Inspecting the Charger, Ryan...
Inspecting the Charger, Ryan found a very clean, 440-equipped '72 Rallye. Though not exactly like his dad's, Ryan thought it would be a great tribute and made an offer.
There is a Mopar that most of us remember from our youth that's the reason we love the hobby of collecting, cruising, or racing a Chrysler vehicle. For some, it's a car they used to own; for others, it's a car they saw cruising around town or doing a burnout from a stoplight, but for Ryan Bjorklund of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, it was the '72 Dodge Charger Rallye that his dad owned when Ryan was just a youngster.
Ryan fondly remembers the sound of the 340 and riding in the rear seat with his sister giggling when his dad would occasionally spin the tires. Though his father traded that Charger for a new Dodge truck in 1977, Ryan always remembered the Charger and wanted to get one just like it once he was old enough to drive.
In the late '80s, Ryan was rummaging through a local salvage yard and actually found his dad's Charger . . . or what was left of it. Though he dreamed of purchasing the car and restoring it, the Charger was basically just a rusted, stripped hulk and would have required more time and money to repair than Ryan had at that point in his life. In the '90s, a new owner "cleaned up" the scrap yard, and the Charger was turned into scrap. Though discouraged that he couldn't restore the car his father owned, Ryan vowed to keep looking until he found another Charger Rallye that was in better shape.
We all dream of owning a car...
We all dream of owning a car similar to one we fondly remember, and that's just what Ryan Bjorklund of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, accomplished when he found this '72 Dodge Charger Rallye.
Working as a technician in a Chrysler dealership, Ryan had ample opportunity to spread the word about his quest. Then one day, Ryan's coworker informed him that he knew where a Charger was sitting, and that it looked like it could be an R/T or Rallye model. Immediately interested, Ryan asked if he could see the car and his coworker said yes, that it was located in a field near his parents' house where it had been parked some ten years before. He then gave Ryan directions and wished him luck as the car's owner wouldn't sell the car because he had plans to "fix it up someday."
Arriving at the car's location, Ryan realized you could drive right by and not see the Charger. Pulling into the driveway, he saw that this was, indeed, a '72 Rallye Charger, and it was optioned with much of the same equipment as his dad's car. Up front, however, badges on the bulge hood claimed 100 additional cubic inches than his dad's 340 had. Quickly checking the VIN, he verified this was a 440 car. Ryan contacted the owner and, after a setback or two, offered him $2,500 for the car. But the owner told Ryan he wouldn't sell it because he planned to fix the car up one day.
Discouraged, Ryan gave the man his phone number, then went home and thought about the car. Four days later, the car's owner called, saying he'd contemplated it, and due to a recent divorce, he would sell Ryan the car. The only problem was he had to get a duplicate title and didn't have the keys. After making arrangements for the title, Ryan sealed the deal and towed his Charger home.
A coworker told Ryan about...
A coworker told Ryan about this Charger sitting in a field. Like many, the owner planned to fix it up one day.
Today, the Charger is stripped to a bare shell while it undergoes a complete restoration. Resisting the temptation to change the color and options so they'd match his dad's car, Ryan decided to restore the car to its original factory condition.
Since the keys were lost, Ryan found a set of keys to his dad's old car and had the lock cylinders coded to those keys. Even cooler, Ryan found the original rallye wheels from his dad's Charger stored in his grandfather's garage attic in like-new condition. The wheels will be installed on his Charger once the restoration is complete.
Ryan says he can't wait to fire up his Charger for the first time, as he's sure it will bring back fond memories of riding in his dad's car. We sure envy that feeling, Ryan, and thank you for sharing your rare find.
This is the car that got Ryan...
This is the car that got Ryan hooked on Mopars-his dad's '72 Charger Rallye with a 340 engine.
After getting his car home,...
After getting his car home, Ryan realized the wheels from his dad's Charger were still in his grandfather's garage. Since they're in like-new condition, they'll now be used on his Charger.
Ryan's car is now disassembled...
Ryan's car is now disassembled and undergoing a complete restoration. While different in several ways from his dad's car, Ryan is sure driving his Charger will bring back good memories.