Meanwhile, a car restorer in Easton, Maryland, named Tommy Blades got a chance to work on some vintage Mopar iron. Chuck says he wanted to be involved and was sort of a "go-fer" as Tommy did the body, paint, and reassembly. The two of them worked together and the restoration is just what he had planned. The interior and fresh top skin came together with the help of Carroll Beauchamp at Delmarva Auto Glass in Salisbury. The end result was one that anyone would be proud of.
In reality, even with 2,415 examples built, Charger Rallye 340s are not a dime a dozen. As the prices on their big-inch kin continue to increase, the '72-'74 Chargers have come into their own. They are well-built, comfortable vehicles with the styling that had helped bring the model to prominence (plus that guy Petty was winning a lot of races with them). For Chuck, however, that Charger Rallye was also a way to return to those days when he joined the muscle car craze, even as it wound down in 1973.
'73 Dodge Charger Rallye
Car Owner: Charles Hughes, Cambridge, MD
- Engine: This one is just like new-back in the day. A standard rebuild was done with minor changes like the Edelbrock intake and carb, but for the most part, this was recreated to look right. Tony D'Agostino helped with many NOS pieces to detail the engine, and a proper-looking Mopar service replacement battery rounds it out. A set of Flowmaster mufflers was the only addition to the exhaust system.
- Transmission: Rebuilt 727 TorqueFlite
- Differential: 8 3/4 with 3.55 gear and Sure Grip.
- Horsepower and Performance: The 340 was factory-rated at 245 brake horsepower.
- Suspension: Stock
- Brakes: Rebuilt stock
- Wheels: Factory 14-inch road wheels.
- Rubber: Just like the old days, G70-14 Goodyear raised white letter rubber is on all four corners.
- Body: Chuck admits Tommy spent a lot of time after the disassembly scraping red Georgia clay out of the undercarriage. Once that was done, Blades Enterprises in Easton did the final prep. Carroll Beauchamp did the vinyl top. Options on the body included painted outside mirrors, exhaust tips, fender-mounted turn signals, and hoodpins on the "blistered" hood.
- Paint: Tommy Blades also did the spray using a deep DuPont Chromabase color computer-matched to the GB5 Blue OE tint and organisol paint for the hood.
- Interior: Carroll Beauchamp redid the seats and interior; pieces came from Just Dashes and Legendary. Like the car Chuck ordered back in the day, this Charger was factory equipped with the Tuff wheel, in-dash tach, AC and console-mounted Slap-Stik shifter. If you bought a Rallye, you also got that cool 150-mph speedo on early order '73s.
Best Performance: Big smiles and several show awards.
Special Thanks: Tony's Parts, Harrington, DE; Tommy Blades, Easton MD; Carroll Beauchamp, Salisbury, MD; Charlie McMahan, Cambridge, MD; Tommy White of Aloha Automotive; and many vendors at Carlisle.