World's Finest 1970 Dodge Charger R/T 426 HEMI 4 Speed
- 426 Hemi V8
- 4-speed manual transmission
- 100% numbers matching
- Overall Galen grade: 1.1
- Extensive documentation
- Highly optioned
- Recent restoration
As you might imagine, it takes a very special car to amaze us here at RK Motors Charlotte. As the retailer of more Hemi cars worldwide since 2007 than any five guys added together, we've seen some pretty amazing machinery come through our doors. But few cars can compare with this spectacular 100% matching-numbers 1970 Charger R/T Hemi, which is one of only 56 Hemi Chargers built that year, sporting a 1-of-1 color combination on top of being the only Hemi Charger ever built with the Performance hood with engine call-out. We also believe this is the most heavily optioned 1970 Dodge Charger R/T Hemi in existence. This Charger is so amazing that it received a rating of 1.1 from Galen Govier. Oh, did we mention the science fiction level documentation, the complete ownership history from new and one of the best stories we've ever seen attached to a Mopar muscle car? Make no bones about it-this is the ultimate, no excuses Hemi Charger. If you are a 68-70 Dodge Charger fan like we are, this is THE Hemi to own if you're serious about having the absolute best.
Our story begins in California in 1968, where a young lad of 13 by the name of Wayne Gagosian landed a job washing dishes with the intent of saving enough money to purchase a Hemi Charger when he was old enough to drive. The Gagosian family lived very close to Carl Berger Dodge in San Diego, CA and Wayne had grown up watching the Dodge muscle cars roll into the dealership, sparking his fascination with the Dodge Charger R/T Hemi. Two years later, at the age of fifteen, Wayne had amassed more than $5,500.00 in his Hemi war chest. Unfortunately for Wayne (and fortunately for us, 42 years later), the clock was ticking after news arrived that Dodge was redesigning the Charger for 1971. If Wayne were going to get the Charger he wanted, it would have to be a 1970 model. So off he ran to Carl Berger Dodge and after he stopped checking off options, the final price tallied $6,100.00!
Check out the breakdown of the original fender tag on this R/T, which is backed up by the original Chrysler Corporation Broadcast Sheet and the original Window Sticker from Carl Berger Dodge:
* Dodge Charger
* Special, R/T
* 2-Door Sports Hardtop
* R0G: 426 HEMI 425 horsepower 2x4 barrel 8 cylinders
* St. Louis, MO, USA
* 223755: Sequence number
* E74: 426 Hemi 2x4 barrel V8 425hp
* D21: 4-Speed Manual Transmission
* FY1: Top Banana Exterior Color
* C6XA: Trim - Charger, Vinyl Bucket Seats, Charcoal/Black
* TX9: Black Int. Door Frames
* 512: Build Date: May 12
* 139446: Order number
* V1X: Full Vinyl Top, Black
* A01: Light Package
* A33: Track Pak w/3.54 ratio
* B51: Power Brakes
* C21: Center Front Seat Cushion
* C55: Bucket Seats
* G36: OS Dual Racing Mirrors
* J25: 3-Speed Wipers
* J45: Hood Tie-Down Pins
* L31: Hood/Fender Mounted Turn Signals
* M21: Roof drip rail moldings
* M25: Wide sill moldings
* M31: Belt Moldings
* N85: Tachometer
* N95: Emissions Control
* P31: Power Windows
* R22: AM Radio with 8-Track (10 Watts)
* V24: Performance hood paint treatment with engine callout
* V6X: Longitudinal Stripes, Black
* 26: 26 inch Radiator
* END: End of Sales Codes
In May of 1970, this incredible Charger arrived in San Diego, but since Wayne was two months shy of getting his driver's license, his mom was forced (!!!) to drive the Hemi 4 speed home. In July of 1970, Wayne took his driver's test in the Charger and managed to secure his driver's license. Thrilled at having such a high profile machine, the sixteen year old buy did what any of us in his position would have done-he set about impressing females with his car and engaged in a little street racing. However, Wayne was a practical kid and the merits of owning a loaded Hemi Charger soon wore thin. Given the era and his age, insurance costs were sky high and as was the case with nearly all Hemi cars, the car was simply not a practical daily driver. In that first year of ownership, Wayne managed to roll up 6,000 miles on the Charger and then traded it in on a brown 440 powered 1971 Charger R/T.
Since Wayne was a responsible kid, all of the Charger's original paperwork had been stashed away and was presented to the dealer at trade-in, including the original Window Sticker, the original books & manuals, original Warranty Card, original dealer paperwork and the original California license plate. Those documents remain with the car to this day.
Having dodged the bullet of being ordered by a 15 year old and surviving unscathed as a 16 year old learned to drive, the Hemi Charger was purchased February 13 of 1971 by Lee Hancock, who lovingly took care of the car for the better of three decades and was a card carrying member of the National Hemi Owners Association. When Lee passed away in 2000, the Charger had 28,000 and a new set of documents, including service records, California registrations, etc., to pass along to the third owner, Akbar Aly, who wrote to famed Chrysler authentication expert Galen Govier, wondering what on earth he had.
In 2003, although the car was remarkably intact and well preserved, showing just over 30,000 original miles, it went to Doug Stewart for a cosmetic restoration. After the professional repaint and detail as completed, Galen Govier performed a visual inspection on the car and graded it as a 1.1, which is the highest rating we've ever seen on a Galen Govier visual inspection report. As Galen pointed out in his visual inspection report, this Charger has all of its original sheet-metal, original 426 HEMI engine (with all original components), original transmission, original fender tag and all original body stamps and tags. In short, this is as good as it gets. Shortly after the restoration was completed in 2005, the Charger traded hands for a cool $275,000.00!
And to finish off the amazing story behind this Charger, the car was selected by Daimler Chrysler to be used as a feature for their commercial display at SEMA in 2005. At SEMA 2005, Wayne and the Charger were reunited at an event that created the ultimate photo opportunity and appeared in dozens of collector car magazines. If you want a no-stories Charger with an awesome story, this is the one!
Now about the car itself. As you know, it's rust-free and matching-numbers, but that doesn't quite tell the whole story. This Charger is a 100% correct, numbers matching car. Sure, it has its original engine block and all original sheet-metal, but it doesn't stop there. Also present are the original carburetors, intake, heads, exhaust manifolds and radiator. Look very closely at details like the washer bottle in the engine compartment-that's an original piece, not a reproduction. Galen Govier doesn't hand out 1.1 scores unless a car is near perfect … and except for a reproduction spare and non-original tires, this Charger is a reference for any 1970 Hemi Charger that's not a pure survivor.
There's more chrome than you'd expect on a 1970 Charger, mostly due to that ultra-cool ring of bumper up front protecting the grille and folding headlights. Of course, all the chrome is outstanding, from that front bumper to the door handles to the rear bumper, which sits just below that awesome single-piece full-width taillight. All the stainless was polished to a brilliant shine, then reinstalled—no reproduction pieces here. Details like the flip-up gas cap, R/T emblems on the faux vents on the front doors, and optional racing mirrors are all in impressive condition considering that most of it is original equipment.
Giving a 16-year-old kid the keys to a Hemi sounds like a recipe for disaster, but since young Wayne earned the car himself and didn't have it handed to him, well, there was a level of respect for the machinery that seems to have been infused into the very sheetmetal. In fact, it appears that NOBODY ever abused this car, and while the engine was carefully disassembled, checked, adjusted, and rebuilt with vast care, most of the vitals are original. Then the elephant was dressed for show, with Hemi Orange paint, crinkle finish valve covers, and all the little things that Mopar guys expect in top-flight show cars. With all the original factory markings still intact, reproducing them accurately was easy, and every detail you see under the hood is as it was in 1970 when Wayne's mother drove the car home for him (he was only 15, after all). In fact, when the current owner acquired it in 2005, he drove it home, a testament to how well this big HEMI runs today. Heck, even the MOTOR MOUNTS are original! For you numbers guys, we have a complete listing of all the components, just so you can verify that it is totally legit. Just a sample:
Water pump: 2843290
Left manifold: 3418453
Right manifold: 2780508
Fan: 28 63 216
Underneath, it's as you would expect, fully restored but highly authentic. The original 4-speed manual transmission is there, of course, feeding the factory-issued Dana 60 full of 3.54 gears, which makes this Hemi an effortless cruiser. The floors, which original, still wear original undercoating, with original overspray. New lines and hoses, rebuilt brakes and suspension, and a fresh dual exhaust system with proper resonators and rectangular chrome tips have been installed. Beautiful Rallye wheels, which were original specification although Wayne almost instantly replaced them with a set of Ansen mags, have been reinstalled and fitted with reproduction F60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires.
Loaded with options is how you'd describe the interior. Black buckets were the best choice with the Top Banana paint job, but you'll also notice cool things like the 6-way power driver's seat (ever seen THAT in a HEMI?). Incredible as it looks, the interior in the Hemi Charger is 90% original. Check out the original seat-covers-that's what they looked like when new. The dash is full of fully-functional Rallye gauges, including the Tic-Toc-Tach, and the original woodgrain appliques are bright and crisp. Note the completely rust-free door jambs, the crisp detailing on the door panels themselves, and the taut headliner, all included thanks to 40 years of caring maintenance. Grab the pistol-grip shifter and run it through the gears—just because it's almost perfect doesn't mean it isn't ready to rock at a moment's notice. The trunk carries a painted steel wheel and matching Goodyear tire, as well as a complete jack assembly, and Galen Govier has already verified that all the vital VIN stampings are present and 100% authentic.
Documentation is beyond impressive. We do have the original Chrysler Corporation Broadcast Sheet from under the rear seat and it's exceptionally nice. As I mentioned, Wayne kept most of the original paperwork that came with his new Charger, including the window sticker, dealer invoice, order form, warranty Certi-Cards, consumer information sticker, owner's manual, receipts for dealer-installed goodies like the Ansen wheels, air shocks, and a sport steering wheel, the original California license plate, original keys, California emissions certifications, registration documents, and, well, the list goes on and on. Finally, there's a complete Galen Govier visual inspection package, with decodes, production figures, and photographs, and he gives this car the highest possible rating. There are a few restoration photos included, and this car has also been featured in magazines around the world, including:
Classic American, January 2006 (UK)
Musclecar Enthusiast, February 2006
Chrom & Flamen, February 2006 (Germany)
AMCAR, February 2006 (Sweden)
Cars & Parts, March 2006
Mopar Collector's Guide, March 2006
Super Rod, March 2006
Hemming's Muscle Machines, May 2006
Wheels Magazine, June 2006 (Sweden)
Classic & Powercars, June 2006 (Mexico)
A-Cars, January 2006 (Japan)
Highly decorated, beautifully restored, with an incredible story to tell, this IS the ultimate Hemi Charger. You'll never get tired of telling its amazing story, and the car itself will be the subject of discussion for years to come. Just to reiterate, just in case you skipped to the end: matching numbers, known ownership history, fully documented, 1-of1 color combination, 1 of 1 options, highest numbers of options, and low original mileage. Investment-grade HEMIs don't get more blue-chip than this, and the price you see on the sticker today will surely be considered a bargain in the future. Few other cars can compare with this one's pedigree, HEMI or otherwise. Don't miss this opportunity.