The Dodge Charger is the most popular muscle car for internet buyers today. That was disclosed by Cars On Line.com in the July 10, 2014 newsletter (see feature article on Top Ten Muscle Cars.) But when you see this 1968 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T you’ll be viewing one of the most desirable Dodge Chargers of all time. ’68 was the first year for the “Coke bottle” body style which made Charger so popular. The styling change made a big difference in demand for the classic Mopar that year.
This stunning J code Hemi Charger R/T has been gone through by the noted Restorations by Julius restoration shop in Chatsworth, California. It was initially restored to be Julius Steuer’s personal car. The current owner talked Julius into selling it to him.
To show how popular the new-look “Coke bottle” style Charger was in its ’68 debut, there were 100,000 Chargers sold that year. Of those 17,584 were ordered as Charger R/Ts. Although 475 buyers paid the extra expense to order their Charger R/T with the monster 426 Hemi engine in 1968, only 264 of those were equipped with the bulletproof 727 Torqueflite transmission. (The other 211 were 4-speeds.) This is one of a handfull that came with EE1 Dark Blue Metallic paint. The car is just stunning when you see the matching blue interior. It also came with a black vinyl roof. But the white bumble bee stripes were added during the restoration. The original car came stripe delete.
The seller, from Westminster, California, says the 426 Hemi motor is numbers matching and original to the car. The ad on their website (www.californiamopars.com) shows a broadcast sheet (they say they have two broadcast sheets for this car.)
Not unusual for Dodge Chargers, Dodge’s top-of-the-line muscle car for ’68, this car came heavily optioned. Here are the 12 factory options noted on the broadcast sheet:
option 73, 426 Hemi 2X4-barrel carburetors
option 573, woodgrain steering wheel
option 408, Sure Grip differential
option 416, rear window defogger
option 421, Music Master AM radio
option 426, Rear seat speaker
option 517, turn indicator hood
option 521, tinted glass
option 536, outside left remote mirror
option 537, outside right remote mirror
option 538, locking gas cap
option 306, black vinyl top
But this car also has features that Mopar enthusiasts want, such as power brakes, bucket seats with console, Rallye gauges and steel wheels with full hubcaps. During the restoration there were some things changed because of owner preference: power steering added, rear white stripe added and 3:55 gears used in place of the original 3:23’s.
Verifying a real 1968 Charger R/T as opposed to a non-performance base Charger is easy. Just look at the VIN tag under the windshield for a sequence starting with XS. Non-R/T Charger VINs start with the letters XP. To identify the original engine size of a ’68 Charger, go to the fifth digit in the VIN. 225 Slant Six = B (very rare, only 904 built), 318 2-barrel = F, 383 2-barrel = G, 383 4-barrel = H, 440 4-barrel = L (R/T only) and 426 Street Hemi 8-barrel = J (R/T only).
The restoration is so recent that the car still looks better than new, according to the seller. He uses words such as “pristine” to describe the car. This is the one you want if you are looking for a restored ’68 Hemi Charger R/T that remains as original. The value of a real Hemi Charger is inestimable.
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