383 V8 4-Speed Project: 1969 Dodge Charger

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The Dodge Charger hit the scene in 1966 looking kind of like a larger “pony car.” Along with the rest of Chrysler B-body intermediates, the Chargers were redesigned in 1968 and sales really took off then. This 1969 edition is in rough condition but has the hi-performance 383 cubic-inch V8 with a 4-speed manual that the seller calls a “unicorn”. Stored for more than 30 years, this rusty Dodge is available for restoration here on eBay where the bidding has taken the ante to $11,700.

How popular was the 1960s Charger? For the ‘66-67 years, Dodge built about 53,000 copies. For the ‘68-70 rework, nearly 225,000 Chargers left the assembly line, including the red-hot R/T with its standard 440 V8. Though the seller’s Charger has an R/T badge on the grille, he/she admits this car is not one and instead has the next engine down the line. Which in itself is a shame as the R/Ts command much higher prices on the resale market. Chargers would be in demand well into the 1970s when they became more of a luxury car than a performer.

This automobile is said to have spent three decades in a private collection, but the term “collection” implies to me premium automobiles as opposed to needy projects. We’re told this Charger is an unmolested car that is beyond the roller stage as it does have an engine and transmission. But is this hardware numbers-matching? We don’t know other than the seller uses the word “factory” one time. Rather than treat this as a “blank canvas”, those planning to restore the Dodge could try to make it as original as possible with the availability of parts.

The exterior of the car once wore yellow paint and possibly a vinyl top, but what’s seen here has gone beyond “patina.” The sheet metal is rusty almost everywhere you look, and the rear quarter panels may have already been repaired and could need it again. The interior may have been redone as the upholstery on the bucket’s seats doesn’t say ’69 Charger to me. You’ll have a lot of time and even more money in this project when you get done, but would that exceed its new resale value? More photos can be found here.

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Comments

  1. shelbyGT500Member

    What a great idea and easy access to change the rear shocks through the trunk without going under the car.

    Like 10
  2. Moparman MoparmanMember

    This, unfortunately, is a rusting remnant. If it was stored, it doesn’t seem to have been kept out of the weather; needs floor pans, trunk pan, rear tailight panel, rear valance, quarter panels, roof and dutchman panel, and maybe door skins as well. The sheet metal costs alone are going to have this one DEEP underwater. I forsee it changing hands several times as each new owner realizes it’ll take more money than they want to spend/have to restore! It’s a shame, but if it were me, I’d look for a better example to start with!

    Like 13
    • Geoff C

      yes… and looks like it’s BEEN under water!

      Like 4
  3. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    “Unicorn”??!!? Oh! This is the legendary unicorn with a blind eye, missing a leg and a half a bitten ear-name was “Lucky”..

    Geesh, folks, are we getting back to rolling Rustoleum ads? Sad to let a classic like this got beyond sensible salvation.

    Like 12
  4. Maggy

    At 13500 right now .Too much $ and rust imo.This car needs everything . Glwts.

    Like 11
    • Neal Jacobsen

      It’s not going to be my $13,500. Ruby rust and yellow. Must be a new color combination.

      Like 1
  5. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPAMember

    Nearly every panel will need replaced, along with almost everything else, however to the sellers credit it won’t be sold “sight unseen” with those 96 pictures.

    Like 8
  6. HoA Howard AMember

    Russ does it again,,this was just like the Charger I had for a spell. After HS,( mid 70s) a guy owed me $500, so he said, just take the car. The car itself was a crappy car, but did provide some exciting moments. Another car you could plant your foot to the floor, pump the clutch and power shift, space provided, of course. Very similar to the friends Road Runner, had the same guts. Every one was driven hard, and this is the result. Having had one gives me the credentials to say, what is the freakin’ attraction with this car? I hated that car, didn’t handle, uncomfortable, gas hog, didn’t stop, but boy howdy, it went in a straight line. These cars got a lot of inexperienced drivers in trouble, and the smoking gun for insurance crack down, and cars like this were history. Far as I’m concerned, just as well.

    Like 2
    • Grant

      Wise words Howard. People of our vintage who actually experienced these cars back in the day understand them. We know they were death traps, best only for the drag strip. If the youth of today died in automotive carnage like people of our generation did, there would be public out cry. Young people like these, but only understand the hype and old geezers like us who do, remember them through rose colored glasses. The best engines for these were an LA 318. More than enough power, economy, reliability, and other means of ease of ownership. Even then, they handled only so so. The Chrysler power steering didn’t help either. What they had going for them was the incredible beautiful design, and a small block gave you that. Notice how I didn’t mention the available 225. Great engine in a dart, but too over worked here.

      Like 0
      • Yblocker

        The “automotive carnage” as you call it, is still alive and well, everyday I see these young punks flying down the road in their japanese jellybeans, with tailpipes the size of a culvert, and the boom box blasting. Talk about death traps, I’ll take what we had years ago.

        Like 4
      • Grant

        Yblocker. I also find those annoying, but I bet those more modern cars must at least handle a little better than a 50 year old two ton big block. Common sense? Probably about the same then as now. Drunk driving hasn’t changed much (what does that say about our society and enforcement?) Youth still thinks they are immortal. Little do they know. More distracted driving today.

        Like 0
      • bone

        Yeah, yeah, everyone’s stupid to own a big block, blah blah.. I’ll bet most people here (except you) owned at least one, and they are still here – And cars are still crashing today, but these front drive cars have a bad habit of rolling over. a lot more are dying from that then ever

        Like 2
  7. eyes4color62@gmail.com CooterMember

    This car is borderline but in my opinion worth saving. It’s always a plus when a car has all it’s glass and trunk and hood stay closed. I know that doesn’t keep everything out but it helps alot. It also still has most of it’s interior and all the drivetrain is intact. I have seen rolling shell rust buckets fetch over 10K and it’s a Charger—not a Duster!

    Like 5
  8. Yblocker

    I guess a salvage yard could be considered a “private collection”.
    Anyway, I think it needs a longer vacuum advance hose.

    Like 5
  9. Melton Mooney

    I’d check the ball joints for excess wear before I drove it home.

    Like 5
  10. Joe Machado

    Wow, ya know things rust in your area when even the floor (dirt) jack rusts and paint peeling is the norm.

    Like 2
  11. Big C

    The “private collection” that was stored in the woods, under the trees.

    Like 5
  12. Craig hansen

    I bought a simular 69 same colors same drivetrain for $10.000! At least this one has glass and isn’t a burned out shell like the one I bought was! LoL! I think it’s fair money for a savable car

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      A good psychiatrist would be cheaper

      Like 7
  13. Geoff C

    One man’s poison is another man’s medicine. That said, this wouldn’t be my medicine.

    Like 1
  14. JoeBob

    The picture of the interior shows what looks to me like the brake pedal for an automatic, but the picture of the trans appears to be a four speed.

    Like 1
  15. Harry

    Yeahhhhh, noooooo.

    Like 0
  16. Grant

    Holy swiss cheese Batman! I wonder if the fishies in the swamp miss their home? People should be ashamed to offer something like this for sale. Maybe if they donated all the ill gotten profit to a nice charity, then perhaps i could agree with it. Give it to St Judes and you will get “this adorable blanket!”.

    Like 3
  17. Craig hansen

    What are you people not seeing what I’m seeing lazer straight body needs a door and a fender the trunk floor is easy the dashpad looks perfect! Can’t see the factory reverse lite the steering wheel blocks it also can’t see the auto kickdown on the left of the carb must be a car built on Dec 8 68 hamtracham il

    Like 2

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