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Repaint Or Drive? 1970 Dodge Charger 500

1970 was the last year for the second generation Dodge Charger, just before the body changed to a modernized shape that became known as fuselage styling, and for its final model wearing the more traditional look the B-Body got a wraparound bumper that encircled the entire front end and the grille lost the divider in the center, creating a menacing and intimidating appearance every time it appeared in your rearview mirror.  This 1970 Dodge Charger 500 has a traceable history and seems like a capable driver just like it is, although the seller is transparent in pointing out a few shortcomings.  The Mopar is located in Cuero, Texas, and can be viewed here on eBay, with bidding up to $39,100 so far and the reserve not met.

The tale here goes that the seller is the car’s third owner, and he only recently purchased it from the second caretaker who got it from the original buyer way back in 1973.  The Charger underwent a restoration some 14 years ago, but when the car was picked up owner #2 was unsatisfied with how the new paint had turned out, as it shows little bubbles in certain areas of the finish.  The level of unhappiness must have been extreme, as the car was only driven about 3,000 miles after the respray then parked in his garage where it sat for more than a decade, only being started occasionally.

According to the fender tag information, this one left St. Louis with a 383 but there’s now a 440 under the hood, which is said to have been built to stock 375 horsepower specs.  The big block wasn’t running when the seller first acquired the car, but after a mechanical evaluation the intake was pulled and new gaskets were installed along with a fresh carburetor and fuel tank.  The wiring was reworked and a new set of tires were installed, and now the Charger is said to run great and drive very well.

The interior was also freshened up 14 years ago and still looks better than most, with an aftermarket steering wheel and non-factory speakers in the package tray.  This one’s got quite a few options too, such as auto speed control (N88), three-speed wipers (J25), light package (A01), plus a few other goodies.  The seller mentions that picky Mopar guys will probably want to repaint the Charger, but it seems like more fun and a whole lot less effort to just enjoy driving it, at least for a few seasons.  What would you do here?


  1. Moparman Moparman Member

    Personally, I’d source an OEM steering wheel, and OEM exhaust tips for this beauty, and then I’d cruise!! Let the paint ride for a moment. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 12
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      And OEM or orginal wheels….should have the beauty rings….these are 1966-68 wheels. The seller does come across a few Mopars and is well know – good guy and looks like this will be finding a new home.

      Like 0
  2. Norm1564

    I agree w Mopar man partly; yes like my car drive it as is & try ?! to squirrel away for few years some heavy bundle of cash for few minor changes mentioned & lastly new paint job from a resourced & verified good paint shop ;otherwise this Charger is good ! as is ;on another note what makes this car have a menacing look is that black hideaway headlight grille & yes the divider on the 69 grille is missing but still a dominating look ! & nice that Dodge kept the hideaways for couple more years ?! on 71&72?! 1970 really was the pinnacle year for all muscle cars !

    Like 1
  3. MoparDoug

    Like it. Change a few things like Moparman said and then enjoy and drive. I once owned a ’70 Satellite in this exact color…B7 blue with a white vinyl top, blue interior, auto on the column and AC, though my Satellite had the 318.

    Like 1
  4. Steve R

    Once you paint it you’ve added a significant significant cost beyond the purchase price and will likely turn it into just another garage queen only taken out when there is a nearby coffee and cars. As it sits now a new owner would probably be more inclined to put real miles on it.

    Steve R

    Like 9
  5. Tbone

    Drive it

    Like 3
  6. BlackTa


    Like 2
  7. Nelson C

    Yes. Drive it. You’ll get more enjoyment from the ride than the show. A stock steering wheel would be better. Is the Tuff wheel correct for these?

    Like 4
    • novawagon65

      No Available in 1971.

      Like 1
  8. ALKY

    One like this Id just drive it and enjoy it but I would likely change out that awful steering wheel.

    Like 2
  9. Mike76

    I’m with @Moparman. Source a correct wheel, exhaust tips and drive the car. Yes, fresh and flawless paint looks wonderful but all it takes is a small rock or a piece of road debris to spoil it. And while driving the car, you’ll always be worried of that occurring. Much more stress-free motoring just driving the car and enjoying it as-is, flaws and all.

    Like 3
  10. Oldschoolmuscle

    I say leave it alone and just change little things and enjoy the ride!!! down the road do a refresh…..

    Like 0
  11. Dan

    Picky Mopar guys will also want to bring back a date-correct 383 but if this were mine I would just enjoy it as is during the summer, then address the body issues during my spare time. Bidding is up to $50,100; even for a non-matching-numbers car that’s not an R/T this shows how crazy the 2nd-Gen Charger market has become.

    Like 0
  12. Bob Mitchell

    Looks like a beautiful car. If anything, I’d lose that white vinyl top, otherwise , a gorgeous car.

    Like 0
  13. Mario Talarico

    Drive it till it really needs repaint…

    Like 0
  14. diablo

    Already bid up to $50K….

    Like 0
  15. James Clarke

    Why is this called a charger 500 it does not have the flat grill or the sloping rear window?

    Like 0
    • Phil D

      The first Charger 500 — Dodge’s first attempt at an improved aerodynamics “homologation special” for NASCAR — to which you refer was a limited production model produced very early in the 1969 model year, then discontinued, with only the 500’s rear window plug making an encore appearance later on the ’69 Charger Daytona.

      Dodge then applied the Charger 500 name to a regular retail model in 1970. It added a lot of the Charger R/T content to the base model Charger, but without the 440 engine.

      Like 2

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