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Lot 58
1968 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T


Selling on Wednesday


• Factory delivered Hemi four-speed
• Desirable original color combination
• Incredible body-off-frame restoration
• Highly desirable 'Coke' body style

426 cid, Hemispherical Head V8 engine, 425 HP, dual Carter four-barrel carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, front torsion bar suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and shock absorbers, power-assisted front disc brakes, rear drum brakes; wheelbase: 117”

In the world of unlimited horsepower, with big block V8s and lighter bodies, the muscle car wars were raging when the 1968 model year was launched in the Fall of 1967. While the Charger name had been introduced for the 1966 season, those big bold fastbacks, basically the Coronet with a fastback slapped on to its top, were not really what one envisioned when thinking of sporty. The design team at Dodge dramatically changed that image of speed and elegance with the all-new 1968 Charger. Standing next to each other, there was nothing left of the original design; the Charger was indeed all new. Starting with the 117-inch wheelbase, the new “B” bodied cars were sleek and sensuous in base form. Most of the 1968 Chargers were pedestrian models fitted with the tried and true popular 318-cubic-inch small-block V8, and a few even had the unbreakable slant six under the hood. However, Charger’s appearance called out for performance and was just plain slippery with its “Coke” bottle overhead silhouette. Even its side view was awesome, from the laid-back windshield, curved side glass, a feature also found of such supercars of the day like Ferrari, and the wind-tunnel proven rear window, which was designed to let the air flow freely. At the rear of the car, a spoiler-like effect and shortened rear-end produced a Kamm effect that was almost standard equipment for contemporary race cars of the day. While the pedestrian models sold well, those who wanted a thrill ride moved up to the R/T edition. These cars were not for the timid. The base engine was the 440 “Magnum” with 375 horsepower, and could knock the socks off just about any of the competition. For those who had a real need for speed, there was the optional 426 Hemi V8. Conservatively rated at 425 horsepower, a figure that many feel was artificially down-graded to qualify for NASCAR competition, making the Hemi the king of the asphalt jungle. Not only did these cars run with the fastest, but its looks also matched the part they were playing. Concealed behind a sinister looking blacked-out grille were the headlights, with that same matte black motif surrounding the taillights. Full wheel cut-outs accommodated the fat tires which rode on rather narrow 6-inch rims. Up front, the hood presented simulated exhaust vents which also concealed the turn signal indicators, with speedlines added to the front doors giving the car a full illusion of high speed even when standing still. Details, such as the fuel filler, replicated a competition style mounted high on the left rear quarter panel.

This outstanding example of pure performance is, to many, the pinnacle of what a muscle car should be. Restored to its original appearance finished in a deep rich burgundy, as specified on the fender tag by the code “RR1”, it has been taken to the highest degree of perfection. Features include the black vinyl top, black vinyl bucket seats with the center console, Hurst shifter, Rallye instrument panel with the requisite gauges including the combination clock-tachometer and the matte black finish that means you are driving a true performance vehicle. This Charger rides on a set of color matched steel wheels fitted with Redline Tires and dog-dish hubcaps. Under the hood is a proper date-code correct 426 Hemi, built to perform and mated to a numbers-matching four-speed transmission, again as indicated as being proper according to the fender tag. This body is described by the consignor as being “straight as an arrow” and is an instant attention getter whenever it is shown. The original undercoating is still in place and the overall fit and finish is at, or above factory standards. When this car was new, it was made only for those who truly appreciated style and speed in one package. Today, 50 plus years later, its evident to a connoisseur of quality, performance and raw speed to quickly recognize the value and potential in this rare gem from an era gone by. In spectacular condition, this factory Hemi four-speed is pure muscle in motion.

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