1973 Burn Notice Charger - What do you think?

1971 - 1974 Mopars

  1. Montclaire

    Montclaire Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I have the stunt car from the TV show Burn Notice. This is the car that was auctioned off in Coral Gables at the close of the show. It is one of only three surviving screen-used Chargers, and I believe it to be the only big block car (small block originally). The eventual plan is to completely restore the car so that it matches the hero Charger. I am trying to decided what to do with it in the meantime.

    The car currently has a transplanted 440 that barely ran when I got it off the trailer - I drove the car about a block and cut it off. I haven't done a compression test so I can't say if it just needs a good tune, if the valves are bent, or whatever. Any wiring that wasn't needed to run the car was cut and an MSD system was hacked into the harness, which could also be a problem.

    I am hesitant to put any work into the 440 because the Charger, according to the cannon of the show, is supposed to be a small block car. I have a 1989 360 throttle body motor and a small block 727 that I was planning to slip in . I would also retain the factory throttle body setup, a deviation from the show, but closer to the mild mannered and easy starting car depicted through TV magic.

    On one hand, the 440 actually powered the car on film, and on the other, I want the car to sit and drive as it was shown through most of the show, as a more neutrally balanced small block car. If it was more mechanically sound I would drive it with the 440 until I strip it down for resto but it's going to need some decent cash to get it to that point - wiring harness, probably a carb, and a whole bunch of maint items, odds and ends, etc.

    What do you think? If I keep the 440 I will need to eventually upgrade the rear, it's still the factory 8.25 and probably ready to spit out some teeth.
     
  2. mmissile

    mmissile Well-Known Member

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    If you have documentation...myself, I'd do it more for appearance than worry about what drivetrain is in it. Just remember to paint the steering wheel white[lol]. I noticed a few things that didn't look the same during that show about the car from episode/scene to episode/scene. Multiple cars would explain it.

    Good luck, as it's a cool car.
     
  3. Badvert65

    Badvert65 Well-Known Member

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    Unless the fact it had a big block was an important part of its TV 'heritage' (like the Nash Bridges 'Cuda) I wouldn't worry about what engine it had. Just give it the look that makes it the 'Burn Notice' car.
     
  4. ODZKing

    ODZKing Well-Known Member

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    I had some screen shots somewhere that I cant find, of the car. And yes, I always remember there being a white wheel and never understood why.
    I even remember seeing an occasional bucket seat car in a couple shots.
    I believe it is the 4th episode where he resurrects the car from his moms house.
    I believe all the episodes are on Netfilx as well, that is where I got the screen shots from.
    switching it back to a 360 with an 8 1/4 may not be a bad idea. But what ever you do, I doubt anyone will be too critical. They never highlighted the car options as I recall.
    In any case, good luck.
     
  5. snakeyes

    snakeyes FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    • WP29440SE

      WP29440SE Well-Known Member

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      I never noticed how crooked her boobs are lol
       
    • Montclaire

      Montclaire Well-Known Member

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      View attachment 273551

      The one on the left is mine. The car is documented so no issues there, and you guys pretty much echo my thoughts so it will probably get the 360. Early on the cars had probably a parchment interior and then they switched over to the white. I think this was because they just spray bombed them and it was easier to get bright white than to match parchment. The hero and backup cars had a standard dash, column shift. Mine was never intended for close ups or interior shots so it still has a factory rallye dash and auto on the floor. I already have most of the parts to swap the dash over and I do have a skinny three spoke wheel for it, although the back up car did use the fat three spoke that was very common on third gen chargers and what is on the car now. I do have two white buckets that came out of the hero car, probably when they were refreshed going into season 5, I believe. The tailights were also rigged to blow out the lenses with a squib. The hood is cobbled together so that will go on the garage wall and a new one will be made to preserve the original.
       
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      • Habib

        Habib Well-Known Member

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        You wont care when your face is buried in them lol

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        Hey I think I sold your Friend a NOS quarter for that car, He said it was for you?
         
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        • Montclaire

          Montclaire Well-Known Member

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          I don't know, they look pretty even here haha

          View attachment 273601

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          Yes, it will become a franken-fender by the time we are done with it, the goal is to save as much of the original steel as I can.

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          My car is also a florida car since birth and the show got it out of Fort Lauderdale in between season 5 and 6, after the other stunt car got blown up for the season 4 finale. It has some weird rust damage due to the salty air.
           
        • Montclaire

          Montclaire Well-Known Member

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          onset.jpg

          Photo of my car on the sound stage - note the bumperettes poking out from under the car cover.
           
        • moparstuart

          moparstuart Well-Known Member

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          Personally if it was the only BB car run in the show , I would keep it that way makes it stand out from the others . Plus in the long run a car with a 440 in it will be worth more , there is no replacement for Displacement
           
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          • furyus

            furyus Well-Known Member

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            I would leave the 440 since that's how it was used on the show. I think you are over thinking things.
             
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            • Montclaire

              Montclaire Well-Known Member

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              DSCN4468.jpg

              Engine shot
               
            • 1974steve

              1974steve Active Member

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              i say keep the 440! i am in the process of building a tribute version of your car! mine is going to look like the "hero" car (with a couple of trim extras like wheel well moldings and fender mounter turn indicators), but be powered by a mildly modded 440/727. i joke with my friends that it would be the charger micheal westin wished he had! anyways, beautiful car, can wait to see her done! more pics of her (the car, not fi) please! lol
               
            • Montclaire

              Montclaire Well-Known Member

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              You might want to copy the season 1 version which still had the chrome trim along the tops of the doors and the 'boomerangs' on the quarter windows. They obviously started to black out and shave the trim to get the numerous Chargers to look more similar.

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              Season 1 version
              Burn.Notice.1x09.Hard.Bargain-0003.jpg
               
            • Seventy

              Seventy Well-Known Member

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              I never really watched the show, but its a cool car, I would comb through the episodes/internet pictures, etc with a pen and pad in hand making notes, is there ever an open hood shot in the show? If there is I would screen shot that and copy it if there is not, then do what ever you want. Do they specifically say its a 360 or small block in the show? If they do not, I would keep the 440 personally, Ill bet you can rebuild that unit cheaper than buying and rebuilding a 360... AND you can get a 440 to start up nice and behave pretty easily, its actually more expensive to get the opposite, lol...

              good luck and post some pics of that guy up..
               
            • Montclaire

              Montclaire Well-Known Member

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              There is an engine shot, I'll dig it out and post it. They do not specify 318, 340, or 360. The 360 that I have was rebuilt with something like 1200 miles on it when pulled, so it is clean and ready to rock if I decide to go that route. Plus being an 89 I believe that makes it a roller motor. I have to get more pics I have had the car in storage since last March or so.

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              burn.notice.s05e04.hdtv.xvid-fqm-0001.jpg

              Small block, eddie carb, add-on electric fan, and AC
               
            • tommyg29

              tommyg29 Well-Known Member

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              Wow, Ive never seen the show, but Im from Coral Gables, and that marina is where I used to keep my boat!
              Keep the 440!!!
               
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              • Montclaire

                Montclaire Well-Known Member

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                Tommy, you might want to catch it in reruns, because from what I understand the Miami area has changed quite a bit since they started filming in 2007. Much in the way that the world of Miami Vice is gone forever, you could not recreate Burn Notice today if you wanted to. Their soundstages were in the old Coconut Grove convention center which is gone, as well as some of the locations for exterior shots.

                Let me know if you find this one in the scrap yards. It was kept at the Expo center and then junked.
                wrecked1.jpg
                wrecked2.jpg
                 
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                • 1974steve

                  1974steve Active Member

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                  my car didnt come with those trim options, i am just gonna use what it did come with, which was the fender mounted turn indicators, wheel opening trim and drip rail moldings. i'm not looking for an exact tribute or clone of the car, just something reminiscent of it :)
                   
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