Big-Block 1968 Dodge Charger Barn Find Is a Rusty Muscle Car That’s Worth the Hassle
It was crashed, fixed with the wrong parts, and then stashed away for decades. Now it’s caught up in an eBay bidding war.
Not all barn finds are recovered just a wash and a wax away from being showstoppers. Most require some extra work, if not lots of it, which isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. So demonstrates the monster of a manual, 383-powered 1968 Dodge Charger listed on eBay, which has ignited a bidding war despite being immobile, rusty, and more than a little crashed.
The seller of said Charger identifies it as one powered by the four-barrel version of Chrysler's 383 cubic-inch (6.3-liter) big-block V8, more important than which is its transmission: A four-speed manual. According to a poster on DodgeCharger forum, only 259 of the four-barrel 383 Chargers made in 1968 were built with this 'box, of which at least one other also became a barn find.
Why such an unusually spec'd car hasn't already crossed the auction block is likely due to its condition, which due to its history isn't great. Per the seller, this Charger's original owner crashed the car in 1970, and rushed whoever repaired it to have it back on the road right away.
As 1968 body parts were apparently back-ordered at the time, this meant compromising and installing components from the 1969 model. In addition to the obvious split 1969 grille, these are said by Hagerty to include 1969 fenders and square marker lights in lieu of the right round ones, though the correct lights can reportedly still be seen in the quarter panels.
It's unclear, however, whether the crash was responsible for the damage to this Charger's frame, specifically its broken right-front torque box, while other parts of the frame are said to "need some work." Rust may be at fault, as corrosion has infected the floorpan, trunk, and many of the lower body panels. Even if the frame were in drivable condition, its 67,000-mile engine isn't. Said to have last run when the car was parked in 1989, it still turns, but apparently won't run due to a pair of sticky exhaust valves.
It's not all bad news, though, as the seller claims the serials on the radiator support and trunk lip match the order sheet, and the engine and transmission match the VIN. Less a diamond in the rough than some loosely crystalized carbon, it may be, but that hasn't stopped potential buyers from bidding this Charger to $17,900 with three days until the hammer drops.
At this rate, it'd be a bigger surprise if this Dodge didn't steamroll the $26,280 Hagerty estimates for a "fair" condition car, and sail straight on into 2021 model territory.
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