Matt Wilda recently captured this ’74 Charger SE at the Cohort. A project in the midst of eventual completion? A long-term labor of love?
If one is not a purist, the fun of a ’74 Charger in stripped condition is to imagine the different possibilities at play. Will the owner restore the SE’s original brougham goodies? Or turn it into a clean looking silhouette? And what would you do in his place?
Of the Chargers, the SE was the broughamiest of the lot. Base price was $3,742, and production total ended up being 30,957 for that year. As the brochure claims, Charger SE owners were a ‘breed apart.’ All SEs carried V-8 power, and HP went from 150 in the ‘lowly’ 318, to as much as 275 in the 440. Which one lurks in our gray primer SE?
Of course, the SE came with all the accruements popular at the time: landau vinyl top, six opera windows, electric clock, deluxe wheel covers, Rallye instrument cluster, folding center armrest, the works. If you wish to see a more detailed account on the model, follow CC’s previous post here.
Well, turns out Matt posted the final result a few days later; looking clean, bright and purposeful. And what’s that on the window?
Turns out love was for sale all this time? Never mind, glad to see an oldie rescued. Any takers out there?
More on the ’74 Charger:
Car Show Classic: 1974 Dodge Charger SE – Let’s Grab A Muscle Car And Turn It Into Brougham
Ah yes, resale red. Right on
…and recent California plates
Resale orange surely?
I’m going to guess Hemi Orange, which is closer to the red hue of the feature car. In fact, the Plymouth name of the same color was actually Tor Red.
The color that is often confused with Hemi Orange is called Vitamin C (Plymouth) or Go-Mango (Dodge).
The car in the pics is a few shades redder than Hemi Orange. My guess is this car is painted None Of The Above—that is, it’s not matched or mixed to an original colour, it’s just an orange-red selected by the owner for being orange-red.
According to the Craigslist ad (link below), it was repainted to Hemi Orange. “Hemi Orange Pearl” specifically.
Okeh, it looks a lot orangier in the Craigslist pics, where it also looks maybe pearlescent (which it doesn’t—not at all, which is a little weird, then—in the pics here in this post). Hemi Orange Pearl is a late-model Mopar colour, so maybe that’s what they picked, but I still think this is generic some-kinda-orange.
Dramatic transformation. They wisely got rid of the smoked tail light covers too.
…and now we can see the sunbaked original lenses!
What’s the amount of front overhang on that car? Did it have a front auxillary trunk?
“Let’s grab a muscle car and turn it into a brougham.”
Not all vintage Chargers were “muscle cars”, the Slant 6 was standard, and many had 318 V8’s. SE was a trim offered even on the ’68-’69 “classics”. Not all had Hemis or Big Block [383-440] V8’s.
Charger was a “mid sized Pony Car”, akin to Mustang, sporty image, but many ways to equip it.
Hmm, the lock on the trunklid and passenger door was painted. Makes me wonder how much actual prep work was done before painting.
I assume it must be a real bear to remove the plugs for the SE louvered windows, or maybe it’s difficult to source the non-SE glass because I see this devinyled treatment to them often. I’m not too keen on the look of this to put it mildly, especially with the painted window trim which to me makes it look like a cheap maaco job. I know somewhere under the plugs and their filler is the standard roofline shape, which was actually pretty attractive in these 73-74 Chargers, but kind of seldom seen compared to SEs it seems.
Yeah, those same-color quarter windows just look…weird. Even eschewing what would almost certainly be a pricey, OEM-style top treatment, well, he could have come up with some sort of ersatz paint job that mimicked the original canopy-style vinyl.
As someone else pointed out, this looks like a cheap, quicky Maaco job where the owner is looking to flip it for a quick buck. At the $24k asking price, good luck with that.
I hope he raises that front end.
It would look better, imo, if the rear was lowered to the stock height.
Here’s the Craigslist ad for this car – $24,000
Eek! Racing belts in a car without a harness bar, in other words a good way to compress your spine just from slamming the brakes too hard, let alone an accident.
This would be a good price for a 68-70 in this spec and state but these 73-74s just aren’t that sought after and iconic, 440 Rallye model, sure, but I think this one is a $10,000 car tops
Darn! If I hadn’t committed to buying a 1974 AMC Ambassador for $23,000 I’d have had the money to buy this. Life is so unfair.
About that pic which shows a Brougham badge inside…. 🙂
I’m reminded of this somewhat legendary 2006 post on a car board about how to paint a car well with Tremclad (=Rustoleum) and rollers. The spelling and grammar are worth toughing out. The photo links no longer work, but most of the images are still present here.
(except this what I’m reminded of came out a lot better because much greater care was taken in masking, etc)
Wow, I remember that thread, I think I even had it bookmarked on my old Firefox browser. It’s wild that it was a 69 Charger looking back on it, budget paintjob on one of those today doesn’t even compute
Lol blast from the past. That post almost had me convinced to paint my ’78 F250 with a roller back in the day
As the photographer, having seen it up close, it definitely looks like a cheap Maaco paint job. As Jason Shafer pointed out, they just painted over the locks on the doors and trunk. And there’s a ton of overspray on the gas tank, leaf springs, and even the left rear tire which isn’t visible in theses photos. The owner pretty clearly just made some cheap cosmetic improvements to try to flip it. Resale red (or orange) indeed.
Noticed, in the pic from the “right rear:, paint looks a bit heavy and “over applied”.
It looks a lot better without its requisite toupee.
Sure this is a quickie “flip” job. The moral to this story is, that even a cheapie “production shop” paint job will make an enormous improvement to a car’s looks. A lot of old car guys like me, never get their cars repainted and they look shabby for the duration of their ownership. I used to say that if I couldn’t get a “good” paint job, I’d do without. Until my BIL got his old truck painted at Miracle and it looked a hundred times better. I’ve had a , ’66 F250, 240Z, Acura CL, and a ’70 Mustang painted at production shops. I had the front bumper of my current Navigator redone at the shop that did my Mustang. If you handle some of the prep the job can come out pretty good. I polished all those cars and they came out looking pretty nice. One advantage of the low priced shops is that you can get your back in less than a week. To be clear, “cheapie” means around 1,000 dollars now, the days of the 29.99 Earl Schiebe paint jobs passed half a century ago. Here’s a picture of my Mustang.
If you do the prep work and even some wet sanding/polishing afterwards yourself you can get a good outcome, I don’t think it’s a bad option by any means, it’s not like the factory paint on these cars was stellar.
But atthese places their prep is minimal, their masking is sloppy so overspray gets everywhere and anything they don’t mask gets encased in paint – so if say someone ever tried removing the door locks on this charger in the future they’re removing chunks of the new paint around the cylinders too. Masking of other trim often leaves a layer of grime and dirt on seams that are hard to get to that prevents the paint from sticking well, which can lead to peeling later as well. I’d rather have project car patina than a failing cheap paintjob.
Of course professional body shops that charge a premium aren’t necessarily any better other than they might shoot the paint better, I knew a guy who had his Tbird repainted immaculately in pearl white at a body shop for a substantial amount of money(exceeding the value of the car itself), but so was every single piece of glass, interior part, wheels, tires, engine door seals etc, etc. He ended up selling the car not long after because he was so frustrated.
Agree it is a disappointing paint job. Look around the rear window trim. It is initially striking because of the before shot, but it is a 50 footer for sure….
I never liked the SE roof treatment much on these, but I like it even less without the vinyl roof. The 73-74 Charger in straight hardtop/coupe form was the best looking of the entire 2 door B body run after 1970 (and yes, I prefer it to the 71-72 Satellite).
As for the discussion on painting, it costs nothing but time to remove things like mirrors, marker lights and lock cylinders. And, for that matter, to do some of your own masking. But I guess time is valuable if you are flipping.
It’s also good to check out some cars that the shop has just completed. To see the current level of quality on their paint jobs at the price that you are paying. There is a lot of cleaning that should be done first as prep, there was a great article in Car Craft magazine on how to improve a budget paint job. Just cleaning under the hood with compressed air will surprise you on the amount of dirt that will fly up and would end up in your paint. I won’t go into any more detail about this, but you have to check the shop beforehand. There are lower priced production shops that do a pretty good job at masking and prep. If you don’t do the cleaning first, prepare to pay the shop an extra 100.00 an hour for that work.
What condition would you guys say this car is in? Given the flaws, is it worth 22k knowing some can be fixed? Or is the price overblown?
Indiscriminately modified and sloppily assembled, with a quick and careless paint job and many, many flaws we can’t see in these pics (given what we can see in these pics, the ad text suggests the seller might be telling a fiblet or two or three).
Well under half that, just based on what we can see; a closer look would almost certainly drop its worth far and fast. This ask price might translate as “Told I have to sell it so I’m making it look like I’m trying”; or “Well, that’s about how much money I’ve spent on it so far”, or “It’s 49 years old; it’s a classic! Don’t try and lowball me; I know what I have!!!!1!!!” or something else broadly along those lines.
Thank you! I appreciate it!
I’m in the Bay Area so prices are so overblown here. I will probably end up having to pay a bit more than a car is truly worth just because people will come and buy things for exorbitant prices…but you’re right, this is WAY too much over.