Restore or Parts? 1973 Dodge Charger SE

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In the mid-1960s, Dodge conceived an intermediate-sized sporty car to fill a gap between the new “pony car” segment (Ford Mustang) and the “personal luxury” cruiser (Ford Thunderbird). Based on Chrysler’s B-body, they wanted to create a fastback look while using as much existing hardware as possible. The end result was the Charger, which would enjoy a run between 1966-78 (but would come back in name 30 years later). This third generation 1973 Charger SE (Special Edition) was considered the upscale model but spent 20 years in a barn and needs both cosmetic and mechanical attention. Located in Rochester, Washington, the car is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,150.

Third gen Chargers were built between 1971-74 but would receive new sheet metal in ’73. As was the trend in those days, they were longer and wider than before (and slightly taller). The Dodges now used vertically slatted taillights and hidden headlights were gone, even as an option. SE models, like the seller’s car, gained a new roof treatment with a “triple opera window” in concert with a canopy-style vinyl roof. Sales of the Charger would peak that year at 108,000 units.

The seller here has more than one 1973 Charger and has decided to focus his attention on the other one instead of both. This dark green SE with a white canopy roof is said to have been stored for the past two decades. The 360 cubic inch V8 engine has been rebuilt, but we’re not told if that was a recent effort or from long ago. Much of it is still not connected, so we don’t know if it will run if when full reassembled. It’s paired with a TorqueFlite automatic whose condition is also an unknown.

Rust has been reported underneath the aging half-vinyl top and there appears to be some issues around the opera windows. There may be a big patch underneath the passenger side rear window as a big section of primer has been applied and the door on the same side has a healthy crease in it. We can’t talk about the condition of the trunk as it’s literally filled with parts that we assume both fit this car and come with the sale. The only thing that’s said to be missing is the passenger rear window glass, although there is a large pane in the back seat (rear window?).

The interior is finished in a combination of orange and cream materials that don’t go at all with the exterior color, which we might assume has been changed. The colors are clearly ‘70s vintage and – quite frankly – don’t look attractive, even if in good condition. If I were going to stay with the current body color, I’d probably change everything inside to black and the top to black as well.

Mileage on the car is likely a placeholder at 100,000 and probably doesn’t matter given the overall condition of the Dodge. The seller will cut $500 off the price if you’ll allow him to keep the motor (for his other Charger perhaps). No title will come with the Charger, just a bill of sale from the last registered owner (red flag?). The seller the bought the car to use for parts but discovered that it’s too complete to pull apart. Is this assessment correct or would it better serve as a donor?

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  1. nycbjrMember

    My eyes! I cannot unsee that interior lol yuck!!

    Like 22
    • jerry z

      Yes that is one funky interior!

      Like 11
  2. Fred W

    Like some 70’s vans, I’d have to do a blacklight scan of those seats before even sitting in the car!

    Like 10
    • Leslie MartinMember

      If your doing the blacklight scan, don’t forget the Luminol spray. No telling what’s gone on in THAT interior.

      Like 2
  3. Brian

    Where are the fuzzy dice…..

    Like 3
  4. Rosseaux

    The door panels appear correct for a white vinyl brougham interior but those seats and the carpet are wild. Like custom van wild. Kinda of love it/kinda makes me queasy.

    Like 1
  5. Arthur

    There is a third option: turn this car into a restomod, but do it in such a way that it maintains a stock-looking appearance.

    Like 1
  6. Kevin

    There’s quite a bit of corrosion just under the hood, who knows what the underside looks like, based on what I’m seeing, and no title, hard pass,and I’m a mopar man.

    Like 0

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