Sometimes you search and search, never finding the right Mopar to restore, and sometimes they appear when you least expect it. The latter scenario applied to Tucson, Arizona, resident Paul Lewis as he rode his quad near some family land in rural Benson, Arizona. Taking a dirt road that he'd never been down before, Paul came up on a small group of houses. Noticing the red front end of a '64 Dodge hardtop parked beside a truck behind one of the houses, Paul quickly rode back to tell his father about the Mopar he'd found and his dad went to check it out. Finding the owner outside, Paul and his father spoke with the car's owner for a solid two hours about the car before negotiating a deal.

Though initially the owner claimed the car was "very rough," Paul insisted that he was interested in buying the red Dodge so they kept talking. Learning that the car was now missing its engine and transmission but was an original 426 Street Wedge car equipped with a four-speed, Paul was eager to make an offer and kept listening as the owner described the car. During their conversation, Paul discovered that the current owner had purchased the red on red Dodge in 1964 from its first owner, who only sold it because he wanted a Hemi car. Asking the price, Paul was told to call the owner the next day to make sure he really wanted the car. Though he already knew he wanted the Dodge, he honored the owner's request waiting patiently until the next morning.

After what was surely a sleepless night, Paul called the Dodge's owner and again expressed his interest, quickly agreeing on a price of just $300 for the car. Knowing this was a great deal, Paul had his trailer there by 3 p.m. that day, and hauled the '64 from its resting place of some 40 years. Although the car was disassembled and seemed to be missing some of its trim and interior items, Paul was happy to see that the body was in much better condition than the owner claimed. Although the paint was faded, the panels were straight and rust free. The interior also showed its age, but was generally intact and filled with some of the pieces of the disassembled car. As a bonus, the owner of the car brought Paul a box full of parts and pieces a few weeks later, including the original Hurst shifter, perfect kick panels, and a picture taken in the mid-'60s of his wife and toddler son (who's now in his 40s) posing with the car.

Because of its rarity as a 426 Wedge, four-speed car with only 65,000 original miles, Paul plans a complete restoration of this Dodge and has already acquired a correctly date-coded 413 block for the project. Since he's currently working on his '73 Charger, Paul says this car may have to wait a while, which will give him time to accumulate parts for the refurbishment. As Paul currently works at an automotive restoration shop, we're confident that he won't have any problem making his '64 Dodge rare find look like new again.