The story of the car goes.....
I've been a massive Charger fan for as long as I remember but mainly 2nd generation ones as I also own a 1969 Charger. In July 2015, a good friend had a beautiful Hemi Orange 1971 Super Bee replica with a 440 4 speed and he offered it to me for a screaming deal. That's when the 3rd generation Charger bug bit me hard.... I instantly became obsessed with the car, I had to have it. I worked every night writing articles for the Mopar magazine I write for, anything to get extra money to buy the car. To get a good portion of the money, I worked a deal with another good friend to sell my 1973 Duster to him as he's wanted it for years. I had a good portion of it together when I got a message from him back in April of this year; he sold the car. It turns out he offered the car to another friend of his back in 2012 or so for the same price. His friend never said much about it and then out of the blue, showed up at his door with the cash and wanted it, so he honored his word and sold it. I was a bit heart broken but understood. However, the bug still had me good. I instantly starting searching for another 1971 Charger. Craigslist, Kijiji, you name it. I started looking for an equivalent car when I had a bit of a brain storm. Instead of dropping all of this money on a finished car at this point in the game, why not find a project car for a lot cheaper. I figured I'd buy myself a '71 Charger project to work on to cure the itch and then put the rest of the money into my '69 as I've owned it since 1998 and it's still a project. I decided I wanted either a R/T or Super Bee and wouldn't settle for any less. I remembered a Plum Crazy R/T project that was for sale a month or so before not too far away from me. I looked into it and found out it had sold. Darn. Then I remembered a buddy had a F8 Green '71 R/T project in storage so I shot him a message. He didn't want to sell. Another dead end. Then I decided to message a friend of mine in Alberta. Knowing he had a very vast collection of Mopars, I figured he might know where I could find a '71 R/T or Bee. He messaged me back a few days later and told me he had two Chargers he might sell. One being a white 383 4 speed 500 model shell and the other being a R/T. Instantly interested in the R/T, I asked more about it. The more he told me, the more I wanted it. After dealing on the car for a few months and having him send me 6 or 7 pictures, I made the 12 hour trek out to this place and picked up the car at the end of July. I'm over the moon excited about this one. It's such a cool feeling saying you own not one, but two Chargers.....especially at the age of 23!
It's an early production car sold new at Crosstown Motors in Edmonton, Alberta. Originally GY3 Citron Yella, it came equipped with a black interior, black vinyl top and black stripes. Console shift automatic. It's coded as a dealer demo car. Story goes that it was wrecked on the driver side sometime in 1972 (I'm thinking by the dealership) as I've been told the first actual owner purchased it wrecked in 1972 or 1973. There is evidence the driver side door skin has been replaced and quarter skin has been repaired. He repainted it B7 Blue and big Appliance mag wheels were installed. The original seats were recovered in a funky cloth material- black with blue inserts. It was definitely the definition of '70s and '80s customization. The original 440 is long gone (trying to track it down) but sitting between the fenders is a '69 date coded 440. The transmission and 8 3/4 rear end are the original parts. I have the fender tag and managed to recover most of the buildsheet from the back seat.
My friend I purchased it from saw this car driving around all the time when he was a kid. The owner would stop and talk to him about the car when he was out riding his BMX. He became attached to the car and one day when it vanished, he always wondered after that where it went. The image of the shiny blue R/T was always in his head. Early last year, he found a banged up blue '71 R/T while out for a drive one day. He stopped and asked about it and found out the guy selling it happened to be the son of the original owner. He had passed away and left his son the car. The son didn't want it so he was selling it. He had just put it in the front yard with a for sale sign. Not too long after he put it out in the front yard, someone came by and smashed the passenger side and back windows out. My friend bought it right away and took it home. When he got home, he couldn't stop looking at it- he knew he recognized it somewhere from the wheels. That's when he realized it was the same car from his childhood, just in a lot worse shape than when he saw it last.
The car itself needs some decent sheet metal rust repair. The lower quarters and rocker panels are hooped. The doors need lower metal repair but thankfully the R/T gills are in good shape. The passenger fender will be replaced but the driver's side is useable. For some reason, the car has 1972 hideaway grilles in it even though it's coded for hideaways from the factory. When I cleaned the car out, I discovered a flawless trunk floor and interior floor pans (with the exception of a small rust hole on the driver's front pan). The frame rails and torsion bar cross member are mint- they are the cleanest I have seen. My plans are to restore it back to it's original equipped form. I've decided since it's not the original 440, I will have some fun and add some go-fast goodies but otherwise everything will return to stock.