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In the Garage: 1974 Dodge Charger
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1974 Dodge Charger owned by Andrew N. Vourlos
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The “fuselage” styling and superior engineering of these Chargers, built from 1971 to 1974, made them a hit on the racing circuit, with legendary driver Richard Petty racking up 25 NASCAR wins alone. Vourlos’ model has led a much quieter existence. “The Charger lived its entire life on Long Island with the original owner, who passed away in 1996,” he says.
“He took great care of her, as she is an unrestored survivor with now just over 46,000 miles. She’s dark metallic gray with a blue interior, an odd, but typical, 1970s-era color combination. They were good-looking cars with lots of power and style, and because of that, many got thrashed and ultimately destroyed.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
He bought it in 1998 as a gift to himself for earning his undergraduate degree.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
The coupe was advertised in Newsday by the owner’s widow in Middle Island.
“The Charger is in original condition,” Vourlos says. “When I bought her 15 years ago, she had just over 27,000 miles. The paint is original, as is the upholstery and drivetrain.” The Charger was in such good condition that it has been featured in a collector car magazine and book.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“They are big cars that are prone to rust and are costly to repair,” he advises. “However, their drivetrains and suspensions are bulletproof and parts for those are readily available.”
“There’s no price you can put on having a good time,” says Vourlos. The NADA Guides places a “high retail” value of $15,100 on a 1974 Charger coupe before engine choices or options.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I had wanted a Charger ever since my godfather sold his 1972 Charger to a cousin, who then promptly wrecked it,” he says. “I am a huge Richard Petty fan. My dad and I used to watch the races on a black-and-white television in our little home in Queens and marvel at the Charger eating up the track and winning races like Daytona. Every time I get in the Charger, a part of me thinks back to those days with Dad. It truly has been a blessing to own this car.”