1986 Dodge Charger With Only 280 Miles?!!

Two years ago, I sold one of my cars to a museum for cars from the 1980s. I had no idea that there was such a thing, but this 1986 Dodge Charger is a no-brainer for entry to that time-capsule 1980s vehicle museum, wherever it is. The seller has this preserved Omni 024-based Charger listed here on eBay in Council Bluffs, Iowa – a great city – and the current bid price is an unusual $6,899.97. That’s as unusual as seeing a like-new 34-year-old Charger.

In case you were wondering, the car that I sold to a gentleman who owns a museum of 1980s cars was my beloved and rare, rust-free 1986 Nissan Stanza 4WD 5-speed wagon. – another classic 1980s vehicle. But let’s get back to this other 1980s time capsule. This incredibly-preserved Charger sat in a dealer’s showroom until 2015.

I don’t know what the reaction will be on this one given that Barn Finds, in general, is a muscle car crowd and the Dodge Charger name is somewhat sacred. When Dodge turned an Omni 024 into a rebadged Dodge Charger it turned more than a few heads. If this were a Shelby Charger from the same era it would be a no-brainer but a regular Charger? Thoughts?

The photos are all over the board here, verticals, horizontals, small, big, light, dark, and everything in-between. The interior photos are… not very good at all, they’re almost pitch black other than the extreme close-up photos. My brain hurts trying to figure out how and why people take the photos that they do in 2020 when trying to sell their vehicles, I just don’t understand it at all. But as they say, it is what it is. I guess when your car is basically a brand new jewel box you don’t need great photos, it sells itself.

The L-body Charger was made from 1982 to 1987 and this one has Chrysler Corp’s 2.2L inline-four with just under 100 horsepower. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t have a turbo and it has an automatic transmission, but that doesn’t seem to be hurting the bids at all. Have any of you owned an Omni 024-based Dodge Charger?


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  1. Steve Bush Member

    Sharp little car but nothing special other than the low mileage. With 100 horsepower and auto it’s just another 1980s economy car, neither great nor awful. But nice that it has AC. Don’t see it going higher than $10k.

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      You are right about there being nothing special about this car other than it’s low mileage. It would be perfect for the guy that wants something cheap that will get attention at a coffee and cars event. Oddities like this, which don’t stand out on their own merit, have the ability to draw a crowd at that sort of show, which all some owners are looking for.

      Steve R

      Like 8
    • Ron

      Guess again

  2. Moparman Member

    I liked the styling of the 024 and the TC3 at their introduction, and (IMO) the looks were damaged by the addition of the panels on the rear side windows. They lost the airy, open look, and got two huge blind spots. I concur w/ Steve.
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 6
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Interesting to see what is essentially a “new” economy car from the 80’s. I wonder what is the back story re: sitting in the dealer’s showroom for decades.

    Like 9
  4. Howard A Member

    Yeah, I could use that 4wd Stanza wagon now,,oh well. This? Oh, Charger, you were once so proud, look what they reduced you to. Mopar fans, like me, were horrified that this is what became of one of the all time great muscle cars of our era, present cars, not included. Like the Mustang ll, these were largely ignored, even though they were great cars. I had several K cars, and they were all pretty much the same, simple, easy to work on, comfy seats, good heat/ac, and got good, not great, gas mileage. I think the sportiest of the K cars, just why did they have to call it a Charger?
    I just don’t know what to make of these ultra low mileage cars, which this certainly is, how they actually pan out as drivers. I’d have to think they would be a pita.

    Like 5
    • William

      These were not K Cars, they were based on a French platform, just the same, not bad cars for the day-save the crummy door handles that broke so often I could replace one in my sleep. I agree with Moparman, they looked better with the side glass open, but I did like the front end quad head lights on these. I thought the Shelby versions with the older style front end were not as handsome. Wish this was a five speed, might have put in a bid. (even with that rubber feeling shift linkage)

      Like 13
    • chrlsful

      I call em an “L” not K. Drove the dart/vallient (owned waggys), then aspen, then K – arries/reliant (also waggys but now for another in his livery business).
      This was w/the omni/rampage (1 of my favs along w/the 60s ranchero & BRAT).

  5. Arby

    280 is as far as it got until it broke…

    Like 17
    • Doc Member

      Truer words were never written. Total JUNK

      Like 1
  6. Chuck

    I had a 1st yr 024 with the 1.7 and a 4 speed. It was a base model no frills but took 2 accidents to kill it in 8 yrs. the 1.7 delivered 48-50 mpg for the 80’s that was impressive. Never really had any problems with it

    Like 2
    • DJAC70

      Because it had a VW engine.

      Like 2
    • Ron L.

      I had a first year TC3 with the fancy yellow two tone paint and matching aluminum wheels with Goodyear RL GT radials. 4spd tranny. The 1.7 was not a very good engine, by the time it hit 80k was drinking a quart of oil every fillup. Never saw more than 30mpg with mine, but I probably ran it harder. Actually towed a 1,500 boat with it. Used to smoke the clutch pretty good pulling it out of the water. Sharp looking car at the time, I enjoyed it for 6 years before selling it. Was pretty much gone by then, getting rusty and a worn out engine.

      Like 2
  7. NoFear

    The seller should post it on BAT rather than eBay. Someone would probably pay $30K or more.

    Like 5
    • NW Iowa Kevin

      BAT?? Just searched and nothing but the creepy flying rodents came up. Care to share?

      Like 1
      • Paolo

        Bring A Trailer.

        Like 1
      • Little_Cars

        I believe, technically, bats are mammals, not rodents Kevin.

      • Paolo

        Bat and rodents are both of the class mammalia. Bats are of the order Chiroptera. Rodents are of the order Rodentia.

    • NW Iowa Kevin

      I quote the OP, “The seller should post it on BAT rather than eBay. Someone would probably pay $30K or more.” I’m merely inquiring about the unknown to everyone selling site called “BAT”. If no one can give a mature response then just don’t bother AT ALL!

      Like 1
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Hello NW Iowa Kevin. I’ve experienced similar frustration in the past. Sorry to leave you hanging! Check out BAT aka BaT at https://bringatrailer.com/ There’s a ’99 Civic Si going for more than $30k

        Like 1
  8. William

    I always thought these would have been nice with a FI 2.5 and a better feeling 5 speed. Nice alternative to a Laser/Daytona (though, those had really great seats that fit my rump so much better then any modern seat does today). I don’t think Chrysler ever offered these with a 2.5, too bad, more pull from the longer stroke then the 2.2 and better balanced thanks to Mitsubishi. Oh yes, and ditch the rear side windows for what you got in 1979, that would have been a car I would have purchased for sure. As I was a pure Chrysler man in those days, would have made me smile. Of course, today, Chrysler has lost its way, so I have many different marks here, both foreign and domestic.

    Like 4
  9. Moondawg00

    Be thankful it doesn’t have the turbo. Went through 3 on an 87 Shadow. I don’t want this thing, there’s dust in the engine compartment!

    Like 6
    • William

      Yes, the turbos had bad head gaskets that failed all the time. Chrysler cheaped out on them and made them from some card board like material. I read that Direct Connection had a metal replacement you could buy from them that solved all the problems. You would have thought Chrysler would have figured that out and offered them as standard fare. Did they change those later in the production run?

      Like 2
  10. Mike

    I bought an 87 Charger with the 5 speed manual brand new back then and loved it. They had more than 100 HP and were actually quite peppy being a light weight car. It was fun to drive and got amazing fuel economy. Mine got 33 mpg city and 40 mpg hwy. I was in college and worked for Domino’s Pizza and used my car to deliver with. Made nice money with it thanks to the great gas mileage. It proved to be very reliable and I put a lot of miles on that car in a short time.

    Like 7
  11. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Why the mileage is low: it’s not a Shelby and it has an automatic

    Like 2
  12. Uilleam

    Put a Neon 2.0/2.4 Head on that little car. I know I have a Omni with a Neon head on the old 2.2L lower end, the 2.0/2.4 head makes the 2.2 Breath so much better…. lets just say the 2.2L with the Neon hed sits at TII HP and TQ levels 175HP and 200 lbsFt TQ.

    Like 2
  13. nlpnt

    First car I ever drove legally on a public road was my mom’s ’86 Horizon four-door. These 2-doors may be a bit lower, sleeker and more style-forward than the regular Omnirizon, but they have probably the best space utilization of any car ever marketed as a coupe.

    Like 3
  14. Jason

    My first car was an 83 charger with the 1.7 and 4 speed. Brakes went every 6 months and I too had the constant breaking pop metal door handles. But I loved that little car. We went through hell and back together.

    Like 2
    • Gus Fring

      *pot metal

      Like 2
  15. MoPhil

    Only 280 miles yet it’s wearing a set of wheels that were used last in the 1983 model year. That’s weird.

    Like 2
  16. Hollysmom Member

    This was my first new car. I bought an 1986 brand new – ordered it with a manual transmission. Bright Red. Louvers on the back glass. It was really fun, fast and a great first car. I finally sold it when the transmission failed around 150K miles.

  17. Brent Scott

    Sold many under the PlymouthTurismo name remember we would give those as demo to the low gross sales reps and as they worked harder they would move up so good motivation no one wanted to drive

    Like 1
  18. DJAC70

    Because it had a VW engine.

    Like 1
  19. Pete

    So… is there an 80’s car museum or what? If so, where?

    Like 2
  20. Little_Cars

    Jeff, if you hadn’t sold your Stanza to the “80s car museum” I would have thought it could sold to the Nissan Heritage Collection. Maybe it ended up there? Nissan uses a lot of scouts to scour the nation for the best examples of Datsun and Nissan products going back to the first one sold in the US.

  21. Steve Clinton

    This may be a dumb question, but why is the driver’s seat covered with a towel?

    Like 2
    • Little_Cars

      Towel? Looks like it might be the original shrink wrap from the factory. Weird that it wouldn’t be perfect on the passenger and rear seats.

      Like 1
      • Steve Clinton

        My bad. I think you’re right, but why leave it draped on the driver’s seat when posting pictures?

        Like 1
  22. NW Iowa Kevin

    “poor pictures” is a sign of our backwards times. Backwards because most people use their cell phones for damn near everything, including taking crappy pictures. My antique smart phone works great for talk and text but nothing else. My antique Sony digital camera works great for all pictures @ 2.1 MP & I’ve taken tens of thousands of pics with it over the past 15 years. If it aint broke don’t fix it.

    Like 1
  23. Marshall King

    I had an 84 Plymouth Turismo in Spice Brown with tan interior. It was a 2,2 five speed car. I had a lot of fun with it, and had very few problems with it. Had to get a four door ( kids came along), so traded it in on an 86 Horizon, red/ red interior with the same 2.2, five speed. Fun little car! Only problem we had with it was the valve cover gasket. Easy to replace, but had to do a couple of them, otherwise it was problem free. Just routine maintenance. Easy to work on, too. Engine went at 160,000 and a friend and I put in another 2.2.

    Like 1
  24. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Scotty. My Mom had one of these in the same color, with a five-speed. I only drove it once or twice. It came with a broom stick to keep the hatch open, or it would take your head off. That’s about all I remember. As for the sacred name of Charger, the new ones have four doors, so… Thanks for giving this little time capsule some love. If it doesn’t make the museum I’m sure someone will enjoy it. My only question is why so many comments and not one about making into a General Lee?

    Like 2
    • uncle al

      hahaha Todd….cannot even joke about making it a General Lee with all that CANCEL CULTURE out there…some crazy will probably set your house on fire….

  25. uncle al

    So, everyone is making a big fuss about the mileage….I SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE IT ! The car was supposedly on a dealer’s showroom floor for over a decade…when looking at the Experian report on the E-Bay listing, the car was registered, titled, and smog tested every year….from experience, when a dealer has a car on the showroom floor, it is NOT registered (makes it more valuable), it does not go for State vehicle inspections, and other issues can be viewed…the bid is over $9100 currently for an old front wheel drive Chryco car (may as well be a PT Cruiser…ha)…more than likely the car was out and about…good luck to the buyer ! psssssssssst….I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell ya for the same price !

    Like 1
    • Dodgeshelbyman

      Many states require registration to put insurance on a car. Emissions test were performed at the dealership itself. Miles are real on this one.

  26. George Louis

    To: NLTP: Best interior space utilization is 1964 1/2 to 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. To Uncle AL: Show us the property title for the Bridge!!!!!!!!!

    • Paolo

      I will testify that the Barracuda was the next best thing to having a van if you were a young rock and roll musician. It could swallow a drum kit, a Fender twin reverb, at least 2 guitars in cases, a drummer and a guitarist.

  27. Blake Green

    I had an 80 tc3. Tu tone burg/white in and out. 1.7/4 speed. Total pos. Smelt some kind of rubber burning somewhere every drive! Did i mention that it was a total pos? Damm cute though . In its defence, the back seats folded down for huge play room and never under 27mpg

  28. T-Bone

    I can’t believe the reminiscing over all of the pieces of eighties crap that people owned. I agree with William in being able to replace those creeky cracky hinge pins with that deafening clunk at the end in my sleep. It sat on the dealer floor because it is a pile of junk.

    Like 1
  29. Jay

    Seems pretty stock with those hub caps.

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