As a teenager in 1969 I was enthralled with muscle cars for their speed, their rumbling V8s, and their looks. My family was Mopar crazy and so that made me a prime candidate to love Dodge’s Charger. But really, I was more into the Challenger and Plymouth’s Barracuda.
Once the Superbird came out, that was a winner too, in more ways than one.
Yet over the years I’ve come to appreciate the long lean looks of the 1969 Charger. So, not surprisingly, Auto World’s latest release of the Charger R/T as part of its American Muscle series caught my attention. Round2 sent us the B3 Light Blue Poly version with white interior and white racing stripe around its tail. Winner!
This model represents a car owned and restored by Roger Zeivel and his son, a 6-month project, before the car was shown at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago. The model car’s license plates feature the MCACN logo.
First, it’s amazing the restoration only took six months, but that includes a total body strip down and repaint as the car had been repainted Plum Crazy (purple) before Zeivel bought it. But he wanted this Charger back to its original Blue Poly.
The original car features a 440 Magnum V8 (375 horses) and 3.54 Dana rear end, reflected here. Plus it had power bucket seats, power steering and power disc brakes. Underneath are red-stripe tires and Magnum 500 wheels. If you had $3,575 in 1969 you could buy your own Charger R/T.
Movie fame came the R/T’s way too. Movie buffs will recall the Mustang from Bullitt, but there was a car chasing that Tang with Steve McQueen aboard. A Charger R/T was the chaser.
Light Blue Poly is simply a beautiful color on any Mopar of this era, but it actually lightens the look of the long Charger and the R/T with its white tail-wrapping race stripe is particularly sporty. And who doesn’t like red-stripe tires, even though these are not branded?
The Charger’s lines are long and lean with a molded-in side accent crease and dual strakes in the doors give the illusion of speed. Auto World does a great job with chrome too for trim over the wheel wells and around all the windows, including vent windows. The shape of the side windows without a B-pillar on the 2-door hardtop is particularly stylish.
This Charger also has a big chrome gas cap on the driver’s side rear fender top, and it’s labeled “Fuel.” Wipers are chrome as are the door handles and driver’s side mirror and of course front and rear bumpers and taillight trim. There’s a short antenna on the passenger’s side front fender and the inset wrap around the lights is a matte silver while the grille is blacked out and the headlights look realistic.
Under that long hood with black decals representing air vents is a handsome orange Magnum V8, the air cleaner cover featuring Magnum spelled out in chrome lettering. Wiring and plumbing is here too, with a battery and fine scissor-style hood hinges. Auto World’s engine detail seems to get better and better, a win for collectors who cherish the under-hood muscle as much as exterior styling.
I’m also impressed with the Charger’s undercarriage. Again, while some pricier 1/18 scale models ignore such detailing, this one shows dual exhausts, mufflers, the suspensions, fuel tank and steering mechanism (it works), plus the engine’s bottom end. This is painted like it’s fresh off the factory line too with minor dirt and discoloration underneath.
Of course the doors open so you can get a good look at the white bucket seats, seatbelts and clasps, and chrome-trimmed console with a fake wood inset. The 3-spoke sport wheel has a black center, chrome spokes and tan wheel. Dash and gauges in the Rallye instrument cluster look realistic and 3D, not just decals. Plus there’s a big cue ball knob on the shifter extending from the console.
Other fine details include door lock buttons and vent window hardware, and chrome kick plates. And yes, there’s a Pentastar logo on the lower passenger side fender just beyond the wheel well, a Chrysler Corp. trademark
The best news is Auto World die-cast cars are still metal yet won’t set you back as much as some other name brand composite bodied die-cast models. Plus the American Muscle series lets you see that big honkin’ V8 under the hood!
Maker: Auto World
Stock No.: AMM1200/06