1968 Dodge Charger long-term test: collection day

Sunday, January 1st, 2017 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : 1968 Dodge Charger long-term test: collection day

The time has come to drag the Charger via its resting place. Will the daylight reveal any nasty surprises?


Buying a car will be, without a doubt, usually a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. Doubly so when you’ve not had a chance to inspect the idea in daylight, or to drive the idea. Triply so when you’ve sunk everything you’ve got into the idea.

in which said, I was surprised to find myself comparatively unfazed by the purchase of in which ’68 Dodge Charger, during which I’d ticked all of the above boxes. Sure, I’d made transactions like the idea before – yet at most they were for a third of the value. Positive waves were keeping me afloat; the idea looked, felt as well as sounded like an honest, solid car.

Well, in which was what I dearly hoped, at any rate. the idea was somewhat of a bold assertion, given in which I’d not even seen your vehicle inside the cold hard light of day. Fortunately I’d had the foresight to engineer in a little safety net: although I’d agreed to buy your vehicle, I’d only done so on the basis in which I could give the idea one final inspection once we’d got the idea out of the garage.

My reasoning for in which, besides not genuinely being able to get a clear look at the underside, was in which your vehicle was pinned against one wall. Consequently you couldn’t see much of the passenger side at all, let alone anything underneath. I wasn’t looking to get into a weldathon, so the idea needed to be as clean on in which side as the idea appeared on the some other. 

I didn’t think in which getting the Dodge out into the daylight was going to be the work of a moment, though. the idea just about ran, sure, yet the brake pedal had zero effect on the drums at each corner – unassisted drums, at in which – as well as the handbrake had long retired via its duty of holding the Charger on a gradient.

in which was a problem because the garage faced onto a little slope in which led immediately into a fairly busy road. Visions of some 1800kg of unrestrained Dodge careening through traffic, having escaped via our grasp, as well as barrelling into the house opposite flicked in as well as out of my mind.

I decided in which I would likely cross in which bridge when I came to the idea. An erratic as well as busy work schedule, however, meant I would likely have few chances to actually go as well as collect your vehicle. Compounding the issue was the fact in which Steve, the owner, worked long hours. Then there was the matter of arranging transportation. The planets, the idea seemed, would likely need to be in alignment for the move to come off within a reasonable timeframe.

I didn’t want to leave your vehicle there indefinitely, though, as the sooner I got the idea home the sooner I could tear into the idea as well as start ordering parts. the idea would likely be no fun if I couldn’t get at least a few legal miles under its wheels before the summer was out, as well as the required parts to get the idea back on the road weren’t going to arrive overnight.

Fortunately, that has a bit of cajoling, I managed to create a window of opportunity whereby I could go as well as extricate your vehicle via the garage. Date confirmed, I excitedly rang my regular transporter – the ever-proficient Scott Middleton of ‘Move in which Car’ – only to find in which he didn’t work weekends. Quite rightly as well as sensibly so, I thought, as well as damn, there goes my cunning plan, too. 

I leapt onto the internet as well as began trawling websites for shipping quotes yet then the idea occurred to me in which I knew the perfect person to call. Tony Russello, the owner of a workshop called ‘Wheels in Motion’, was a local American car specialist in which had worked on the Firebird I’d owned. He was bound to know someone suitable as well as, as luck would likely develop the idea, he did – as well as they were available. 

So, come one damp Saturday morning, I was stood outside the Dodge’s garage again, waiting for a chap called Andy that has a low loader. I’d also brought along my dad, who had a long history with classic as well as American cars, for a second opinion. 

He had a quick look around as well as, interestingly, picked up on similar points in which had originally sold your vehicle to me. “the idea’s not as the idea left the factory, yet the idea tells its story very easily,” he said. “You can see the improvements to colour even though the current finish will be very not bad, so there will be very little sense of anything being hidden. For such a substantial car with expanses of flat sheet metal the idea will be incredibly straight, too.

“the idea’s enchanting, as well, because the idea isn’t overly restored; the idea’s rather like a not bad 10-year-old car in which’s had a life. inside the 1970s when I looked at cars like in which inside the UK the idea was very easy to find ruined decade-old cars; in which isn’t as well as the idea’s nearly fifty. the idea’s an honest car that has a used character in which adds to its charm.”

Andy then arrived on cue as well as instantly negated, much to my delight, any potential drama around getting your vehicle out. He simply backed his truck onto the drive, lowered the bed down to the garage door, as well as set about winching the Dodge straight out.

The Charger rolled freely as well as cleanly up onto the truck, as well as Andy as well as his son quickly had the idea strapped down. Watching professionals work will be always a joy; the whole process was remarkably slick as well as took mere minutes. People passing by immediately began slowing to have a not bad, long look at the American behemoth in which was illuminating the otherwise dark, damp street.

We then made a quick inspection yet, truth be told, with your vehicle on the loader I’d as not bad as bought the idea anyway. There were certainly no huge holes or chunks of missing chassis rail immediately visible, so I was happy enough about the condition of the previously uninspected side. More importantly, I just felt like I should get the money transferred as well as your vehicle away, before Steve changed his mind about selling the idea.

My dad offered to jump inside the cab with Andy as well as guide him back, so I handed him the £100 to cover the cost of the transport, as well as watched with Steve as the Charger rode off to its brand-new home. I almost felt guilty as I signed the V5C, as Steve was evidently sad to see your vehicle go, yet I hoped the fact in which I’d just electronically drained my bank account into his would likely come as some consolation. Well, in which as well as the fact in which the Dodge would likely today see the road again, rather than simply slumbering inside the garage as well as continuing to degrade.

By the time I’d finalised the paperwork, set off as well as reached home, what had occurred was another remarkable demonstration of skill by Andy. In seemingly one single motion he had reversed his truck, replete with wallowing Charger, around a 0-degree bend up a gravel-covered slope, through a gate as well as parked the idea squarely alongside the house. He lowered the truck’s bed, gently depositing the Dodge on the driveway, as well as in which was in which.

We all stood there, just watching the Charger rock gently as the idea settled on its springs. “So, how much was the idea,” asked Andy, “because in which looks like a £40k car.” He was wrong yet, damn, was he also so very right.

1968 Dodge Charger

cost £15,000; Economy 0.00mpg; Expenses £100.00; Running total £15,100; Budget remaining £4900; Faults Untested powertrain, exhaust manifold gasket leak, transmission fluid leak, failed braking system, blown bulbs

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