It’s that time of year again, where the big collector car auctions get revved up for some serious gavel action in Arizona. RM Auctions, which this year is offering a whole fistful of vintage and classic British machinery, is also offering this, the very first Dodge Charger ever built.
Launched as a concept in 1964, it was based on the existing full-size Polara two-door, but was designed as a showcase for Chrysler’s then new Hemi V8, the all-conquering 426. The ’64 Charger was converted into a two seater, sporting a cut down roof with original Batmobile type pods for the driver and passenger, plus a notable absence of chrome (including the bumpers), special side scoops and unique Halibrand wheels.
However, because of high demand for those new Hemi V8s, especially in NASCAR, when the Charger concept actually made its debut, it was powered by a standard 383 cubic inch big block Polara V8, rated at 305-hp. It toured the show circuit for a year and was then acquired by a prominent Dodge dealer who passed it onto his son, who made some alterations to the car.
In 1999 it was acquired by noted dream car collector Joe Bortz who had it restored at no expense. In fact Bortz went a step further and had one of the original, hand built Hemi engines installed, thus creating the car’s ‘should have been’ original configuration.
In 2007 the car was purchased by collector John M. O’Quinn and now, following his death, is up for auction, along with other items from the O’Quinn estate. According to RM, the car will likely sell for between $750,000 and $1 million when it goes under the hammer later this month.
[Source: RM Auctions]