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Dodge

'Barn find' 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona doesn't run, but is worth a ton

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 (Mecum)

This “barn find” was actually discovered under a shed, but that doesn’t make it any less of a diamond in the rough.

A rusty, but very original 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona that has seen much better days may be seeing them again soon, as it’s set to cross the block at the upcoming Mecum Auctions event Kissimmee, Fla., in January.

According to Mopar Muscle magazine, the big-winged muscle car was purchased earlier this year from its second owner, an Alabama man who bought it for $1,800 in 1974 and promptly had a set of flames painted on its front fenders to turn things up to 11 for a spring break trip to Panama City.

He kept it running up until four years ago, parking it under an open side shed for good after a minor accident flattened its pointy nose. (The auction photos were clearly staged in a different location after the sale.) Nevertheless, the red coupe has just 20,553 miles on its numbers-matching 440 Magnum V8, and features the rare combination of bucket seats and a console-mounted 3-speed automatic transmission.

Even in its current condition, the payday at the end of a restoration is potentially huge. Only 503 Charger Daytonas were ever built, and values for top examples with the 440 engine have cracked the $250,000 barrier in recent days, while models fitted with a 426/425 HEMI V8 are closing in on the $1 million mark.

Mecum’s pre-auction estimate for the car is $150,000-$180,000. Not bad for something that cost $3,993 new and doesn’t even run.