Who has time to hunt for Rare Finds? Guys like Aaron Wilkinson from southeast Michigan, that's who. His mother and father warned him about Mopar musclecars, so, naturally, he was attracted to them. "I grew up going to car shows with my dad, and after hearing his stories about fast cars and illegal street racing, I always wished I had been there to experience that time with him," recalls Aaron.
One of those rides was a '73 Charger SE with a 400 and an automatic. It was triple black with mag wheels, but, sadly, it was destroyed in an accident. After that, for some reason, his dad bought a Triumph TR6. Aaron explained, "I, on the other hand, still had a major interest in Mopars. I began to research the Dodge Chargers on the Internet, so I could find one to restore." After months of looking, Aaron had not found a single Mopar. Camaros and Mustangs were everywhere, which is another reason he likes Mopars so well-not everyone and their brother has one.
"I was with my family visiting a friend's cottage north of Grand Rapids one weekend, and I had gone fishing with my dad early in the morning. When we returned, I decided to take a drive through town to see the sights, and maybe look for some old cars," says Aaron. After a half-hour drive on some dirt roads, he was almost ready to head back to the cottage when he saw a pair of Mopars, one red and one blue, sitting along side a house. Aaron tells us, "My heart began to pump fast and my palms became sweaty. Before I knew it, I was pounding on the door." No one was home, and Aaron inspected the cars. He pulled out his decoder book, and both were GTXs. He found the red car was in decent cosmetic shape with only minimal rust. It was a 440 car with a four-speed. The blue car was in much worse shape. Collision damage sculpted the driver-side front fender and rear quarter. It was also missing floorboards. Aaron left a note with his phone number on the front door, and drove back to the cottage. Later, he posted pictures and information about his find at www.dodge-charger.com. Everyone, except his parents, urged him to buy the cars. In fact, his parents would only pay his tuition to Central Michigan on the condition he keep his grades up and not buy any cars. Higher education prevailed, or did it?
School was getting close to starting, but still no call from the GTX owner. Aaron had a plan though. He had been cashing his paychecks rather than depositing them, and he had the phone numbers for some local tow-trucks and storage facilities. Even if he could buy the cars, there was no way he could bring them home. They would have to go into storage. The cars were just an hour's drive from his college in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. "I had my friend stay overnight at the house, and we told my parents we were going to be visiting his grandma the next day, who lived a few hours away. The next morning, we were both very nervous and anxious when we left the house," Aaron recalls.