creating a separate bridal registry at every store in town, this app lets you quickly create just one registry and share it with your friends and family. Your registry even updates with every item purchased, so there are no more duplicate gifts to return!” I thought exchanging stuff was half the fun, but my wedding preceded electricity, not to mention the Internet.

But how about forgetting the bedding and dust-gathering vases and have your friends and family go in on … a Dodge Dart? Aunt Millie pays for the steering wheel, and Cousin Bruce handles the tires. That’s the idea behind Chrysler’s Dodge Dart Registry, which seems to be taking the idea perfectly seriously.

Blue Dodge Dart

“Pick out the features you want in your new Dart and then invite friends and family to sponsor individual parts of the car,” the automaker says. “You can raise a portion of the cost of a new Dart or the full price. Then all you have to do is go to a dealership and pick it up.” OK, I’m registering. All I have to do is go pick up my car.

But some of these folks obviously need a new car more than I do. Here’s Chris: "Hey everyone. Having a new car would be such a relief with everything going on. Losing my job and planning to go to school as soon as possible, all the while trying to find a job that would work with school, having the car would be such a help. Plus, me and my fiancé are getting married in August, so it would be a nice to maybe get a donation or some assistance as an early wedding present.”

Joshua adds, “My dream car has been a Dart ever since my grandfather first showed me the one that I would own at the age of 15. As a proud owner of a 1971 Dodge Dart Demon I would love to have both the new and the old. I appreciate anything I can get!” I’m sure he’d be all happy and everything, but at this point nobody has contributed. That was also true of all the other registries I investigated.

Maybe having a sob story helps. Here’s Scott’s: “I lost everything I held dear to me, and still haven't figured it all out. I’m talented, yet business dropped. I’m nice, yet I got dumped. I'm a hard worker, yet I lost my truck, and was kicked out after being dumped. I went through a lot of soul searching, reflecting, and personal growth through this experience, and have deemed this year (2013) the year that I go for everything I’ve had planned.” But Scott hasn’t gotten any contributions, either.

Even a woman who needs a car to visit her ailing mother with cancer is still at the zero point. To be fair, most of these personalized sites are quite young, and so maybe the money will roll in. The site is extremely popular, with (by my count) three new appeals per minute. Even if you don’t want a Dodge Dart and aren’t in a mood to help a friend who does, the stories on the site make good reading.

As with a wedding registry, this Dart project will probably only succeed if you’re strategic about targeting the right prospects. Don’t invite your friends who are flat broke! They probably won’t appreciate your need for a Dodge Dart. Rob Whitlow tries the upfront-and-honest approach in this YouTube video:

I’m probably the worst prospect for this because, well, I already have a Dodge Dart (see photo above). Yes, it’s a 1963 convertible, not the snazzy $16,000 Alfa-Romeo-sourced subcompact. My Dart, with a Slant Six, gets 25 mpg downhill, but you can get the new one in an edition that delivers 41 mpg on the highway. Oddly enough, though, my restored car is probably worth about the same amount as a new one.

Things I’ve seen people do at the Dart registry I wouldn’t do: Holding up a beer in the photo, using really bad grammar and punctuation, dressing in ripped shorts and/or an Iron Maiden, or saying you want a Dart because … you want one. Even adding you want one because "they're sexy," as Amanda did, is unlikely to do the trick.

Related post on MNN: Cars that say you've made it

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