Born 2 Run: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

1969 Dodge Charger RT

If you’re a habitual Barn Finder, I’d imagine you’ve grown used to finding truly great cars but discovering they’re quite rough underneath. This, of course, is the paradox of such finds: they are left untouched but typically also unprotected, making their future as a complete car an expensive proposition. This 1969 Dodge Charger is a well-equipped factory 440 car that will take some deep pockets to restore, but there’s enough history captured in its battle scars that I think it’d be worth it, I say that with the full disclosure that I’m a bit of a sentimentalist at heart. Check it out here on eBay where bidding is at $8,300 with no reserve in sight.

1969 Dodge Charger RT Interior

Let’s get the obvious out the way: there’s rust, and lots of it. The tin worm has ravaged the body structure, with plenty of daylight peeking through places that shouldn’t be porous. Credit that to the years this car lived exposed on an Alabama farm, where it likely soaked in dampness and humidity for months at a time. The interior is fairly well destroyed and doesn’t look savable, not that you’d want to sit in seats that likely doubled as a chicken coop or horse trough while it sat in a field. Of course, a full mechanical restoration is also needed, and I’d want to restore the body with a new coating of Sublime Green paint if that’s the original color.

1969 Dodge Charger RT 440 Engine

Using a VIN decoding tool, it does show that this is a genuine 440-equipped car; however, no mention is made as to whether it is numbers matching. The reason I like this rusty example so much is despite its current state, it hasn’t been hacked up and stripped for parts. The tic-toc tach and shifter console are still present; the interior, though rough, is likely original; and if the engine and transmission is numbers-matching, that’s another check-mark in the “Buy” column for me. Even if it’s been repainted, the bumble bee stripes around the tail were thankfully re-applied. It just seems like it was cared for at one time, even if it was ridden hard and put away wet. At one time, that’s what they were meant for!

1969 Dodge Charger RT Stripe

I’m curious what our readers think the value should be for a car like this. 440-equipped Mopars tend to fetch a fair price, but interestingly, this isn’t the only Sublime Green 440 on eBay right now – there’s a 1970 Charger R/T in similar condition also up for grabs listed here. So you have your choice, depending on what stage you want to start your next project at. For me, seeing that dusty license plate with the words “Born 2 Run” – a likely shout-out to Bruce Springsteen – makes me covet it even more. It’s not hard to imagine a flower-power gal screaming down a moonlit interstate, stereo cranked as high as it will go with the 440 making glorious noises of its own. I’ve sold myself on wanting this Charger; what about you?

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Comments

  1. Charger70

    As someone who owns a 70 Charger 500 (original 318 car, now with a 440/727/9-inch), let me assure you this will be an insanely expensive restoration – but worth every penny from a driving and enjoyment standpoint.

  2. kenzo

    Are the New Orleans beads on the mirror part of the package?
    This colour and style are a favorite but i believe if a person looks around one can be found as a driver for less that what this would cost to restore even to a daily driver.
    cheers
    ken

  3. jimbosidecar

    Could this have been a Katrina victim? With the rust on top visible, I’d be more worried about the undercarriage and what’s not shown.

    • William Robinson

      I think its just a victim. To get rust like that it had to have sat outside for many years.

  4. MH

    Not worth it when 15K will buy a running driving one. Then again not my first choice of a muscle car.

  5. MikeH

    I know I will step on a lot of toes and get a lot of hate mail, but these things are just butt ugly. They have nothing to offer but a 440 engine on a stone age chassis with a build quality approaching zero.

  6. Tom Stewart

    That poor car didn’t deserve this treatment.

  7. Rick

    There’s a problem with clicking on the ’57 Chev in the RECENT READER FINDS section, it loads to a page with a Mal Ware alert

  8. Josh Staff

    Hi Rick,
    I checked it and it seems the link wasn’t correct, it was missing an “a”, so I fixed it and it should now take you to the listing. Sorry about that!
    Josh

  9. Horse Radish

    WOW !
    This car gives the term planned obsolescence a whole new meaning.
    Every awkward panel is rusted and replacement must be difficult and expensive/time & labor intensive.
    Did you see the panel just below the rear window ?
    How could you design and construct it NOT to rust any better?
    The interior is mostly from decomposing materials that are just doing what they’re designed to do.
    Fazit: What do you really have when you buy this ?

    I have not the faintest idea.
    Maybe a rebuildable engine block and a VIN ?

  10. Tirefriar

    While everyone has been griping about the P-bubble, the M (as in Mopar) bubble has been steadily growing. Check out the Mopar forums’ classified sections and you may be blown away by the prices. Ratty Darts that were $1000 cars just a few years ago are now at $5-$6k asking… But as with Porsches, apparently they are selling as the price levels are only on the rise…

  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I would rather take my chances riding the Merry-Go-Round.

  12. 40zr1

    Alabama farm, NOT! That car has been sitting outside an auto repair shop in New Orleans area for 15+ years!!!

    • David Ryals

      40zr1,
      I am from New Orleans, where is this car located, what shop.

      Thanks,

  13. cliffyc

    It’s a green General Lee!, I love those old Mopar “Bright ” colours (COLORS!, sorry I am in the UK) . Watch the show “Graveyard Carz” and I appriciate the time and care they take on restorations,if the “numbers” match it would be cool. Shame the tin worn got to work….

    Like 1
  14. DougM

    Had a friend years back with the Roadrunner version of this, damn scary fast car.
    He used to run for paychecks Friday nites. I only rode with him once during a run
    and decided I’d be wiser watching from the finish line as at 130 plus it took a looooong
    time to slow it down. He won more often than not and he still has it.
    Lesson was that for me German cars with great brakes would be my passion LOL

  15. tyson gonsorowski

    Cars not in an original green for that year f6 green is the brightest green you can get until 1970 I believe. I just found and bought one this last summer. Needs a ton of work. If your a handy guy and have a shop and a 20k budget I think you could get this car to a really nice spot.

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