Boxed In! 1970 Dodge Charger 500

Like the old VHS machine on its trunk, this 1970 Dodge Charger 500 in Warren, Michigan found itself discarded, a thing that once held utility for the owner, but not for a long time. After a decade or three of “somedays” pass by, the dream restoration is not bloody likely. Sadder still the once-beloved car’s owner may pass on to that big stretch of wide-open road in the sky without seeing the car restored or passed along to someone with the means and opportunity to do so. Like all cars, this one “was” a one-owner car according to the listing. The listing here on Craigslist includes a spartan description but some decent pictures. The $22,000 asking price gets a presumably not-running car possibly with its original 318 V8 and automatic transmission. Thanks to reader rex m for spotting this buried blue Dodge.

Indoor storage may have spared the Charger from the worst of Michigan’s metal-destroying winters, but rot on the leading edge of the left front fender probably represents a mere hint of what lies beneath. The prior year’s Charger “500” took inspiration from NASCAR as a special model with more aerodynamic non-hidden headlights and other drag-reducing touches. For 1970 the 500 package included a heavy duty suspension, Rallye Instruments, and other mostly-cosmetic upgrades such as the bucket seat interior, racy “quick-fill” gas cap (ironically never used in NASCAR), and the Charger’s standard hidden headlight grille.

Power comes from the base 318 cid (5.2L) two-barrel V8 making 230 HP and 320 lb-ft of torque. Plenty of Mopar classics left the factory with this dependable mill, and my grandparents pulled a travel trailer all over North America with a 318-equipped 1969 Dodge Coronet sedan with no complaints. Interestingly, base models could be ordered with either the 318 or the 225 cid inline six cylinder known as the “Slant Six” or the “Leaning Tower of Power” with no difference in price.

The second-generation Dodge Charger looks great from nearly any angle, and the ’69 and ’70 models got a sharp full-width tail light panel compared to the 1968 Charger’s circular lenses. The CB antennae makes an awesome vintage artifact stuck between the rear sail panels. “You got your ears on, good buddy?”

A manual floor-shifted transmission marks an unexplained deviation from the window sticker in the listing that lists a D34 Torqueflite automatic. If your idea of enjoying classic cars doesn’t require tire smoke and black marks on the pavement, a floor-shifted, 318-powered ’70 Charger 500 may be the perfect ride. The 318 makes the pleasant V8 sounds that enthusiasts savor and a day behind the wheel won’t wear the magnetic strip off your gas card. Would you keep this garage-find Charger’s 318 or transplant something more brutal?

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  1. Curt Lemay

    Automatic, really? Looks like a stick shift to me, and a pretty crude job of conversion at that. What else lay hidden, ready to pounce on your wallet?

    Like 5
    • Don Eladio

      Look at the column…it’s an automatic with an aftermarket, floor shifter. First of all, if it were a factory stick car, it would have a Pistol Grip Shifter.

      Like 2
  2. Daniel Wright

    Is it me or is that shifter really close to the dash?

    Like 3
    • Lorraine M McCarthy

      they all were. Mopar’s are notorious knuckle busters. That is why they mfg the pistol grip shifter. It helped slightly

      Like 2
      • Don Eladio

        That’s an aftermarket, automatic floor shifter, lol.

        Like 1
    • Bill

      It’s in first hahahaha

      Like 1
  3. George Mattar

    Money pit

    Like 5
  4. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    That’s kind of a switch-the car is posted in the SoCal area but lives in Michigan instead of vice versa..! It’s calling out a mournful plea for help-but this rescue ain’t gonna be cheap.

    Like 6
    • Don Eladio

      …and it has Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Ohio plates on it. I wouldn’t buy a car from that godforsaken part of the country if my life depended on it. Rust bucket!

    • Bill

      With Ohio tags 🤔

      Like 1
  5. Daniel Wright

    Anyone else notice the rust in the rear valence around the mufflers? Looks like someone took a bite out of it. I guarantee this one looks like swiss cheese underneath

    Like 4
  6. Dave

    Looks like a Ford air cleaner housing.

    Like 7
    • Don Eladio

      It is, lol. What a moron the seller must be.

      • Derek

        If it fits, why not? As it stands, it’s just an old car that, when it was running, was worth no money. Bodges galore!

        Like 1
  7. angliagt angliagt Member

    Well it does have a Ford sticker on the back bumper…..

  8. Moparman Member

    The rust that I can see scares me on this one, knowing that there is much more that ISN’T seen. Finding a driver’s side fender is going to be hard & pricey; there are replacement rear valence parts available, though. The manual conversion as stated, is a cause for concern. The gold colored (Ford?) air cleaner and valve covers are an abomination! It does have some nice options, but I concur w/ George M. that this is a money pit, and the seller’s asking price is very optimistic.

    Like 4
  9. Don Eladio

    Nice old Ford junk air cleaner. Also, Cuyahoga County, Ohio plates??? NO THANKS! Rustiest cars in the WORLD come from Cuyahoga County. What a dump.

    Like 1
    • OhioLou

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

      Like 5
  10. Raymond

    Can already see holes front body rust at back bummer rotted to not in very good condition 318 2barrel carburetor 230 hp thats not enough move this 5 thousand pound car at all

    • Chris M.

      Well Ray, to be correct the 318 didn’t really even put out 230 h.p.. And this car is nowhere near 5000 lbs. With that said a 318 will not win many, if any races but it will move this 3750 lbs car just fine for casual commuting.

      Like 3

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