Blank Canvas: 1970 Dodge Charger 500

This 1969 Dodge Charger 500 would have been a potent and attractive muscle car when it was new. It has fallen upon hard times but hasn’t deteriorated beyond the point of no return. It is a blank canvas for anyone considering creating the Charger of their dreams. The new owner will only be limited in the build by their imagination. If you are sorely tempted, the Charger is listed here on eBay in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Frantic bidding action has pushed the price to $12,000, meaning a new home is only days away for this classic. I must thank Barn Finder, 70 road runner, for spotting this promising project.

There’s no denying rust can be a problem with Second Generation Chargers, and this car hasn’t escaped those issues. However, we have seen far worse come across our desks, and with replacement steel readily available and affordable, whipping the body into shape may not be difficult. The shopping list will include new rear quarter panels, while the floor pan has enough larger holes to justify replacement. I can spot Bondo in various locations, and the buyer will need to grind this away to determine whether they can salvage the panels impacted. That sounds like a lot of work, but I think the frame rails are okay, and the car appears structurally sound. The grille looks pretty good, as does the glass. The buyer will need to source some replacement trim pieces, but with those issues addressed and a fresh coat of Code F8 Dark Green Metallic paint gracing its panels, this classic should once again command the attention it deserves.

When it was new, this Charger’s drivetrain combination was about as good as it got in a 500. The original owner ordered the car with the N-Code 383ci V8 that punched out 330hp. The power was fed through a four-speed manual transmission to an 8¾” rear end. Any vehicle with 330hp at its disposal should be a respectable performer, and this one would have galloped through the ¼ mile in 15.1 seconds before winding its way to 132mph. Sadly, most of the drivetrain is long gone, although the original rear end is intact. Sourcing the correct equipment for a faithful refurbishment is possible, but the new owner may not elect to follow that path. Slotting a 440 Six-Pack under the hood would lift performance to a higher level, although a restomod approach may prove too tempting to resist. This car is a blank canvas, and the buyer could do as they wish without the guilt sometimes associated with molesting a numbers-matching classic.

The Charger’s interior continues the blank canvas theme because it seems to be a case of what you see is what you get. Most of the dash components are intact, but items like the radio and steering wheel are missing. The same is true of the seats, while the car requires a new carpet set, door trims, and a headliner. The interior is another aspect of the build where the buyer could let their imagination run wild. The correct upholstery is available, although custom trim could be a viable choice. If the new owner desires the luxury of leather, I won’t criticize that decision. They may also elect to add a few luxury items like air conditioning and power windows to make life more pleasant aboard this Charger.

We’re used to seeing Second Generation Chargers at Barn Finds with significant rust problems, but this 1970 Charger 500 isn’t bad. It has rust issues, but the supplied photos suggest they are repairable. It would take an in-person inspection to confirm it, but with thirty-four bids submitted, people seem to like what they see. Sourcing the correct parts for a faithful refurbishment should be possible, although there are other alternatives to consider. I hope someone takes action on this classic soon because it deserves plenty of TLC. Are you tempted to join the bidding war? If you do, what would be your plans?


  1. Walt

    Looks more like a basic 70 charger to me.

    Like 5
    • Michael Berkemeier

      Well, it’s a 500, with an N-coded 383 Magnum, a 4-speed, and a 3.23 Sure-Grip…soooooooo, the EXACT same drivetrain as any base ’70 Super Bee or Road Runner. Not sure how it would be considered a “basic” Charger???

      Like 10
  2. Squigly

    Where are you going to find seat frames? Are those even made today? Sure you can get covers, but the frames? I think they should make this into a clown car for parades. Orange with big purple polka dots. Briggs lawn mower engine under the hood and a horn that plays lullabies. Only a fool would buy into one of these this late in the game, hence, he must be a clown. Wear the costume, big feet, big red nose, and a horn to squeeze in your hand. A fool and his money are soon parted, but at least you could provide happiness to little children.

  3. Dave

    Looks like Freiburgers “General Mayhem”

    Like 6
  4. Saffron

    Needs to be air cooled and rear engine. Wait, do they make cars like that? Why yes they do! Did I hear someone say, Porsche?

    Like 3
    • Ron

      No, it needs an LS…

      Like 1
  5. Wayne

    There are 2 of these vintage Chargers running around our town. One is a “driver” work in progress and is owned by one of the local body guys. (very straight car with minimal modifications) The other just had it’s resto-mod completed. It looks so cool lowered with the tire and wheel combination that just fits under the wheel wells in it’s white paint! I always loved this body style and almost bought a 1968 (Red with black vinyl top) in 1972. Good luck to the new owner!

  6. Deplorable Dave

    Drop in a 1500 hp built Hemi into something like this and Yahoo!!

    Like 1
  7. Blue

    I would have to go with a Hemi, but keep it near stock; maybe headers, better tires, 2-4’s, .410 rear end, etc. A hot driver.

    I am just not a fan of the over the top restromods, but that is the attraction of building your own car. You do it like you want.

    Like 1
  8. Reid Hall

    I think 🤔 l would pass on this,one,$15-30k,kinda alot, for a70,model,you could possibly, find 68-69,model,for the price.

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