Junkyard Find: 1970 Dodge Charger 500

UPDATE 2/5/2021 – This junkyard find Charger has been listed, this time with one bid at $8,000. You can take another look at this one here on eBay.

FROM 12/26/2020 – Looking like a car right out of an episode of Motor Trend’s Junkyard Gold is this 1970 Dodge Charger 500, posed au naturel, in a Rapid City, South Dakota junkyard. This example, at first blush, looks to be in fairly sound shape for being an outdoor dweller. Let’s look it over and see what’s what with this very popular Mopar B body hardtop. It is available, here on eBay for a starting bid of $8,500.

If I’m not mistaken, I bought a pair of kick panels for a ’66 Impala from this very yard about 20 years ago or so. And finding a wrecking yard that has this much vintage iron is a disappearing sight. There are lots of Mopars in the background but Ford and GM are clearly represented here too. This Charger is not an uber collectible R/T but it is a V8 powered 500 edition so it is worthy of rebirth, or at least worthy of serious consideration, in its own right.

The listing is a bit light on detail but the seller does offer, ” a restoration project, has typical charger rust in the quarters, floor pans are very solid, trunk floor has rust, RH rocker has rust…” The problem with “typical charger rust” is that it can be everywhere. The underside does show to be sound other than surface rust and scale. This was a vinyl topped car at one time, the stainless trim is still in place, and for the sake of salvation, it’s good that the top is gone, or mostly gone as a hunk of it is still stuck on the driver’s side of the roof. The rear edge of the roof, above the rear window, is showing some rust but it’s hard to tell how severe the problem may be. Also of note is what looks to be Bondo that was pretty heavily slathered all over the passenger side quarter panel – it’s probably hiding many ills. As for the missing driver’s side fender and hood, the seller does note that he has both pieces and they are included in the sale. No surprise, but we’re told that they both need work.

Power, at one time, came from a 230 HP, 318 CI V8 engine, a unit that is now “locked up”. It probably doesn’t matter as a restoration or a remake would probably not include the 318 in its plan. An automatic transmission is in place but it’s probably in no better shape than the non-operative engine.

The interior is curious in that it appears to have been flooded by virtue of what looks like a coating of dried, cracked mud – and it’s everywhere. The interior is pretty well gutted but there is a back seat still in place. The rest of it, however, dash, instrument panel, missing door cards, and headliner will require a complete makeover. Interestingly, the floor has been cut open above the transmission in what looks like an attempt to circumvent the column gear selector and install a floor shift.

My initial thought was that at $8,500, zero bids tendered, and a little less than two days to go in the bidding, this Dodge is going nowhere. But then again it is a highly collectible Charger from that magical 1968-1970 period and it will probably find a new home.  So, what do you think, salvageable or too many unknowns to give this car consideration?



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  1. Moparman Member

    This one has potential, but it’s going to cost you, and it would probably be better to look for one in running/driving condition. There are a LOT of other cars in the background, including another ’70 Charger on the trailer; the seller also has two other cars listed, both for $6500 each. Maybe this junkyard is being cleared out?? I expect we’ll see a lot more cars from this seller.
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 8
    • Steve Douglas

      I figure you’d know the year/model of the Mopar coupe beyond and to the upper right in this picture – care to share? Thx.

      Like 1
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    IF they’re clearing it out,why not have “No Reserve” auctions?
    That would be like a yard sale – they give you money,& haul things off.
    I’m trying to help with a Cortina collection,but I’ve submitted it
    here (twice),but got not response.Since they’re not mine,there’s no
    craigslist posts,etc.

    Like 3
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Since the 318 isn’t particularly desirable, and the body is rusty, and the interior is just flat gone, where is there $8500 here?

    OK, I get that they don’t make these any more, but there are certainly examples out there that would be a better starting point.

    Like 32
  4. Bultaco

    I always thought the Charger 500 had a flush rear window, which this car doesn’t have. Anyone know for sure?

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      Only in1969.

      Steve R

      Like 9
  5. b-rad jeepster

    Yes the back glass is flush on the 500 for aerodynamics for NASCAR

    Like 3
    • SDJames

      In 1969 only. In 1970 and 1971, the 500 was nothing more than a trim package.

      Like 6
  6. William

    A pity this isn’t 500 bucks or something like that. Then, a handy do it yourselfer could cobble it together for self use or to resell, but everyone is greedy. Too much speculation has always been the dirty back alley of Capitalism.

    Like 22
    • Steve R

      That’s funny. Did Santa forget to pay you a visit yesterday?

      Steve R

      Like 11
    • Arthell64 Member

      If it wasn’t for greedy capitalist we wouldn’t have cool cars like Dodge chargers.

      Like 20
      • William

        There is nothing wrong with Capitalism, but out of control speculation is not a good part of it. The Charger was a long term well thought out planned event. The Charger was part of what made the old America great. Production of a good or service. Speculation makes nothing but misery. And Steve, Santa gave up on me a great long while ago.

        Like 13
    • JCA

      So, when will you be selling your house that you bought for $24k way back when for $24k again? Let me know, i’d like to buy it. Don’t be greedy now, some young millennial family needs it. You don’t deserve that $300k capital gain

      Like 22
      • Steve R

        Nearly everyone I knows that shares his sentiment has moving goal posts. They like to present themselves as virtuous, for the “little guy”, yet when the money is flowing into their pockets they typically don’t hesitate to stick it to whoever they are dealing with. Their common justification is the other person “has too much money”. When in reality their definition of “too much money” is actually, “anyone that makes more than me”.

        Steve R

        Like 13
      • William

        My house is a many decades investment, this is a car flipper. My house has kept up value with inflation, this car is pure speculation. You compare apples to oranges. Of course, in the long run, this craziness in rotten old car values is not a life threatening crisis, no one needs to do this, but it is a symptom of greater problems in our society. I wish people would once in a while, sit down, and take the time to consider other points of view compared to what they think they strongly feel. I myself, do it every New Year, it has served me well over the years. Rarely do I change my opinions, but now and then it has made real progress in so many ways in my ability to get along with others empathetically.

        Like 15
    • John

      Capitalism isn’t such a bad thing, it’s just the monopoly, investment house, international corporate, global bankers Federal Reserve stooges who spooled the system.

      Like 9
      • William

        Yes, Capitalism is overly mature. It needs proper trimming, things that have been successfully done in the past. (Just ask Teddy Roosevelt when he broke up trusts) No need to scrap the whole system. Just like rotating your crops once in a while, the economy needs a little work. You just don’t let your fields grow all by themselves, because without proper attention, they will get weedy and pretty soon, too little of what you want doesn’t come back in the amounts you want. Capitalism has been very good to me, but not so much for my grandkids. I bet many reading here can also say that. I want the America of my youth for them, so they can be successful too. It wouldn’t take too much, really. Put more money back into the National Labor Relations Board, proper taxation on long term, vs short term profits, less stock market and banking speculation to make investments long term. Taxation that benefits strong American jobs in good numbers for many people vs just a few, all it would take. And NO, speculation on cars like this is NOT important, but the rest of what I have just said is.

        Like 11
      • Steve Clinton

        Damn, this post has gotten too serious for me!

    • Timothy Youngberg

      Don’t dirty the name of capitalism. There’s not much left of it anywhere on the planet anyways.

  7. William

    A pity this isn’t 500 bucks or something like that. Then, a handy do it yourselfer could cobble it together for self use or to resell, but everyone is greedy. Too much speculation has always been the dirty back alley of our present economic system.

    Like 9
    • Howard A Member

      Finally, someone that thinks like me, by gar, it’s been a while. I agree. I still think Capitalism is the best, unless it gets twisted out of control with stuff like this. How can a country survive when some pixx their money away on this, while others, in the same country, are cutting their pills in half. This car sat for years and years, along with all the other relics and now that we’re down to the bottom of the barrel, suddenly it’s worth $8500 bucks? Okay, I’m not blaming the insightful yard owner, who knew to hang on to it, but the public that is actually worshiping these cars for the sheer investment, not because they were cheap, fun cars, TO DRIVE, but there’s money to be made, son, and that precedes all today, apparently. When was the last time you actually saw a $100K classic driving down the road? You won’t get much support from most people, who clearly have some sort of vested interest in these rusty relics and that’s okay, it IS the system WE created, but to see people pour what others could live on for years into these cheap, at the time, rattletraps,, is the real crime. Glad to meet ya’,,,

      Like 19
      • William

        Howard, I so fully agree. Maybe, just maybe, the seller here will donate the excessive proceeds, acquired from a well off buyer, to charity. During this time of year, shouldn’t all of us who have been given much, remember those with so little?

        Like 8
      • billtebbutt

        I saw two Plymouth Superbirds (2!) on Hwy 401 not long ago. Driving, not on a trailer. And I have well over $80k (ok, its Cdn dollars) invested in the acquisition and restoration of my 1968 Mustang GT – that’s a summer daily driver for me. I built it the way I wanted it (390, swapped out the C6 for a top loader, two tone interior, changed the colour from black on red to lime gold on green/parchment, painted (not decals) side stripes), alloy heads, etc). Did it to drive the Mustang I always wanted. So some people do drive these things. And I couldn’t have done all this without capitalism :)

        Like 4
    • Superdessucke

      I think speculation is fine. What I dislike is when things fall apart and everybody wants help and a bailout. Note during the foreclosure disaster no one blamed the people who paid stupid prices for homes. They just blamed the banks.

      So when the bottom falls out of this market I virtually guarantee you’re going to see sob stories about people who lost their 401ks. In my opinion, that will be the fault of those who invested. Not the government or anybody else. We’re becoming a nation which doesn’t understand consequences basically.

      Anyway end of rant. This is way too expensive for what you get. My internal calculator says you will need to put at least $40,000 into this.

      Like 3
  8. Derek

    It was knackered 30 years ago, which is why it’s in the scrappy.

    $8500 is about $8400 too much.

    Like 30
    • Chris M.

      Knackered? Lol

      Like 5
  9. Yzarc em llac

    Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha

    So nice to attempt to sell 1000 at best cars stripped down ti bones for 8-10 K.

    Get it home and say wow they broke the instrument panels to get a bulb. Then they cut the tail light panels or yanked one item with a chisel or drove it off with a ball peen hammer.

    Good luck on sales of cars left over snd picked over. Sell 20 cars and buy a real collector car.

    Like 14
    • Superdessucke

      Well, it’s NLA, so I imagine he got close to the asking price.

      Like 1
      • Moparman Member

        “This listing was ended by the seller due to an error in the listing”

        Like 1
    • JCA

      This is exactly why, for comparison, the ’72 Formula profiled is a much better car to start your project with this. People don’t realize that many little parts were hacked out of something like this and that takes many hours to track down and get right. This junkyard dog is going to be a money pit for sure. Start with something more complete

      Like 6
    • Steve Bush Member

      Ridiculous to invest in trash like this. There are tons of better cars that are nice drivers from maybe $5k up and even a lot of popular models in the $15-30k range. People need to be smarter and not obsess on a handful of cars like 1968-70 Chargers and first gen Mustangs and Camaros and a few others. Then maybe we’d see more reasonable prices.

  10. Arthur

    With a few improvements, I could see this Charger as a recipient for the new Hellcrate Redeye that Mopar recently put on the market.

    Like 2
    • Chris M.

      “A few improvements?” I like your optimism lol.

      Like 9
      • Arthur

        You can chalk that optimism up to hot rod shops doing major work on cars like these, sometimes using custom chassis and metal fabrication techniques. :)

        In this particular car’s case. I would pick an Art Morrison chassis for the installation of a Hellcat Redeye so I could take it around the track.

    • Keith

      It is amazing how big these cars are. My 69 Biscayne is only 5 inches longer and just two inches bigger in the wheelbase.

  11. Arthell64 Member

    68-70 Dodge chargers project cars seem to be selling well right now. Smart seller to cash out when the market is hot.

    Like 6
  12. Peter J Weinzierl

    He’s not just some guy who held out for it to come up in value. He’s in the business-look at all the cars in the background. He knows what he’s doing. Can you blame him. If I had the room, I’d do it too. Everybody makes choices in life-not a bad one at that. Good for him!! Don’t tell him what he should do with his $$$. You don’t know him, neither do I, but he can do what he pleases. You’d only get pissy if you’re looking for a hand out. My take on the controversy.

    Like 10
  13. gaspumpchas

    IMHO, if that was my car, I’d list it and take what I could get for it. You guys make great points. Looking forward to a great 2021. Happy new year.

    Like 7
  14. Keith

    The only thing holding that car together is the cracked mud on the floors.

    Like 4
  15. Peter J Weinzierl

    Enough with the greedy capitalist garbage! Really. Speak with the companies that you frequent daily or on regular basis. Not some guy selling his stuff. He is in business for himself and that’s ok with me. You don’t buy products from him every week do you? Capital greed comes from BIG Corporations and daily used products and profits profits profits. Not from one stripped out car. Keep moving if its too much for you. Everybody selling something is looking out for their family or whatever. You need money for living, you don’t need gazillions. That’s greed.

    Like 9
  16. Bill McCoskey

    Yes, this has been thru a flood, but the flood likely happened AFTER the car hit the junkyard, as there is no evidence the front seat was in place when the mud settled and dried. So perhaps the car was sitting in a low spot in the junkyard when it flooded. But that suggests the bottom of the car’s structural metal may be suspect.

    Like 4
  17. JoeBob

    I’d like to visit that storage yard or junkyard or whatever it is. I had a friend who worked for a man who owned a body shop and had a ‘farm’. He brought salvaged stuff from the body shop out to the farm to store. And the stuff was sort of sorted. VWs over here. Triple 5 Chevys over there. Three Dodge Coronets here. DeSotos over there. And so on. Everything had some damage, but there was a lot of really good stuff there. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say there were hundreds of vehicles there. He’d been dragging stuff out there for over 50 years. Civilization slowly crept out to his farm. Eventually, by the early 2000s, there were apartment complexes next to his property and then damage like windows being broken started to happen. Then, the EPA, due to his proximity to civilization, deemed his stuff hazardous, and gave him 90 days to get rid of it all. It was sad. I was able to salvage a few things, but while there I’d see trucks hauling off loads to go straight to the crusher. It was really sad. He really didn’t have time to see to it that the large volume of stuff he’d collected went to good homes.

    Like 5
  18. Steve Wertman

    What about that 1958 Plymouth fury/belvedere sitting next to it in the background. Looks at least from the picture to be in a bit better shape. Looks like a “Christine” restoration to me. That Mopar had some sweet lines! Wish I could visit this yard and see “up close and personal”!

    Like 4
  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It’s a flipper that has it for sale – if you read his add it was part of a package deal – most likely the price is to pay for what was purchased. Like was said it had to be under water at least past the floor and for how long ? It didn’t sale it looks like as the auction ended.

  20. Carbuzzard Member

    Capitalist or not, that is NOT a Charger 500. The Charger 500 was a NASCAR homologation model. The the recessed grille and tunnel-back rear window were lousy for aerodynamics, so the Dodge Boys cobbled up a flat grille and a fastback (which by the way, rusted horribly), plus several other, minor changes.

    The 500 came, supposedly, from the 500 that needed to be made to qualify as a production model by NASCAR. It turns out only 392 were made, but that’s another story. But all of them have either the Hemi or 440.

    So if this car was withdrawn, it was likely because it wasn’t what it claimed to be, like trying to sell a garden variety ‘69 Mustang as a Boss 429.

    Like 1
    • William

      Yes, your right. I remember about 40 years ago my local junk yard had a true 500 in it. Odd, as it was just a 10 year old9Ish) car at the time. You could see it had a rough life and the engine was out of it, so no one knew the full story and the old geezer that owned the yard just blew us off if we had questions unless we were serous about buying something. Early in the 80s that whole yard was crushed as the old man died and his family could care less about the yard. There were cars there from the 1920s through the early 70s, many in pretty nice shape. Fun place to kill time if the yard dog didn’t hassle you.

      Like 7
      • Howard A Member

        I think that’s what happened here. I can never figure out, how a yard in the middle of nowhere accumulates these types of cars, like you say, it was probably hauled in as a “regular” junker in 1977, and the original yard owner never got rid of anything. Fast forward to now, he’s gone, somebody took over the yard and knows what these could bring, it’s no crime, really. Tell you what, WE’RE the dummies. An ambitious person( who’s not retired) should buy a car hauler, and go around and pick up these hulks for an alleged quick sell and thousands in profit,,,(cough) It’s a tough nut, on one hand, this is what America is all about, and on the other, it’s not universal enough, and someone gets left out.

        Like 8
    • DON

      IN 1969 ONLY ! 1970 the Charger 500 was just a trim package .

      Like 2
  21. Keith

    The 500 for 70 was not the Nascar 500 of 1969. Google it and see for yourself.It will help educate all that are not true MOPAR nuts.

    Like 4
  22. Bill L McCoskey

    I read somewhere that the roof and rear window of the ’69 Charger 500 was from a Plymouth B body, but all the ’69 B body 2-door hardtops I remember seeing and/or working on, had a rear window glass that bulged in the center, and then flared out at each side, making it look “wavy”. I’m unable to find a matching roof & rear glass on another Mopar vehicle.

    Can someone who truly knows these cars educate us on where this roof & glass came from [with links to see it in regular production, not in the Charger 500], or was it a special roof/rear window combo. [That would be typical for 1960s Chrysler vehicles, they were known for offering cars that had production numbers of less than 500 units per year. Examples — Imperial convertibles!]

    Like 1
    • SDJames

      From: https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/double-x-hemi-four-speed-fast-top-1969-dodge-charger-500

      “To reduce turbulence, the rear window of the Charger 500 was sloped into a smoother shape, using a leaded-in steel body plug that filled the hole left by removal of the sail fins and sharply angled rear window. While this resulted in a more slippery profile for the car, the plug extended into the standard Charger trunklid, which was shortened up accordingly on the Charger 500.”

      • Bill McCoskey


        Thanks! Does anyone know if this glass rear window was also used in another production Mopar, or is the part an exclusive glass unit for the Charger 500 only?

  23. SDJames

    My understanding is it was used only for the 500 and Daytona. Interestingly, a forum online says that people used the back window from a Vega hatchback (mounted upside down apparently) when making a clone because it was the closest match to the original at the time.

    Like 1
  24. TJ

    Barrett – Jackson Delusional Disorder is a real thing.

    Like 1
    • mjf

      No kidding , they gave the guy a $100 bucks for that Junker 30 yrs ago ….

      Like 1
  25. mjf

    I think the engine maybe locked up… lol

    Like 1
  26. Kenn

    What’s wrong with being a “flipper”? Ever heard of risk/reward? The flipper takes the risk that he/she can make a profit on the resale. What if they can’t? At least they had the guts to try. Which is what capitalism and entrepenurship is all about. (I know, the spellings bad. ) So take your hourly or salary day job and enjoy your risk-free life, but don’t denigrate those who dare.

    Like 6
    • Timothy Youngberg

      go live in a country that has fixed prices on everything. After 10 minutes you’ll be begging to come back to the good ol United States.

      Like 1
  27. Steve Clinton

    ‘Ran when parked.’

    I’d buy the taillight for $10.00!

    Like 1
  28. Bill McCoskey

    Kenn, Tim, & others,

    As someone who owned & operated an antique car shop for decades, I’ve bought and then sold many vehicles quickly, but most of the time I also did repairs before selling them. In almost every sale I made, the buyer was appreciative of the effort I made in making the car available to the public, whether it was a car I found after it sat for years, or a car that came into my shop for repairs & the owner simply didn’t want to put more money into it. No one ever suggested it was the wrong thing to do. I’ve even bought complete but rough, pre-war Rolls-Royce cars, for as little as $500. But I never took advantage of someone by paying a ridiculously low price.

    That said, It was my years of education in the business of antique cars, my education in being able to know what to buy and what not to buy, how to do the repairs or where to get the parts, that allowed me to buy wholesale and sell retail. Regardless what it is you sell, that’s how you make a living. Buy low & sell high, just don’t take advantage of people in the process.

    The first car I “flipped” was a 1950 Studebaker Champion Deluxe 2-door* when I was 16 years old, paid $50 for it, sold it 3 days later for $150. The previous owner had said he was going to junk it if no one was willing to pay $50. I saved that great running car, and the man who bought it enjoyed it for many years.

    I’ve visited 38 countries so far, from 3rd world locations with open sewers down the center of the unpaved street, to other G-8 countries. A few of them I liked so much I continued to revisit over & over again. A couple of them I miss visiting, now that I’m too old to travel.

    Notice I used the word “visit”. I’ve even lived for extended times in Europe and the UK, but I was always glad to come home to the USA. When everything is considered, in my humble opinion, there is no place better.

    *After I bought the Studebaker “Champion Deluxe”, I noticed it had a set of old Firestone “Deluxe Champion” tires! I still laugh about that!

    Like 7
    • Steve Clinton

      Bill, I think I love you! (kidding!)

      Like 1
  29. george mattar

    70s got ugly with the enormous front bumper. Call Mark Worman. He will restore it for you at about $125,000 after you waste $8,500 on this heap. Not a big fan of the 70 Charger, even though it 185 times better looking than any plastic junk made today, but this is a parts car and not a good one. I thought Barn Finds does not want politics in the comments. That’s about all I see here. Stick to the topic you boneheads.

  30. Brent in Winnipeg

    I’ll take the ’67 Coronet in the background, thanks.

  31. Ralph

    Capitalism is ok, GREED is not. Flipping is also ok, that’s how stuff changes hands in a functional economy.
    Thinking the seller could use a mental evaluation though, seems to be living in an unidentified universe.
    8K for a true Loch Ness monster? I guess everyone has different concept of value and worth. Would offer Tree-fiddy for this monster.

  32. Ralph

    Everything is political, just depends on how the thought is expressed as to determining what is offensive…Censorship is not a good thing. But this is America, where hypocrisy and double standards are part of the game.

  33. mike england

    i wouldn’t mind owning this charger and fixxing him up to running but give it a new lease on life by restoring it

  34. SJMike

    My God- now is the time to drag out all the crap and sell for ridiculous money. People are loving those old chargers. Truly amazing.

  35. Keith

    Can’t wait to see this on Graveyard cars.Mark should get two seasons worth out of this one.

    Like 1
  36. petemcgee

    Having owned many Mopars in the past including Hemi and 6-pack cars, and more recently a mint 1969 Charger R/T, these 68-70 Chargers are iconic and demand is high. There is a large block of 60ish guys that “always wanted one” and have this car on the “bucket list”. I hope some poor fool isn’t going to borrow from his 401k and pay a ridiculous amount for this and then let it sit because he can’t afford to restore it. So often I read on social media some guy trumpeting that he “saved” a particular car when all that really happened is it moved from one guy’s field to another, never to be restored or driven. As for the flippers, if they get too greedy karma will catch them one way or another – “Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered.”

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