Just Plum Crazy: 1974 Dodge Charger SE

I’m not usually a fan of the color purple, but for some reason, it always looks good on a Mopar! This ’74 Charger has had much of the needed work done to get it running and has even been backdated to improve its looks a bit. It needs an alignment and there’s some rust that needs to be dealt with, but you could start driving it with minimal work. The seller has realized they don’t have the means to give it the kind of restoration it really deserves, so it’s now listed here on eBay in Rolling Meadows, Illinois with an opening bid of $12k.

This was the last year for the third generation Charger and to many the last year of the muscle car. This Charger is packing a 318, so it doesn’t have blistering performance. By ’74, power was down on all engines, with the 318 being rated at just 150 horsepower. You could still get the 360 V8 and a 440 V8 in ’74, both of which offered considerably more power than the 318. With some bolt-on upgrades you could get power up to pre-1971 levels, but if you are that concerned with performance an engine swap might be an easier route.

The interior in this one is in great shape. The black upholstery could probably use a cleaning but is said to be in excellent condition. The headliner has a small hole in it, so you might be able to live with it as is. A replacement isn’t all that expensive and will be a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the needed rust repair.

Speaking of the rust, the seller points out the problem areas. I’m not that concerned with the rust in the rear fender lips and quarter panels, what does cause concern is the rust in the front fender and hood. Fixing the holes could be tricky, but the bigger issue is what might be hiding in the areas we can’t see. I would want to take a closer look at this Mopar before buying it, but for the right price, it could be a worthwhile project. And since it won’t be original by the time you’re done fixing the rust, you could build it how you want and not have to feel bad! So, would you drop a 440 into this Charger or does it need something more unique than that?


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  1. Classic Stee l

    Nice looking automatic grocery car for misses or granny

    Like 5
  2. RoKo

    The ebay ad states it’s a special factory ordered Plum Crazy painted car (on a 1974?). A photo of the fender tag would be very useful to prove if it’s true or not. But since none is provided, I call bs on that one.

    Like 4
  3. Jeff

    Whoever switched the color did a awesome job!

    Like 7
  4. Jeff

    It may have been a option 999 car, I say that because even the trunk is painted very well.

    Like 6

    ok Cool find, now here’s the place for that hellcat engine and drivetrain since it requires so much rust repairs might as well go all out. before you mash the gas pedal make sure your health and life insurance are paid up you will probably need one or both

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      There are much nicer 71-72 Chargers, some factory big blocks with buckets seats and console that have sold recently in ebay within a few thousand dollars of this cars asking price. Those years have cleaner bumper treatment and don’t need the considerable rust repair. There really is no reason to consider this car based on the condition of its body even at a fraction of it’s asking price.

      Steve R

      Like 4
  6. cunnanm

    I have not seen a purple car past 71 that was real. I think it was painted later and is someone’s hot rod from the time. Muscle cars and regular cars seem to be confused at this time. I have/had, not sure if it’s still in the field of a friend a 73 satellite sebring with a 400 2 barrel. I put 74 8/34 and hood on it. It ran great,. But it was still a basic car.

    Like 5
    • frisbeeplayer

      Actually, it’s got a 999 code on the tag which means it could be any color. I just bought this car yesterday and it came with the original window sticker. The whole car was special ordered by a woman in Joliet, Illinois. It has multiple special options…sunroof, tachometer, cruise control, tinted windows, funky patterned split bench seat, rear speaker(with control on dash for it), road wheels, etc. Highly optioned one owner car. Doors close like it just rolled off the showroom floor. I’m in love.

      Like 2
      • Jeff

        Just like I said to the naysayers “a option 999 car”

        Like 1
  7. Curt k.

    To me this is the best body style charger there is i would love this one.the 318 is very reliable but is a waste of cast iron with only 150 hp.my biggest complaint is anything from the 60s or 70s with the pentastar or mopar on it goes for crazy money. Ill just stick to my fords

    Like 1
  8. Kenneth Carney

    My BIL had one of these. His was a base
    model without the opera windows and all
    the niceties thst this car has. It was gold
    with a white half vinyl roof and a gold brocade interior. It ran a 318 with a 4-BBL
    carb matef to an auto tranny. From what
    I saw, his car was no slouch in the speed
    department either. He stood on it from
    Florida to Illinois and back running 90
    to 110 down the Intetstate without any
    complaints from the 318 at all. What
    did the poor car in was when he missed
    a curve and smacked a brick wall! He
    wasn’t hurt, but the car was never the same after that. Wound up scrapping
    it a month later, and still regrets it to this
    very day. Great find!

    Like 8
    • Poncho

      Wow! $12,000 for a boat anchor with another boat anchor under the hood? What does this car weigh and then try to motivate it with a 318 two barrel? Driving it into a brick wall sounds good to me! Take that $12,000….Wow!…$12,000 and but a lighter car with a bigger motor. I always thought the horsepower to weight ratio should account for a more exciting driving experience.$12,000 is way too much for this boat anchor. I’d consider shopping around for a different car. $12,000 for a ’74 Charger? Wow!

      Like 5
      • TriPowerVette

        @Poncho – To put an(other) exclamation point on your comment; just this morning, I was perusing Craigslist and found an original-owner, 1996 Camaro Z-28 Convertible, 6-Speed manual, with 84,000 miles.

        The first line in the ad said “Meticulously maintained”. From the pix, he meant it. It is in beautiful condition.

        It even comes with 2 sets of wheels – the originals and a set of American Racing 5-spokes that just “make” the car. $8500!

        Had I not just this month bought my new project, I’d already own this one.

        I had a 1971 440 Six Pack Super Bee. THAT was a severe car. This? 318? ’74? RUST, for gosh sake? Please…

        By the measure of that Z-28, this owner should have to pay $2K or so for someone to take it.

        Like 2
      • Poncho

        I think anyone would just be “Plum Crazy” to even think about purchasing this soon to be dried up Plum…a Prune.

        Like 3
    • Art M.

      I once had a 73 with a 318 that I got up to 133mph. It took me 18 miles of mostly straight road, and two quarts of oil to do it, but it did it. Prior to that day it had never used a drop of oil. It was a great running, dependable car, but you could poke a hole in the top of the fenders with your fingers as it had spent it’s life in Corpus Christi Texas near the salt water.

      I gave $275.00 dollars for it and sold it for $200.00 and a solid 1970 Chevelle that would not start, that immediately sold for $300.00. Those were the days of cheap hot rods. Today that Chevrolet would bring 8-10 grade easily. This was around 1988.

      Like 4
  9. Keith

    Oh H#LL NAW! Another rusting purple Mopar?

    Like 3
  10. Miguel

    I have always looked at these as a 2 door Coronet. They have never excited me at all.

    Like 1
  11. Bob C.

    Fireball 318 2 barrel? I’ve never seen that on an air cleaner of a Mopar.

    Like 1
  12. Jeff

    I believe the Fireball dialog is from an Australian branded 318

    Like 1
  13. Troy s

    In no way shape or form was a 318 powered anything considered a muscle car then or now. Great civilized work horse, nothing like a 440 when it came to neck snapping acceleration.

    Like 2
  14. irocrobb

    I did a lot of buying and selling of these old mopars back in the early 1980s when they were dirt cheap. Most of them were 318 powered. The younger guys here that were not around in the 1980s would hardly believe how fast these cars rusted. Here in Canada most of the back unibody was rusted right out when they were 8 years old or younger if driven in the winter. I had a 1972 Ralley Charger with a 400 in about 1988 that was a great car. It just floated down the road and looked real cool with the bulge hood and black door depressions !

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