My Classic Car: Bruce’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T

Bruce Clark is older and wiser, and recapturing his youth | Bruce Clark photo
Bruce Clark is older and wiser, and recapturing his youth | Bruce Clark photo

In the spring of 1970 I received the dream car every 18-year-old boy thinks off: A shinny new 1970 Banana Yellow Dodge Charger R/T with white interior and white vinyl top . My parents bought it for me for my birthday one spring evening at the local Dodge dealership.

I don’t think they or I realized what a powerful beast that car was. Had they, it would have never been sitting in the driveway the next day. I drove it home that night from the dealership and remember it was the first time I had ever driven a 4-speed, but I learned quickly that night.

I immediately headed to the local teen hangout to show off my new wheels. My best friend at the time, Rick Banks, came running out of the local malt shop staring at the car with eyes wide as saucers as he jumped in and we screamed off down the road laughing like wild men.

The next day as I drove up to school the looks and stares I still remember to this day.

This Charger was loaded with 440 Magnum 375-horsepower stock from the factory, 4-speed pistol gripe shifter and Rally gauges.

I eventually added Hooker headers, boosting the horsepower to around 400.

Having never driven anything even close to the power of this Charger I was amazed at how fast and powerful the car was, as were all my friends. This was the heyday of the muscle car era so all my friends were driving muscle cars, Challengers, Boss 302s, GTOs and a Hemi GTX that was the bad boy of the clan.

We had a local quarter mile, a side street that ran along side the Atlantic City Expressway where we’d see who had the fastest car. My Charger rarely lost.

One day that spring when returning to school from a late breakfast with 3 guys in the car I headed down one of the back roads in our town full throttle pedal to the metal. Clocking at over 135 mph I looked in my rearview mirror to see about two miles back the flashing lights of a Glassboro police car chasing me.

I looked up and at the crossroad ahead:3 police cars had just entered the intersection and blocked it off. And yes they were all there for me!

I didn’t even realize the cop was following me until that moment as I slowed down and pulled over.

Needless to say he was one pissed-off officer who promptly handed me a ticket for reckless driving, which cost me my license for 6 long months.

After a slew of additional tickets for various infractions my parents said “enough” and that was the end of my beautiful Charger. I was forced to sell it.

Many years later as I grew older and more sane and vowed one day to create the car of my youth. The Charger you see pictured here is the Dream Car Part 2.

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