I originally bought this Charger in the spring of 1979 after my brother wrecked his 1972 Charger. I had liked his car so much that I had to have one of my own. My Charger is VIN WP29M2A196568 and was equipped with a 400 c.i. 2bbl, black split high-back bench seat interior, column automatic, rallye dash, air conditioning, power brakes and steering. It remained all stock except for the Keystone Classics that I installed on it from my brother's car. I also installed a B/M shift kit in the 727 TorqueFlite so it would shift harder.
I kept the car until the fall of 1982 when I traded it in for a 1978 Dodge pickup to haul my horses. In the spring of 1986, my brother saw the old Charger in Nevada, Iowa and asked the owner if he was interested in selling it. He was, and so we went over to his place and did the wheeling and dealing and the next thing I know, I was driving my Charger home again. Not a bad turn around as I traded it in for the price of $1,500 and bought it back for $300!
The body was in need of some repair and paint, but was in good overall shape. I drove it around while I was replacing some small parts like shocks and tires, along with other miscellaneous parts to keep it on the road until I could gather up the finances to finally get it the way it should be.
In the summer of 1987, the Charger met with an accident which started the re-paint project sooner than I expected. I started tearing everything apart and buying replacement parts for the rebuild. After three years of buying parts and making repairs, I started the re-assembly.
The first thing to consider was the paint, as the original color of black with a black vinyl top did not stand out as much as my brother's car had. So I decided to change the color to orange. With the new color applied, I started with a new vinyl top from Year One. Next the chrome trim was re-installed with some new pieces I bought from a source in Ames, Iowa. The bumpers were re-stamped and re-chromed through a local body shop and re-installed. A new headliner and carpet, also from Year One, were installed. The seats were re-installed and finally the car was ready for a test drive.
On June 8, 1991, the Charger was back on the road. A month later, while on a cruise, I noticed the replacement of the vinyl top was going to be necessary. The first one had been improperly installed. There were two pins that held the vinyl down under the trim that I wasn't able to get out. Also at the factory, the vinyl top had been installed prior to installing the windshield and so therefore the glass helped hold the top material. I know how to do it right now. I made sure I got the two pins out and used them and also installed two additional screws to hold it down. Most of the work on the car was done--trial and error--by myself. It is the first paint job I have ever done, as you could tell up-close. And this is probably the last paint job I will tackle on my own!
The Charger now has a 1969 383 engine that the previous owner installed after the original 400 gave out. The car now has more than 160,000 miles on it. I have also replaced the front end bushings and ball joints. This year I am going to replace the leaf springs and bushings.
Rust has been eating away at the front fenders, and as soon as I can find a good pair, I will replace them. I am also looking to replace the Keystone's with Dodge Rallye rims. I would like 15X7 for the front and 15X8 for the rear. And I am in need of a set of wheel opening mouldings.
Click On A Photo To View The Full-Size Version
|MAIN PAGE||SPECIAL FEATURE CARS PAGE||TABLE OF CONTENTS|