Surprise Packet: 1968 Dodge Charger

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We’re often told never to judge a book by its cover, which is true with this 1968 Dodge Charger. It looks tired and weatherbeaten, but it can spring a surprise or two. The seller sank plenty of cash into the project, but a new owner will reap the benefits. The Charger is listed here on eBay in Simi Valley, California. Once you see what it offers, the frantic bidding will make sense. However, it remains below the reserve at $24,100.

The seller purchased this Charger in Arizona, planning to return it to active duty as a weathered survivor. That seems the best term to describe its Burgundy paint, which has suffered at the hands of the Arizona sun. They replaced the Black vinyl top, which offers a striking contrast. The trim and chrome are in good order, including the grille with its hidden headlamps. There are no glass issues, and the Charger rolls on new aftermarket wheels wrapped in Cooper tires. I haven’t been skirting the issue of rust because there’s not much to discuss. The trunk pan has the usual problems and will require replacement. However, the floors are rock-solid, as are the rails. With the Dodge structurally sound, the seller’s approach to this project seems valid. Personally, I’d address any minor panel imperfections and return this beauty to its former glory.

We open the Charger’s doors, and I’ll bet you weren’t expecting that! The interior presentation is virtually showroom, which is understandable. The seller poured a considerable sum into a complete retrim, and nothing escaped their attention. Everything is spotless, and there has been no opportunity for wear or damage because the car hasn’t seen active service since they complete their handiwork. I can’t spot anything worth criticizing, and there are no aftermarket additions. The buyer won’t drown in optional extras, although the air conditioning and factory radio add to the comfort on the road.

If the interior impresses you, lifting the hood should increase the joy. The seller pulled the motor and detailed the engine bay to a high standard. They rebuilt the engine and transmission before slotting them back into place. The car remains numbers-matching, which will help its future potential value. It features a 383ci V8 that should send 330hp to the rear wheels via a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The original owner added power assistance for the steering and brakes to the mix, ensuring the driver doesn’t burn too much energy behind the wheel. The Charger should storm the ¼-mile in 15 seconds, although improved breathing through long-tube headers might improve that figure. They didn’t stop with the engine and transmission because the suspension is all new. They fitted a new tank, sender unit, carburetor, and new lines for the fuel and brakes. It wasn’t just new lines for the brakes because the Charger sports a new booster, master cylinder, and pads. The vehicle runs and drives, but tweaks are required before it can be considered roadworthy. A new exhaust is top of the list, as are a wheel alignment and adjustment to the kick-down linkage. Once those tasks are completed, the buyer can hit the road and carefully break in that freshly rebuilt V8.

Some classics leave you guessing about their desirability, but this 1968 Charger removes all doubt. It has attracted fifty-three bids, and I expect the figure and price to climb significantly with time remaining on the auction. I will be unsurprised if the bid total rises into three-digit territory because potential buyers seem passionate about this classic. The seller planned to preserve its weathered appearance, but would you feel the same? Or would returning it to its former glory prove irresistible? This is a classic car where the winning bidder will be driven by their vision and preferences. Therefore, there are no right or wrong answers to those questions.

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    No way l wouldn’t repaint this car in it’s original color, which I love. Some folks might say ‘replace the automatic with a stick shift” but I’ve got some time behind the wheel of a 3 speed auto and I sure didn’t detect any loss of power there. It’s going to be a beauty when it’s done.

    Like 9
  2. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Since it’s new roof is already on, might as well finish the job with a new paint job in the original color. New interior, new mechanicals, new wheels/tires, its originality has been changed and to some end improved to make it last a little longer-drive it then paint it in the off season.

    Then again, some thick glasses wearing dude might be inclined to paint it black and go looking for a bad@$$ driving a green fastback Mustang in SF CA..!

    Like 3
    • Donnie L Sears

      I always wondered what was under that new vinyl roof. Worst thing the factories ever did. I bought a 72 Cutlas S. It had a new vinyl top. I got curious and ripped it off after I saw a bubble. I had to replace the plate between the trunk lid and the back glass. I will never buy another car that has a new vinyl top on it.

      Like 0
  3. Joe Dertie

    30K and counting w/o reaching reserve. “Need to sell” I guess is different than “I need to get what I have in it + labor” I Don’t blame the guy, not going to see many fire sales for a car like this. Maybe 40k is this pain threshold…

    Like 1
  4. Oldschoolmuscle

    I think its a good project. For me i always wanted one and if i had to do all the work, the money put into it would be well spent because in the end I would never sell it..Short story a family member spent 8 years restoring his precocious car.
    Three weeks after completion and tens of thousand of dollars and all the hrs of him doing all the work he sold and he spent way more to restore and got a lot less for it. To me just a waste of time you will never get back and appreciate…

    Like 4
  5. Ronald Amon

    Close to the 1989 Charger Nick Cage drives in DRIVE ANGRY. Which if you get the dvd will become your favorite action movie. Can’t watch this movie too many times. If you get this you’ll have to add that yellow bumper sticker Nick has on his. Why he brakes. And Amber Heard literally got that engine smokin’ hot.

    Like 3
  6. Jimmy

    I always liked the 68 Chargers but money wise I would take the yellow Torino Cobra Jet.

    Like 0
  7. Jose Rovirosa

    Classic ratty musclecar…I love it.

    Like 1
    • Kevin

      Don’t you mean a 1969 charger, an 1989 charger was a non existent car, but from 82-87 they made ugly little sub-compacts, and called them chargers.

      Like 1
  8. Mike

    In 1969, I bought a used 68 Charger with 22,000 miles for $2900.

    Of course back then I only made $3.45 an hour so it took me about 840 hours to pay for it.

    Of all the cars I’ve owned that 68 Charger was the one that I liked best.

    Like 1

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