Wednesday, May 06, 2009

1968 Dodge Charger gets a second chance on life

The adventures of Paul and
as we leave for Niagara - On - The - Lake, yes, in Ontario, near Niagara Falls. We left the house at 9:51 am, as I thought, well, it's only 4 hours away , tops.
So, we filled up at the Pilot in Tilbury, and hit the 401 East.
Stopping at the 401 service center in Woodstock ( same photo as the Toronto show in March, lol ). Had a fast bite at Wendy's, and hit the road again.
Almost to the QEW, well, a very short way to go....and of course ???

Ok, it looked like we were making good time, until the truck started to get a little wobble. A few minutes later,
!@#$%^&*...BANG...!@#$%^&* ....NO...not a, this really sucks I thought.Well, we pulled over, and drove 2 mph until we were able to get to a clearing where there was no guard rail. In front of us was a Dodge mini van, and GUESS WHAT ...they had a flat too.I walked up to them and helped get the spare tire off the bottom of the van, so Lance could help change their tire. I asked if I could get a ride to a tire shop, as WE DIDN'T HAVE A SPARE. Sure, no problem he said. I pulled the flat tire off the truck. Lance pulled out his "GPS", and he located a tire shop. The OK Tire store was closed. Hum, so, we drove for a few blocks, and found a tire shop that was open. I went in and asked about a used tire. Nope, the guy says, we don't sell used, just New. So, now I had to make sure I could put a new tire on the truck. I called the owner of the shop where I work, as it was the company truck. I got the ok, and we were on the road again. Well, after another, almost $170.00 on my credit card

Well, we finally arrived in Niagara - on - the - Lake, using Lance's "GPS", we didn't get too lost.
What a trip. I was getting tired, and the day was just starting for us. We pulled in the parking lot at the car's location. I asked Lance if he could see the car. He said, no.
As we got out of the truck and started to walk to the store ( that Rose Turner owns ), Rose came walking out with a slight smile, she said " You made it ". Rose introduced me to her husband Tom, ( very nice guy ).
They both pointed to where the car was sitting. So, I drove back to the area where it was.
The next few photos that you see here, is what I saw when I walked up.'s a 1968 Dodge Charger........2 flat tires, and no rear tires. Hum, the license plate on the back told the biggest story...the car was last plated in 1982. Man, How Cool is that. That's when The Dukes of Hazzard was still in it's prime. But this poor car was in very sad shape.
This 1968 Dodge Charger, is still a complete car, minus trunk floors, and other sheet
It still had it's original 1968 440 4bbl - 375 HP, 727 Automatic Transmission, 8 3/4 " Posi rear end. Inside, wow, bucket seats, floor shift car even had the console still. The dash was complete with a 150 speedo, tacometer, lots of great useable parts for the project that we are rebuilding. ( Another 1968 Dodge Charger )

Ok, noticed the windshield, and the grille, still in great condition. So, before we really got into doing anything, I pulled the windshield out. Yes, in one piece, no problems, if you have the right tools. I brought everything.

There were so many trees growing around the poor car, it took Lance and I a little while just to get close to the car.

Lance and I spent almost 2 hours just getting the car ready to load. We changed both front tires, after unsiezing the 2 front brake drums. Yea, the left one was the hardest one I have ever removed from any car.
Ok, now it was time for the front end loader. Man we were just so lucky that Tom owns one.
Tom made it look so easy. We hooked a very long chain to the car, wrapping it all the way around the car. The ends were attached to the rear end, and the leaf springs.
Up, up and way she went, I thought for sure the car was going to snap in half, but nope, I got lucky.

Right about now it started to pour cats & dogs, man did it rain hard.
Lance and I were soaking wet, right down to our socks, lol.

We ( Tom did the hard part ) had lots of fun pulling the car out of the hole where she sat for so many years. It took about an hour to get it out and loaded onto the trailer. We were almost done, the car was finally on the trailer.
The whole time will we were doing this it continued to just rain like crazy, and it started to really cool off. Lance said he was soaked, and it was getting colder out.
We drove the truck and trailer up to the house. I told Lance to sit for a minute, and I would talk to Rose, and Tom. Rose offered us to have some pizza, which was AWESOME. I went over to the truck to tell Lance what we were going to do, lol....LANCE FELL ASLEEP, in those few minutes, too funny. But it was still raining so hard, there was no way to stand there and strap the car down properly.
Tom, suggested we back the trailer into his big work shop. How cool was that. It took about an hour just to strap the car down, as I'm so picky. I have never lost a car yet that I was hauling and I didn't want to start now. We said our good byes, and we thanked Rose and Tom for their hospitality, and of course for Donating the Charger to us for the Museum.
The car was now tied down good enough to make the trip home. I think it was at least 10:00 PM by now. Lance had received a few calls from our friend Doug McQuillin ( he lives in Fort Erie - plus he owns the Mad Max Interceptor ), and we were heading his way to visit for a few.
When Doug walked out and seen the car, he was in total shock. Wow, look at that. But, he did say there was tons of good parts. Doug's wife Ann, stepped outside for a few minutes, and she was amazed at the car. They both asked me, How are you going to get it off the trailer ?

I wasn't sure yet, lol. We left Fort Erie around 12:30 ( after Midnight ), and headed down higway #3. At around 1:30 am, I was a little too tried. I stopped at a small motel in Dunnsville ( right off the water), and we crashed there for the night.

Looks mighty twisted...

Here are a few photos of the car on the trailer, at the motel.
Look at the motel NO WINDOWS !!!
The rear wall on the inside was ALL WINDOWS, as the water was about 35 feet off the back of the motel. Pretty cool first thing Sunday morning, ducks, geese, even a wood pecker could be heard.

That grille still looks great.

After driving down highway 3 for a while, we stopped at a resturant called Back 40, in Cayuga, Ontario. Breakfast was good, lots to eat, for under $20.00 for the 2 of us.

Here we stopped to look at an old Dodge pickup. Nope, I took photos, but this story is about the Charger. Just wanted to show how much the car was bending or twisting, while transporting it home, lol.......WOW !!!

OK, sorry, we did stop at Rob & Shelley Murphy's to pick up the Daisy Jeep, so it could be on display the Motor City Comic Con In May, with Catherine Bach. More on that later. Rob's dad even came over to look at the treasure on the trailer. He stated, it was a good find. Lance drove the Jeep from London to our home, in Ruscom Station.

Finally we made it home, and it's backed inside the building to be unloaded.

With help from Lance, Jeremy, and of course me, and Tonya watching. Cheryl was also out, helping.

It was a long process without a front end loader, check the photos to see how, she came off....with a little help of a floor jack, and some heavy duty 2"x12" boards.

Ok, Yes, sorry, I had to cut the rear tail light panel off, as it was in the way. Plus, in order to shut the rear door of the building, it HAD TO BE REMOVED.
As it was the rear leaf springs are touching the rear door of the building, when the door is completely closed.

Wow, it looks funny without the tail light

OK, see the chains, 1 was wrapped around the back side of the car, the rear end, leaf springs, and the 2 were attached to that 1. From there they were attached to the side of the car, then to each post. I was sure hoping the car would come off without snapping a pole. Man, how would I explain that one. Yea, the building fell down taking a car off a

Good photo of the chains, totally wrapped around the car.

The front still looks so MEAN !!!! Low, the frame was starting to get very weak.

Hey, look to the left side of the photo, it's Cooter's Tow Truck, 1977 Ford F250, still unrestored, but have most of the parts, lol....another story, when I get

She looks pretty strange sitting there.

Complete drivetrain still in her.

The 8 3/4" rear end it still complete too.

This photo shows the Charger is now resting peacefully on 6 steels Mopar rims, this keeps it off the ground. Over the next month or so, she will be dismantled very carefully. We need to save everything we can.

After 2 days of driving, loading, tieing it down, and unloading, the car is now resting peacefully inside The Canadian Dukes Museum. In a few weeks this 1968 Dodge Charger, will be donating itself to another project we are working on. The Monster 4 x 4 General Lee. I will post a complete story on this project this summer.

This photo shows the BIG 440 4 BBL.
Thanks for reading about another adventure of The Canadian Dukes.
If you see any mistakes, please email me at, thanks, Paul.


Post a Comment

<< Home