In this day and age, the Dodge Charger is the type of car that falls into a category filled with many others just like it, but the first Charger produced was unlike anything created during its time. With a 600 HP V8 and a three-speed automatic transmission, the Dodge Hemi Charger was a muscle car that embarrassed most of the muscle cars back in the day, and now that attention-craving coupe is going to be put on auction by RM Auctions at the Automobiles of Arizona event held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa on January 20, 2011. The car is expected to fetch somewhere between $750,000 to $1,000,000.
This particular Dodge Charger being put to auction was a concept car that spent a lot of time at auto shows before ending up in the hands of a Dodge dealership owner. The owner then passed it along to his son who spent 35 years restoring it. Next came noted concept car collector, Joe Bortz, who located and purchased the car to then have it restored by multiple award-winner, Fran Roxas. The engine was the only thing left so Bortz enlisted the help of Hemi expert, John Arruzza, who was able to fit it with one of the original 15 Chrysler race Hemi engines. This is also the first Dodge to be fitted with the “Charger” nameplate.
The 1964 Dodge Charger ended up as part of the late John M. O’Quinn’s car collection in 2007 and is now ready to find its new owner.
Hit the jump to get more details on the 1964 Dodge Charger Concept car.
Exterior and Interior
The 1964 Hemi Charger is based on a bone-stock Dodge Polara. But many of this car’s components were removed and new ones were added. There is a smoothly blended rolled pan instead of the chrome bar, a hand-built, blacked-out grille opening and surrounds for the remaining outer lights. A distinctive feature are the D-O-D-G-E letters across the hood and the ornamental fender badges. For the rear the chrome bumper was removed and replaced by a rolled pan and rubber-padded nerf bars.
The interior gets a pair of special, dark charcoal, leather-covered bucket seats, a tri-spoke steering wheel with a walnut rim, and an integral roll-bar/headrest.
It’s not that difficult to imagine that finding a proper engine for this masterpiece was pretty difficult at that time. The company wanted to use a 426 Hemi engine, but that particular engine was only built in limited numbers and only for select racing teams. The solution was to use a 305-HP, 383-cubic inch V-8 mated to an automatic transmission. For a long period after its official launch, the Charger claimed to use a 426 "Wedge" V-8 with 365 hp, but that engine was never installed.
The update to the impressive 600 HP for the car on auction was made by Hemi expert, John Arruzza.
The 1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept will be on auction on January 20, 2011. RM Auction hopes to fetch between $750,000 to $1,000,000.