Friday, October 18, 2013

Tractor Trailers of Mopars... and More: Part One

You can read the original Hot Rod Magazine article here (http://www.hotrod.com/feature_stories/1306_automotive_archaeology_semi_loads_of_muscle/)

I had traveled a certain road many times over the years when I headed North. I always noticed a 3rd Generation Dodge Charger sitting off in the weeds just off the road. I never followed up on it, as it looked really rough, and wasn't a model I was really interested in. Last year though I decided to check on it, see what the story was. It turned out to be bigger then I could have imagined!

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I pulled into the parking lot and the owner of the car and property. He liked the Challenger I pulled up in and we started talking. I asked about the Charger out front, and he says to me, “See all these Semi Trailers out here, they are all full of Mopars”. This is about when my jaw dropped and we began walking.

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The first trailer we came too had a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE hiding inside. A nearly fully optioned car. It had a big block, A/C and numerous other options. The next container had a 70 Road Runner, 383 car! The one next to that had a ton of parts. And this was just the first grouping!

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Out back was a rusty 70's Dodge Dart 4-door, a 72 Dodge pickup and some misc other junk. On a trailer in the driveway was the 71 Charger from a previous adventure. He was able to buy the Charger from the Travco Fiberglass adventure (http://carsinbarns.blogspot.com/2012/03/finding-some-fiberglass.html). Also a neighbor of his had a 70 Barracuda he was working on outside.

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We walked out into his yard to see some of the stuff he had lying outside the trucks. He didn't have a ton of time. First thing we came across was two M-Code Dodge Dart GTS's. The M-Code means that they were both 440 cars. Very rare, only a few hundred were made. Unfortunately the Darts had been drag raced and cut up pretty good. One had the whole front clip missing. There was a 68 Dart parts car there though, if any of the other two needed anything.

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Next to the Darts was a 1971 Plymouth Satellite, and across from them was a plane jane 1972 Barracuda that was owned by a friend.

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The owner and I talked for a while, he showed me the race car he was building, similar to the drag racers of the 60's and 70's, but with a modern touch. I thanked the owner and set up a time in the near future to go through all the tractor trailers. He was almost as happy as I was to go through them all. Some he hadn't been in for years!

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As I pulled away, I just thought to myself, I had passed this for over 10 years and never knew. But this is why you always stop and ask questions! But this was not the end of the excitement for the day. There was still more finds to come... in Part 2!

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