46K Mile Barn Find: 1982 Dodge Charger

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When you say the words “barn find” and “Dodge Charger”, you’d be forgiven if it immediately conjures up images of the iconic, hidden headlight, stump-pulling performance car of the 1960s, stored beneath an old tarp and waiting to be discovered. But if I told you the barn find Dodge Charger of your dreams was only $1,200, you’d likely be more suspicious than excited, which would soon give way to disappointment as you realize I’m talking about the Dodge Charger of the 1980s. While it’s not the muscle car you were hoping for, it is a low-mileage specimen that still wears its perfect-for-the-80s decal kit with pride. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace where it’s shown missing an engine due to the original mill being pulled because of a bad cam lobe.

As is often the case, it’s pretty easy to remove an engine – it’s far harder to put it back together. The engine was removed and then the project obviously hit the skids. That’s pretty standard for cars that aren’t super desirable to begin with, as other projects take over garage space and the forgotten runabout gets shoved further to the back, if not out of the garage entirely and into the barn with the cats. This Charger isn’t any more special or unique than any other of the myriad hatchbacks made by Mopar in the malaise era, but it does stand out for wearing those cool “Charger 2.2” graphics with pride – a side effect of years of indoor storage. Most surviving Chargers lost these graphics eons ago, due to sun exposure or resprays.

As an added benefit, it’s a manual transmission car, too. Not saying that makes it a collector’s item, but it for sure is more desirable than a slushbox with an anemic four-cylinder under the hood (well, not in this case.) I can’t quite tell what is going on atop the dash, but I want to speculate that critters had something to do with it. Regardless, some of the details you see here are the qualities you normally see in cars that have spent many years indoors and out of the sun. Look at the luster the dash pad has – that’s pretty fresh looking, and the dash maintains the veneer you’d commonly see in preserved, low-mileage cars. The same goes for the simulated wood trim that is also in very good shape.

Here’s the money shot if you will, the one that reveals both how long this Charger has been parked and the reason why it ended up here in the first place. The seller notes that he has a few different choices for replacement engines should you want to take this project all the way, including two 2.2L engines and one 2.5L option. Before the cam lobe issues, the seller notes a new clutch was put in, but it’s hard to say how much value there is in that given how long the Charger has been laid up. Still, with no rust to speak of and the AWOL hood included in the sale, there’s a lot to like if you’ve been hunting for one of these obscure 1980s runabouts. Would you put the original engine back in or choose a different option altogether?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    A great project for those who love putting puzzles together, Sourcing lost nuts, bolts, screws, clamps, etc. Hopefully all the missing components are available, even if not cataloged! Looks like there’s an AMX that has been lost in this “cat house” as well, LOL!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 2
    • Steve

      I spotted the AMX too, forget about the “charger”

      Like 6
      • stu

        Charger? What Charger……

        Like 1
  2. Skorzeny

    Maybe they are trying to unload this pile to get to the AMX, which I want to know more about!

    Like 1
  3. Steve R

    It will make a good parts car for anyone willing to ship items such as the wheels and other “large” items. Good luck piecing it back together, You won’t be able to source missing parts from a local wrecking yard, piecing it back together will nickel and dime the new owner to death. It’s better to spend more on a complete, running car and use this to help refurnish that one.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  4. Stangalang

    Put a HEMI in it..go for a rear drive platform..its been done

    Like 2
  5. Steve Clinton

    “It does stand out for wearing those cool “Charger 2.2” graphics – a side effect of years of indoor storage. Most surviving Chargers lost these graphics eons ago.” Which makes it worth every penny of its cost!

    (Chrysler calling this a ‘Charger’ was an insult to all ’60s and ’70s Charger owners.)

    Like 3
  6. Jcs

    All of the above comments being accurate, it appears at that with a little elbow grease this one might just clean up pretty well, both outside and in.

    But then you have to make it move. Therein lies the problem. Lol

    Like 7
  7. CJinSD

    This might be just the thing for someone who has a beloved Charger 2.2 that has succumbed to rust, provided they’ve got a good supply of Aero Kroil to transfer the parts. 84 horsepower and 2,200 pounds might not sound exciting now, but I have seen what these cars could do to practically every conventional Detroit collectible on a winding road.

    Like 2
    • Jcs

      For whatever reason I have never heard of Aero Kroil so curiosity led me you know where. https://youtu.be/xUEob2oAKVs . I found the results to be fascinating.

      Fair warning, the rabbit hole that is his video list is very deep.

      Like 4
      • Marshall King

        Aero Kroil is the BEST rust buster out there! Not cheap, but it works! Never use anything else, since a friend got some. Worth every single penny!

        Like 0
  8. William

    Put the 2.5 in it, never came that way from the factory, but should have. Add in a five speed with a better feeling shifter and you would have a really nice driving car. Who cares what it is worth? Even bringing that up spoils the conversation if you ask me. Be the only one at the show, that is for sure!

    Like 3
  9. Arthur

    With a custom chassis and a Tremec TKO-600, I could see this Charger being fitted with a 5.7 Hemi and a Vortech supercharger.

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      And dual flanges with a quad deefendorfer. ;-)

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        Steve Clinton,

        Only a single quad deefendorfer? Why not go all the way with DUAL deefendorfers, or at least a six-pack?

        Like 2
  10. MoPhil

    An SRT-4 engine and transaxle will slot very nicely into this Charger… with very little weight to move, the car would fly.

    Like 6
    • Jcs


      Like 5
    • Marshall King

      My thoughts exactly! 300 HP in this would absolutely fly! Be a blast to drive, too.

      Like 1
    • Ten50boy

      I love the SRT-4 idea. I wanted to do that with my wifey’s 2.4 liter Sebring convertible years ago….. about the only thing that would’ve made that interesting!!!!! Btw….. these pop up ads are killing me!!!!!!! I get ads….. but seriously?!?!? I scroll and they do too. Ugh. What a roller coaster to read my favorite online car page!!!!!!!!!

      Like 0
  11. dogwater

    Junk, pop cans, not worth throwing money at sorry

    Like 0
  12. Jason

    This car is very interesting to me. I learned to drive stick in a 1980 Omni 024. Same body, similar graphics. I’ve been looking and it is extremely rare for one to come up with a manual and no rust.

    Like 0

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