Plum Crazy 413: 1970 Dodge Charger 500

This 1970 Dodge Charger 500 came from the factory wearing one of Chrysler’s “Hi-Impact” colors, Plum Crazy. But not much of it is left now, having been taken over by rust in all sorts of places. And the original 383 has been replaced by a 413 cubic inch V-8 with dual carburetors from 1963. But the numbers-matching motor comes as part of the deal. This is a non-runner and likely hasn’t in long time. So, a restoration will be an uphill climb, if that’s your goal. The Charger can be found in Norwood, Massachusetts, comes without a title, and is available here on eBay without a reserve where the bidding sits at $3,050.

Dodge added the 500 to the Charger series in 1969 to compete against Ford’s Torino Talladega model (NASCAR). For one year only, the 500 came with a flat grille and a smooth back glass area and saw only 500 copies made. Fast forward to 1970, these special body treatments were discarded and the 500 would become a more mainstream model and would be the mid-level choice between the base Charger and the R/T edition. Sales would jump to 27,000 units and be more than half of total Charger production in 1970, but overall Charger sales would be down. Thanks, Hagerty, for some Charger background.

The seller bought this Charger 500 and planned to restore it but will no longer pursue that due to changes with his job. Apparently, the party he acquired the car from had owned it for 36 years and that’s where most of the car’s history comes from. We assume the original 383 gave up the ghost at some point and the owner dropped in a 413 from the early 1960s. That engine was retained, but neither the 383 nor 413 will turn over by hand now, so the buyer can choose to fix either one or go in another direction. The original TorqueFlite is still in place, but its condition is an unknown.

We’re told this car was one of six built the same way, but there is no build sheet to help clarify things. This Charger left the factory with Plum Crazy paint, a white vinyl top and white bucket seats. This car had to be quite the looker when it was new! And it was a factory A/C car as well. The Dodge is seriously plagued by rust, but the seller provides a lot of photos that help identify it. As the car doesn’t seem to sit properly with tires that have air in them, parts of the chassis may have been compromised.

There is a solid paper trail that will go with the sale that suggests the last time the car was on the road was in 1986. Missing, however, is any sign of a title as we’re told the state of Massachusetts didn’t title cars 50 years ago. Instead, a notarized Bill of Sale given to the seller by the previous long-time owner will be provided. There are no keys, either, but that’s likely way down the list of important things at this stage anyway. The buyer will also receive some extra parts including an extra driver’s side door.

This looks like a hard decision to make regarding a restoration. Some will say it’s worth saving, others will say it’s not. Hagerty says a sweet 1970 Charger with a 383 motor could top $40,000. But what would you have to spend to return this sad sack to its glory days? A white over purple Charger that has potent power under the hood would be quite the impressive sight.

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Comments

  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Shame it’s really rusty. I’d be curious to see a performance 413 build in a later B-Body Mopar; I’m thinking either the long-tube crossram setup or if that doesn’t fit the 426 Wedge-style crossram setup

    Like 4
  2. doug

    Are you sure the 500 was available with a 383? Thought only 440 and hemi.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      You are thinking of the 1969 Charger 500, which was a limited edition model with better aerodynamics specifically designed for NASCAR homologation. Those body modifications were only done for one year, after that is was an option package where neither the 440 or HEMI were available.

      Steve R

      Like 11
    • Dave

      the 1970 Charger 500 got you any engine you wanted Slant 6 up to Hemi. And you got the R/T suspension and brakes.

      • Chris M.

        No Dave. You’re statement is complete misinformation. The 1970 Charger 500 was not available with a 440 or a 426 Hemi. They were built with a 318 or the optional 383. And I doubt a 500 trimmed Charger was ever built with a /6 but it’s possible. Also there was never, as you say an “R/T suspension.” Any car that came with a 440/Hemi option was built with larger diameter torsion bars other than that there’s no difference in suspension engineering. Brakes, again were optional with front discs.

  3. Jeff

    Interesting to see what is left after a hot tank / rust removal.

    Like 7
    • Gremlin X

      Put that in a hot tank and the next owner will be putting the urn on the mantle next to dear old Grampa Joe.

      Like 4
    • Stephen Miklos

      Jeff.. after seeing those photos.. half a Charger! Also seeing those other Charges in the yard .. better call Mark!! 😂

      Like 5
  4. michael h streuly

    What a pile of s**t. Its amazing what people will bid on. A fool and his money will soon be parted.

    Like 15
    • Stephen Miklos

      Michael have you notice when a Mopar comes up that looks like this.. people lose there nuts bidding on it!! It’s that far gone strip it and sell the parts. Maybe a donar car for a project that you’re working on. 😄

      Like 8
  5. rustyvet

    The rust has rust

    Like 10
  6. Greg

    Looks like a car that was on a British car show, they sent the body and frame to be acid dipped and only got back the frame.

    Like 2
  7. Arby

    The only thing “Plum Crazy” about this is whoever buys it.

    Like 11
  8. SDJames

    I think the forklift photo is to show potential buyers that it’s not completely rusted out because it didn’t snap in half, but I wouldn’t bounce that lever too much…

    Like 5
  9. george mattar

    I found a black on black 68 Charger RT in a junk yard five years ago in Pennsylvania. I agreed to a price, the thing was junk and sitting in mud. I offered $600, he said ok. Well, when I hook a chain to pull it from its resting place, the car broke in two. Luckily, he gave me back my money. This thing is almost that bad. Why do people wait until a car is a total POS to sell it. Even Mark Worman wouldn’t restore this.

    Like 4
  10. Ike Onick

    I have always heard about “Blowing the doors off”

    Like 1
  11. piston poney

    I bet a gust of wind would destroy this car, bet fr tho i kinda want it, it’s about as close to a plum crazy 69 charger i would ever get(on of my dream cars), this reminds me of that plum crazy 69 charger in florda that was featured here ,last year i think, man that thing was so bad the body had collapsed onto the frame in the passenger trunk area man that car so so shot, at least it’s not that bad

    Like 1
  12. piston poney

    i spy a Torino in the back ground, i wonder what the deal with it is

    Like 1
  13. bone

    The Ebay pics tell all, this car was sitting in a junkyard on the East Coast for years ; likely the 36 years as stated . The flipper bought it and had no intention to fix it . 36 years outside in the North East has taken its toll on this Charger , no doubt in my mind the Vin will end up on another Charger .

    Like 1
  14. Arthur

    Seeing this Charger here and on the eBay site reminds me of the Viper-Powered 200-MPH Plymouth Cuda built by Canada’s Legendary Motorcar Company to take on a Ferrari Enzo. That Mopar was rough, too, when they first acquired it. In order to install the new chassis, LMC had to literally remove the unibody and place what remained on a solid steel surface plate with jig brackets in order to keep the Cuda straight during the assembly process.

    Frankly, after seeing the pictures, something tells me that if someone wanted to put this car back on the road, they would need a company that has the expertise and resources to do what LMC did. And I doubt it would be cheap, even with the retention of the 413.

    Like 1

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