1970 DODGE Charger 500View vehicle description
07/10/20 *** RESERVE LOWERED ***
NOTE: The vendor has sourced 12 photos from a previous owner. These photos were taken post-restoration. They show the excellent state of the paintwork prior to its wrap.
In the 1960s, the free-thinking spirit of the newly car-buying ‘baby boomers’ led car manufacturers the world over to reassess their offer to appeal more to a new generation of fun-loving customers. Many US firms did this by creating speed-styled performance models based on a more ordinary compact or mid-sized four-door sedan. The fastback Plymouth Barracuda came first, based on their sedate-looking Valiant, followed by Ford’s Mustang which shared the underpinnings of their Falcon.
At Dodge they opted to build such a car based on a larger model, the Coronet, and pitch it slightly above the Barracuda and Mustang. Initially at launch in 1966 it wasn’t intended to be a muscle car - although you could specify the Chrysler 7.0-litre Hemi V8 - but more of a personal luxury motor. One of the most notable features on the Charger was the full-width ‘electric shaver’ front grille with its headlights hidden behind rotating doors and a full-width tail light unit framing the CHARGER script.
The more meaningful-looking second generation model caught the attention of Hollywood when in 1968 a black Charger R/T (Road and Track) famously did battle through the streets of San Francisco with Steve McQueen’s Mustang GT in Bullitt. On the small screen a decade later the Dukes of Hazzard further popularised the ‘69 model-year Charger with their orange-painted ‘General Lee’.
After a couple of limited run NASCAR-inspired variants including the Daytona, which had a pointed nose cone and high rear wing, the second generation signed off in 1970 with a facelift - like the one you see for sale here - adding a chrome front bumper which wrapped right around the grille and electric power to the headlamp doors replacing the sometimes troublesome vacuum power of the earlier Chargers.
This particular Charger 500 is an example of the hugely popular second generation and was built in March 1970 at Chrysler’s St Louis Assembly Plant in Fenton, Missouri. It had the 383 cu-in (6.27-litre) V8 with the double-barrel carburetor which at build produced 390 lb.ft of torque and 290 gross horsepower (measured at the engine flywheel prior to being fitted into a car) which would likely have been down in the low 200s in road use.
The original colour ex-factory was Light Green metallic with a green vinyl roof and it was built to go into Dodge’s sales bank, available on demand to any dealer, anywhere in the US rather than being ordered and specified by a customer.
It is understood that this car spent the early part of its life in California before being shipped to Spain where it was kept for the majority of the time up until May 2004 when it was imported and registered in the UK by Alan Carrington Classic Cars of Kent. It had over £17,000 spent on it to return it to a show condition and the carburetor was upgraded at that time to a four-barrel Holley 750 carb with an Edelbrock high rise inlet manifold. In June the following year it won the “Best in Show” award at the Belgian Mopar Nationals in Antwerp.
Having passed through five further owners in the UK, including two who owned it for several years each, it is now back on the market and looking for a new home. The odometer reads 06901 but MOT records indicate that this car ticked over the 100,000 miles in 2009.
On the Outside
NOTE 07/10/20: The vendor has sourced 12 photos from a previous owner. These photos were taken post-restoration. They show the excellent state of the paintwork prior to its wrap.
Although resprayed in its original Light Green metallic in 2004 when first imported and still sporting its dark green vinyl roof, the lower body was cosmetically wrapped a couple of years ago in matt mid green with a Charger 500 tail stripe and skull and crossed lightning bonnet decal. There are a few scuffs on the wrap here and there but nothing which detracts from the overall look.
Clearly we cannot be sure of the condition of the exterior paintwork underneath the vinyl wrap but all we can find are a few tiny bubbles showing by one of the wheel arches which could be the beginnings of rust. Everything else is smooth and consistent (and experienced vehicle wrappers will tell you that any ripples and other imperfections in bodywork are visually amplified underneath a wrap). The wrap appears done to a high standard, please feel free to have any professional inspection to gain confidence in the bodywork. The vinyl roof shows in a good overall condition with a couple of bumps above the windscreen. There are plenty of glimpses of the actual body colour in the door shuts and the paintwork there is in great condition.
The chromed brightwork around the car appears in good order, with very little pitting or scratching. The often troublesome headlamp doors seem to operate well. The windscreen has some signs of mastic application.
The evocative American Racing Equipment Torq-Thrust 15-inch performance alloy wheels all present well and are fitted with BF Goodrich Radial T/As with white painted lettering.
On the Inside
The interior appears largely unmolested and original-looking with the green vinyl bucket seats and other beautifully detailed upholstery showing in a good condition without undue wear or damage, save for a small tear on the driver seat back seam. Here and there around the steering column and instrument panel, some of the original paintwork remains showing age-appropriate patina.
The four-spoke Grant GT Rally leather-trimmed steering wheel isn’t original but doesn’t look incongruous and gives the driver a better grip on the power of the Charger than the large thin-rimmed wheel which would have come with the car.
The instruments are recessed into the black vinyl dash and all are reportedly functional. The centre console is trimmed in a light wooden veneer, edged in chrome and the automatic gear selector is fitted with a knob in matching timber. A modern CD radio bluetooth stereo, fitted five years ago as shown in the document gallery, is neatly installed into the centre armrest cubby so as not to spoil the period look up front.
The factory fitted air conditioning is reported to work by a previous owner, but in the current climate we are unable to test it
The carpets look original and are largely intact, with just the typical wear and tear under the driver’s feet and have protective Charger overmats. The headlining looks original too; bearing the crackling patina of its age.
Under the bonnet (or hood if you prefer), the crackle finish on the airbox and oil filler cap is starting to peel away, but otherwise the engine bay presents in a clean and looked-after condition. Hoses and leads look in good order, the radiator appears renewed and there is little needing to be done with no signs of corrosion aside from a little surface rust starting to take hold under the bonnet lid lip.
The undersides look to be in a sound condition with light surface rust on some of the chassis structures and steering and suspension components. The wheel arches and underbody have good coverage of underseal and appear intact and undamaged. The exhaust downpipes are steel and show surface rust but the twin centre pipes and rear sections are in stainless steel and present in good order. There is slight corrosion to the body seam under the rear right hand side sill.
Inside the boot (trunk) the carpets and linings are clean and intact, as is the floor underneath, and there is a full-size spare wheel with unused BF Goodrich rubber fitted. It also comes with a fire extinguisher and jack. There is a very small area of paint bubbling up in the corner of the boot shut but this shouldn’t be a major issue if caught soon.
There is some documentary history with the car, particularly from its time in the UK, showing almost annual MOT checks with just the one failure. Of special note is the Chrysler Production Broadcast sheet which was found behind the rear seats (as was Chrysler’s habit), to have this retained with the car after so long is quite exceptional. There are also dockets from Dyno testing in 2008 and a number of invoices for self-servicing parts, maintenance and repairs up until five years ago:-
Apr 2015 - Gearbox rebuild and oil cooler - AC Automotive, London
Mar 2015 - Sony stereo installation - Whitton Car Audio, Middlesex
Feb 2015 - Headlamp door refurb and other minor works - AC Automotive, London
Oct 2010 - fuel pump, plugs - US Automotive, Bedford
Mar 2010 - oil & filter - US Automotive, Bedford
Dec 2009 - hoses, radiator cap - US Automotive, Bedford
Nov 2009 - oil & filter, HT leads, shocks, distributor, plugs, belts - US Automotive, Bedford
Sep 2009 - ball joints - US Automotive, Bedford
Aug 2009 - ball joint, tie rod ends, brake pads - US Automotive, Bedford
Nov 2008 - New carb jets, rolling road dyno test - SPC Horsham
Jul 2008 - Custom stainless exhaust, new engine mounts - Alan Carrington, Kent
Jan 2007 - HT leads, steering parts and sun visor trim - Year One, Georgia US
Restoration work done in preparation for sale after import to UK - Alan Carrington, Kent:-
Feb 2005 - replacement radiator - Reliable Rads, Kent
Sep 2004 - new 4-barrel Holley carburetor - Real Steel Parts, Uxbridge
Jul 2004 - Torque-thrust alloy wheels and tyre - North Hants Tyres, Hampshire
Jul 2004 - crackle finish cam covers and airbox - Classic Cars of Kent
Jul 2004 - rechroming bumpers, overriders, filler cap - NIC Ongar Plating, Essex
Jul 2004 - prepping & stripping chromed parts - CC Restorations, Kent
Jul 2004 - ignition parts, plugs, oil and air filter - Frost Auto Parts, Northants
Jun 2004 - New trunk (boot) floor welded - AR Smith, Kent
May 2004 - number plates - Jepsons, London
May 2004 - Gearbox parts - Crewe Classic Transmissions, Crewe
Other works during restoration are outlined in the Carrington sale particulars document although there are no invoices which relate to them.
The rolling road tests in 2008 suggest that the motor was delivering approximately 224 horsepower and around 310 lb.ft of torque. Not many have escaped then! And on our test drive, it drove well (but a complete contrast to the 1962 Mini we drove alongside!), made some fantastic exhaust noise and turned many heads.
The car’s most recent MOT expired in January 2019 and although exempt by virtue of its age, we would strongly encourage the new owner to have it tested at the earliest opportunity. The cost of an MOT is a small investment when offset against the purchase and upkeep of any classic car, and it gives an independent, third-party assessment of the car’s condition, which not only provides reassurance to the owner and any subsequent purchasers but is also invaluable in the event of a bump when negotiating with the police and any interested insurance companies.
What We Think
Whilst the matt wrap finish won’t be to everyone’s taste, this is still a fabulous looking muscle car which was given a new lease of life and an upgrade around 15 years ago and still runs and drives brilliantly with a gorgeously throaty V8 soundtrack.
This is a solid and reliable hunk of iconic American performance muscle, and we think it will sell for between £31,000 and £45,000. As ever, the reserve is set lower so give it your best bid and you might find yourself the owner of a great alternative to the more obvious Mustangs.
The colour choice will be up to the new owner, both greens, the light metallic paint and the dark matt wrap, are suitably period and compliment the shape well.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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