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Heartland Barn Find: 1970 Dodge Charger 500

1970 Dodge Charger 500 In A Barn

This is the kind of images we love, an American muscle car parked in a barn on a working farm in the heartland of America. This 1970 Dodge Charger 500 is located North of Liberty, Iowa and is waiting for someone to put it back on the road. If you’re interested in saving this muscle car, it can be found on eBay with no reserve and a current bid of $8,000.

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Rear Corner

This Charger looks to be complete, but it does have some rust that has us concerned. There is some cancer on the rear deck, where the roof meets the body, that might be troublesome to fix, but not impossible. There are only a few other typical rust spots that should not be too hard to repair. The buyer will want to inspect underneath to really determine the scope of this project.

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Front Corner

It makes a person wonder how the owner could just park and forget about such a great car. This car has obviously sat for many years, but luckily support and parts are readily available for these so it is likely this car will see the light of day again.

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Interior

The interior looks to be intact and from what we can tell it looks to be in usable condition. It just needs a really good cleaning and some fresh carpets. We would pull the carpets up and check the floors for rust, we would bet there is some rust hiding underneath there.

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Engine

The only major problem we see with this car is that the original 383 has been swapped out for the larger 440. We aren’t sure why the original engine was swapped, as the car’s odometer only reads 69,000 miles. Perhaps the engine was blown or maybe someone just wanted to increase the horsepower. The 383 only put out 290 horsepower whereas the 440 put out about 100 more horsepower. So maybe the swap isn’t such a bad thing after all?

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Right Rear Corner

The 1970 Charger is definitely our favorite year of Charger. We wish this car was a high intensity color, but we could live with this shade of green. The current bid of $8,000 seems a little high for a car that is missing its original engine and doesn’t run, but a solid runner can easily go for twice that, so it could be a great buy if the bidding doesn’t go up much more.


  1. Tom Andersen

    Is that a Coyote trap there?Charger/RoadRunner…..

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  2. Eric van Domselaar

    I am glad to see this one. I agree it does not look like a 500.

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  3. TomW

    I’m a little fuzzy on the details on this cars but I was sure expecting a flush back glass and grille when I saw Charger 500. Maybe I’m wrong but I thought thats what made a 500 a 500.

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    • Rosco P.

      I realize its a few years late to comment….but… in 1970 a Charger 500 was just a trim option similar to an SE. For 1970 the largest engine you could get in a 500 was a 383. Unlike the ’69 Charger 500 which was indeed a specially built Charger with the flush rear window and shortened deck lid. Also had a 68 Coronet flush mount grill. And an optional 440 or the big Hemi.

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    • Alfred

      1969 charger 500 was a one year only factory modification, the 70 500 was designed as you see it and was the model between the low end regular Charger and the R/T.

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  4. Michael

    The Charger 500 was made in 1969 before they went all out and built the Daytona. this appears to be an R/T, however there were all sorts of variations. Knew a guy in Albuquerque who had a cherry 69 S/E R/T complete with bumble bee stripe and badging what a mouthful!

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  5. dan

    I don’t think it has been parked for too long, those are newer Iowa plates. We have not had that style for too many years.

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  6. TomW

    @Michael..there were a lot of combos available back then. Seems like a lot of packages were “stacked” on top of each other back then. I am sure its driven a lot of restorers nuts over the years. This is not the Charger 500 that I remember though…

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  7. Barn Finds

    Just to clear things up, this is a Charger 500. The flush back window and grill were unique to the 1969 model only. In 1970 Dodge no longer needed an aerodynamic model because they had the Superbird and Daytona, so the 500 was just a base Charger with a 383 that year.

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  8. Lou

    You can see the rest bubbles under the vinyl which was typical of cars from this era with padded tops

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  9. Jim Davis

    The 70 Charger 500 could also be bought with a 318 in 70. A friend bought one new that was purple; with a black top and interior, and a 318. Kept insurance rates down. I,m pretty sure that the 500 had the upgrade buckets and console option over the Base Charger. A really sharp looking car in purple!

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    • Tracy

      Could a person still get a stripe around the rear end with a plain non performance 1970 500 with a 318 or a 383?

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      • car lover

        yes, my first car in 1977 was a 70 series 500 with the 318. the dealer had a couple on the lot one with strips one without.

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  10. HTRogacki


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  11. Drew

    The 383 was rated for 335 H.P. in 1970. The 440 4 barrel was 375. Of course both H.P. ratings were less than what these cars actually had.

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  12. Ian

    I thought they said 500 on the rear side panel, and Dodge only make like 500 cause they were only supposed to be for the track?

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  13. Kelly Doke

    @Ian: originally, yes. They were built for homoglation purposes,in 1969, like Michael and others stated, but in 1970, the superbird was the one “built for racing”, meaning Chrysler had to build so many so Petty and others could run at the big ovals. They

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  14. hunter

    is it on ebay or do u sell it here

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  15. kidsmokalot


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  16. KFD

    Some of the Charger 500s used Coronet grille assemblies. Try contacting Year One or Ted Stephen’s yard Stephens Performance) for the trim that’s missing… and chill out with the caps lock!

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  17. Chris Hatfield

    Well first off Dodge charger 500’s were Big Block cars,if u know anything about the motor’s in cars u would know what a big block engine should look like. And this car does not appear to have a bigblock motor in it. One of the ways to tell if its a big block motor is the valve covers for starters which it appears not to have.

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  18. kelly doke

    Hey Chris: the 500s had a small block option during its three year run, possibly even the six. Also, if you note the photo above, follow the routing of the plug wires (LA motors were at the firewall like an SBC), and the manifolds are shaped differently. Something isn’t kosher with those manifolds, leading me to think they were from a smogger motor. The fifth digit in a vin will be “N” or higher in the alphabet for big block cars, so on and so forth.

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  19. KFD

    The distributor is close to the firewall on the LA series engines, and I know the 500s had the 318 engine option in 1970 (fifth digit is “G”), not sure about the ’68s and ’69 500s. The ’70s didn’t have the Coronet grille the ’68s and ’69s did, but all had the flush window…

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  20. kidsmokalot

    Well I have a 1970 dodge charger 500 an I got the coronet grill with vaccine headlights and a 383. Wit a six pack oh yea also have the original title…

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  21. kidsmokalot

    Mines Orange like the general lee an its still got 01 on the original paint job too.

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  22. kidsmokalot

    Mines for sale

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  23. kidsmokalot

    Had offers last couple months might be gone soon though

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  24. KFD

    Kidsmokealot, if I am hearing you correctly, you have a 383 with a six pack? The chargers in ’70 had vacuum operated headlight doors, the standard charger nose. The coronet grille was a ’68-’69 deal, because the set-back grille wasn’t as aerodynamic as the coronet grille that was flush with the leading edge of the fendersKFD

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  25. kidsmokalot

    Yea I got the vaccuum headlights the 383 w/ the 727 tranny an the coronett grill also on my 70 charger 500 an to top that all my parts have matching numbas on all parts in my car

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  26. Pam

    Nice, we just bought one ourselves. I noticed in your pictures the compartment between the seats….we cant get it open and do not want to damage anything, any suggestions?

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    • Pender

      It should unlock with the trunk/door key and flips up away from you. Room for a few brews in there as I recall !!

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  27. Anonymous

    All right. After reading all comments, let me set some people straight. First – The car pictured is a 1970 Dodge Charger 500. In 1969, the Charger 500 was special designed for the oval track. It had a flush mounted grill and NO hidden headlights. It also had a rounded rear glass that was flush with the sail panels. The stripe around the tail had the number 500 (1969 only) on each side of the car. There were 580 Charger 500’s built in 69. Of those 120 were Hemis, with one going to Canada. The rest were 440-4 with three going to Canada. There were 14 with the SE option.
    In 1970 there were 27,236 Charger 500 built. Standard engine was a 318-2, however there were 28 ordered with the 225-1 V6 (Why?). The larges engine available on the 500 was the 383-4. There is rumored to be one built with the 426 Hemi. In 70 the 500’s body was the same as the rest of the Chargers. The 500 and the R/T had high backed bucket seats. The clock was standard on the 500 only. The console was not offered on the base Charger. The rear spoiler and tail stripe were only available on the R/T, and the SE package was not available on the base Charger. The headlight door were no longer vacuum operated. Hope this clears some things up.

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    • Stan

      I agree about the headlight doors, they were electric on my 70 charger 500

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  28. Stan

    This is heartbreaking,I believe I used to own that car 1985-90.I hate to see her like that.If I remember right it was originally equipped with a 318 however when I bought it in 1985 for $1,900 it had a 2 barrel 383 with 2 spun rod bearings and a spun main bearing.after a rebuild I added an original stock 4 barrel Carter AVS and intake manifold from a junked General Lee in a Burbank Ca junkyard.When I bought it it had no vinyl top.The vinyl top was added by Unique Custom Landau in Palatine Il.The bumblebee stripe was added as well.she was a great running and looking very close to stock Charger albeit with some rust and bondo.I regret selling that car and really miss it.

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  29. Steve

    I’ve seen the car in person . It’s a good car to restore but needs the right motor.

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