I couldn’t even watch that new Dukes of Hazzard movie that came out last year. Just the thought of those Hollywood idiots destroying more of those rare Dodge Charger R/T's is sickening to me. But the sad fact is that there are fewer and fewer of the old Mopars left, and those that remain are being hoarded up by collectors or destroyed by insane directors!
Maybe it’s just me and my guilt, because I do know what it is like to destroy something beautiful because of something stupid. Although not an R/T, I did have a 1973 Dodge Challenger that I was able to resurrect from the junkyard.
The Challenger was just about as long as wide as the Charger, but its fenders had smoother lines and it lacked the hidden headlights. Really, though, the Challenger was a true Mopar and a close cousin of the Charger.
Originally, the Challenger I saved was this horrific bronze color with a white and tan interior. Now the interior was immaculate but I had to go with another color for the exterior. I figured I could either paint it white or dye the interior. I decided to go with white.
Although it only had a 318 in it, that Challenger had plenty of muscle under its hood. But I wanted more. I kept tinkering with the car little by little and finally came to the throttle cable. It was the original cable and I thought it couldn't hurt to replace it.
Well, replace it I did--and then I decided to take it for a test drive because I had also given the car a tune-up at the same time. I lived in a residential neighborhood at the time but I was young and stupid--so I punched it after I came up to a stop sign just around the corner from my house. Heck, it ran great and my efforts had definitely been worth it.
So, I’m flying down a residential street in my '73 Challenger and I let off the gas--but nothing happens! That's right--the throttle cable stuck and I was young and didn't have a clue as to what to do other than hold on and slam on the brakes. Unfortunately, I was driving down a street that ended in a "T" where you could turn right or left but could not proceed straight. Me and my pretty white Challenger drove straight into a little house owned by an old widow.
My car, of course, was trashed. In my haste, I had forgotten to adjust the new cable. It probably would have taken an extra 2 minutes but I was young and very dumb. I destroyed a Mopar myself out of youth and stupidity--but to watch that movie and to know that they were purposely destroying perfectly good Mopars to make unrealistic jumps…well, not me, pilgrim. Moparicide is a sin and I will not help others profit from it.
South Bend, Indiana