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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

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.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/auctions/5-affordable-mopar-muscle-cars-and-trucks-in-vanderbrinks-lat...
85 REPLIES 85
audiobycarmine
Technician

"barn-fresh" made me laugh out loud.
Good article, though, and some decent finds.
Smilodon
Instructor

Read above. Up here in the Great White North, the families who own half counties to farm buy stuff. A lot of stuff. But just store it. You go to a VanDerBrink auction, see for yourself. Then laugh. I usually cry.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Phrases that make me laugh: Fresh barn find, one of a kind, unmolested, ice cold a/c, solid, runs perfectly, no rust! Ha I say, never have I seen one of these statements factual.

DaveP
Intermediate Driver

I remeber a poster that defined some of these terms: Solid - everything is rusted together; Drive it Home - I live on a hill; there were a lot more - wish I could remember them.
OHCOddball
Advanced Driver

AFFORDABLE? Not hardly. Maybe a Dodge Dart with slant 6 could be affordable.
joesurfer
Intermediate Driver

yeah I would expect 6 figures for those numbers matching models. I wouldn't say that figure is 'affordable' either
Truthworldwide
Detailer

The GTX and Roadrunner are probably in neighborhood of $40k - $50k as they sit. The Charger looks like it needs a lot of work, no matter what the owner says (they "all" start right up "with a little gas" - it's gonna need a lot of TLC). I'd wager similar, perhaps slightly higher values than it's stablemates, due to second-gen Charger tax.

No dig on any of the cars (make mine the green Get-X) but six-figure cars these are not.
halfatruck
New Driver

I grew up in the era of the 'Mopars'.....so no to any of them..............
DaveB
Detailer

hurt me and make me like it... I would love the Roadrunner.
25aniv
Intermediate Driver

The '70 GTX and '70 Road Runner don't appear to be either 'barn finds' or would actually fall into 'affordable'. So the GTX's biggest issue is a cracked dash pad? I may be way off here but once the auction closes I don't think these two will fit the category. The Power Wagons and the Charger, really depends on how many people are after those particular combos. If you get two immovable egos (with attaching wallets) it could go anywhere!
Mustang1
New Driver

Yes...we will see how affordable they really are.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

Roadrunner ticks all the boxes.
phog
Intermediate Driver

Fewer people are nostalgic for, say, a '48 Dodge Custom rat rod- might find a buy in that segment, rather than the long- speculated upon muscle cars of '66-74.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I like the GTX and Roadrunner best here. Power Wagons are interesting.
Paladin
Pit Crew

The Charger and GTX, most definitely, in that order. Good article, though I have to agree with others, not necessarily what I'd term 'affordable'- maybe the trucks are, I didn't look at those.
77GL
Detailer

I didn't see prices and those cars don't go cheap no matter what their condition.
MAXTHEAX
Intermediate Driver

Vinyl roof? NO
Trucks? NO
That would leave the Road Runner, Auto Trans NO
Could I just get a credit toward something else?
Jimboriffic
Intermediate Driver

No.
Tinkerah
Engineer

I'm not really a Dodge guy but the Charger has tremendous potential to win me over (best grille!). "Affordable" to me means $10K or so, which is five times more than I spend on daily drivers....Should I get my hopes up?
GeorgeWA
Intermediate Driver

That’s what makes a “horse race” I dislike the 70 Charger grille … i much prefer the 68 or 69 grilles
Tinkerah
Engineer

I could save money liking an unpopular model, right?

BMD4800
Gearhead

Crewcabs and wagons were the way before.

Then Roadkill.
FormerCav
Intermediate Driver

yeah, buy the "pacer" in the low cost muscle cars article.
Truthworldwide
Detailer

No way, Jose, to ten-K.
Tinkerah
Engineer

Being denied is easier to take when it rhymes.

DUB6
Specialist

YEahhhhh - no.

BMD4800
Gearhead

The best dailies have carbs and are owned by people that think they work on voodoo.

Got one for $450 because the dude didn’t know how to tune a carb, let alone follow the vacuum hose diagram, and it wouldn’t pass emissions.

Went out on our first date with my wife in it. When I refused to valet it because the dude didn’t know what a carburetor was, and it was winter (in Phoenix), knowing that toolbag would flood it out, I demonstrated my value by paying the guy to let me park it myself. Yup, I’m that cool. Even brought home our precious babies in it.
Smilodon
Instructor

No, you're not cool. You're a real person that cares about that which you built. You're stressed by morons that want to drive yours. The "cool" comes from ownership. You lose this when others touch. Been there. Done that.
exc911ence
Pit Crew

I always roll my eyes when I see the phrase "frame-off restoration" in an ad for unibody Mopars....
martyb
New Driver

I agree, but if it had a frame,it should be a "body off" restoration
FormerCav
Intermediate Driver

it does have a "K frame"
they put the body on top of it at the factory and the K Frame had the motor and trans together.
acooper529
Advanced Driver

Worked for a Dodge dealer in Mt Ephraim NJ in the early 70's. I personally wouldn't buy any of them.

They really did have some GREAT body styling and some fairly potent power train combinations.
The bodies were poorly made, spot welded junk. The suspensions were marginal, at best, but did seemed o.k. when driven in a straight line (on the highway). The rest of the vehicle's systems were fairly simple and straight forward. I would rate most of the 70's Dodge cars as "good/ serviceable".

I still cringe when I see the "full rotisserie" restorations done to these vehicles (on TV). Why?
We appear to be in an era where EVERYTHING is declared "rare/ special" to increase its value.
Smilodon
Instructor

Grew up with a father that worked for GM his entire life. Always a Chevy guy, I'm sorry Dad, but at 62 I've been a GTO guy since I saw the first one as a kindergartner in the '60's. Shames me to admit, but my favorite muscle car is the 1970 Dodge SuperBee. Attended HS '74-'78 with a friend that had a GoManGo orange/black bench interior '70SB. The cammed/Torker/850 double pumper 440 we put in perfectly worked with the B&M built A727 autotrans and Mopar 3.23 SureGrip axle (and we all worked at the same gas station. To build this now would be over $50k, we did it on $2.15/hr). It was loud, ugly as the day is long (that little nose piece dropping from the hood left scars on all our heads), and with N50-15 Kelly Supercharger biasplys took a real 426 Hemi '65 Belvedere on the Raymond Street Expressway, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1976. The late 20's Belvedere owner was suckered by the 383 Magnum badges and stoned highschool kids. Our driver never drove high, and the 10"B&M converter gave the heavy and unaerodynamic Stupid Bee a real advantage. Mopar got the 3.23s right- the Stupid Bee rarely got a hole shot, but the midrange and top end pull just couldn't be better. We often saw a two+ car length start line deficit turn into "running away". The Belvedere had a 4.10 axle, sounded all the business. We gladly took his money. He was, ah, pissed.
But. You are correct. The body wanted to rust at every weld, the body gaps were, well, huge. The doors sagged, so needed lifting to close properly. We reinforced the unibody and all the rear suspension points, as the Gabriel HiJackers on the factory staggered leafs seemed as if they would wreck the body. The noise made by closing the doors, hood, trunk said "cheap". The interior vinyl was already splitting in a 6 year old car, and the black vinyl top seemed designed to promote rust. Remember that 3D curved B-body back window? The rear seat vinyl and deck cover were cooked when my bud bought the car. It didn't interfere with the straight line performance, so we let it rot. It did.
But. It was designed for young people to go very fast in a straight line. It was designed to catch the eye, and piss off the "squares". It did these things admirably. I've heard a lot of hipo street cars, but the Stupid Bee bellowing through the Cyclone spiral glasspaks with the factory side tank turndowns? None better. And you have to have guts to sell a car that looks like that, no matter how quick.
Viperstoo
New Driver

The roadrunner had a “frame off restoration” a few years ago. Interesting, since unibody vehicles don’t have a frame………. Just saying.
martyb
New Driver

probably should be called a complete restoration!
DUB6
Specialist

Well, THAT'S an embarrassing writing/editing mistake!  🤔

Smilodon
Instructor

Sellers often have no clue as to what they're selling- "frame off" sounds all the business. And so inaccuracies multiply.
OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

Those B bodies always been my favorite. Can't pick a basket case up for chump change nowadays.
SJ
Technician

Affordable by who?
BigDog
Intermediate Driver

Perhaps, Bill Gates?
BMD4800
Gearhead

He prefers farmland.

And desert for his stupid windmills.
DAdams
Intermediate Driver

I'll take the Charger. But they all suffer the same problem - Chrysler grossly over-prices parts and when it comes to replacement body parts choices are slim to none and slim left town.
FormerCav
Intermediate Driver

body parts are available. The hardest stuff to get that is reliable is something like a turn signal switch. I had FOUR of them to replace the ONE original that would not "cancel" on the left turns. the first three were chinese and dead on arrival, One of them lasted a whole 10 cycles! the last one was made in Argentina. the wires were color coded wrong so the left turn signal in on in front and the RIGHT rear is on. Had to cross the wires to "make it work". This was in a 69 Charger SE. I built it back in 94 (rescued it) a 383-4v Auto Factory Air car. I enjoyed it for 23 years. in 2010 I put in a 440 / 492 stroker with Eagle crank, Eagle Rods, Mahle pistons, Lunati voodoo cam (the vacuum headlights, vacuum assisted power brakes, and vacuum operated A/C trap doors worked). that cam was really GOOD and gave me about 15 inches vacuum at idle at 800 RPM. Quarter mile was 11.73, 113 MPH with 3.23 gears and A/C on. Just put it in drive and stand on it.
The car is living happily in Holland now. I got more money then it was worth due to the "big block". I MISS it.
Smilodon
Instructor

Love this. Wrote a previous comment about a '70 Dodge SuperBee we built in highschool. Mopar got the 3.23 thing right on their automatic equipped cars. Light brake/torque launch, let the engine work. Lotsa cars will get a jump, half track? The Mopar is rolling them, as the midrange that the 3.23s were designed for kicks in; all those engineers worked hard to make Mopars king, why change what works?
GeorgeWA
Intermediate Driver

I’m not into the Power Wagon “then Or now” so I can’t speak about them with any real knowledge… As far as the GTX , Road Runner & Charger it seems to me that although they are not true barn finds they were not taken care of in the manner for which they deserved so there will be many niggling things that need to be taken care of and for the money these MOPARS are going to sell for in this inflated market there will not be any value in buying these cars… You may as well search the secondary market other than Mecum/ Jackson Barrett and find nicer cars to spend your money on…
Smilodon
Instructor

You are correct. But the wastelands of North and South Dakota are full of projects. These families, that often farm(ed) tens of thousands of acres, accumulated. They were (and are) unsophisticated. Grab it. Park it in the pole barn, leave it. And there it is, eroded, sad, unmodified. This is Trump country- ND over 80% for Trump '24. Not the keenest knives in the kitchen. But they do acquire.
Smilodon
Instructor

And the auctioneers are Mecum/Barrett Jackson fans, so a $5000 project is a "one of one unbelievable chance at history, just $200k to start".
mhealy1
Advanced Driver

Wastelands? Unsophisticated? How much time have you spent in the Dakotas?
In the city, the “accumulated” cars would have been crushed. Which is sadder?
As far as the “keenest knives in the kitchen”…how exactly does one’s vote equate to one’s intelligence? Let’s leave politics out of this forum, particularly when used to broad-brush the entire population of a state.
Fastback68
New Driver

What about the Plym Fury's? 65-68 had a "Furious" look with the stacked lights. 69-71 also had a cool elegant lux look. Mechanicals are easily worked on and available - motors range but often found in 318, 383 and 440 ci. some 340's ad 360's still available.