Banged-up big-block Charger barn find is ready for a new lease on life
This eBay listing for a 1968 Charger “barn find” had us scratching our heads for a second. The picture showed a Charger, and we certainly couldn’t dispute that it looked like it was parked in a barn, but the grille was definitely from a ’69 model. It turns out the listing is correct, but this hunk of Mopar Muscle has led an interesting life.
Despite being a barn find, this is far from a storybook tale of a well-preserved car that was driven into storage and forgotten. According to the seller’s best information, the car was involved in an accident around 1970 and, since the proper 1968 grille wasn’t in stock, a 1969 grille was installed so the car could get back on the road in a timely manner. It also looks like it got ’69 Charger fenders as well, as the characteristic round marker lights seen on the entire Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth lineup in ’68 was replaced with the rectangular version used in ’69. The ’68 marker light is still intact in the quarter panels, however.
There are a lot of photos in the listing, and the seller didn’t seem to shy away from highlighting the problem areas of the car, with rusty lower quarter panels definitely among the worst spots. There’s also the peeling vinyl top, the missing rear seats, rusty floorboards, and a rusted and cracked torque box—an important structural member of the unibody.
Now, with all of the bad news behind us, this is still a ’68 Charger. Few muscle cars can match the sleek, Coke-bottle styling of the 1968–70 Charger. On top of it, this one has a high-performance 383 big-block and a four-speed too, and they seem to be original to the car, so it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s also got a build sheet listing some desirable performance options, including the Sure-Grip differential.
A 1968 Charger in no. 4 (Fair) condition with the 330-hp 383 V-8 and four-speed is worth $26,280, according to our valuation tool, but this car is far from “Fair.” More than just a bit rough around the edges, it will require plenty of labor on the interior and bodywork, not to mention the structural repair needed on the front torque box. And then there’s the rust. Luckily, Chargers are popular enough that repair panels are readily available. Not to say that makes things easy. This car has a long restoration ahead of it.
Most importantly, however, the car has bidders. The price has crested $15,000 with seven days to go in the auction, although the reserve hasn’t yet been met. Hopefully, those bidders include a Mopar fanatic with the means to get this boulevard bruiser back to chewing up asphalt where it belongs.