5 affordable Mopar muscle cars and trucks up for grabs right now
Finding any sort of muscle car on a budget is a tall order these days. You need to either be willing to take on a project or be in the right place at the right time. The latest VanDerBrink Auction offers both … and then some. If you’re looking for power of a slightly different kind, there are also some interesting Power Wagons available.
VanDerBrink’s Moser-Droog Collection auction, already underway online, includes muscle cars, trucks, tractors, and trailers from the Moser and Droog family farms located near Mobridge, South Dakota. The auction concludes onsite June 3–4.
“VanDerBrink auctions fly under the radar for a lot of people because they focus more on large estates of vehicles—sometimes sitting outside, unprotected from the elements—which the Mecums and Barrett-Jacksons of the world are likely to pass on,” says Hagerty Price Guide editor Greg Ingold. “So sometimes you’ll find cars at VanDerBrink that are in a desirable configuration and at an affordable price.”
Perhaps one of Harley Moser’s 1970 Mopar muscle machines or the Droog family’s oddball Power Wagons (listed below) is your diamond in the rough?
An award winner at area shows, this gorgeous, numbers-matching 1970 Plymouth GTX (VIN RS23U0G160770) is an older restoration that runs and drives well. Wearing Metallic Green paint with black body stripes and a green vinyl top, the GTX has dog dish hubcaps and a rear spoiler in black. Under the car’s air grabber hood (the original hood is included) is a 375-horsepower, E86-code 440-cubic-inch V-8 engine, which is mated to a D32-code Heavy Duty automatic transmission. Moser replaced the engine’s four-barrel carb with a six-pack setup, but the original intake and four-barrel carb are included in the sale. The odometer shows 16,205 miles, but VanDerBrink warns potential buyers to “assume (that’s) not actual.”
The interior of the GTX includes dark green vinyl bucket seats and matching carpet, a Tic Toc Tach, and a green padded dash, which shows some cracking. There is also a small hole in the headliner. Regardless, VanDerBrink says, “This is a wonderful car and would be a good addition to your collection or as an investment car.” It’s likely that others out there will agree.
Mr. Moser purchased this 1970 Dodge Charger R/T (VIN: XS29U0G196599) about 15 years ago, and he immediately parked it in a garage with plans to work on it. That time never arrived, so you’re looking at a barn-fresh restoration project. Like the GTX, the numbers-matching R/T has its original E86-code, 375-hp, 440 V-8. Unlike the GTX, however, it retains its original four-barrel carb. The Charger last ran eight years ago, and Moser believes “with a little gas (the engine) will fire.” The 440 V-8 is mated to a D21-code four-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter.
The R/T is red with full black vinyl top, and its clean original interior includes black vinyl/cloth bucket seats, red carpet, and a red headliner. Features include AM radio with 8-track tape player, competition Tick tock Tach, and 14-inch wheel rims. The car shows some surface rust in the trunk, which is missing its mat, but if that’s the worst thing you can say about it, perhaps it’s worth a look.
Continuing with the 1970 Mopar muscle theme, this Plymouth Roadrunner (VIN RM23N0G251498) underwent a frame-off restoration some years ago and has won numerous awards since. Restoration photographs are included in the sale.
Under the hood is a non-matching-numbers 440 V-8 (mated to a heavy-duty automatic transmission), which was swapped in to replace the original 383. Painted white with black Traverse stripes and black spoiler, the car has Rallye wheels. Interior features include black vinyl bucket seats and carpet, black headliner, AM radio, and manual windows and locks. The odometer shows 17,888 miles—likely not actual miles.
VanDerBrink claims the Roadrunner “drives as well as it looks,” and when all is said and done, its new owner may find it to be a bargain.
With a rugged reputation born from its predecessor that served during World War II, Dodge’s 3/4-ton, four-wheel-drive Power Wagon was a workhorse, both while serving in the military and civilian life. Decades after WWII, this 1962 Dodge M56 Power Wagon 3/4-ton 4×4 (VIN 2668008252) was fully restored and given an Army Green military paint job.
Among the few (mostly subtle) changes made to the Power Wagon over the years arrived in 1961, when the stalwart 230-cubic-inch flathead six gave way to the 251-cu-in flathead six that was formerly used in medium-duty trucks. That’s the engine that powers this ’62 model, which runs and drives. Showing 24,034 miles, this could be a bargain buy for the military and/or off-road enthusiast.
Pretty much the opposite of the Power Wagon above, this 1952 M43 (VIN 80043696) was once an actual military vehicle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run. The 70-year-old Power Wagon served as an ambulance, but the Army Green paint that it originally wore was later covered in red. Plus, the truck is a project, which means it might come cheap if it doesn’t catch the eye of two or more equally motivated bidders.
The rare Power Wagon ambulance has rear barn doors, seating on both sides in back, and is powered by a 230-cu-in flathead six. The odometer shows 26,977 miles, but it might as well be 226,977. Although the Power Wagon appears mostly original, the 3/4-ton 4×4 will require a lot of work to return to the road in presentable condition. Is that a deal-breaker or a challenge? Depends on the bidder, and the price.