Worth Finishing: 1970 Dodge Charger 440 R/T SE

It’s always good to see a ’68 to ’70 Dodge Charger that hasn’t been hooned to death or is devolving its way back to FE status on the periodic chart. This 1970 Charger R/T is not only wearing a repainted shade of its original FC7, Plum Crazy, paint it’s a SE (Special Edition) model to boot. Let’s take a closer look at this third and final year of Charger, Gen-II, located in Imperial, Missouri, and available here on eBay for a current bid of  $25,100, twenty-six bids tendered so far.

The seller offers a minimal description of his Dodge but the accompanying pictorial is pretty thorough. First up is the 2020 repaint which at this point appears to have been very recently completed. The body looks good and straight, and most importantly, free of rust and rot, a notorious problem for this generation of Charger. Of course, you would expect that any of those types of problems would have been handled well in advance of refinishing. There is some missing trim but there is a pile of included parts too, so as the seller suggests, “Great project car, ready for finishing restoration!” The new owner will have to put some time, sweat equity and perhaps, some additional parts, into this Dodge. The only noted exterior cause for concern is the right-side C pillar, the black vinyl top material appears to be wrinkled, hopefully not due to something brewing under it. While I prefer the front loop bumper on this ’70 version to the non-loop affair used in ’68 and ’69, I’m not much on the R/T reverse-faced door scoops. They seem like unnecessary clutter on one of Detroit’s finest sculpting jobs – strictly a subjective call, of course.

The inside is outside. The seller states that this Charger “needs interior” and it looks like it’s all there, so why not just install it? The seats, center armrest, door card trim, and sun visors appear to have been recovered or are brand new – they look great! They’d look even greater on the inside of this Dodge.

The dash and instrument panel could be a trouble spot. The dash pad is cracked, no big deal, but there is some dislodged wiring in place and the resolution of electrical issues on a half-century-old car can be like the Hunt for Red October. Hopefully, that’s not the case. The instruments/gauges would seem to be in place, no word if they all work. The visible floors should help to allay any concern regarding underside, structural integrity. Of note, the original radio/8 track player is still in place!

The seller is pretty upfront regarding the engine, it’s not the original 375 gross HP, 440 CI V8 that this Charger originally owned. And the VIN bears out the authenticity of this car, it is what it is being represented to be. How’s it run? No word. Assuming that it does, you ‘ll be able to hear it several blocks away with its 3″ exhaust system. The seller claims that there are new brakes, a new fuel tank and sending unit in place. This Dodge is listed as an A/C equipped car but there is no sign of a compressor. As an extra, there is a 440 CI short-block included with the sale.

People do different things for different reasons and you never know what’s really going on with their specific situations. The logical thing here, it would seem, would be to finish this Charger R/T out. A completed car would really enhance the salability. So what’s up? Who knows you would have to ask the seller. Everything here looks like it will make for a pretty good project. Having concern regarding the availability of all of the necessary parts would be warranted, however. There’s just no way to know for sure upfront.  Let’s take a poll, has anyone ever purchased a disassembled car and had to put it together? And if so, how did it turn out?

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Comments

  1. Camvette Member

    I think the best projects to buy are ones where the body and paint are done. I bought a 68 Polara convertible at an auction that just came out of the paint shop. The owner died while it was in there. It was all in pieces with no interior, no top and no trim on it. The glass was even out of it. Was able to put a battery in it, drive it onto the trailer, put all the parts into the bed of my truck and drove it home. Took some time to put together, but now is one of my favorite cars to drive. Have less than 10k into it. That’s whats so hard about these Chargers, need to put a lot of money upfront just to get started.

    5
  2. Ken Jennings

    I don’t understand all the fuss about purple cars. Seems like a pretty childish color. I think the silly name, Plum Crazy, is why everyone just had to have it, but the color itself, nah. Imagine if they had actually gone ahead with Statutory Grape? These cars looked great in Blue, bright red, black, even white, but this? I guess to each his own, but before you buy or paint a car, ask yourself exactly why you are picking that particular color.

    3
    • Steve R

      Like it or not, this car came from the factory wearing this shade of purple. If history is important, like with the 70 Belvedere from yesterday, then it should stay this color, especially since the RT and SE is such a rare combination. As was mentioned in the Belvedere thread, this car will turn heads at a show, that means a lot to some people.

      Steve R

      16
      • Ken Jennings

        Of course everyone is allowed to have their own opinions. I
        imagine some people actually might like this color, but why is that? How did they grow to like this over a more standard color? Never under estimate the power of marketing on the human brain plus the human need to fit into the mob. To me, that explains the lure of a truck based SUV (or pick up) priced two to three times the price of an available car that in my opinion is going to be so much more of a better driving experience. Human psychology is a powerful weapon to be utilized if understood. Just ask Cambridge Analytical.

        3
      • Steve R

        The choice for this color was made 50 years ago, no one will ever know the specific reason. Putting much time or thought into why such a decision was made so long ago seems somewhat trivial.

        Steve R

        12
      • Ken Jennings

        @ SteveR, Trivial today? How much farther from the truth can you be? You did read the mention of Cambridge Analytical, right? There is more to this conversation than something as trivial as car color from when I was a young man.

      • Steve R

        Ken, it’s Cambridge Analytica.

        What do they have to do with the original paint color of a 50 year old car. You are reading too much into this.

        Steve R

        9
      • Ken Jennings

        Steve, By Gosh, I believe you are right about Cambridge A. See, we do have something in common. Might be help for you yet. Keep reading, I will have you on your way to self actualization. Nirvana is just a short set of posts to away.

      • Steve R

        Ken, so what doesn’t Cambridge Analytica, founded in 2013, who analyzes data mined by social media companies, all created in the mid-2000’s, have to do with the color choice of a car built in 1970? I don’t see the connection, but you think it’s important enough to bring them up on a couple of occasions. Maybe you could enlighten us by filling in the blanks.

        Steve R

        7
      • Ken Jennings

        Steve, just that it is easy for the rich and powerful to tell us what to think and encourage us to make the actions they want us to make. It shows a pattern from before 1970 up to today, and I am afraid, to beyond today.

      • Steve R

        Ken, so, according to you the rich and powerful are responsible for someone selecting the color purple for their Charger RT/SE in 1970? It makes sense to me. As the saying goes, you can’t buy good taste.

        Steve R

        6
      • Gus Fring

        Ken Jennings…I’m sure you meant “hope for you yet”. Obviously, you’re not the “real” Ken Jennings, lol.

        3
      • Gus Fring

        Oh, and Ken, you really don’t need to capitalize “gosh”…it’s really not the imaginary man in the sky’s name.

        2
      • Ken Jennings

        Gus, someday on your death bed, I wonder what you will be thinking. I have heard that even Duke Wayne on his death bed turned Catholic. Too bad he didn’t do it sooner, might have made him feel better. Consider it instead of belittling other peoples beliefs. You are right though about hope/help. Shouldn’t type when I am tired. As far as not being the real Ken Jennings, I’m not? Gosh, how many are there out there? Steve R, All I am trying to say is that the human brain is like Playdough, easy to mold/manipulate by clever subliminal advertising. Use the right words and you could call a new car “The Chevrolet Turd!” and people would buy it if they were told it would make them feel cool. Even you have to admit that in our Capitalist system, clever men make money trying to get into the heads of others. I wish you both, all the ugly purple cars of your dreams.

        1
      • Steve R

        Ken, most clever people don’t make money by getting into the heads of others, instead they make money by working hard, and smart.

        You are right, more than a people that follow a herd, but there are many herds.

        Steve R

        2
      • Ken Jennings

        Steve, can’t clever people work hard and smart AND understand human frailties? Maybe they work hard to understand what motivates people.

      • Steve R

        Ken, your argument is circular in nature. I’m bored of interacting with you. Have a good day.

        Steve R

        4
      • Ken Jennings

        Steve I believe you forfeit, I win. Goodie for me. Now, lets try to solve some other world problems. How about nuclear proliferation?

        1
    • Spanky

      Purple is a psychedelic color. My 68 HW beatnik bandit was purple.

      8
    • TimS Member

      Back in 1970, car buyers weren’t as herd-like with colors and dealers were willing to stock more than black, white or gray.

      11
  3. TimM

    Considering all the heavy lifting is done and lots of interior parts along with a short block it doesn’t at all seem like a bad deal to me!!!! We have all seen rusty rollers on here that go fo what I think is ridiculous prices needing everything!!! If the body work is done correctly you could be driving in a couple weeks after you get her home!!!

    3
  4. J_Paul Member

    I like the color, but am now terrified that it’s a plot by the rich and powerful to influence my opinion of a car three years older than I am. That’s some devious stuff right there.

    ——

    Note 1: Fun fact—purple was once the color of royalty, since the dyes were expensive and rare. But in the context of a car, sometimes people just want to stand out and have something different. Sometimes a color is just a color, certain people like it and certain people don’t, and it doesn’t go deeper than that.

    Note 2: I am really glad this wasn’t a Panther Pink car. Imagine THAT discussion.

    15
    • Bill P.

      Or the Bright Orange also popular at the time.

      2
    • Stevieg Member

      J_Paul, very funny! Very true, but very funny!

  5. Darren K

    Buyer be ware! If, if the body work and paint are good, then your alright. I have seen many over the years, there are always things not done, or done well. No thanks for me. I would rather start from the beginning. If its as I expect, you end up there anyway.

  6. mainlymuscle

    Sounds like K.J. is ecstatic over all of the various shades of grey egg shaped vehicles proliferating the streets today.

    9
  7. 433jeff

    I like the purple on the super bee, but like the black better. As far as panther pink I saw – challenger or a Cuda 440, on the highway and it was pink, I hate to say it , but it was so odd, I never saw anything like it, was really nice. Rowing thru the gears with a 4 speed and I saw the 440 decal. Special.

    1
  8. Thomas White

    Trying to figure out,
    In the last pic here,of the Rear view of the car.As to why the whole rear end section of ,slants to the right?, the pavement its parked on isnt at an angle,and yet the body does seem tilted- ?but just the rear ,the front view appears to be normal ,no tilting. I’m guessing SUSPENSION issue on right rear section.
    All said n done tho nice car, but seller should FINNISH the interior install, fix any small issues ,clean and detail engine compartment- and then RE LIST it.

    1
  9. Bob A Weinberg

    When I lived in Maryland, I bought the first “Plum Crazy” Challenger that came off of the truck. People used to go crazy looking at it because bright colors like that had never been seen before. Loved the Car and the color. Can’t believe it was 50 years ago. Damn I’m old!

    4
  10. Troy s

    Would like to hear that dual 3inch exhaust rumbling away in my driveway…..right now actually. Not to hip on the purple people eater paint job but, hey, it comes from a very different part of American history.
    No need for any sissified ac in a real street machine what with all the clutter and parasitic drag,
    seems like a sharp machine.

  11. George M. Louis Member

    I did not know you could get a Green interior on a Purple Charger in 1970.

  12. George Mattar

    Some of you have way too much free time to cry like middle school girls over a color. Plum Crazy, today’s is not even close to the 1970 shade, is far better than all the horrible ugly gray cars Chrysler builds today . Fact. Plum Crazy was the most popular color ordered for the 1970 Challenger.

  13. Stevieg Member

    I love the color! I think it would look even better with a white interior, but I love it even with the black interior.
    I was born in 1970, so apparently the wealthy ad exec’s started manipulating my melon when I was still in diapers lol.

    1

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