Does anyone remember the 1980s? Do you remember when a Dodge Charger was a rear-wheel-drive muscle car? This front-drive, original gem is on eBay with a current bid price of $3,050 but the reserve isn’t met. There is a Buy It Now price of $4,900 which seems very reasonable in looking at the condition of this car which, by the way, is located in Monroe Township, New Jersey.
And there it is, backing off of the trailer, freshly in from the original owner in Indiana. This is really an incredible little time machine, all original right down to the paint, decals, interior, the air in the tires.. well, who knows about that, but this is like stepping back in time. It doesn’t look like it has over 65,000 miles on it to me, it’s been very, very well preserved.
1981 was the first year for the resurrection of the Dodge Charger, albeit in name only as a $399 Charger 2.2 option package on the Dodge Omni 024. But, that’s not to say that this car wasn’t fairly fast for 1981, and it’s still what I would consider “fast” for the end of 2016. I like speed as much as the next person, but I don’t live and die for stoplight-to-stoplight drag races. I like crisp and/or fun handling more than I like to go fast in a straight line. This car could do both quite well. From a 1981 Car and Driver story: “It will suck the headlights out of a Scirocco in a stoplight drag-off. It’ll stay glued to an Audi’s rear bumper through your favorite esses—and will feel good doing it.”
Look at that interior! Nice. It’s probably as close to being like-new as you’ll find, and a 4-speed manual instead of an automatic is nice to see. The AC is even ice cold and the clock works! If those aren’t two kicks in the head I don’t know what are. This car most likely has never seen a snowflake and has been well taken care of. I don’t care what the vehicle is, when they’re this nice I like them; supercar, muscle car, family car, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter to me.
Here’s the 2.2 part – Chrysler’s 2.2L, 135 cubic inch, inline four with 84 hp. This isn’t the more potent turbo that Chrysler had a lot of success with and it’s about the only part of the car that looks like it could do with some detailing. Once that’s done you’ll have a crowd around this Charger 2.2 at almost any car show. This is the sort of car that a lot of collectors grew up with and they have a lot of interest in vehicles from this era, believe it or not. If you’re going to start collecting cars from this era, a rust-free, all-original first-year, black Charger 2.2 in this fantastic condition for less than $5,000 is a great way to start.