Introduced in 1966 as a fancied-up fastback, the Dodge Charger morphed into a fully-blown muscle car in 1968. And unlike most nameplates from the golden muscle car era, it soldiered on for a few more years into the Malaise era. But even though it remained in production until 1978, the Charger lost most of its high-performance big-block V8 engines at the end of 1971.
Chrysler not only discontinued the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI but also dropped the six-barrel version of the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB. In addition, most of the Hi-Impact colors were also gone for 1972.
These decisions were also dictated by increasingly higher insurance rates that rendered the high-performance R/T trim unpopular. Specifically, Dodge sold only 3,118 Charger R/Ts in 1971.
Come 2022, and these cars are quite sought-after, especially examples fitted with the 426 HEMI and the 440 Six Pack V8s. The former is the rarest at only 63 units built, while the latter is almost as difficult to find with a production run of only 178 cars. If you’re looking for a 1971 Charger with a sunroof, you’ll need a ton of luck because Dodge sold only 30 that year.
But how expensive are these cars when restored to original specifications and still sporting numbers-matching underpinnings?
Well, most of them fetch six-figure sums at public auctions, but the sticker depends on exactly how rare and optioned-up a certain car is. This Citron Yella 440/automatic example, for instance, is estimated to change hands for $125,000 to $175,000 at Mecum’s Kissimmee auction in January 2023.
What makes it this valuable? Well, for starters, it’s a stunning restoration that looks new inside and out, as well as under the hood.
And both the 440 Six Pack (rated at 385 horsepower) and the three-speed automatic gearbox are of the numbers-matching variety. And speaking of that, it’s one of only 98 cars sold with this drivetrain combo.
But wait, there’s more. This 1971 Charger was also ordered with a long list of goodies, including the A36 rear axle with 3.55 gears, power steering and power brakes, dual racing mirrors, hold-down hood pins, and Houndstooth bucket seats with center console.
To top it all off, it’s also somewhat of a celebrity car because it was owned at some point by Sylvester Stallone. The story goes that “Sly” purchased the car for his son, Sage. And even though he acquired it in a “remarkable level of originality,” he commissioned a frame-off restoration. One that definitely deserves an Oscar.
There’s no info as to how many years it spent with Stallone’s son, but the Charger is being auctioned off from the Wellborn Musclecar Museum Collection between January 4-15, 2023.