No Reserve: 1970 Dodge Charger Project

In 1969, Dodge added the 500 to its Charger series. Their goal was to have an equivalent to Ford’s Torino Talladega model (NASCAR). Like its Blue Oval competitor, the 500 had a flat grille and a smooth back glass area. It was done in limited production, with just 500 made in 1969. However, the next year, the special body treatments were gone, and it would represent more than half of Charger production. This 1970 Charger 500 has had a motor change, yet it doesn’t run. It can be found in St. Louis, Missouri where the no-reserve auction here on eBay has reached $10,400 so far.

The second generation of the Dodge Charger would run from 1968-70. It shared its fuselage styling elements with other Chrysler products. The car would see few physical changes from year to year, although the 1970 was perhaps the best executed of the three (personal opinion). ’68 and ’69 sales would be similar, with 96,000 in the first and 89,000 in the second. Charger sales for ’70 fell by about half to 46,000 units, but some of that can be attributed to sales being taken away in-house by Dodge’s new pony car, the Challenger. No longer a special edition, the Charger 500 was now sandwiched in between the base Charger and the R/T. It saw sales of 27,000 units in 1970. Thanks, Hagerty, for filling in some info gaps.

This 1970 Charger 500 has had its ups and downs over the years. It started life with a 383 Hi-Perf V-8 and a bench seat. It later acquired a 1971 version of the 383, which is now stuck, and the bench seat is gone in favor of buckets, but the automatic transmission (year unknown) is still column operated and its condition is unknown. Much of the original FK5 Dark Burnt Orange Metallic paint remains on the car, but the black top (vinyl?) is no longer recognizable. The car was parked in 1984, we’re guessing due to mechanical issues.

As much as I’d like to say the body is passable, it’s not really. But the undercarriage, while crusty, is better looking than many we’ve seen here. The car is said to be “mostly complete”, but we don’t know what isn’t part of the “mostly”. We’re told the frame rails are solid, but there is a small rust area on the passenger side corner of the torsion bars. The trunk will need new metal, and the rear quarters will, too. The car took a hit on the driver’s side at one point and that will need a bunch of attention, too. So, getting the body back in shape will be no small undertaking. While the glass is okay, the windshield is cracked.

The matching Burnt Orange interior could stand some help. The driver’s seat is the worst, with the carpeting, dash pad and carpeting coming next. Before you replace those carpets, you’ll have to fix some holes in the floor pans. It was a well-equipped car, with factory air, multi-speed wipers, and power steering and brakes. The rally gauge package includes a rather optimistic speedometer of 150 mph. The mileage is unknown. Contrary to the eBay listing, the car is in Missouri, not Macau.

The buyer will not get the wheels and tires shown in the photos. The seller is keeping them, and you’ll get regular rims with tires that will hold air for transport (aka Maygo-brand tires, “may go at any minute”!). Hagerty thinks fair condition examples of this car will fetch $15,000, while stellar copies would be north of $40,000. This car has a ways to go to get to the starting point and projects like this always cost more to complete than you think. Even though the seller has been most forthcoming, this is a project to go into with both eyes wide open.

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Comments

  1. Stephen Miklos

    Man oh man $15,211 so far! 🤦 Why?🤷

    Like 10
    • Gnrdude

      Yeah For only 100K$ More At GYC you’ll have a Complete CAR!!!

      Like 3
    • Stephen Miklos

      Well it’s gone from e-bay. I hope who brought it wish them luck.👍😄

      Like 2
  2. Dave

    The 150 mph speedo was a hallmark of the round gauge instrument cluster first seen in the 68 Charger. It was standard equipment. Road Runners and Super Bees came with the standard 120 mph linear gauge cluster as found on Satellites and Coronets. R/T models had the same cluster but with a 150 mph speedo. I believe that by 1970 the standard model cars got the 120 linear cluster while the performance models got the round gauge cluster. When the fuselage body came out in 1971 the clusters were redesigned once again.

    Like 2
  3. Steve Bush Member

    Agree the bidding on this is nuts. And apparently, I have a very different idea of what constitutes a “very solid mostly complete car,” than the seller. He also says it was in a “private collection” since 1984, which is the first time I’ve heard a junkyard so named. Finally, after all this, the clown doesn’t include the pictured wheels and tires in his selling price.

    Like 6
  4. schanester

    Love it!! Even in that sad condition lol. I owned an exact twin to it….same color inside and out as that one. Bought it for only $300 bucks in Northeast Texas in 1980. Had never been wrecked. It had a locked up 383…and my dad and I bought a friend of his 440 Six Pack drive train out of his 1969 Super Bee for $200 bucks and installed it not my Charger. I only sold it because it had sat up too long and the mice chewed many of it’s wiring. I couldn’t drive it after dark because of that. My Dad and I searched that car from top to bottom trying to find and fix all of it’s electrical shorts…no luck. Back then there were no after market places like there is today where you can buy anything you want to fix things that’s wrong. I still miss that car to this day tho. They had a sound of their own with those old starters!!!! Love that sound to this day!! lol.

    • Cattoo Cattoo Member

      That six pack intake and triple deuce setup alone was worth $200 by itself. My friend is a mopar guy through and through has three of them. Two on 440s one in and the other out of 1970 ‘Cudas and another on a shelf. Has two 70 GTXs,daily drives a ‘70 Charger, races a ‘71 ‘Cuda, stores a couple others, and has some others around his place. He has been fixing them up into car show stunners and others he sells to people as a project car. Sorry…went off on a tangent here and after all the typing didn’t feel right to delete it.

      Like 1
  5. Mark

    This article says optimistic 150 mph speedo… My dad had a 1970 coronet RT that my brother used to bury the speedo at 150 every time we took it to put gas in it… I get it that the speedo would be off at that speed but not 30 mph off.

  6. Charles Sawka

    I don’t know what would possess someone to restore this particular one. There are barns and sheds and bushes hiding much better ones.

    Like 1
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Mark Worman should buy it and restore it into his first car that he searched for and found out that it had been crushed.

    This is a good start, close to what his was – ’70 Charger in Burnt Orange Metallic, 383 automatic.

    Like 4

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