Special Edition Backyard Find: 1970 Dodge Charger 500 SE

The seller tells us that they “saved” this car two weeks ago from the back yard of the second owner. Now I guess further redemption is up to you! You can find the car advertised here on eBay. If you are interested in seeing it, plan a trip to Urbana, Ohio. The seller is looking for over $5,000 for the car, but there’s no reserve and bidding has begun, so it’s going to find a new home.

As you can easily, see, there’s one main issue. Rust. And more rust. All panels are available in at least patch panel form, so it can be repaired, if you want to. The seller bought the car from the second owner, who purchased the car in 1970 after a short time with the original owner. It was a daily driver through 1979, and then was moved to the back yard, only to stay there until this year.

It doesn’t get any better around the back. There were 27,264 Charger 500’s produced in 1970, although we don’t know how many of them came with the Special Edition, or SE package.

From this factory brochure, we can see that the SE included genuine leather and vinyl front bucket seats, a simulated walnut steering wheel, pedal dress-up, a light group, simulated walnut dash, deep dish wheel covers (which are included if you want to replace the Cragar SS’s) and map and utility pockets in the door panels.

Unfortunately, the door panels are pretty rough. I’m actually surprised at how good the seats are, but both will need replacing anyway.

This car was pretty well outfitted, with a 383 V8, air conditioning, limited slip differential, vinyl roof (it was green) and the Torqueflite automatic transmission. The seller has been able to get the engine to turn over manually after some soaking of the cylinders. Is this your dream car? Is it worth over $5,000? Discuss in the comments!

Fast Finds


  1. Troy

    Not bad at all,I paid $9000 for my totally wrecked RT Charger ! I rebuilt to like new and its done right because I did it,and I know whats in it !

  2. billy

    In my day, a car like this COST YOU to dispose of it. (Like I had to do with my 70 Satellite) My, but how times have changed. Will the owner give a cut to the people who lived next door and had to look at it rusting for decades?

    • Mike

      I remember a friend hauling his to the junkyard. It was a lot nicer than this one.

  3. jimbunte jimbunte Member

    Oh my GOD, this poor Charger. It breaks my heart to even see it.

  4. mark

    Looks like it was pulled from a back yard lake.

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    Disassemble it, cataloging every individual part. Register with Allpar and proceed to part it out. As it sits….that’s what it’s worth.

  6. Mountainwoodie

    Outdoors in Ohio for forty years? Science project.

  7. jw454

    My crystal ball says this car will see the street again under it’s own power… However, it’s been wrong before.

  8. ed the welder

    this car came with a build sheet some paperwork and a VIN tag …what happens next will shock you …

  9. DrinkinGasoline

    The seller can claim whatever. The poor Charger speaks it’s own neglect. It’s an Organ Donor.

  10. S Ryan

    Rusty Yes.
    Save able absolutely.
    How about the 57 behind it?

  11. Steve

    Gotta love flippers.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Gotta love some of them, like this one.

      You are cordially invited to peak in every driveway, barn, and backyard for that elusive collectible automobile, motorcycle, truck, you name it. And then spend years convincing the “I’m going to fix it up someday” owner to sell it to you.

      The seller did all the heavy lifting, now any prospective buyer can bid what they feel it is worth.

  12. John H from CT

    Bidding up to $6,100 already!

  13. Howard A Member

    Too far gone. I know many, from non-winter states gasp in horror, how could someone do this??? Well, I’ll tell ya’, they drove it, year ’round, that’s it, and this is what happens. I’ve dealt with rusty cars like this my whole life ( and quite sick of it) And don’t believe the “parked in ’79”, thing. This car has 20 or 30 winters, to rust like this. These aren’t that rare. And we’re sick of hearing that continuous loop Bee Gees 8 track going on and on and on,,,


    two words MARK WORMAN

  15. Dave

    Saw one of these at a car show last month. Had a photo album of the restoration process displayed. Yes a lot of panels are available to replace the rust, but many small parts are not. They did a lot of fabrication to save it.

  16. Rustytech Member

    At least this has a big block! However it is not an R/T and will never have the value of an R/T. That is a lot of rust, and you can be assured there’s a lot more you don’t see! This guy probably “rescued” this for under $500 and it looks like he hit a home run!

  17. Pete

    I use to live close to Urbana Ohio. This car sat outside for 40 plus years in a corn field it’s toast. Winters are never kind to old cars. Salt roads are worse. Tin worm is alive and well in this car. If u bead or sand blasted this car it would fall apart. This is more work that what it’s worth in my opinion.

  18. KY

    Old clunkers like that are environmental hazards. Hopefully that decaying eyesore is disposed of in a responsible manner.

  19. Mikey

    My ’71 Plymouth spent 35 Louisiana years before I acquired it and had about 2% of that rust. Not rare enough for the skills and deep pockets that will be required.

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