This is my Charger that I bought in April of 1991 and have since restored.
About this Mopar:
Hello B-Body fans! Cruiser here, with my initial post on your forum. Like many of you, my first (non female) love was a 1969 Dodge Charger. As a kid, I remember seeing a sinister fin and wing passing through the parking lot of the Target store near my home in Minneapolis. Turns out it was the wing of a 1969 Charger Daytona, and I remember standing there in awe with my 16 year old mouth dangling wide open. I decided then and there that one day I would own the most beautiful car ever built - the 1969 Dodge Charger. Fast forward to 1991. My wife and I were vacationing in Boston, and I asked her if we could make a quick trip to Standish ME to see a Charger for sale in a barnyard there. She agreed, and there I met my Charger. It was the farthest gone 69 Charger I'd ever seen, but it was an original RT/SE and un-rusted. I made an offer later that week, and soon I was on the plane to drive her home. The car was drivable except for two small items - it wouldn't go, and it wouldn't stop. The car wouldn't idle below 1500 rpm, causing the engine to quit all the time. And the front rotors were so rusted that the car came to a shuddering stop every time I hit the brakes. It took me three long days, but she somehow made the drive from Maine to Minnesota, and as I pulled into my driveway I whispered a prayer: "Thank you, God. I'll take it from here". I spent the next three years "de-junking" my Charger, pulling off all the wrong stuff and slowly finding and fitting the correct factory parts. The original motor and tranny were long gone, and the car came with a 1968 440 engine with 1971 heads, and a 1968 Torqueflite trans. I found a correct 1969 E Series 440 HP motor at a junkyard in Bismarck ND, and a correct 1969 A-727-B auto tranny in Hayes KS. So although the engine and transmission are correct for my car, they are not the "numbers matching" original drive train components. I had it all shipped here and rebuilt the entire drive train with the right stuff. In the fall of 1994, I disassembled the car in my garage and sent it to John's Body Shop in Nicollet MN. There, they cut out the bondo filled quarters and welded in new ones. The entire unibody shell was taken down to bare metal and remanufactured. Once the car was in primer, I had to make the following decision: Do I restore the car that I have, or do I restore the car that I always wanted had I been able to order it new in 1968? My car was originally F3 Light Green Metallic with a green vinyl roof and a green interior. If you look closely at the photo of the unibody shell, you can see a small patch of the original F3 factory paint beneath the tail light openings. Somehow this didn't get painted over during the car's three repaint jobs. Since I'd have to look at it for the rest of my life, I decided on the color scheme that I always wanted: Q4 Light Turquoise Metallic with a white vinyl roof, transverse tail stripe, and interior. I also added some factory options that I would have ordered back in the day, had I purchased it new. I call my restoration job a stock resto-mod, if that makes any sense. Here is the car's option list: The options marked with an asterisk are factory original. RT and SE packages*, power front disc brakes (Kelsey-Hayes dual caliper)*, console shifted automatic transmission*, power steering*, power windows*, left and right head restraints, the six way adjustable seat, the Sure Grip 3.23 rear axle*, tinted glass all around*, the left remote control chrome mirror*, air conditioning*, the rear defogger, three speed windshield wipers*, the locking gas cap, undercoating with the hood insulation pad*, the Tic-Toc-Tach*, cruise control, the AM/8-Track radio with three speaker dash* and a rear speaker, and the white bumblebee stripe that came as part of the RT package. Everything else I restored factory stock - with a few exceptions. I mounted a set of American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels, I changed the a/c compressor to a rotary compressor with R-134a refrigerant, and I installed an electronic ignition system. I also removed the factory transmission floor shifter and replaced it with a Duncan Engineering Shift-R-Arm pistol grip auto shifter. I didn't like the look of the plastic shifter grips, so I sent them to my gunsmith who made me a set of real solid walnut wood grips contoured exactly like the original plastic ones (see photos of the walnut shifter grip below). I couldn't be happier with the results, and to this day still enjoy driving he car. Being a big fan of Richard Petty, I had him sign my driver's sun shade. Unfortunately, his pen ran out of ink after his first name, so he did it a second time - resulting in the only double autograph of Richard Petty that I've ever seen (see last photo). I love the turquoise color scheme and get many approving comments on it. Please feel free to post your comments and questions. Thanks and be well!
Be safe, Godspeed.