1974 Dodge Charger Special Edition

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This car was purchased new from Moncton Chrysler Dodge (Moncton, NB, Canada) by my mother in 1974 for $4400. I had just turned sixteen at the time and I actually took my driver’s test with this car. The car was great fun in the 70’s and I just about lived in the car for 3 years. I added tires, wheels and headers. It originally came with a 318 engine but I came across a ’69 340 engine at a local speed shop. Although stock, I felt that it would be a good addition to the car. My mother, who worked at the local hospital at the time, tried not to cause a stir when she arrived for work but the glass-pack “mufflers” would signal her arrival. Eventually, I assumed full ownership of the car.

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The car currently has 36,000 original miles; most of these put on in the mid 70’s. Although it did see it’s one and only winter in 1974, it was rust coated when new. After college I move away to work, eventually getting married and starting a family. The car got cast aside for my other priorities in life. It sat for years in storage without movement, while my life continued onward. In 1990 I decided to do a quick rebuild of the engine, just to get it back in working condition. After a few hundred miles the car was stored again for about 6 years. A job transfer to Ontario forced me to get the car started in order to drive it onto the moving van for the trip. After driving it off of the van into its new garage, it sat for another 8 years without movement. A piece of cardboard separated the car from garbage cans and the lawnmower.

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At this stage of my life, the kids are grown and earning their own incomes, mid life crisis is fast approaching (maybe already here), and last Summer my wife of 24 years t old me to “use it or lose it”!! Well, the time was right. I actually met my wife because of the car. I had a buddy who had a white Charger SE. It’s a bit of a long, drawn out story so I’ll spare the details only to say that my life would have been significantly different without this car.

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The car held up well over the years. It was repainted the same original color back in 1977. The stripe was replaced but is the same as the original and is actually reflective.

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The engine has just been completely rebuilt. I dreamed of having a blower back in the 70’s so now I had the opportunity. It’s a Dyer’s 6-71 with two 600 Holley carburetors set up for supercharger applications. The ’69 actually had a stock bore but we added 0.030” to clean them up. Compression is about 8.5:1. It’s got a fairly mild Crane blower cam and hydraulic lifters. Also, it has the usual assortment of add-ons, such as ceramic coated headers, Milodon oil pan, braided fuel lines, new rods, forged pistons, valves, springs, etc. It uses the stock forged crank.

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The drive train still has the small 904 transmission with a B&M Super-Holeshot converter and 8 ¼ ring gear with a 3:55 ratio. Of course with unlimited funds this all would have been upgraded as well. But this is best left for another year. Wheel and tires are new Centerlines and Hoosier radials. Old rubber was almost 30 years old. And my Clarion 8-track player, well I suppose the technology has improved and I will need to give it up, as well as all of my old 8-tracks. (all of you young people can probably Google “8-track” to find out what that was)

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My mother had long since retired from the hospital and passed away just last December.
Yep. This car has certainly been a part of my life.

Thanks to Murray, Rob, Terry, Eldon, Ken and Mike and to my longtime friend Terry Malley, who, in the 70’s, helped me paint the underneath white, with spray cans, in the winter, on our backs, on the concrete floor. Hey, it looked good at the time and we were just teenagers. My memories went back to that time as I slowly covered up the white with a nice shade of black this year. A special thanks to my wife Carol who encouraged me to follow my lifelong dream of putting this car back on the road with a supercharger.

Martin Ahern

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