Hint: It pays to go to garage sales. Just ask Chris Findlay. His wife found a used sewing machine at one, but it wouldn't fit in her car. So Chris drove over with his pickup truck to transport the sewing machine home. Except when he got there, he saw an old Dodge under a tree next to the driveway. Was it for sale?
"Maybe," the owner said. You know about ladies at garage sales, they put prices on everything.
Although the car was a factory R/T, nobody would know from a distance. The original A4 code light gunmetal metallic paint with black stripes was covered by a cheapo red paint job. The floorboards weren't too good, but the matching number 383, backed by a 727 and an 8 3/4 rear, all factory stock, except for the dual-snorkel air cleaner, made it all worth it. The VIN-JS23N1B-verified the car as a real 383 R/T.
In an e-mail to us, Chris wrote, "See the plastic flares on the quarter-panel? Yep, it's an R/T. Not visible are the V6X black longitudinal R/T stripe and V1X black vinyl top, along with an M91 luggage rack. Other exterior goodies include a J54 sport hood, J45 hood pins, M26 wheel opening trim, and N42 dual chrome exhaust tips. Under the hood is the 300hp 383 Magnum with a column-shifted 727 and 3.23 open geared 8 3/4 rear. It has power disc brakes, power steering, and 14-inch Rallye wheels. The interior has the N8 rally dash, C55/H5XX black-and-white-plaid cloth bucket seats, a R26 AM radio with a floor-mounted stereo cassette player, and a three-speaker dash."
All Chris needed was a price. Chris asked the lady's husband Mike, "Well, what have you got to have for it?" thinking back to the Mopar Nats, Mike remembered seeing worse rolling chassis' for three to four grand. "Well, I'll take fifteen for it," was his reply. Chris thought about it, and finally agreed.
Chris learned Mike had bought the car from a used car lot in 1976. Mileage was correct at 76,000. The engine turns over, but won't run because there's a hole in the gas tank. Chris tells us the carburetor needs rebuilt, so he's not firing it up until after the rebuild.
We began to wonder how his wife felt. Let's face it, he did go there to pick up a sewing machine. Her response, "You've got too many cars already." Chris explained to her that the Challenger was a screaming deal.
His goal is to have the R/T ready for the 2006 Mopar Nats.
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