34k Documented Miles: 1971 Dodge Charger

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Mileage claims can be a slippery slope in the classic world, and many buyers have fallen victim to cars that aren’t all they appear to be. However, that isn’t the case with this 1971 Dodge Charger. The seller doesn’t merely claim it has a genuine 34,000 miles on its odometer because they hold documentation and Service Records confirming the originality of the reading. It is an unmolested survivor, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting a classic ready for a new home.

Dodge released its Third Generation Charger range for the 1971 model year, forsaking the previous model’s Coke-bottle styling for the emerging “Fuselage” look. I have never hidden the fact that I prefer the predecessor, but I always emphasize it is a question of personal preference. Opinions always differ, and I accept that fact as an integral part of the classic scene. This first-year classic rolled off the line in Code B5 Bright Blue Metallic with a White vinyl top. The seller admits it underwent a repaint in the original shade around eight years ago, and the overall presentation is impressive. The paint shines warmly, and the vinyl shows no stains or distress. The stripes look crisp and clean, with no shrinkage or other problems. The first owner had this Charger undercoated at the factory, and the underside photos confirm the seller’s claim that this beauty is rust-free. There are occasional spots of dry surface corrosion but no evidence of developing steel penetration. The chrome and glass are in good order, as are the Rallye wheels. It is worth noting that this Dodge didn’t roll off the line with a rear spoiler. The seller sat it in place for the photos, but they have never bolted it down. They couldn’t face the prospect of drilling the trunk lid to attach a non-original component, leaving that choice to the new owner.

The only obvious shortcoming with this Charger is its interior, although the problems are relatively minor. The Bright Blue vinyl front seatcover exhibits wear and has developing holes on the driver’s side. An upholsterer might be able to blind patch the holes, but I believe the base will probably continue deteriorating. The obvious alternative would be for the buyer to source a replacement cover. These are available in the correct pattern and color for around $600 and would permanently eliminate the problem. I’m in two minds about the dashpad because it might have cracked on the passenger side. The photos are inconclusive, but the new owner may face spending a further $720 if that is the case. The carpet is slightly faded, although the overall condition is acceptable for a driver-grade vehicle. It isn’t loaded with factory options. However, the buyer will welcome the factory air conditioning and dual remote exterior mirrors.

The first piece of positive mechanical news is that this Charger is numbers-matching. The original owner ticked the boxes beside the 318ci V8, three-speed TorqueFlite transmission, and power assistance for the steering and brakes on their Order Form. The 318 produces 230hp and 320 ft/lbs of torque, and although those figures don’t place performance in muscle car territory, there should be enough under the driver’s right foot to satisfy most enthusiasts. The seller claims this Charger has 34,000 genuine miles on the odometer, indicating they hold Service Records and other verifying documentation. They say it runs and drives as well as it did the day it rolled off the showroom floor, suggesting the buyer won’t spend a dime on the drivetrain.

The seller listed this 1971 Dodge Charger here on Craigslist in West Babylon, New York. Their price of $25,500 is above the market average, and it is hard to say whether it is justified. The odometer reading argues in its favor, but the interior shortcomings will negatively impact it in the eyes of some. It will be fascinating to gauge your feedback and whether we have readers who could be tempted to pursue it further.

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  1. Terrry

    The interior is rather ratty, which is a bad thing but the basket handle is not mounted, which is a good thing. This car has some rust bubbles and there are no actual pictures of the odometer, so are the miles genuine? Perspective buyers will have to find out. At only “34k”, those numbers better all line up.

    Like 3
  2. Nelson C

    No tire fryer but not bad looking for its age. The blue looks good in this gray era. The 318 may be easier on gas in case that’s a concern.

    Like 5
  3. PL

    Looks great, hopefully an in-person inspection would back that up. Most interior work needed shouldn’t be too discouraging. TG they didn’t bolt that hideous wing on.

    Like 3
  4. Mark Kurth

    It appears someone added Charger RT stripes and rear wing to a base Charger? Likely done later in the car’s life as these options weren’t available on anything but the Charger RT or Superbee models. Note that the doors have the RT-style vertical vent decals, without the stamped indents that would’ve been present on an RT door. These always catch my eye, as I’ve owned 2 (a Superbee model and an SE). This one looks to be solid.

    Like 5

      it is a nice car, but not mint by any means, yes spoiler, stripes added! Again 318 and 727 auto just does not happen unless it’s a truck or PD car, I have a lower mileage 71 Charger 318/904 and I put a Superer Bee Hood, spoilers and all the stripes on.

      Like 0
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    The asking price might be above the market range, but the way all of these classic cars are going, it won’t be long until it isn’t.

    Like 4
  6. Ron

    What’s with the extra screw hole in the fender tag?

    Like 0
  7. stillrunners stillrunnersMember

    Anyone else see a bent lower trans mount and if you look at a few rear pictures – the trans looks crooked in one…..and looking at the rearend shot it looks like the driveshaft is up against the muffler……not sure could be my glasses……

    Like 0
  8. Blake, does my opinion really matter ???

    Just how many of these damm B-bodies still exist? Based on all of my classic car blogs and the frequency these things pop up, I’d almost swear they were still being made. Don’t get me started on Challengers and Barracuda’s. Rant over

    Like 1
  9. Greg G

    I’ve got one question ❓ Does time age an engine’s appearance? My eyes may be playing tricks on me on this one so I’ll have to give documentation the benefit of doubt.
    Maybe someone else might see what I see.. Nice Charger though. I prefer BB when it comes to certain Mopars.

    Like 0

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