Worth Fixing? 1969 Dodge Charger RT/SE 440

Hope springs eternal. That would seem to be the case with this 1969 Dodge Charger RT/SE 440. In its prime, this would have been a pretty awesome classic. Those days are a long way behind it, and it has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. That means that it is decision time. Is this a muscle car that is worth saving, or is it beyond salvation? The Charger is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. It seems that the world is full of optimists because there have been an incredible 28 bids submitted to this point. This has pushed the price along to $3,750, but the reserve hasn’t been met. As if the Charger hasn’t got enough strikes against it, it is also being offered without a title.

The Charger rolled off the production line resplendent in Bright Green with a Black vinyl top. It would have been stunning when it was new, but that was a long time ago. It has been in a private collection for many years and has spent those years sitting outside. That means that it has been exposed to the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it. The results are plain to see because there is rust everywhere. There isn’t a massive amount of healthy steel to be found in this car, to be brutally honest. The floors are toast, as are the rear frame rails. The rear quarter panels will require replacement, as will the rockers. There is also rust present in the lower corners of the doors and in the lower front fenders. From the windshield forward things look encouraging, but is that enough to justify saving this beauty? Most of the glass is present, but most of the trim and chrome is gone. The picture is undoubtedly looking bleak so far.

I’d love to have seen this Charger in its glory days because the interior would have also been quite special. Black trim with bucket seats and a center console would have been a fabulous combination. All that remains today are a badly cracked dash pad, a few minor trim pieces, and a steering column. It is doubtful whether what is left would be salvageable, so the buyer would be starting from scratch here. The story is no better under the car. This was originally equipped with the 375hp version of the 440ci V8, backed by a TorqueFlite transmission. The Charger would have howled through the ¼ mile in 14.3 seconds. Today, it wouldn’t even raise a moan, let alone a howl. The entire drivetrain is gone, so there is no chance that the R/T will ever be a numbers-matching classic again. Of course, replacement components could be sourced, but does the cost justify it?

One of the most significant problems with being so passionate about classic cars is how heartbreaking it is to see a vehicle like this reduced to this state. When it rolled off the Hamtramck line in 1969, nobody could have envisaged that it would wind up looking like this. At that point, it was about to become somebody’s latest-and-greatest new toy. Today, it is a classic that will need a dedicated owner with a thick wallet if it is to be returned to its former glory. If this 1969 Dodge Charger RT/SE 440 was a numbers-matching classic that was fully restored, it would have the potential to threaten a six-figure value. Barring a miracle, it will never be numbers-matching. That raises the question of whether it will be worth rescuing. Would you take it on?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    A Reserve? On this?!? (IMO)This is simply a case of someone seizing the opportunity to post the rusted out hulk that has been residing in the back 40, returning to the earth! Your money would be better spent on finding one in better condition. Optimism is one thing, this is INSANITY!

    Like 49
  2. Howard A Member

    Total BS. I find it hard to believe anyone would bid on this. Got to be a way of fudging the number of bidders, like the “thumbs up” here,,

    Like 298
    • Paolo

      Haha!

      Like 21
    • Howard A Member

      See? Whoever did that, pretty funny, a new record,,

      Like 15
  3. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Does the seller also have some swamp land for sale?

    Like 11
  4. AndyinMA

    Did it run when parked?

    Like 20
  5. Cerno

    It just goes to show you that one mans junk is another mans gold . The first General Lee was found in a personal mans back yard in about the same condition and it was saved so anything is possible. If you can part with the money and wealthy people hate doing that so Joe Dirt might be calling you .

    Like 6
    • Ray L.

      The original General Lee got a 100K + restoration and sold to some crazily rich man. The car had a story the was quite the one to tell. Not the case here. How long did this sit in the back 40 of some junk yard, long forgotten in the brush that grew up around it? Crush it already and make some baby Kias. Nothing like new life. You can’t raise the dead unless you are God, and we a’int him.

      Like 23
      • Boatman Member

        Or Mark Worman.

        Like 8
      • Ray L.

        Mark Worman isn’t God ( the anti christ maybe). All he has is other peoples copious amounts of cash. With enough cash, anything is possible. We built the A Bomb with it. You could clone Bridget Bardot for your viewing pleasure (though I myself would clone Karen Carpenter, she had a nice voice. I really miss her) The real question though, after a certain point, how much spending on the outrageous becomes immoral?

        Like 1
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    A no title pile of rust! You’re buying a couple of spindles with a lot of rusted junk attached to them IMO.

    Like 12
    • Scott

      A VIN tag. That’s what you’re buying I think.

      Like 14
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        But is a vin worth much with no title to go with it?

        Like 11
  7. JudoJohn

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Good luck with the scam!

    Like 9
  8. Vance

    Ashes to ashes, rust to rust, there isn’t a tetnus shot big enough to prevent lockjaw. Put this car in a field and leave it alone.

    Like 7
  9. Arby

    You’re kidding, right?

    Like 2
  10. T

    Where would you start?

    Like 2
  11. mike

    scrap yard would even laugh at this one

    Like 5
  12. JohnfromSC

    But on the positive side, it still has the ORIGINAL master brake cylinder! 😁

    Like 10
    • Pat

      And the cigarette lighter….

      Like 4
    • Bill McCoskey

      JohnfromSC,

      And it’s a non-power brake car, with a 375 hp 440!

      Who would have ordered this new, and be so cheap as to not spend about $30 for the power brake upgrade?

      Like 5
  13. Dean

    Really ?? Scrap it if they’ll even take it!

    Like 2
  14. Steve Bush Member

    WTF! Total POS picked up by Greedy Hillbilly Titus for virtually nothing that somehow people have been desperate /stupid enough to bid to $4250. And it still hasn’t met the reserve! Hard to believe the whole thing isn’t an elaborate joke.

    Like 13
    • Ray L.

      Those are fake bids, probably from his brother Jeb and cousin Ennus. This won’t sell at that price. Even for a fraudulent VIN switch, the price is too high. You guys have really painted yourselves into a corner with the price of these Mopars, you are just asking for fraud. Time to let the bubble burst, and when the dust settles, maybe common sense will come back and this nonsense will be no more.

      Like 31
  15. Dairyman

    It should say:
    For sale, bankruptcy starting kit!

    Like 12
  16. Jeff

    But, But, it only has 11,000 pampered original miles…

    Like 8
  17. Paolo

    Original wiper motor!

    Like 7
    • David Lundquist

      Good enough place to start your rebuild. Just jack it up and start building around it. Probably better than the rest of it.

      Like 1
  18. Arthur

    Adam Clarke wrote: “Would you take it on?”

    Not unless I owned a professional hot rod shop that had a media blasting area, a special jig to hold cars in place for parts installation, and a collection of sheetmetal from AMD and/or Dynacorn.

    In which case, I would be better off giving this car the restomod treatment, especially since the original engine and transmission is long gone. It would be the perfect opportunity to install a Hellcat engine and a Viper transmission.

    Like 1
    • Ray L.

      Or you could just buy a Viper or Hellcat, be cheaper.

      Like 16
  19. Jeffro

    If you have it sandblasted…..there probably won’t be anything left.

    Like 23
  20. B-rad jeepster

    Guys Guys Guys there is nothing left to restore. You would be better off buying all the repop metal and building one from scratch. There isn,t anything left to recycle. Let go back to mother earth and make the rest worth more.

    Like 7
  21. BlackTa

    Looks to me like an older restoration, I can tell because of the rust that’s starting to bubble through.

    Like 8
  22. JoeNYWF64

    It still looks better than most new appliance “cars” today. lol

    Like 2
    • Ray L.

      Not to bad mouth old cars, Lord know I am pretty gosh darn old, but really-new cars are so far superior to the ones I drove back in the sixties. No comparison at all. I love nostalgia, but don’t let it cloud your mind. We are living in the golden age of cars right now, just like it is with TV.

      Like 5
  23. Ed

    Hard to believe that there is even a reserve on this car .

  24. Johnny

    Well their is alot of stupid people out their. I sold a running 6 cylinder 3 speed comaro. Good body with a messed up title for $75 and I was asking $40 for it. The guy asked me what was I asking for it and I told him $40 because of the title being messed up. The he asked me-if I would take $75. I told him I sure would and he paid me $75. People couldn,t believe it. They asked me if the guy was drunk or on drugs and I laughed and told them I didn,t know,but I got $75 and they still laugh.

    Like 2
  25. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    At least we can look forward to the supply of these that are sitting in a field, in a stack at a junkyard, etc, eventually running out, can’t we?

    Like 5
  26. Rick

    I feel that in this case one man’s junk will become another man’s expensive junk.

    Like 4
  27. curt wichman

    AMD sells everything needed to restored the rusted metal. its an R/T SE, finished in a very rare color. It will be restored by somebody. I’ve seen folks pay way more for less.

  28. Russ Ashley

    I like that “it has been in a private collection” for many years. I guess he’s thinning his herd and must get rid of some of his toys. Sorry Folks, I’ve been reading Hemmings and I’m learning how to compose and ad in case I ever want to sell my truck.

  29. Paolo

    What defines “private collection” in this case? A collection of junk to stabilize the bank of the creek down on the flood-prone lower 40?
    I can always appreciate the effort made to rehabilitate the most hopeless derelict anything. There are many personal benefits derived from the reverse engineering and restoration process, The satisfaction of doing “the impossible”, spinning gold from dross, is a powerful thing.
    This would be considered a labor of love. You would go into it knowing that it will challenge your skills, brain power and pocket book. As long as you can accept the idea that you will be spending lots of money and time no matter how you go about this project then you will be fine. The first thing to do is make an honest evaluation of what this job will require. Then double that number.
    At the end you will have gained a real education.

    Or just pass on this and buy one in decent condition and save the time and money.

    I feel bad for having cut up cars in much, much better condition back in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. I haven’t cut up anything in the last 10 years.

    Like 1
  30. Mjf

    Lol, right….

    There is nothing to see here..

    Like 1
  31. Dewey gill

    Does the radio work?

  32. Terry Melvin

    To restore something, first you need something to restore. There’s nothing here but a few pieces that someone might use to restore another car.

    Like 1
  33. John Oliveri

    I think it would fall apart on the forklift on the way into the crusher, it’s toast boys, let it go

    Like 1
  34. Phlathead Phil

    Shame on the parts pervs for “raping” this car.

    Shame, shame shame, I hope they all RUST in h*ll.

  35. Lee

    this must be one of those usta’ cars. Usta’ be a 440, usta’ be an S/E, and in this case usta’ be a charger. Come on now guys, I know we all love old muscle cars but we have to know when to let one go.

    Like 1
  36. DON

    “Private collection” – translation , it has been sitting in a junkyard for about 40 years, was picked over years ago, and then some flipper comes in and offered more money than scrap for it.

    Like 1
  37. DON

    When it rolled off the line, I’m sure the builders would know its time on earth was limited ; very few cars escape the ravages of time . This car has done exactly what it was supposed to do. It was transportation until something took it out , and then it was picked clean to provide other cars with a lease on life. After that it should have been crushed out and recycled . For whatever reason it escaped the last step.

    Like 1
  38. Terry Melvin

    I was just checking, the thing ended auction at $4900, did not meet reserve. If that was my car, I’d take the money and laugh all the way to the bank.

    Like 3
  39. John Oliveri

    It didn’t sell cause it had no bidders, just his relatives and friends, there never was a bidder

    Like 3
  40. Matt Trummer

    Gentleman I found Ben Peterson in the Carolina’s that takes completely unrestorable Mustangs from 64 1/2 to 73. He completely removes all bad and inserts new metal floor to roof. If there is a Mopar metal worker out there, this car is salvageable, but not at the price it’s offered at today for sure.

  41. Matt Trummer

    This poor thing is at $4900 today. Ouch

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