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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 15th – 19th, 2014 at Russo and Steele’s 14th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Purpose-built to keep Chrysler at the forefront of NASCAR superspeedways, the limited-production 1969 Charger 500 was the Corporation’s first “Aero Warrior” and the opening shot in the Chrysler-versus-Ford battles that raged across America throughout 1969 and 1970. Essentially a more-aerodynamic version of the handsome Dodge Charger R/T, the 500 featured a grille borrowed from the Coronet and flush-mounted for better high-speed air penetration, four flush-mounted fixed headlights, and a smoother rear-window treatment in line with the rear-window pillar, while the distinctive but lift-inducing rear “flying buttresses” of the regular Charger were eliminated. Available Charger 500 engine choices included the 426 Street Hemi and 440 Magnum V-8s belting out 425 and 375 advertised horsepower ratings.
The Charger 500 was built specifically for NASCAR homologation requirements with production of a minimum of 500 examples required for the design to qualify for racing. In order to relieve the production burden at the Hamtramck assembly plant, Chrysler Corporation farmed out the conversion work to nearby contractor Creative Industries of Detroit, Michigan. Since the Charger 500 was soon replaced by the even more radical Daytona version on the track, reliable estimates generally place total Charger 500 production at just 392 examples, making the 500 far more rare than its later winged stablemates.
On the NASCAR ovals, Charger 500s achieved 19 victories during the hard-fought 1969 racing season. Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford II’s iron will to win at virtually all costs begat the even more slippery Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler, with the Ford camp bagging 30 wins for 1969. Taking a page from the USA – USSR arms race, Chrysler engineers soon unleashed their nuclear counterattack in the form of the bullet-nose, rear-wing Charger Daytona and Plymouth Road Runner Superbird. On the street, the Charger 500 was predictably a ferocious performer. With dual four-barrel induction, Hemi-powered examples were capable of quarter-mile ETs in 13.5-second range at 109 mph through the traps, with plenty more on tap with slicks and some basic tuning.
This 1969 Charger 500 is an incredible find with just 12,000 original miles. Powered by the top dual-quad 426 Street Hemi with the most desirable A-833 four-speed manual transmission, the 500 is bad in black and equipped with power front disc/rear drum brakes, AM/FM radio with rear speaker, and bucket seats. According to the consignor’s conversation with noted Mopar expert Galen Govier at the Mopar Nationals, where the car has been displayed, this Charger 500 is believed to be the only one in existence with a black finish, four-speed manual transmission, and legendary Hemi engine.