Take THIS CAR and put chrome mirrors and chrome bumpers on it, and you have my current 1971 Charger R/T.

I bought this car in July of 1987. At that time it was black, with a black vinyl roof, and a black interior. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was completely wrong.

The current owner was Richard Valentine (Terry). He came to one of our local car club meetings just to see what was going on. I chatted with him, looked the car over quickly, and told him "If you EVER want to sell it, call me FIRST!" I use this line all the time and to this day, he was the only person to actually do it.

I got a pretty good deal on the car because Terry was itching to buy a 4-speed car. One day he calls me up and says he has found a '69 Road Runner, 383 magnum, 4-speed, all original right down to the faded Dark Green Paint (on the decklid only). Terry said he had the guy talked into selling it for $550, AND the owner would get it running! WHAT A BARGAIN!!

Anyways, I went over to Terry's house and looked the car over pretty good. It had some "different" body work, including filling all the body seams and closing the side marker lamps. Terry told me the person who did the body work was in prison for....shall we say....doing body work on cars that he did not have permission to do work on (implying a chop-shop employee).

I started the car and it puffed out some smoke. I thought nothing of it; afterall, what did I know? We jumped in the car, and took it for a test drive.

Slowly cruising through the local neighborhood, the car seemed pretty docile. I asked Terry if I could see how the transmission downshifted. He answered "Sure, it was just rebuilt". I floored the throttle, and it roared to life.

IMAGINE THIS: The trans shifted from third to first at the same split second the four-barrel AFB snapped open. We are going up the street, but facing the houses, and the tires (295-50R-15's) are blazing in all the glory a 3.23 Sure Grip can deliver. I steered into the turn and looked out the windshield just in time to see the local paperboy, on his bicycle, with his jaw dropped. The drivetrain carried the burnout all the way through second gear and gave third a healthy bark. I backed off of the throttle, and the car straightened out.

Once again, I drove like a sane person, trying not to make my rattled nerves too obvious. We arrived safely back at Terry's house and I parked the beast. Terry and I started to talk deal.

He wanted to keep the tires and wheels, and I was agreeable to this. We agreed on $2500. I stopped by the bank (to extend a personal loan I had just paid off) and Terry spent a day rustling up a set of 4 tires that would get me home. The car was mine!

Back then, I simply drove the car. One day, I waxed it and got a second place trophy at the 1988 Spring Fling in Van Nuys, Ca. Yep, that's the nose of this car barely sticking in this picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wasn't expecting any trophies, so I was completely stunned when my friend Tony stopped by and dropped this one off. Woo Hoo!! Now I HAVE go back!!

And those last words are probably the most profetic thing I have ever said. The restoration of this vehicle has taken a lot longer than I had ever expected. I have been working on this car, ON and OFF, for the last 10 years (mostly OFF).

Yes, pictures are needed and I do have LOTS to be scanned.....HONEST!