Restoration Challenge: 1973 Dodge Charger

Here is a project which would give any restorer a sense of accomplishment upon completion, a 1973 Dodge Charger. Located in Tenino, Washington, it is listed here on eBay with a current bid of $2,577 and 5 days remaining in the auction at the time of writing. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey Heyman for locating this unique project and bringing it to our attention.

The seller lists the car with the phrase “has so much potential!!”. Looking at the pictures provided the vehicle may just have the potential to provide lots of headaches and frustration! To avoid being cynical and give the seller just credit, rust over the entire car is fully disclosed. But it is hard to make a full assessment of a car when there are no full side shots. The car is advertised as running and somewhat driveable, so full-length pictures could have been provided. From what we can see of the sides, the car looks reasonably straight. Quarter panels look good over the arches with the original wheel trim remaining and in good shape. The car looks relatively complete with only some minor interior pieces missing or removed.

It is impossible to be not concerned about the trunk rust. Although reproduction floor plans and other pieces are available, the question is how much additional metal would have to be replaced along with the pan? The underside pictures show seem to indicate more problems, but from what can be seen, the car still sits upright, indicating the rear leaf mounts still intact. Definitely, a visual inspection is required. This type of rust is common on a car stored outside with a leaking rear window. This car looks to have the remnants of a vinyl roof, which didn’t help matters. When the vinyl gets compromised it holds the moisture and combined with unpainted metal can cause complete rust through. This looks to be the case on the driver’s c-pillar. Automotive roofs and c-pillars have compound curves and can be a challenge to properly repair without using an entire door panel.

The engine has the optional 400 2 bbl. M code engine as indicated by the VIN. The picture shows an unmolested running engine with the original Holley 2bbl. Although obviously not expected to be detailed, the engine and compartment look surprisingly clean compared to other areas. It is difficult to see and confirm, but the car looks to have front disk brakes by the size of the master cylinder.

The overall exterior of the car looks reasonable and salvageable from the pictures. If the future buyer is a capable restorer and metal fabricator it may be possible to economically repair this vehicle to a safe driver level. The bidding is light and price seems reasonable so far. Perhaps if the price remains at this level it may end up being a valuable resource to re-body another car?

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  1. Bakyrdhero Member

    All cars matter, but this gen Charger never did it for me. A friend put his heart and soul into one in high school. A bunch of money also. A fire truck smashed into it and sent it to the scrap yard shortly after.

  2. edh

    There’s more leg room between the radiator and the grill than in the back seat.

    • James

      I had a 71 in high school and would argue that there’s plenty of room…

  3. Hank Kaczmarek

    I had a 73 SE, same color. I was in love with that thing. Looked good, HAULED ASS. Speeding tickets galore.

  4. Chris

    Kieth? Umm Kieth we need your comments. Surely he’ll show up and have us all rolling in laughter with that special brand of humor! The Mopar freaks are going to pay a million dollars for this old heap Kieth!!! Haha, Sorry I just don’t have that instinct for humor Kieth has.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Second best comment of 2019!

  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Not sure if this is worth the effort. Better off to buy one already done, they aren’t that expensive compared to the 68 – 70 models.

  6. Vance

    Hey, some of it looks to be Petty blue accented by a whole lotta rust brown. I like this generation of Charger. You 68-70 guys need a new schtick. If it was up to you clowns, they would still be building them new. I like 68-70 models as well, but hell, I like em all.

  7. Timmy

    It’s already Petty blue it’s a good candidate for a nostalgia stock car,it is a hobby that’s taking over dirt tracks quickly and the crowds in the stands love that class it represents racing when racing was for the tough and rugged,no restricted anything or tapered intakes,real men,real cars,real speed,real horsepower!

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Feb 21, 2019 , 1:49PM
    Winning bid:US $2,677.00
    [ 3 bids ]

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