While we each have our favorite body style of Mopar, there’s one thing that most of us dream of finding: A Mopar equipped from the factory with a 426 Hemi engine. And while we hear stories that there are no more Hemi cars left to find, this month’s Hidden Treasure gives us hope that there are still some Hemi cars left, sometimes hidden in plain sight.
Although Guy Melita (from an undisclosed location) acquired this ’70 Charger R/T in 2010, he actually found it some 30 years ago as a ten year old living in the same neighborhood as the car’s owner. In fact, the owner of this Charger was a real Mopar lover, and Guy remembers seeing another ’70 Charger, a ’70 Challenger R/T, a ’68 Sport Fury, and a ’63 Fury all parked in his driveway over the years. Being bitten by the Mopar bug, Guy kept up with the neighbor over the years, even after starting his own family and moving to a different neighborhood.
Stopping by over the years to visit and see the cars, Guy noticed them being moved less and less, eventually being covered with tarps and parked. Knowing that the cars and owner were getting older, Guy asked the owner about his favorite, the ’70 Hemi car, and was told one day he was going to fix it up. Sadly, that day never came and the car’s owner passed away in 2009, leaving the estate to his daughter. Knowing Guy had an interest in the cars, the gentleman’s daughter called and said she was willing to sell all but the Hemi car and needed help getting the cars ready to move.
Wanting to assist, Guy helped her sell the other Mopars and wondered what she would do with the Hemi car. Within three weeks, all of the other cars were sold, and after thanking Guy she made him an offer too good to refuse. Since he had been such a help, and a friend of her dad’s, she would let him have the Hemi Charger under two conditions: First, if he ever restored it she would get a ride. Second, if he didn’t restore it or got tired of the Charger it would go back to her since it was her father’s favorite.
Finding a ’70 Charger R/T...
Finding a ’70 Charger R/T is rare, and a four-speed car is even rarer, so how about a Hemi four-speed? Ultra-rare.
Being too good a deal to pass up Guy quickly agreed, especially since he was between kids in college freeing up the funds to restore the car. Showing all indications of being the real deal, with a four-speed and Dana rear end, Guy says his research shows only 28 or so R/T’s were made with this combination. Even more amazing, the car was sitting in plain sight just covered with a tarp in a back yard for more than 30 years.
Planning a full restoration, Guy’s 12 year old son is already asking if the car will be ready by the time he begins driving. We thank Guy for sharing his hidden treasure with us and for introducing another generation of enthusiasts to our hobby of restoring, collecting, driving, and racing Mopars. We also look forward to featuring this car in Mopar Muscle Magazine once the restoration is complete.
After the owner of this Charger...
After the owner of this Charger passed away, his daughter needed help getting his collection of Mopars ready to sell. As a reward, Guy was offered the Hemi car, since he had been a friend of the owner, and promised the car would get a proper restoration.
Inside, this Charger is complete...
Inside, this Charger is complete and in decent shape for its age. Obviously built for speed, this ’70 R/T model was ordered with the Hemi engine, bucket seats, and a four-speed transmission with console.
So far, Guy has cleaned up...
So far, Guy has cleaned up his Charger and plans a full restoration. With two kids graduating from college and four years until his youngest son begins college, the break in tuition costs will fund the restoration. This is a cool story and a great Mopar and it already has Guy’s 12 year old son asking if it will be finished by the time he starts driving. We must admit we’d be pretty jealous if this is his first car!