It's tough owning a '69 Dodge Charger without hearing jokes about the Dukes, but since an orange Charger is probably the single most recognizable car ever, you gotta expect that. The famed General Lee lives on with annual Dukes Fest reunions and syndicated episodes on cable, but the damage the Dukes of Hazzard has inflicted on the general public's view of the potent Mopar B-Body is almost irreversible. Most '69 Charger entries for our PentaSTARS section usually claim zero affiliation with the movie car. But our newest inductee to the Mopar Muscle Young Guns Club-Michael Carter-claims his '69 is homage to the Georgia rebel machine.
Raised on Dukes reruns, Michael was indoctrinated early by his Mopar-loyal father. When it came time for the Prague, Oklahoma, youth to finally claim the keys to a motor vehicle, his dad knew exactly where to turn. The senior Carter had been in contact with a gentleman who owned a '69 Charger. Purchased from the original owner in 1991, the B-Body Dodge sat underneath this gentleman's shade tree since that time. Mr. Carter persistently inquired about the sale of the Charger and always received an unrelenting "no" each time. The second owner had worked a deal with a local bodyman who exchanged his labors for an engine rebuild. As it sat, the body was straight and in a "roller" condition. The Charger required very little bodywork, but was prepped, blocked, and sanded back into shape. The Dodge was painted in factory Hemi Orange and fitted with the factory trim and badges.
The second owner finally gave in to Michael's father and sold him the Charger. Totally complete and turnkey, the interior had never been replaced, still wielding its factory door panels, seats, and headliner. The tried and true 318 still fires up and plugs along with little effort. The small-block plant was rebuilt to ensure its dependability and to provide Michael some hands-on experience in rebuilding his own engine. The 727 TorqueFlite is as seasoned as the 318.
A set of Keystone rims and tires were pilfered off his elder brother's '73 Dodge Challenger.
Now a twenty-year-old, Michael's plans for his Charger include pulling and bagging the tiny terror 318 and replacing it with a 383 or 440 lung.
Michael couldn't resist the temptation, and installed the Dukes horn shortly after purchasing the Charger.
This month's sponsor, The Paddock, is located at 7565 S. SR 109, Knightstown, Indiana, and has been offering hard-to-find restoration parts for American musclecars for over 30 years. striving to supply the best parts and accessories available to help with your restoration project, their Dodge/Plymouth catalog covers '62-76 A-, B-, and E-Bodies, and offers carpet, sheetmetal, weatherstrip, engine, and many more parts and accessories to finish off that restoration.
Call 800/428-4319 or visit paddockparts.com to place your parts and accessories order or to get a free catalog.
The Paddock is aware the Mopar hobby will soon be in the hands of the Young Guns and hopes to encourage these young people to keep the hobby alive and well.
Do You Feel Lucky?
Do you want to see your Mopar here? Do you want to be immortalized as a Mopar Muscle Young Gun? Is your car the nastiest thing on four wheels at your high school or college? Then send in your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Mopar Muscle Young Guns, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Here's all you need to do: Send us some photos of you and your car, a description of your car, what you have done to it, and future plans for it. Make sure to include contact information and current e-mail address. Good luck!