Lost in Finland: 1971 Dodge Charger R/T

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Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

When American muscle cars wind up overseas, I can’t help but wonder how they got there. This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T here on eBay is located in Finland, and was at one time a 440-equipped automatic car that instantly reminded me of the one driven by the villains in the legendary Bullitt chase scene. While this one will likely never again be numbers matching, it looks solid enough to ship back home and restore to factory condition. 

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While there were always an allocation of vehicles marked for export, I can’t help but believe this Charger at one time roamed around the streets of the this country before it ended up in Finland. I’ve had some personal experience with this as my brother sold a Dodge Monaco wagon to a buyer in the same country who was an absolute Mopar fanatic. No one stateside wanted to buy the seriously aged wagon, but his buyer overseas had quite a collection of vintage Chrysler and Dodge products that the Monaco now belongs to.

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Hopefully, this Charger was already lacking its original motor before it went abroad. It would be a shame to think it left the US in matching-numbers form before becoming a total project car. However, it’s always possible the original motor was removed many, many years ago, as was the norm when vehicles such as this were merely cheap used cars. I do love that the factory stripes and 440 badges are still present, along with a complete but filthy interior.

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Given the paintwork is acceptable and the chrome looks pretty good, it makes you wonder if this Charger has been stored inside awaiting an engine transplant that never materialized. The seller has no feedback but has also listed a 1971 Dodge Charger here on eBay and a 1974 Charger here on eBay, both without engines and needing complete restoration. It’s an interesting collection for sure and does beg the question if he’s just stripping the cars for their powertrains or if they’ve all been rescued after being tossed aside once the motors gave out or were already removed. Do you think this R/T is solid enough to warrant shipping back to the US?

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Comments

  1. rustylink

    I love when old iron turns up in a some European country – they are off the radar and often are well optioned or have rarer option cars for some reason.

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  2. Rock On

    I really think that you should have another look at Bullitt. The film came out in 1968. There were no 1971 Chargers featured in it.

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    • Rspcharger

      My thoughts exactly. Not sure how an atrociously styled 71 Charger can make one think of a 68, which IMHO was the best of all Charger years, even though I’ve had a 69 for 20+ years.

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  3. Rick

    WTF? The villians in Bullitt drove a ’68 model Charger

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  4. JW454

    What ever it costs to restore can be doubled to allow for the freight to ship everything this car would need to Europe. It may be cheaper to ship the car to the U.S., restore it here, and then, ship it back.

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  5. redwagon

    i wonder how many cars have made the trip across the pond more times than I have?

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  6. brian crowe

    it looks like a chop shop or something. Look at the shelves filled with rear ends and motor and trannies on the ground.

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  7. Leon

    There’s a large group of people in Finland that are Mopar fans

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  8. Don

    Could anyone confirm the dimensions of these wheels? 14 or 15 inch diameter? 6 or 7 inch rim width? PCD / stud-pattern 5 at 5-inches or something else?

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  9. Charles

    Many muscle cars were left by U.S. Military personnel when they returned home from overseas. They sold the cars for a profit….

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    • rich voss

      I agree with Charles. I was tempted to do that, but even the American car seller near base said that “no one will buy it, because it’s an automatic”. ’67 Failane GTA. Faster than almost anything on the Autobahn. Problem also was the Army would only pay for shipping of the car you sent over. If you bought NEW iron, you paid for shipment home. That killed me buying several cars and selling my ’57 Fiat 500 there to another serviceman. I really wanted a Porsche, Alfa GTA, or Lotus….but didn’t want to finance AND pay shipping. Stupid now, looking back.
      Anyway, drag racing is pretty big in Europe. You’d be surprised. Those other engines probably found their way into smaller cars for the “strip”. Another possibility is that they switched out the engine and put in something smaller to avoid high taxes. I met a guy in Amsterdam with a gorgeous white “big finned” Caddy that had an Opel 4 banger for power. Nice, slow boulevard cruiser next to the canals. Many countries tax per liter. A 440 would be astronomical ! Plus, the gas is so darn expensive. Over 5 bucks a liter when I was in England in 2000. Doubt it’s gone down.
      So, Holland and Scandinavia is chock full of folks that like big older American Iron. And they don’t rust very quickly either because the roads aren’t salted in Winter.
      Sand or cinders, that’s it.

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