All Original California B-Body: 1974 Dodge Charger SE

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By 1974, the Dodge Charger was evolving into more of a personal luxury car, even more so the following year when it began sharing a similar look to the new Chrysler Cordoba.  But buyers got one final chance for a third-generation Charger in ’74, and while the 440 and Hemi were no longer on the options list the car still had a rather sporty look, plus adding the SE package also got you some nice features like a landau vinyl top and opera windows.  The 1974 Charger SE here on Craigslist is said to have been well-maintained and cared for, so if you’ve been in the market for a mid-seventies example it’s probably worth checking out.  The B-Body can be found in Arcadia, California, and comes at an asking price of $19.500.

Barn Finds reader Pat L. found this one, and we’d like to offer our thanks for the tip!  There are some good things going for the Charger, and being a California car is certainly high on the list.  It’s said to be an all-original one-owner vehicle and has reportedly never been involved in any accidents.  Another plus is the finish, which is claimed to be completely original and in good shape to be nearly half a century old, but the next owner will have to make an important decision regarding the body.  While it looks really good overall, there’s a dent in the driver’s side fender that I don’t think can be repaired by PDR, and my concern is if it gets straightened and the panel gets repainted it may not match the rest of the 50-year-old paint.  So the next owner will face the risk of a mismatched fender, possibly having to repaint the whole car and losing the originality of the exterior, or just living with it.  What would you do?

The interior is looking pretty good overall, but again, how far do you go to take things to get to the next level?  The dash is cracked, but the pad doesn’t go all the way to the windshield and looks like a fairly small component, so maybe it wouldn’t be as difficult to remove and replace as on some cars.  The front bench has some wear and tear, but a seat cover is hiding it, so maybe that’s sufficient for the time being, but some good news is the back seat seems A-OK.

The engine is still the original 318, not exactly a powerhouse but a dependable small block that the seller claims runs very well.  Mileage is listed as 106,000, and while there’s no mention of whether or not the motor has ever undergone an overhaul, it is said to have been meticulously maintained and serviced.  More from the good news department is the undercarriage, which is appearing solid, at least the parts we can view.  This seems like a decent Charger if you like the body style, and I’m thinking $19.5k isn’t all that unreasonable for what we’re seeing here.  What do you think?

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  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    Really nice Charger, knock off $1,500 for the front seat re-covering and headliner install. Dashpad would probably still be pricey.I’m tempted…but…must…resist! LOL!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 8
  2. MoparDoug


    Like 3
    • PRA4SNW

      Not surprised that this one got scooped quickly. The days of reasonably priced early 70’s Mopars are gone.

      I remember not liking these too much when they were everywhere, but now I think they look great.
      And it seemed like most of them were this same color.

      Like 3
  3. Scrapyard John

    Looks like something out of a 70’s or early 80’s TV show about police detectives. Leave the dent and tell everyone that’s where Rick Hunter banged the perp’s head when taking him into custody. Cool car you could use as a daily driver. I think those hubcaps are aftermarket? They look real similar to the ones my dad put on his 73 Caprice after the originals got stolen in the hospital parking lot. They stole the hubcaps off of his truck in the same parking lot. Hard to imagine there was that much money in hubcaps for a theft ring to have existed. They didn’t get Hunter’s hubcaps, though.

    Like 3
    • Goonior

      Those are true Chrysler Corp wheel covers. They used them on almost everything from about 1970-78. I have two sets from a couple of Cordoba’s I used to own. I consider them the classiest of all the wire wheel covers that Chrysler ever made. They had 14′ and 15″ versions.

      Like 2
  4. Scott

    The 440 was still an option in 1974, I should know as I had one.

    Like 6
  5. The Other Chris

    Leave the dent, maybe hammer it out a little if possible, put some cool wheels on and maybe remove the bumper overriders, then drive it!

    Funny thing is, this is the kind of clean car we used to buy super cheap to daily drive so we could leave our clapped out actual muscle cars at home to only drive on weekends lol. No one wanted these AT ALL in the early ’90s.

    Like 2
    • philip monteleone

      I would buy this car today if still available. It’s the exact color, year, make and model as my Dad’s first new car with his young family post military service. It would be great to get one just like this to share with him while we still can. Reply or contact if possible.

      Like 0

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