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Dictation Device Included: Dodge Charger Brougham

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One of my favorite searches on eBay is looking for garage finds. This is a slightly different take on the classic barn find, and it usually indicates a car was driven into there at some point before becoming an exaggerated paperweight. In the case of this 1973 Dodge Charger SE Brougham here on eBay with a $3K starting bid and no reserve, it does look like it was, at one time, a nice car – with an impressive interior serving as evidence. However, no matter how warm and secure the garage may be, rust never sleeps.

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The Charger SE represented a shift in the muscle car market, where owning such a vehicle didn’t automatically indicate huge horsepower and wide tires. The SE featured a range of upgrades, including a vinyl roof, unique mouldings, Rallye instrument cluster, and center armrests on the front seat. The Brougham kicked it up a notch, adding wood grain trim, an electric clock, additional sound deadener and an upgraded steering wheel. Based on the photos, the interior remains in excellent condition. I dig the old-school cassette deck and dictation recorder on the trans hump!

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Sadly, the vinyl roof caused what almost all of them caused, which is rot around the roof perimeter. This Charger may even be past the point of rational return due to the roof damage alone, but a more seasoned body repair expert could tell us for sure. It’s ironic to think the extra mouldings and vinyl roof were considered upgrades, when in reality, many cars of this era suffered from the consequences of the tin worm as a result. Considering the car runs, the transmission shifts and the power windows still function, this Charger is a solid driver underneath that ugly ring of rust.

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I can’t find specific production numbers, but I’m guessing not too many Broughams found buyers when new. The Charger SE is a fairly common model but I don’t recall seeing too many of these upgraded versions pop up too often. What would you do with this car? I suspect it’s future is as a parts car, since I’m sure a Charger owner might want the nicer interior accouterments for their own project, and the running/driving drivetrain may find a home in another, more solid body. Is this rusty Brougham worth bringing home?


  1. Mitch

    I’d definitely want to see underneath, after owning a ’74 SE for 4 years. Mine had the rear leaf spring brackets rust off & start pushing against the trunk floor. The trunk floor wasn’t rusted, but they were pushing the floor upwards. My friend & I replaced the rotted fenders (around 24 bolts, some of them hidden) per fender, driver’s door, & trunk lid, then bondo’d the crap out of the rear quarters & put a cheap paint job on it. Drove it as a beater until the gas tank rusted out on the bottom.

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  2. Javelin Jeff

    Easy fix likely,,notice it has the 150 mph speedometer,,too bad it is that ugly green interior,,reminds me of the 74 coronet i drove as a taxi in 79

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  3. edh

    You could cut the roof off and make an ugly convertible, or just junk that ugly car.

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  4. Javelin Jeff

    Crate hemi,727 with high upshift valve body trans,ford 9″ rear end,peel the vinyl top off,paint it black,dye the innards black also,,some 70’s cragar SS wheels,,could be fun

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  5. Dan D

    Funny about the luggage rack, since I imagine the trunk is larger than what is in any current new car…! Was luggage really that much bigger back in the day?!

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    • Jett

      By that point in time, I’m sure trunk mounted luggage racks were just a decor piece, like the continental kit on a ‘77 Lincoln—just for looks

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  6. Chebby

    That rust is pretty bad. The diamond pattern seats are not original, and I wonder about a little old lady putting hooptie white lettered tires on her car.

    Another cheap flipper selling a story. “No reserve!”? The reserve is $3k, duh.

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    • 87 RX-7 Turbo


      No, the starting price is $3000 and there is no Reserve, Duh. Lol!

      Sorry, after selling on eBay for the past 19 years I think i know everything now….hahaha

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      • Chebby

        I don’t understand your comment.

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      • Chebby

        Got cut off by the edit timer…I can’t tell if you are serious or poking fun.

        My point is that a high minimum bid is effectively a reserve price.

        NO RESERVE! NO RESERVE! (as he puts it) usually means the seller assumes a risk with no stop loss, and the auction is fueled by the possibility of getting a great deal. (And maybe gets bid into ridiculous numbers by the adrenaline.)

        Flippers who start auctions with high minimum bids might as well sell on Craigslist. This is probably a $2,500 car but he’s already asking more.

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  7. Sunbeamdon

    I love the gas-tank story, which, of course, prompts another one:

    1963 Shell 4000 Trans-Canada Rally, somewhere a long way north of Toronto, our three team Pontiacs nearly met with consecutive catastrophe – GM, in its wisdom, used carriage bolts to hold the gas tanks under the trunk floor pan. We had to traverse a twelve inch flood of water, with gumbo mud sucking the cars in! This resulted in lifting the gas tanks and causing them to push back against the carriage bolts and drop the tanks in the roadway. Because we were running together our first car dropped its tank, but kept on going ’cause they were running on a second tank in the trunk. Our second car dropped their tank but were able to salvage the first car’s tank; we drove through very slowly and had only to get under and slide the heads of the carriage bolts back in. We made it through but, for a variety of reasons, didn’t finish the Rally (my driver had corrected vision of 20/50 and no night vision to speak of (he was the GM for our sponsoring dealership)

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  8. 68firebird

    A true monstrosity. My eyes hurt.

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  9. stillrunners

    This car set out side for most of it’s life gathering the salt air from the bay. That’s also the factory Chrysler cassette deck that did come with a micro-phone for recording. The micro-phones are the hard part to find.

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    • Jett

      What possible reason could they have had to put a voice recorder in a car in 1973? That’s one of the most bizarre options I’ve ever seen in a car, and I’ve seen a Mustang with a lighted grill emblem, tissue dispensers, and a record player.

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