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Rust Is Free: 1973 Dodge Charger SE


By the third generation, the Charger was way past its prime and thanks to federal emissions controls, the muscle car’s glory days were past as well. Perhaps the owner of this Charger listed on craigslist didn’t get the memo. He wants $5,000 and it appears life in Bossier City, Louisiana hasn’t been good for it. It’s been parked since 1983. The owner hasn’t tried to start the engine, a 400 CID with a 2 barrel, but it does have new tires.


The interior is complete and in decent shape. The dash is cracked, of course, and the seats need reupholstery. It seems the rodents didn’t move in.

back seat

The back seat looks in great shape, but could that be a seat cover?


It looks messy and neglected under the hood, but it’s appears it’s all there and original. The seller hasn’t checked to see if it’s stuck or not.

rear rust

This end of the Charger sure got the wet end of the stick. There is another back bumper included, however. There’s no rust showing on the rest of the car.These aren’t worth a complete restoration, but if this Charger isn’t too badly rusted elsewhere and the engine is rebuildable, this could be a nice project. There are lots of possibilities, from stock to whatever your wallet can bear.  It will be interesting to hear what you think this is really worth and what you would do with it.




  1. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Drop in a late model Hemi and drive the dog wee out of it.

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  2. Van

    I so hate paying extra for rust, I’d much rather do it myself.

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  3. Frankie

    Not worth restoring? Of course it is, but not into some show car, a good driver quality and drive it while all the other pristine hemi cars are being dusted and covered in some heated garage or museum. With how high the prices are for a early year mopar these are affordable.

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  4. M B

    Those were quite nice when new and still can be! Charger was headed more in a luxury performance orientation, which the SE exemplified. 400 2bbl is a good motor and probably has a 2.71 rear axle ratio (no need for OD) with a nice 727 in the mix. Car was sold new in San Antonio, TX (from the dealer plate on the deck lid). I think that interior kits are available, as are new carpets. Provided there isn’t more hidden rust, it’d make a GREAT car for daily use AND one that isn’t seen that often. Paint, interior kit, reman dash pad, carpets, and whatever it takes under the hood might make it about a $10k+ car, so getting it for closer to $2K would be necessary.

    Doing an OEM-style redo, with some repro Rallye wheels would be best, but they’ll never be worth as much as the late-60s Chargers. Which can be good (salvage yard parts will be less expensive, if needed).

    There ARE possibilities!

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    My buddy had one just like this but white interior. Very sharp car until he decided today take it apart and put it in his bedroom.

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  6. The Walrus

    The book for each value for the 4 trim levels (Coupe, Hardtop, Hardtop SE and Rallye) for the ’73 Chargers are all about $650 for a #6, $1900 for a #5 and $3100 for a #4. This is a 4/5 car, so it would need to be somewhere in the $2-3K range to even start the discussion. Number 1’s are $16K, but it’s unlikely you could get this there without spending many multiples of that. The #3’s are $7K and the #2’s a bit over $11K.

    It would take a lot of elbow grease, but it is conceivable someone could turn this into a 2/3 car and not be upside down on the dollars side of things. I actually value my time, so if someone takes that road with it, I’ll be waiting at the end of your journey with cash in hand.

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  7. Jubjub

    Seem to recall a Maaco commercial featuring a very similar Charger. One side of it was rough and beaten while the other side had been restored.

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  8. Gary Davidson

    It’s kind of funny I ran past this article looking for seat covers for this very same car. This is my 1973 Dodge Charger. I posted it for sale for $5000 as a starting price on Dallas Craigslist.
    I found this car in 2003 but the owner would never even talk about selling it. He always said he was going to restore it one day. I made friends with the owner and in 2011 the building the car was in started to fall in and they asked me if i could hlep move it to a storage facility. July 2015 the owner finally asked me if I’d be willing to buy the car.

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  9. paul

    my first car was a 74 charger 318 car i always liked these and they are affordable i just located a 73 440 southern car im getting needs complete resto if you can do all or most of the work you shouldnt get hurt on the value anyway its really a personal choice im not going to resell to make profit there probably wouldnt be any

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