The Hemi's on the Farm: Part Two, The 1969 Hemi Charger 500 in the Tractor Shed

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As I pulled into the farm's driveway, nothing had changes. So I guess I was out of luck. Then a pickup truck pulled in behind me. I was thinking, “Oh boy, I'm in trouble now”. I got out of my car and introduced myself. The guy in the truck gets out and introduces himself as the owner of the property. I told him about how I had heard stories about this place for years and was happy to finally track him down.

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He told me about how his sons owned the cars closest to the road, and how one got the Coronet R/T and so the other one had to get the yellow 66 Charger. It was nice to see a father sharing his love of cars with his sons. I told him I was just there to talk and document, not to buy anything. He said he would be more then happy to show me everything, if I took him for a ride in my 09 Challenger R/T. So a deal was struck. He told me to follow him out to the tractor shed where some cars were sitting. I said, cool a “barn find”, he said, “It wasn't a barn, a tractor shed wasn't fully enclosed”.

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I gave him a copy of my first issue of Hot Rod Magazine with my 69 Dodge Charger Daytona find in it. He said that it was funny, because he had one of those cars that makes the Daytona. I thought he meant he had a 69 Charger.... I was half right.


We walked past the one Son's 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T in the driveway and past the other son's 1966 Dodge Charger in yellow next to the barn, and headed towards the tractor shed that was at the back of the property.

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I could immediately see the nose of a 67 Satellite sticking out. As we got closer I saw it was a GTX, but not any ordinary GTX, but originally a Hemi car! Now missing the Hemi, the car stands at guard, protecting those inside.

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Too the left of the GTX was a row of early 60's B-body Mopars, and to the right some 40's and early 50's Chrysler and Dodge Products, but it was behind the GTX is what I came there to see, the mythical 1969 Dodge Charger 500.

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This 1969 Charger 500 sitting in the tractor shed with building materials laying against it was no ordinary 500 (as though there are any “ordinary” Charger 500's). It was an original 426 Hemi car, with a 4-speed on the floor and a Dana rear end. The owner had saved the car decades ago and put it away for safe keeping. The car had sat so long in the tractor shed that it was actually sinking into the ground. The mud was already up to the first kidney bean slots on the front wheels.

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The car had been in a serious accident at one time, wiping out the passenger side quarter. And I heard that a pole had gone through the grille, radiator and fan and taken out the Hemi. There was a hole there to collaborate the story. Talking to the owner, he had plans to one day restore the car. Just life has gotten in the way and kept him quite busy.

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I was just in shock, sitting in a tractor shed in rural Iowa was one of the rarest Dodge vehicles on the plant. Really nice color combination as well, with a blue exterior, white stripe and blue interior. I tried to contain the drool. The owner could not believe I was so excited to see an old rusty Charger. I told him how rare and cool it was. And I could see a restored car anytime, but this one was unique, one of a kind, and had an incredible story and was untouched for the most part. I couldn't believe he hadn't done anything with it in all these years.

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Hiding in the back corner of the shed was another 1967 Plymouth GTX, a 440 model this time. It was in really good shape, no engine or transmission, but definitely not a complete rotted out hulk. Even with it's rear end facing the open door.

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The owner was appreciative of my exuberation over the cars and we left the tractor shed, to see what other nuggets he had lying around. They turned out to be some pretty darn big nuggets!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

The 1969 dodge charger 500 is my dream car, I would do just about anything to get it. I would not have the money to restore it but I could get it going as a daily driver/beater. all the dents, rust, missing panels, and trashed interior just give it character. It appears to be a bit past restorable without going into a couple grand in debt.