One way to find and buy Mopar muscle cars is to drive one. People will want to get a closer look at your car and, as a conversation-starter, they'll often tell you the location of other hot Mopars.
That's how Rick Campbell of Apple River, Illinois, found his '71 Charger R/T. "When we lived in Madison, Wisconsin, I drove my 1971 GTX to a convenience store. A young man came out to look at my 440 and said, 'Oh, I have a car just about like yours, but it's a '71 Dodge.' "
As the conversation about Mopars went on, Rick discovered the man's R/T could be for sale. They drove directly from the store to have a look at the Charger. It was parked under a tree in the side yard of the house. The odometer topped 160,000 miles and the R/T looked very tired. Rick learned the original owner bought the car new from Petersen Dodge in Ft. Worth, Texas. He owned it until 1986, when he sold it to his nephew who drove it to high school.
It must have become a party car because the trunk decklid looked like somebody had once danced on it. The engine was definitely "soft," which is why the car was parked. The good news was that the car was complete, including a matching number block and TorqueFlite automatic trans.
Rick bought the car and did a complete restoration to stock with one minor exception. He liked the original GA4 Light Gunmetal Metallic color, but wanted a loud color this time. Since the car wasn't a high-dollar Six Pack or Hemi, he didn't figure a color change would hurt the car's value too much. He considered Plum Crazy Metallic and Sassy Grass Green, but nothing, he figured, topped Citronyella-the same GY3 code as "Curious Yellow" by Plymouth. Rick checked the trim charts to make sure Houndstooth interior, stock on this Charger, was available in this High Impact Paint color. It was.
He restored the rest of the car the way the factory built it, which revealed some surprises. Rick has been in the Mopar hobby for decades and this is the first '71 he has ever seen that came without a radio. Why the dealer ordered the car for sale on their lot minus even an AM tuner is very odd.
Hood pins are also an option with the standard hood. It's fitted with simulated scoops that actually can work for evacuation of hood air by leaving off the block-off plate on the underside of the hood. Incidentally, this louvered hood was offered for one year only. "I like that hood," says Campbell. "I get a lot of comments from people who like that as much as the pop up Air Grabber hood."
Rick's hood is standard, but it is dressed up slightly with the optional striping from the cowl extending down the top of the body.
Other options include air conditioning, 14-inch Rallye wheels, power brakes with discs up front, front and rear spoilers, and the AO1 code light package-fender top turn signal indicators, trunk lights, glove box light, ash tray light.
Exposing your Mopar can lead to great deals. That proves that it sure pays to drive your Mopar muscle car. That's how Rick got this '71 Charger R/T.