While visiting his mechanic's shop in Los Angeles, California, Victor Nasol was in the right place at the right time.
There was a car sitting in the corner, and it may not have looked like much to some, but then the mechanic told Richard, "Why don't you go look at that car over there and tell me what you think of it?" Victor was there with his Jeep to get the AC fixed, and was not expecting to see what he did. Unbeknownst to Victor, the night before he was there, another customer had dropped off a '68 Charger R/T. Only the Charger didn't look like an R/T. The badges and stripes were long gone. The paint was almost gone too-it was oxidized so severely.
"My mechanic and I are pretty good friends; he knows I'm interested in these things," says Victor. At the time, Victor had never owned a Mopar musclecar, but he did have a pair of vintage Mustangs. Victor walked over to have a look at the '68 Charger. Since there were no outward appearances of an R/T heritage, and since he is primarily a Mustang aficionado, Victor didn't have the expertise to check codes on the trim plate under the hood. In fact, he never even opened the hood.
He remembers sitting in the mechanic's shop and thinking the car was kind of nice. He asked the mechanic, "Is it a regular Charger?"
"No," the mechanic replied, "it's a 440 Charger."
Victor realized a 440-powered charger was an R/T that is very collectible and quite valuable in the 1968 model year Dodge lineup.
When the mechanic told Victor he should buy the car, he replied, "Well, I'll never be able to afford this car." Then the mechanic came back with, "you might be able to, the guy sold it to me for 500 bucks. I'll sell it to you for 1,000." Instead of buying the car, Victor told his mechanic, "I'll get back to you."
Later that day, he collected his senses. Finding a '68 Dodge Charger that has no structural rust and is basically complete is definitely rare. If you find one for $1,000, that's extremely rare.
According to Victor, "I thought, hey stupid, that's a 440 Charger for 1,000 bucks. It's going to be gone within hours. So I picked up my mad money and went and gave him a deposit."
A few days after buying the car, Victor got another surprise. The owner, who had become disenchanted with the Charger when it needed a new gas tank, sold the same mechanic a left fender, three doors, and two trunk lids for $300. The mechanic passed this deal along to his friend Victor.
What's even more amazing is the 440 engine has been rebuilt. It starts and runs fine. The 727 TorqueFlite has also been rebuilt, according to the mechanic.
There's a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time.
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