Parked in 2006: 1969 Dodge Charger

Sometimes we will buy a classic car with all of the best intentions in the world, but life will get in the way. It is at this time that restoration projects will stall, often before they can even begin. That is the story behind this 1969 Dodge Charger. The owner purchased it in 2005 and used it on a limited basis for about a year. He then parked it as family matters took priority. He intended to transform it into an R/T clone, but he has realized that this will never happen. Rather than leave it to deteriorate beyond the point of no return, he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and with the bidding sitting at $15,100, the reserve has been met. I have to send a shout out to Barn Finder Tommy T-Tops for spotting this classic for us.

The Charger is a sad sight sitting in this shed. It will require a fair amount of work if it is to be returned to its former glory, but at least it hasn’t been left exposed to the elements. It has been parked in its current location under a cover since 2016. For the previous decade, it spent its life in a garage. However, the owner needed the space, so that’s when it was moved. The paint is well beyond help, and someone has removed the original vinyl top. Surface corrosion has developed under the vinyl, but it looks like there is no penetrating rust. The news isn’t as good elsewhere, with the rear quarters and tail-light panel falling foul of the tin worm. These will need to be replaced, but the remaining lower extremities show a lot of promise. The owner supplies no information on the state of the floors or frame, but at least the car isn’t showing the type of sagging that might suggest that the rear frame rails have rotted through. Some of the chrome will need restoration, but the glass seems to be in good condition.

The news inside the Charger is both good and bad. It does appear to be complete, but it will need time and money spent on it to present at its best. The seats will require new foam and covers, and the kick panels have deteriorated to the point where replacement would be the most viable option. The dash has been cut to fit an aftermarket radio/cassette player, but it is otherwise unmolested and fit to be restored. The dash pad looks like it might have avoided cracking, and the door trims could potentially be cleaned. A new carpet set and armrests will need to go on the shopping list, but it isn’t clear whether there will be any other items that will require replacement.

The Dodge is one of those classic “ran when parked” propositions. That was more than 14-years-ago, so it might take some work to coax the original 318ci V8 back to life. Hooked to the back of the V8 is a TorqueFlite transmission, which would have sent the power to a Sure Grip rear end. In its prime, this engine would have been producing 230hp, which is a respectable number. It does turn freely, so it is a candidate to fire back to life with a bit of TLC. There is an alternative open to potential buyers. The owner had intended to transform the Charger into an R/T clone. With this thought in mind, he has sourced a 1970-vintage 440ci V8 and a 727 transmission. The engine is used, and it will need to be inspected to confirm whether it will require any attention. He is making these components available to potential buyers for an additional $1,000.

I always find it sad when I see a car like this 1969 Charger where circumstances have meant that the owner hasn’t fulfilled his dreams. However, at least this owner has had the good sense to offer the car for sale before it manages to crumble to dust. The buyer could undertake a faithful restoration or follow the current owner’s lead by creating an R/T clone. The option is also there to build a General Lee tribute. Although there are now so many of those kicking around, I would be inclined to discount that option. It is a classic that has generated plenty of interest since it was listed for sale, so I hope that someone can return it to the road fairly soon. It has been sitting for too long, and it does deserve a second shot at life.

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Comments

  1. Such A Deal

    WOW a 1970 440 and transmission for $1000, I will take two (2) of them.

    Like 6
  2. Mike Adams

    “The option is also there to build a General Lee tribute.”

    NO!

    Like 20
    • jerry hw brentnell

      why? isn’t there enough of those punkin’ orange recreations out there? and look at the crap you get with the flag on the roof! this is a case of! don’t start vast projects with half vast ideas!

      Like 2
  3. Daniel Wright

    Its parked on dirt and leaves, I can imagine the state of the underside if the car.

    Like 5
  4. Rich

    Can’t do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.
    When us older guys bite the dust there is going to be a huge glut of both non completed “projects”, and nice complete running examples. The problem I see though is this: We have seen this movie before, the times change, tastes change, economic conditions change. And desire and demand dies as the generations (people), change. I remember growing up and seeing tons of rides from the 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. living in barns and garages for decades, then the majority ended up as junkyard finds.
    The greed in the market is not sustainable. History repeats itself. Sad but true. Folks are just asking way too much money for way too little these days.

    Like 8
    • William

      I suspect we are both elderly baby Boomers as I recall similar things. The cars of my dads youth are either rodded or new Kias. Only pristine restorations of rare cars are worth anything at all, and the market for those is small. Why when we are gone would anyone younger then us want this? Unless it is almost given away, but even then, I do not see automotive interest in many of todays youth. That is not a dig on them, just a generational change. We had the Beach Boys telling us to go cruising, they are being told to play online. The good news is that when we are dust, at least the prices will be realistic for the few with the skills and interest to own them. Kind of unfair, that many alive today that will not be so in the near future, will not get to relive their youth. I see people trying to suddenly cash out on all this speculation before the bubble bursts, sad thing is that many are still rushing to get into the big party bubble.

      Like 2
    • J1

      Due to the boredom with covid 19 (and watching too much Roadkill garage), I’m kind of inspired to get an old muscle car to work on in my garage, but really only below a certain price. You can buy an old miata, or bmw in good shape for 5k, and have a lot of fun with them. I’m finding it hard to pull the trigger on many of these expensive, rusted out cars that have been sitting in the weeds for 25 years. But that’s just me ;-)

      Like 1
      • ErnieSC

        J1,

        You’re correct. I’m at $35K on a Solid Starter that I bought NEW 12/66! I still have about 5K to go for the Interior! I NEVER would have spent this except I bought it New, went on our Honeymoon in it 7 Months later, both Boys drove it in H.S., etc. It’s the Sentimental Value to me. Seriously doubt it’s going to be worth the 40K I’m going to have in it to Anyone else! But then, it’s not for sale so it’s a moot point!
        BTW, from EVERYTHING I’ve seen, the absolute BEST one can do on a Restoration is to recover about 70% of what one spends unless one is capable of doing almost ALL of it themselves! And then what is your time worth if you’re just going to work on it for 2 years to Sell it?

  5. Ran when parked

    completly stock! no butchering
    shouldn’t be too hard

    Like 1
    • ErnieSC

      LOL at “Ran when Parked”. I guess it depends on your version of “Shouldn’t be too Hard”! I’m just finishing a Complete Restoration of a 67 Chevelle I bought NEW 12/66. Parts alone are Very Expensive on these 60’s/70’s Muscle Cars! I bought my car and drove it for many years. My Wife drove it early on. Both my Boys drove it. Now, at 73, I decided I wanted to Restore it and just have a little Fun. No biggie. Even with 183K+ Miles on it, I decided I would just put a Nice Fresh Paint Job on it. My Friends told me that with 183K Miles on that Engine, I needed to “Freshen it Up” before Body and Paint! I did what I call “An Amateur Restoration”, i.e., I took it to a Body Shop and had them Pull the Engine and Tranny; They then Pulled the Front End Off, Both Doors, Hood, Deck Lid, etc. – But Not a complete Frame Off. They did Replace all Rubber Door, Window Rubber Seals and such I took the engine to a Shop that Builds Race Engines and Bored/Stroked the Original 327/275 to a 355/400. Decided to change the PG Tranny to a TH-350. Bottom Line: I Picked it up today from the Shop that did my Vintage Air. Only Major thing left is Interior. And I’m at around $35 LARGE before the Interior! Yeah it “Snowballed”! What will it be worth? Pretty sure less than the $40K it looks like I’ll have in it! But it’s a moot point. It’s Not for Sale! My Wife and I went on our Honeymoon in it 7 Months after I bought it! Can’t take it with me – The Money or the Car! It’s Sentiment and Memories for Me! Am I wealthy? Absolutely Not! I’m a Retired Musician. I took Gobs of guitars and other things I had Collected over the Past 50+ Years that were just sitting around and turned it into something that Hopefully the Wife and I can enjoy TOGETHER for a while longer. After all, that Honeymoon was 53 1/2 Years ago Next Month! Merry Christmas to All You and Yours! And sincerely hope 2021 is Better for everyone!

      Like 2

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