Hellephant Hemi Swap? 1969 Dodge Charger

This 1969 Dodge Charger looks pretty menacing in flat-black paint. Based on the photos, it will probably be a big project, but it might be worth the effort. It can be found for sale here on eBay with a current bid of $7,000. Located in Houston, Texas, there are some definite rust issues, but it seems to be mainly confined to the floors and trunk. Let’s take a look at this mighty Mopar and thanks to Jamie for the tip on this cool ride.

As you can see, there’s not much holding the trunk area together. At least you have good access to the rear end! There are quite a few good aftermarket sources for replacement panels for these cars. If the rot hasn’t invaded the body panels or frame too bad, it should be savable. The good thing about this car is it has the fender tag and clean title.

The ad says the floor pans “need work.” If they are anything like the trunk, they probably just need to be replaced. With a lot of these cars, by the time you cut out the rot and get to weldable sheet metal, you might as well replace the whole pan. Along with the spare parts you can see in this photo, there appears to also be an extra grille inside along with a bumper, radiator supports, etc.

There is no photo of the engine compartment, but the ad does say it was originally a 318 car. Unfortunately, the original engine is long-gone and the car only comes with a transmission. While these cars are more desirable with the numbers-matching drivetrain in place, having the original engine gone leaves a blank slate for the new owner. How about a 1000 horsepower “Hellephant” crate Hemi? While the Hellephants sold out very quickly (at $30,000 each!), I’m sure there will be some popping up on the aftermarket. If you aren’t familiar with the Hellephant, you can read more here on caranddriver.com. Let us know what your ideal engine swap for this car would be.

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  1. Clem

    Hemi? I’m up for that.

    • SMDA

      Nah, a slant six with a 2bbl. (the extra barrel makes all the difference) My grandma said to waste not/want not.

  2. Classic Steel

    We’ve seen worse conditions for more lately at higher prices…so under that approach its
    possible 😉

    I vote for late model challenger V6 swap which pushes new technologies with more hp than the original 318
    at about 305 hp. Put bigger exhaust with no emissions it should get a few more ponies.

    Thrn you get a cruiser not a gas sucker 😜

  3. Del

    Mighty Mopar junk.

    Crush it

    • bone

      Yeah junk it , and get $40 bucks for it , or stick it on Ebay to see if someone wants it and watch the bids go up to …7 grand +

  4. Steve R

    I’d keep saving my money and wait for a better car to come along.

    The concept of matching numbers is overrated, it doesn’t really matter unless the car is a performance model or is a cream puff survivor. It wont make a bit of difference, value wise, for a car like this.

    Steve R

    • Del

      yup. Gonna save my 40 bucks

  5. FordGuy1972

    Not much left to this Charger and everything that’s still there is hammered. I’m with Steve R, wait for a better one.

  6. MH

    Junk! Crush it.

  7. Sal

    Unfortunately I think there is only one grill. You can see a bare frame rail in one of the side shots of the car, and the headlights nor grill are visible in front or inside the car.
    But a solid charger grill assembly dash is still $1500 or so. This car isn’t a total loss. I think I would pass, but if your still looking, you better be saving some coin.
    I think the market for 68-70’s has stopped climbing, but I doubt prices are going drop anytime soon.

    • Del

      Prices are already dropping. Boomers dieing off

  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Same one from last month…now with black primer.

  9. don

    Too far gone for a complete restoration – I wouldn’t be upset if this was a basis for a resto-mod though .

    • Steve R

      Guys doing high end builds are too smart to start with a basket case like this. They know it’s far cheaper and takes less time to start with a better car. Whoever buys this car is more likely to be either a novice or someone that is enticed by what they consider to be the relatively low purchase price.

      Steve R

  10. Maverick

    Flood car .why so.rusty.

  11. Del

    After being Certified at The Mopar School of Hard Knocks, and in consultation with Galen Govier, I have decided a plan for this car.

    A slant six must be installed and the car made driveable. Then Thelma and Louise will be contracted to drive it off a cliff


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