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Worth Saving? 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440

One of the pitfalls buyers searching for an unrestored second-generation Dodge Charger often face is locating one that’s not plagued with rust, but when you consider the unrelenting desirability these cars have in the marketplace, it’s a rare find that might make me want to question whether or not a car is worth the hassle of saving.  However, this 1968 Dodge Charger R/T here on eBay would at least cause me to think twice or more before deciding to take it on as a project, based on the present corrosion severity.  If you’ve got some strong metal skills plus a lot of time and patience, this one might be worth checking out, but you may want to head down to Orange Park, Florida, to see the Mopar in person first.  So far, bidding has gotten up to $10,500, but that’s still not enough for this one to exchange hands as the reserve has not yet been reached.

Probably the best news we get here is the pedigree, as the number 83 on the fender tag indicates this one came with a 375 horsepower high-performance 440 from the factory, about as good as it gets unless that number happened to be 73 instead.  But things start going downhill quickly, as the numbers-matching engine is long gone, although there is a non-running 1967 date code 440 under the hood now.  The seller does verify that the engine will crank, but he hasn’t checked the transmission to see if it’s original.

The owner is realistic in stating that most of the sheet metal will need to be replaced, with some specific components mentioned including the floors, trunk pan, crossmember, and frame rails.  With the amount of rust underneath, it’s hard to fathom that the lower sections of the body panels haven’t met the same fate, and judging from the photos there’s plenty of corrosion present outside.  With the vinyl top still attached, it’s difficult to evaluate what the roof might look like underneath.  However, from what I can tell, it might not be too bad.

The interior appears to still be mostly original and complete, though I’m not sure what’s up with that blue column.  The seller mentions that the door panels and headliner remain in nice shape, and a build sheet has also been located underneath the rear seat, which appears to be in surprisingly good condition.  I understand the desire to save just about any early Charger, plus I’m partial to the ’68 models because of those cool round lights in the back, but this one is several levels beyond my skill set to resurrect.  Could you see yourself taking on this 1968 Dodge Charger R/T as a project?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo CW Member

    Man…that rear undercarriage is bad…..and I mean BAD. Its practically all rust flake holding that thing together from what I can see from the available photos.

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo Mugen

      That thing is a gonner! Too rusty to save. I wouldn’t give you 10.50 for that basket case!

      Like 7
  2. Avatar photo Al camino

    It said in the Hemmings magazine the other day the average price for a 68 charger is 39k,what’s up with dat?

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Harry

      Valuable? Just a guess

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo stillrunners Member

      The Dukes of crashes…..law of supply and demand. Mopars 5150 is building a lot of these one frame rail at a time…

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Yogibear

      Hagerty Valuation Tools is where it is at.
      For the most part they are saying that a base charger is worth 39k

      Like 2
  3. Avatar photo Money P. i. T

    April fools day right?

    Love the original body design…

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Thomas strong

      Bring it back to life you can do in it mopar is one of the best vehicles made.

      Like 3
  4. Avatar photo justpaul

    I would be concerned that this thing would shake itself to pieces while on the trailer being transported to its new home.

    Like 21
  5. Avatar photo Puddleglum

    Theyre always worth saving.

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo HemiBoy63

      To a certain degree. If you have the cash to do so for your own enjoyment, by all means. But this is a close to basket case resto as I have ever seen. Like I said, what’s one man’s trash is another’s treasure. I wouldn’t pay more than $7500 for it, and the resto would be a street mod not back to original. It would just cost way too much.

      Like 12
      • Avatar photo Dale Darnell

        Most are pretty nice here. I truly don’t think i would pay anything and if i got it for free i would have to think about it

        Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Doc

    If you have money who cares ?
    Thats how the market is these days

    Like 9
  7. Avatar photo DON

    I’ve always been a Mopar fan, but this one is too far gone to be restored – Of course if you have unlimited funds and dont mind an entire car built of aftermarket parts , paying $10,500 ( so far) for this heap of rust is right up your alley.

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Poncho

      That’s $10500 reserve not met (38 bids). That money won’t get the car bought.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Steve R

        No sale with a high bid of $13,900

        Steve R

        Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Joe Gagmo

    Flintsone’s vehicle, anybody ?

    Like 4
  9. Avatar photo Eclectic Collector Member

    This would be a gorgeous car if brought back, but it’s a tall order. At best you’re replacing almost everything and having recently completed a total restoration on a ’69 RT/SE back to factory new condition I can guarantee you’re going to be approaching 200K or more by the time you’re done.
    You really have to want it to take on such a project.
    My personal love is taking cars back to faithful showroom condition, I’m not into restomods, etc. This car is in far worse condition than what we started with on ours and with it not being a numbers matching powerplant the end value suffers if that matters to you. It’s a shame seeing something that was once so beautiful in this state, and I wouldn’t say it’s not restorable, anything is, but as I said at the beginning it’s a very tall financial order. Of all of the cars from the big three car makers that you choose to make a project out of, Mopar parts are going to be the most expensive.

    Like 13
  10. Avatar photo Kendra Member

    Tail stripes help keep the rear quarters attached.

    I hope someone restores it.

    Like 14
  11. Avatar photo St.Michael

    Find a SOLID 4 door CORONET and rechassis it….Thats the way GRAVEYARD CARS does it

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Randall

      AWESOME….. That’s a GREAT idea not too many “rechassis” these cars with 4 door CORONETS. Can YOU tell us if the WHEEL BASE is longer on a 4 door??

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        It is the same, even plymouth wagons are 117″ same as dodge station wagons and 2 doors….plymouths are at 116″ on the 2 doors so there would be an issue with them BUT would it still be cheaper than new floors n frame rails + assembly & installation…GRAVEYARD CARS says yes

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        Check out GRAVEYARD CARS SEASON 17 EPISODE 8,Mark n Doug go to a MOPAR salvage yard and pick up a pretty solid O.S.P 70 SATELLITE chassis. They take it back to the shop to use on the rusted out 70 GeeTeX. Mark goes into detail on how n why they prefer to do it that way instead of piecing it together from new parts…

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo Endre kasko

      Who told you that ?…
      That is not how GYC restores cars
      as a 20+ year bodyman… you can spot a fake, slapjob vs. a restored
      vehicle… If I was MW I would take that as an insult…

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Harry

        Endre, pay no mind to St Mike. He has a history of posting misinformation with odd grammar choices. Best to have fun with it as it’s simply nonsense.

        Randall gets the idea 😂

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        Well you are not Mark Woreman…Graveyard cars posted it, as a matter of fact Mark said he will prolly be going that route on the CHARGER he is building for himself as it is pretty much in the same condition as this one. He even asked people to sent him info on any solid 4 doors that are available as he wants them for the 2 door cars that are too far gone chassis wise to justify the cost of new rails floors etc….call them up and ask them if it’s true go to their past episodes or even their facebook pages. I will look for your post stating what they said and that you were mistaken…pay no attention to harry as he is just as confused on this as you are on this and is still just trying to be relevant in his own mind…lol

        Like 4
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        Hmm there in no RED REPLY on Harry’s comment towards me so that I can have him quote the MISINFORMATION he claims I posted…bout right

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        Season 18 episode 11 “newest one” the one with the 3 amigos doin a 70 R.R and Will explains what the car needs and how they will REFLOOR it as they did on a 70 GeeTeX with a 4 door chassis…

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo St.Michael

        Endre did you watch the episode I mentioned about GRAVEYARD CARS or are you still listening to Harry acc crack ? lol …season 17 epoisode 11 also …remember we are NEVER to old to learn new things

        Like 1
  12. Avatar photo ET

    Found at the bottom of what lake again?

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Jeff

      Only guy dumb enough to save that one is mark Worman of grave yard cars. And if he did save it for you..
      The check you would have to write him would exceed the value of the non numbers matching car.
      This one would have to be for the love of the car only. Nothing monetary to come from it.

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Rustomodrob

    Tin worm never had the chance on this one it seems. More like a dragon started this one from underneath. I thought my “60 Tree” GP frame was bad. Its frame rails behind the front wheels deteriorated on the bottom…about “18 or so inches on the right and the left was a little better, but still crunchy..lol I just got a good solid frame from Frank’s Pontiac Parts in Cali. for a decent price with shipping.

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Big C

    I remember when nobody wanted these things. Obviously, the owners of this were among them.

    Like 6
  15. Avatar photo David Fenkanyn

    Depending on your wallet & ambition, anything is restorable. Unless it’s a passion project, not work the investment. If you’re farming the work out, the cost will exceed 6-figures easily. Due to it’s condition, most viable option is to re-skin it & put a full frame underneath, a la restomod.

    Like 3
  16. Avatar photo Mike H.

    I love the 68 to 70 Chargers, I had one of each back in the day. I’m like a lot of us older muscle car lovers and I wish I knew then what I know now. At 10.5K and it hasn’t reached its reserve yet, I think the price is well past what it’s worth. I mean, just what would you have left of the car usable after you take all the rusted stuff off? Not much from what I see. Whoever buys this one better have some real deep pocks for what comes after they get it home. So good luck to whoever gets this one.

    Like 5
  17. Avatar photo Harry

    This car is long gone. Parts… Namingly the build sheet , VIN and fender tag. Hopefully the trunk tail vin is intact and you bring your rust free roller… I don’t know… Maybe something comes from those items.

    Like 4
  18. Avatar photo J

    Would love to be there when they get this home and the wife sees it, she suddenly realizes she’s married a putts. The car should be saved because once it’s gone it’s gone forever. The price is too much, the fools with money too many.

    Like 2
  19. Avatar photo Kanak Attak

    Make it roll under its own power and drive the wheels 🛞 off of it! Love 💗 the bengal stripes lol 😝

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo Uncle Ed

    It is kind of surprising that nobody is making body shells for these cars. It seems that the crazy prices that they are getting would make it worthwhile. Maybe just not enough potential volume

    Like 4
  21. Avatar photo Nick P

    Everyone is always complaining “its too far gone,” or “you’ll be upside down in this unless you can do it yourself.” Did it ever occur to anyone that the people that are buying these cars are in fact the ones who CAN do it themselves? This is where skilled persons can make a little extra scratch or side cash while enjoying the hobby they love. Additionally, they are saving cars that most of you would think should go to the crusher. Shame. Then they sell to a collector or someone looking for a fun car to own. It keeps us active in our garages with our kids, grandkids, listening to the ball game, or hanging out with friends.

    Like 11
  22. Avatar photo George Mattar

    What’s amazing to me is that people have been restoring muscle cars since the early to mid 80s, maybe not at the level of say Mike Mancini and Mark Worman. And yet, this and many other 68 to 70 Chargers still look this bad. I am pushing 70. In 1982, a new magazine came out called Classic Sixties, miss it terribly. Unlike Hot Rod or Car Craft, it focused on the beginnings of muscle car restoration. Parts suddenly became available from people like Steve Ames. I was trying to buy a then ROTTED OUT 1968 Plymouth GTX in 1984. The guy wanted $1,500. The quarters were gone. No one made anything but cheap China lower patch panels. I found a four door NOS Satellite panel for $900. The seller said I could cut it make it fit the two door body. I passed and bought a better car. 60s cars are very popular today for many reasons. First, they actually were styled and had character unlike today’s horrible looking cookie cutter junk on the road. If you have money, skill and patience, then bid on this car. Otherwise, leave it to a pro. And as mentioned, you will be $200,000 lighter. The original engine is gone. You will never recoup your investment.

    Like 3
  23. Avatar photo 433jeff

    I agree , this is small potatoes for those with experience and talent.

    You take a good case of Packratitis and these Real car guys have Spares they have been saving for 30-40 years.

    An inventory of Grade a real steel vacuum packed and stored in a safe place, ( Few know of “The Bunka”)And useable quality On display.

    In some cases they are young with a mig welder and you can’t stop them , in other cases they have been restoring”Beyond fixable “ since before Ames catalogs or AMD

    Like 2
  24. Avatar photo WaltL

    This ‘ole Mopar gives a whole new meaning to the term “rot box.”

    Like 1
  25. Avatar photo HemiBoy63

    Currently bid at $10,500 and the reserve is not met. What is this guy thinking? $15K? This car is a basket case.

    Like 2
  26. Avatar photo John J Devereux Member

    Well, it’s a $10k vin tag. Throw away 80% of the what you get and spend $150k to get get the parts and build a brand new 1968 Charger. Simple, just time and money.

    Like 1
  27. Avatar photo Rick

    Salt water taffy. Way too far gone…What a shame.

    Like 2
  28. Avatar photo Michael QQ1

    Hope there will be a skilled, motivated, caring and talented person to adopt this poor Charger….

    Like 1
  29. Avatar photo Jim

    Dukes of Hazzard is what made these cars famous They used to be cheap to buy and they destroyed plenty This one is too far gone you would loose 5 pounds of rust just loading it on a trailer

    Like 2
  30. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    $13,900.00 and didn’t sell. When I was 19 I had a 66 Chevelle and I let my best friends girlfriend borrow it and she totaled it out. I got $175.00 from the junkyard for it and told Rose if you give me $75.00 we would be square. That’s how much it would have cost me to buy a car just like this one only all original down to the motor and 0 rust. $250.00!! Can you believe it? It needed a lot of work but I have always enjoyed bringing cars back to life. Unfortunately she flaked on the money she owed me and it took me 6 months to finally get another car. Sadly it wasn’t a 68 charger. But it was a 66 Mercury Comet Caliente. Hipo 289 with a 2/3 speed auto. I have no idea what that tranny is really called but I know there is someone out there who knows. If you put it in drive, it was a 3 spd and if you put it on the green dot it became a 2 spd powerglide. Great car. Only weird thing about it was someone rigged an old Cadillac front seat in it. Was comfortable as hell but still had the Cadillac emblem on it. Was quite fast for what it was. Sure wish I had that one today. Hope someone has the Cojones to put this one back together.

    Like 2
  31. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    Oh yeah. One more thing. The 68 Charger had a center console and a floor shift.

    Like 0

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