My high school car

Back in the early ’80s, I was looking around for my first car. I had a budget of $1,000 but did not want to spend all of it on a car. I looked at a ’68 GTX with a 440, 4 speed, dana rear, canary yellow with a tattered black vinyl roof and a tattered black bench seat interior. I ended up not buying that car because back then $400 was a ton of money for such a ragged out POS. (Stupid me) A few years later I saw a girl driving that car in traffic and she did not look happy to be rowing gears.

A girl I knew in junior high school had a white ’73 Charger that I tried to buy, but her dad would not allow the sale.

Then I found another ’73 Charger, in the local newspaper. It was gold with a gold interior, power windows, and was in pretty good condition, considering it had 95,000 miles (which was a lot of miles for an 8 year old car). The guy wanted $1,000 but I talked him down to $800, which left me just enough money for DMV fees and plenty of gas money.



Soon after buying it, the timing chain jumped. I was broke so my parents and a buddy chipped in to get me a Direct Connection cam & lifter kit plus a new timing chain.

Then I learned the hard way that doing neutral gear drops into Drive is a good way to blow up your transmission. Not once, but twice. (I was a slow learner)

I did not take any auto shop classes in high school, but I did take machine shop classes at the local community college. I bought a running ’67 Fury for $75 (yes, SEVENTY FIVE bucks) and used the engine as my class project engine.

I rebuilt the engine completely, then got a 4 speed trans and a Pistol Grip shifter. Both of these went into my Charger and eventually it also got a 3.55 8 ¾ rear.



I started scavenging around for as many factory options that I could find (Power Bulge hood with hood pins, hide-away headlights, tilt-column, 6 way seat, luggage rack, recordable tape deck, power antenna, and shot gun exhaust tips with cut-out rear valence panel.


A few years later, I stripped the car down, went through the engine again and gave it a stock paint job.

Went to the track once but could not hook up with street tires.

I also made a custom trailer hitch and several times used the Charger to pull a load or trailer.

Not once, but twice I drove the car cross-country. Yes, that’s a ’69 Hemi Road Runner being TOWED across country!

I used the car as my “wedding get-away car”, although my first marriage did not last as long as the car did. (Yes, I was that dork)

I tried to sell it, but back in the late ’80s the 3rd generation Charger body was not popular. I ended up trading the car straight across for a ’69 Super Bee. But that’s another story…..

About hemibill

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1 Response to My high school car

  1. Pingback: My Brother From Another Mother | Hemibill's Blog

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