440/4-Speed: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T Project

Freshly pushed off the trailer, this 1969 Dodge Charger R/T in Fort Pierce, Florida seeks a new owner to purchase and install everything it needs to once again terrorize the streets. While the all-important fender tag has gone missing, the VIN describes a true R/T (Road/Track) hardtop that left the factory in St. Louis, Missouri with the L-code High Performance 440. Stripped nearly bare, this Dodge has few secrets to hide. The original, numbers-matching short-block remains, and it appears to have been a factory four-speed car. The listing here on eBay has enticed at least 11 bidders to ratchet the auction value beyond $10,000. One click on Buy It Now ends the auction early for $28,000. A tip from reader Larry D. led us to this Florida find.

The L code “HP” 440 cranked out 375 HP and 480 lb-ft of torque on Premium gas. The listing includes no history on the car beyond what a trained observer could glean. Thanks to lov2xlr8 and the VIN decoder at tpocr for some details.

Wide tail lights on the ’69 Charger make the ’68 model’s circular units look antiquated in comparison. Most likely this R/T left the factory wearing rich F8 Dark Green Poly. Though showing signs of the R/T’s default bumble-bee stripes wrapping the rear, this may have been a Stripe Delete car as evidenced by large R/T badges on the rear quarters.

Seats and dash, though removed, come with the sale, and the standard transmission bump looks original. While Mopar’s legendary 727 automatic takes repeated abuse while delivering consistent performance, nothing puts you more in touch with spirited driving than selecting your own gears, a sensation that will soon be a mere footnote in history as even Ferrari has abandoned the traditional clutch and stick-shift. Despite respecting the benefits of paddle shifters in Formula 1, my racing dreams only include the delicate pedal dance of a true manual gearbox in action. Modern 8+ speed automatics are the way to go for maximum acceleration, but they always remind me of the time I lapped Road America in an automatic Camry.

Replaced floors deserve better treatment than to have been left bare to attract Rust, Part Two. This apparently-genuine R/T could make a solid foundation for any build from stock to restomod to, well, other possibilites. How would your build this iconic muscle car?

 

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    This project is still very needy, and although the seller states that “I have all the parts for the car except the console set up and all the tranny parts. I have all trim, interior parts, glass and regulators” if the miscellaneous clips/fasteners/nut/bolts/ etc. are not bagged and tagged, then it’s going to be like putting together a crossword puzzle. (IMO) finishing this even as a restomod is going to go underwater. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 13
    • Steve R

      Figure the Dana 60 is missing too, since there was no mention, or picture, of it in the ad. That’s an easy $2,500+ right there.

      Steve R

      Like 10
  2. Curt Lemay

    Now, don’t laugh, but how about a nice powerful electric power plant? Prob be faster than the 440, and it would be a show stopper at the shows! Someone here will suggest a Hellcat engine, but someone needs to push the modern way forward for this hobby. Classic lines with modern tech that is good for Mother nature, I call that a win win.

    Like 5
    • Dave

      Do some research on where the battery materials come from and their manufacturing process. Electric cars have become the firefighters nightmare due to their tendency to reignite after being extinguished.
      Physics teaches you two things: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and the only thing free of charge is a dead battery.

      Like 22
      • Kman

        Not to mention the EMF’s emitted from those things is way worse than any gas or diesel powered engine but nobody wants to talk about that. I’m sure this comment will disappear like that last one that I commented on.

        Like 5
    • piston poney

      this will probably get deleted but, there is no need for an electric motor in a classic muscle car, if you want to go faster bore it .60 over, bigger cam, forged aluminum flat plane crank, aluminum heads, port the heads and intake, bigger valves, flat top pistons, dual holly 750 double pumpers, and what ever more you may desire, but if you want an electric car go buy a Tesla or somethin, personally if i buy a 1969 dodge charger and its a project car and not a perfect example its getting a built 440 or hemi and its getting 5 miles a gallon and it will haunt tesla lovers in there dreams. ok rant over

      Like 3
  3. Bruce Rolfe

    I am willing to bet AMK has all the nuts, bolts and fasteners needed to help complete this project.

    Like 2
  4. Donald Huff

    Steve is correct, if everything is not bagged/tagged/marked the project will be a nightmare, The nuts, bolts, and fasteners aren’t the worst of the problem. If whoever took it apart didn’t bag/tag/mark everything and take pictures of it, there’s a very good chance that a lot of small parts may be missing.

    I took my 65 Belvedere apart, had the body blasted and done, and had to build a complete 65 Plymouth myself. I bagged, tagged, and marked everything and it still took a ton of time and wasn’t a lot of fun.

    Unlike the 1990’s, a lot of those parts are now reproduced, but the price isn’t going to be cheap and every time you figure out a part is missing, you will wait a week and spend $25 to get it.

    If you don’t have a parts car, I wouldn’t even attempt this one. And we all know what the price of Mopar parts cars are now.

    Like 4
  5. Walter

    Car is local to me so no shipping expenses. I have a soft spot for 69 R/Ts since I bought one in 1981 as my first car. It was already rough and I couldn’t keep up with it so it’s long gone.

    Despite that I’m not even nibbling. Maybe at 10K as it looks to not be rusted out and that’s pretty rare. If I were to take this on it would be a restomod. A modern Hemi would be cheaper than rebuilding that 440 and more powerful. Modern brakes and steering and you’d have a very cool car that you could also drive to work. Just too high a starting point for me.

    Like 5
  6. Fred

    It actually looks like a cool project to me. I could see this being a fun restoration for whoever buys this. Not me though. I’m to far away.

    Like 1
  7. Walter

    Currently at $18,100 and reserve not met. I really do wish it were less expensive but the market is what the market is. No sense getting emotional about it.

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