12k Original Miles: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

Every now and then, a classic car will come along whose condition and originality will knock your socks off. That is the case with this 1969 Dodge Charger R/T because this is a vehicle that is hard to criticize. Adding to the desirability factor, the Dodge has a genuine 12,000 miles showing on its odometer. It is no wonder that it has generated so much interest since it was listed for sale here on eBay. The Charger is located in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and while the bidding has soared to $60,100, the reserve hasn’t been met.

Surprisingly for a vehicle of this desirability and potential value, the first photo in this article is the only one in the listing that shows the entire car. That is a touch disappointing, but the impressive selection of shots that the owner does supply gives us a clear indication of this classic’s condition. It is finished in Silver Metallic, and this is the paint that the car wore when it rolled off the production line. It has never received any repaint work, so that means that there have also been no rust repairs or previous accident damage. The paint has held a beautiful shine and doesn’t show any of the dreaded matte deterioration that can plague older silver paint jobs. The lower rear quarter panels are free from problems, while the R/T rolls on its original steel wheels and hubcaps.

The story is the same when we move across to the passenger side of the Charger. Once again, there is no evidence of rust in any of the lower body extremities, which augers well for sound floors and frame rails. The car wears its original Bumblebee stripe, and this shows no signs of lifting or crazing. The trim and chrome appear to be in excellent order, and the distinctive grille with headlight doors seems to be perfect.

If you ordered a Charger R/T in 1969, it came to you equipped with either the 426 Hemi V8 or the 440 Magnum. This one features the latter, along with a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. Many enthusiasts focus on the performance of the Hemi, but the 440 was no slouch. With 375hp on tap, the Charger R/T should be capable of demolishing the ¼ mile in 14.3 seconds. Sure, the Hemi is faster, but the difference is so minor that most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The owner claims that the Charger has a genuine 12,000 miles showing on its odometer, and the listing indicates that the car has a documented history. While he doesn’t mention it in the listing, I believe that this car might have had some form of a competition past. He does hold a letter from Galen’s Registry that verifies the authenticity of this numbers-matching classic. Apart from the Galen’s letter, what he does include in the sale is the original Build Sheet.

The interior’s presentation is close to flawless There is some slight wear on the carpet, but that seems to be about it. The upholstery on the bucket seats is immaculate, while I doubt that the rear seat has ever been used. The door trims and rear trims are also spotless, so there isn’t much to be critical of here.

It is so nice to find a Charger of this age with a dash that has never been touched. It is relatively common to find the dash cut to fit an aftermarket stereo, but the original Music Master AM radio remains in situ. The Rally gauges look to be in good order, and there are no signs of any cracks in the pad. With a headliner that looks factory fresh, the buyer isn’t going to need to spend one cent inside this classic.

You don’t have to take my word on how immaculate this 1969 Dodge Charger R/T is because it isn’t just any car that gets used for a magazine article…or gets featured on Barn Finds, for that matter! This Charger was used as a feature car in the current edition of  “Mopar Action” magazine.  This article’s banner suggests a racing past for this classic and would help explain its low accumulated miles. This isn’t a cheap car, but given its condition and history, is it one that you might be tempted to bid on?

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Comments

  1. J_Paul Member

    There have been so many basketcase Chargers on Barn Finds that it’s sometimes hard to remember how gorgeous a properly-sorted one can be. And this one is genuinely stunning — I paused this comment for a minute just so I could look at the photos again.

    Like 25
  2. Troy s

    I’ll have to look for that magazine, not a buyer but I’m always interested in the stories behind these machines from way back when. Silver looks good on this R/T and the interior is stunning for an original car of this species.
    It’s the best looking Charger I’ve seen in a very long time. I like the 440’s low end grunt in a car this size, and not a wildly cammed or tuned engine either, plenty durable. It’ll cost to own this one.

    Like 6
  3. Skorzeny

    Why dealers Lord, could we not live in a world where everybody took care of their Charger/Mopar/muscle car like this? Even though this is an automatic, it really presents beautifully. I would be proud to have this…
    I just picked up the magazine this car is featured in at the store, will have to look closely.
    Would love to see a Barn Finds reader get this!

    Like 7
  4. Jeff

    I volunteer to give it a “severe thrashing” test drive to whomever drops the Moola for this fine example.

    Like 5
  5. EPO3

    I don’t think i would let my dog eat out of those dishes. All kidding aside that is one of the nicest chargers I have seen in long time even if it doesn’t have a four speed

    Like 5
  6. Hans L

    Beautiful amazing original Charger! But why are so many of these low mileage survivors column shift automatics??

    Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey

      Hans L,

      I’ll try to answer your question. Many cars like this, a sporty, high power 2-door, were the types of cars that lured potential customers into the showroom. Dealers also used examples of these in their local advertising, where they often advertised a low price.

      for example, the dealer might have advertised: NEW Dodge R/T Chargers from only $3,299. Next to that large print price would usually be the stock number for that specific car, listed in very small print. It might be the only Charger R/T the dealer had in stock, at that low price.

      So dealers got creative in their orders for what were called “Loss leader” cars. Order auto trans, but column shift. No console. Dog dish caps. No power brakes or power steering. But not ordering a car that would be difficult to sell towards the end of the model year. Case in point: ordering this car with stick shift, 3-on-the-tree. That made the car almost $200 cheaper, but a hard sell.

      Now about the buyers of loss leader cars; They tended to be frugal with everything they bought. Frugal people typically expect to keep the item through it’s entire lifetime, not trading it in after a year or two. That suggests they took steps to maintain & protect the car from day one. Usually kept it in a garage, and drove it less often, with lower mileage each year.

      This is why we see quite a few older, less pricey or optioned cars, with low mileage, garaged kept. Often with one owner for most of it’s life.

      And it’s why we often see the opposite; more expensive cars that the first owner got rid of it within a year or 2, never really bonding with the car, and often only thinking about it in terms of a piece of transportation, bought to enjoy for a short time. Second hand purchasers often didn’t take as good care of a car, as it wasn’t so personal a purchase.

      And second or subsequent owners often don’t earn as much in income, leading to deferred maintenance or repairs. By the time the car has reached the 4th owner, it often had little financial value, car dealers weren’t interested in it as a trade-in, so the cars were often parked in the back yard, only to sit for years unattended & unprotected from the weather.

      And the above information isn’t my opinion. I’ve been collecting car manufacturer’s sales and service bulletins, along with teaching aids, for 50+ years. It’s a compilation of many new & used car salesman teaching aids put out out by the manufacturers, from the 1930s all the way to today!

      Like 18
      • Jcs

        Bill McCoskey

        Fascinating reply, thank you.

        Like 2
      • Hans L

        Thanks for the explanation and insight! Makes a lot of sense.

        Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      My ’73 Barracuda that I bought in ’78 had a column shift automatic. It could have been, like Bill described, a loss leader, but it did have a collection of odd options. None of them cost very much, so could have been added on to dress the car up a little. Or maybe the original owner wanted something unique and sporty without breaking the bank.

      It had an underdash map light, turn signal indicators on the tops of the front fenders, and a rear window defogger. The defogger (a blower that sat in one of the 6 x 9 speaker holes) may have been because of its New England location.

    • Chuck

      Article says this one has a racing history; but in general, I’d guess auto trans cars didn’t get thrashed quite as much as 4 speeds.

      Like 1
      • Ron

        Neutral drops…

        Like 2
      • Steve R

        You don’t do neutral drops if you are racing.

        Steve R

        Like 3
    • hcallaway

      https://imgur.com/PtF1O7D
      1969 A12 440 6-pack Automatic with 2800 miles fully documented from new. It has never left Central Virginia within a 60 mile radius.
      It was a dealership owned vehicle that was raced on the street to make a point. All original paint.
      Automatics are really the ticket for racing.

      • Ron

        Shame about the passenger door.

        Like 1
      • hcallaway

        Nothing wrong with the door. You may be able to see it in Chicago this fall.
        Car has been with a Mopar Judge (MCCN) since it was picked up and paint on the door is original. We are still trying to figure out the luster it. Maybe this is better?
        https://imgur.com/O2N2CDp
        69 426 Hemi 32K Survivor

  7. Jcs

    Gorgeous Charger, only model better is a 68 for me.

    Adam, bucket seats?

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      It has buckets seats. The center armrest is independent from the driver and passenger seats. It’s an odd configuration, but they are buckets and would be clearly identifiable as such if it weren’t there.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • Jcs

        Steve R

        Ah, I stand corrected, you are right (as is often the norm.) It is even listed as Vinyl Buckets in the option codes. Thanks for the correction.

        I mistakenly thought that they were the same design as the Strato-bench in my 66 Toronado Deluxe, with the wide center armrest.

        These appear that they would function just as well as the ones in my Toronado, with the armrest offering considerably more lateral support than most bucket seats of the era, plus you have the option of three up seating. Best of both worlds IMHO.

        Your input is always welcome.

        Like 6
  8. Steve

    Paint it Orange with some of those Cyclone wheels. Yee Haw!

    Like 1
  9. George Mattar

    As the first guy said, so refreshing to see one of these gorgeous cars not needing an AMD catalog. It also wasn’t sitting in a field since 1977 like thousands of these cars or trashed by some dumb teenager in 1973. Beautiful, but you will need deep pockets to own it.

    Like 5
  10. jimjim

    So beautiful. Most of these that you see people ordered vinyl roofs. These look so much better without. The only thing this is missing is the center console. Looks just like the one I had in high school. So much power. I need to find some money to do something stupid.

    Like 6
  11. jimjim

    I hope it has the hood mounted turn signals.

  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    The car isn’t cheap, but I am!

    Like 3
  13. Arthell64 Member

    Hey look a charger that you could drive in this life. I like the column shift. Back in the day girlfriends would slide over next to their honey and what young guy wants a console in the way. Nice charger should bring the money.

    Like 4
  14. RobA

    Beauty of a car! I remember it appearing in the forums for discussion around 2015. It had 9806 miles on it then.

    It was then sold again on Ebay in 2017 for $68K. I think this time around the buyer will need $85K+.

    This may be that one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone who has been waiting a long time to feel what it was like to get one of these in 1969.

    Like 2
  15. fran

    Another one, what are we up to about 50 for the week?

  16. Ron

    Off to buy a lottery ticket!

    Like 1
  17. jimjim

    I may be misremembering, but wasn’t it “Hi Ho Silver”? HI-Yo Silver?

    Like 2
    • AMISHTRUCKER

      Hi-Yo silver was when Ed McMahon yelled it out of his Charger.

  18. vw.dodge

    12,000 hard miles, a quarter mile at a time! I remember this car from a past sale, original owner had saved any factory pieces that were changed out. Awesome vehicle.

  19. JoeNYWF64

    When “stock” old 60’s muscle cars race each other THESE DAYS at the track a lot of them turn 13s & even 12 sec qtr miles!
    It’s gotta be more than just modern tires & cams – right?

  20. JoeNYWF64

    Odd no exterior motor CID identification!

  21. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It’s called a buddy seat – the little seat that goes between the two buckets – prefer it along with a bench seat to have my cutie sitting closer. The buddy seat had been in the Mopar options list for a long time – have one out of a 1962 Chrysler station wagon with buckets and a tilt wheel.

    Nice Charger….

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