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21k Mile Survivor: 1973 Dodge Charger SE

There are times when an over-abundance of a single color on a car can become overwhelming. This is why some manufacturers will offer interiors that contrast with the exterior, and why contrasting viny tops were popular in years gone by. However, there are exceptions to that rule, and this 1973 Dodge Charger SE is a perfect example. This classic proves that a triple-black color scheme is a winner, and it is set to be taken home by a new owner. If you feel that you could be that person, you will find the Charger located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has hit $14,600, but that figure remains short of the reserve. The owner also offers a BIN option of $31,500 for those who might want to bypass the whole auction process. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this gem for us.

The seller is this classic’s second owner, and it appears that it has led a sheltered life. The current owner admits that the Black paint isn’t perfect, but its condition remains pretty impressive for its age. It has a few flaws and marks, but it also manages to hold a great shine. Black paint can look stunning, but its other attribute is its ability to reveal panel flaws and damage that might not be visible if the car wore a different shade. That’s not a problem here because this Dodge looks to be as straight as an arrow. There are no dings or dents worth noting and no evidence of rust. The original owner ordered the Charger with a Black vinyl top, and while this has no signs of rips or splits, it does look a bit tired now. The obvious answer would be for the buyer to replace it, but unless bubbles start appearing, I’d be inclined to leave it untouched if the car is to retain its survivor status. The trim and chrome seem to be in good order, as is the glass.

If this Charger has a highlight, then for me, it is the interior. This is the third piece of the triple-black puzzle. The original owner ordered the car with the interior trimmed in Black vinyl and houndstooth cloth. The result is stunning and adds a touch of class and flair to the vehicle. It is also an interior that is virtually flawless. There is no wear or physical damage on the seats. The remaining upholstered surfaces are spotless, as is the headliner. The dash and pad are excellent, but the carpet might be slightly faded. However, its lack of wear would have me struggling to justify replacing it if it were parked in my garage. When you look at the overall condition of the interior and upholstery, it makes the owner’s claim that this Dodge has 24,000 genuine miles on the clock seem plausible. The owner has mounted a CB radio under the dash, but there have been no other additions. Beyond the classy trim, this car also scores air conditioning and an AM/FM radio.

The engine bay of this Charger houses the 2-barrel version of Dodge’s mighty 400ci V8 that pumps out 170hp. Those ponies find their way to the rear wheels via a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission, while power steering and power brakes mean that the driver won’t work up a sweat behind the wheel. By the time this classic rolled off the line, tightening emission laws were doing their worst to cars like this Charger, which means that the 17.7-second ¼-mile ET is not surprising. This is a numbers-matching survivor, and the owner has spent some money on it in recent times. As well as a new master cylinder, he has replaced the front brake calipers and pads. The rear brakes received new shoes and wheel cylinders, while there is also a new radiator, thermostat, and hoses. He rebuilt the carburetor, changed the oil, and treated the SE to a tune-up. The result is that this is a classic that is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner. The seller claims that the Charger has a genuine 24,000 miles on the clock but doesn’t indicate whether he holds verifying evidence. When you look at its overall condition, the claim seems plausible.

This 1973 Charger SE seems to be an original survivor that has no immediate needs. There’s no doubt that it would benefit from a light cosmetic restoration, but that thought is sure to divide opinions. Some readers will agree with me, while others will argue that vehicles like this are only original once. That’s one of the attractions of the classic car scene. Opinions vary, and with cars like this, there are no right or wrong answers. The fact is that the correct answer will be the one that the owner seeks because that person will be the one paying the bills. We can advise them, but the ultimate decision will depend on their vision and desires. Are you tempted to become that person?


  1. Terrry

    Don’t care for the 400 motor. It’s a gutless gas guzzler in emissions form. And the best time to replace the vinyl roof would be now, before bubbles appear. This is too good a car to let rust appear.

    Like 8
    • Raymond

      A 400 was necessary given emissions, its an overbore B, basically a 383…it can be compression raised, cammed, desmogged very easily, so dont be so smug with yourself that its not a hemi(that wasnt available) if it was you couldnt afford to even look at it..its a pretty good looking car at a good price, but oh its smogged so its junk cuz some guy said so….

      Like 16
      • Steve

        Wow. Tough crowd.

        Like 10
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Triple black: I typically like triple black cars (and trucks). For this example, what makes it so attractive to me is the contrast of the chrome bumpers, bright window trim, and gray upholstery inserts. In other words, it is not “so black” that it becomes overwhelming….

    Today we see cars (and, perhaps, more so) trucks which are completely black— paint, interior, trim, wheels. I get the idea and generally like the look, but for me it can be a bit much. Just my opinion.

    Back to this car: looks like a well-cared-for, sharp survivor.

    Like 8
    • Carlos J Guzman

      I would love a car like this.. not been abused or hot rodded.. definitely a decent little driver… well taken care of..

      Like 3
  3. 433jeff

    I agree about the triple black, or black cars they are just special, Black with white int , i also agree the 383 and 400 are great, but being that there is no substitute for cubic inches, I would probably opt for the great also 440! ( isnt that what you were thinking?) Numbers Shmumbers lets have some fun. Keep your numbers 400 on a stick in the garage, or better yet trade it for a 4 speed tranny, yea now were cookin!

    Like 0
  4. 433jeff

    And loose the hubcaps

    Like 1
  5. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’ve always liked the ’73 Chrysler products because they kept the bumpers from ’71 & ’72, but satisfied the government with 5 mph and 2.5 mph bumpers by putting huge rubber inserts on them, when Ford and GM had huge protruding bumpers front and rear.

    Like 1
  6. Frank

    It not a Huff and Puff Hemi. The high horsepower cars were dead. But for an older car it will catch people’s eyes at shows. You can beat a black car. The upkeep is horrible especially during pollen season. Refreshing to see a vehicle that has not been molested.

    Like 1
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I wonder if a new definition of factory triple black could be:
    Black Interior
    Black Exterior
    Black Wheels

    My 2013 Charger:

    Like 1
  8. Hank Laczmarek

    I bought one of these used in 1977. I was in the Navy and bought it from a dealer. Lovingly cared for by a Filipino Sailor who bought it new. (In their own country buying a car is something that nearly never happens, so they treat them like gems.) The 400 had a carter thermo-quad on it. 9MPG but went like HELL—I had it over 120 on NY Thruway many a time.
    Had I not just bought the wife a 44K Ford SUV, This would be possible.
    Sure would like to get another one in this condition.

    Like 1
  9. Buffalo Bob

    I know I’ll catch it for this but, IMHO, the best looking Charger ever built, right down to the triple opera windows. Swap out the carb for a quad, desmog it & you’ve got an unassuming rocket.

    Like 1
  10. Otto Leslie

    Removed, 13,086, reserve not met

    Like 0

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