My 1971 Charger

This was my first car. I was 18 when I purchased it. It had just been wrecked and it needed it's frame straightened and it needed a complete front end, including most of the suspension parts. I only paid $200 for the car and quickly found a front clip for $125. Another couple hundred got the frame straightened, some tires, wheels, etc, and I was on the road. It was a 1971 Charger 500. I think there quite a few of these made so there was not much special about it. I still have the original dealer window sticker for it. (that's my cousin Rick there)

The Charger 500 in 1971 was a far cry from that of the original Charger 500 in 1969. This one was only a cosmetic package. It came with the Rally dash that included the 150 mph speedometer, tachomener, and gages for oil pressure, engine temperature, fuel, and battery, as opposed to idiot lights. It also had the Slap Stick gated console shifter, bucket seats, and the same tail light louvers as on the Super Bee.

 
 

Here it is when I first started driving it. Over the next couple of years I pampered it and dumped almost all of my money into it. I could do that since I was living at home with my parents. (remember those days?) I finally got it painted and was driving a nice looking car.

Not long afterwards, it was hit while sitting at an intersection. After another front end, this time with a Magnum hood, it was repainted completely and was back on the road.

 
 

Here's a shot from the rear. I thought I was cool. I had headers, hood pins, exhaust pipes turned out the sides, chrome differential cover, deep dish wheels (the tires scraped on bumps), mud flaps to protect the paint (yuck!), and lots of chrome on the engine. I never really got many photos of this car when it was all together and looking good.

 
 

In 1983 I was in a bad accident and got busted up pretty bad. I got hit head on one night by this runaway trailer that had come loose from the truck that was pulling it.

 
 

The car was destroyed beyond any possible repair. The entire body was twisted.

 
 

The tongue of the trailer entered my car after clipping off the front left wheel, ripping the engine off its mounts, and peeling the fender back.

 
 

The tongue punched through the firewall as it continued through the car.

 
 

It came up just underneath the steering wheel and struck me in the right knee as it passed by.

 
 

My cousin Mike, who was with me, was sitting in this seat. He was lucky to get by with severe lacerations on his back.

The car was doomed but I managed to salvage and sell many of the parts. Some of the parts now live on after being added to the 1972 Charger Rallye I bought a couple of months later.

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