The Virginia Muscle Car

Richard's Charger of Today


(1968 R/T Charger, 440 (375hp), 727)



The Charger here is a 1968 R/T (verified by the VIN) and is just like the one that Steve McQueen ran off the road in the movie Bullitt. It has black paint, black vinyl top, black interior, and a 440 engine. (see http://www.rjsmith.com/bullitt-locations.html for a discussion and pictures of the race in the movie.) The Charger was restored by King’s Restoration in Cloverdale, in the Roanoke area of VA. I bought the car in Georgia around 1990 and moved to Roanoke in 1994. It looked good but it had a lot of body damage that was “hidden,” like the Dukes of Hazard had been driving it

This movie takes a while to load the first time you view it. Watch it a second time for smoother action and listen to the driver work the engine during his powerslide. If you look real close at this car's the right front fender you will see what I mean about body damage. With a little browser reconfiguring, you can get the move and the background music playing at the same time - same goes for Andy's GTO page.

The General Lee) was another Charger but it was orange. This is the reason it took so long to restore it. For example, it took almost a year to find a 1968 right front fender in good condition. Another reason the restoration took so long is black is the hardest color to paint a car because it shows every imperfection and requires a lot of sanding and touch up. The above pictures show the restored sides.




Above are the front and back views. As you can see King’s Restoration did a great job! Now compare it to the Bullitt Charger.



The car had the old style American mags on it when I bought it and I left them on because in the 60’s it was very common to have either the Cragars or the American mags on cars and so I thought it was appropriate. And besides, the mags look real good on a big black car because it breaks up all of the black. I feel the mags look better than the stock hubcaps that came flying off in the Bullitt chase scene.




The above picture is the 440. I kept the car as original as possible and the only modification I did to the engine was to put in a little “more cam” so it would sound good when it was idling. So, the engine is like it was originally which was rated at 375 hp. Andy took a lot of pictures of the engine while it was out of the car being rebuilt during the restoration and the pictures document that it is a numbers matching engine. An ole drag racing saying is that there is no substitution for cubic inches on top-end. It also has a Torqueflite 727 transmission.




The black interior was done by the premier old car upholstery place in Roanoke called King’s Upholstery (no connection to King’s Restoration) and would you believe it is located on "Bullitt" Avenue!

As to the protagonist, Detective Lieutenant Frank Bullitt's green Mustang (Simular to Andy's 2008 "Bullitt" Mustang) , I hope to meet up with that green Mustang (that has American Mags too) when I am out driving my Charger ... By the way, this fastback Mustang was supposedly the inspiration for 2005 GT Mustang that Sarah just bought.

I found that Chrystler now has a new Charger. I looks simular to the Baracuda and Challanger muscle cars of the early 70s. This car is rear wheel drive and has a 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI® V8 with 420 lb-ft of torque - a real up to date muscle car. However, it currently only comes in a 4 door model; the original Charger only came as a 2 door hardtop like my 68.




The other day, Andy thought Bill Hickman was standing near my Charger ... wonder why? (That's actually me in character)




I want to give special credit and thanks to my wife, Dianne, for putting up with my obsession with cars and all of the $(s) I spend on them. ~Richard




TheVAmusclecar Home Page