autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

1969 Dodge Charger 500 HEMI Is Rarer Than Hen's Teeth, Costs a Fortune

In 1969, Dodge took the muscle car market by storm with the radical Charger Daytona. Brought into dealerships as a homologation special for NASCAR, the Charger Daytona is a rare bird, especially if fitted with the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8.
1969 Dodge Charger 500 9 photos
1969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 5001969 Dodge Charger 500
Of the 503 cars built in 1969, only 70 left the factory with the iconic mill. So it's not surprising that these cars cross the auction block for six-figure sums. But it's not the only Mopar that fetches that kind of cash. The Charger 500, introduced right before the Daytona, comes close with the right features.

The 500 was born in 1968 as a limited-edition muscle car. It was created after the Charger R/T failed to beat the Ford Torino Talladega and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II on NASCAR's high-bank oval tracks. Essentially an R/T refined in the wind tunnel, the Charger 500 arrived with a flush rear window and front fascia.

It wasn't good enough to stop Ford from winning its third consecutive NASCAR title, but it spawned a rare production muscle car that saw daylight in just 392 units. And only 67 of them got the mighty 426 HEMI under the hood.

The remaining 325 cars got the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB V8. Not exactly a slouch at 390 horsepower, but the 425-horsepower HEMI is the mill that gets more attention due to its limited production in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The car you're looking at here is one of them, but the fact that the engine is paired to a four-speed manual gearbox makes it even rarer. It's one of 27 examples fitted with this combo. And unlike many of its siblings, it's in excellent condition and still packs its original, numbers-matching HEMI and transmission.

Is it a fabulous, unrestored survivor or a classic that got rebuilt and repainted at some point? Well, the ad doesn't say, but the Charger looks fantastic inside and out. The light yellow paint still shines, as does the black 500 stripe wrapped around the rear fascia, while the black interior shows no tears or cracks.

And if the 86,689-mile (139,512-km) reading on the odo is accurate, this Charger 500 is also a relatively low-mileage vehicle given it left the factory about 54 years ago as of 2022. It all sounds perfect, right? Well, a Charger 500 in this condition may be a dream car to many Mopar enthusiasts, but this one's not exactly affordable.

eBay seller "modernmus82" listed the muscle car at no reserve, but the bidding starts from a whopping $194,000. That's a lot of hard-earned, but HEMI-powered 500s have been selling for $150,000 to $200,000 since the mid-2010s. Granted, such an expensive car would deserve a more detailed ad, but a visit would solve the mysteries surrounding it. The car is located in Martinsville, Virginia.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories