Barn finds continue to be one of the most exciting and elusive ideas in the automotive world. The dream of cracking open a forgotten old barn and finding a rare, dusty relic worth a bazillion dollars is still very alive and well. However, as with this very cool but very distressed vintage Dodge Charger barn find, the big block muscle car needed a bit more than a wash and some fresh fluids.
This 1968 Dodge Charger barn find is a special car
The vintage Dodge Charger barn find is far from being a pristine example found by a hungry treasure hunter. According to The Drive, this 383-powered 1968 Dodge Charger, sporting a rare four-speed manual transmission, was listed and sold on eBay last week, needing a boatload of work.
While the listing touts the 383 four-barrel as the start of the show, The Drive points out that this motor with the four-speed manual transmission is what makes this vintage Dodge truly special.
There were only 259 Dodge Chargers made in 1968 with this motor paired with the four-speed manual gearbox. Especially with the demand for manual transmissions growing, this makes this car quite the (barn) find.
This vintage Dodge needs some TLC
The eBay bidding ended at a fairly underwhelming price for such a rare spec. While this may give heart to our treasure hunting car nerds, the condition was worse than it looks at first glance.
The original owner reportedly crashed the car in 1970. Whoever did the repairs back then was rushed or something because the repairs were poorly done. The story goes that body parts for the ‘68 were back-ordered at the time, and the body shop used pieces from a 1969 Charger to complete the repairs. This explains the iconic split grille that would not have been on a 1968 car.
This compromised the car and kept it from being as desirable as the spec sheet would suggest. The Drive cites Hagerty in saying that the grille, fenders, and square marker lights all came off a 1969 Dodge Charger. Although this vintage Dodge barn find is a bit more complicated than it seems, the rare configuration still means an awful lot to many collectors and enthusiasts.
Furthermore, there is also some damage to Charger’s frame. According to The Drive, it is unclear if this damage was caused by the same crash. The front right torque box is broken and there is still more damage elsewhere on the frame that the listing suggests might “need some work.”
Seeing as how the vintage dodge barn find seems to have been sitting for quite some time, some of this frame damage could be caused by rust. The listing shows rust eating up the floor pan, trunk, and large portions of the lower body panels.
The rust isn’t the only problem. The listing says that this 1968 Dodge Charger barn find has been sitting since 1989. Amazingly the 383 still turns but won’t run due to stuck valves and likely a few other issues.
There is some hope
This crusty barn find has some rare bits, but the coolest part is that the serial numbers on the radiator support and trunk lid match as well, as the engine and transmission numbers match the VIN. This means this is a true factory car with rare factory specs.
The 1968 Dodge Charger ended up selling on eBay for $37,900, which blasted past Hagerty’s estimate for this model in “fair” condition. Something about the rarity mixed with the barn find idea drove this car past its estimated value. Let’s hope the repairs are more appropriate this time around.