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Steve Valenti
Posted Mar 17 2018

Resurrection vs Restoration

Imagine it’s the late 60’s, early 70’s, you’re in high school, and you’re driving your dream car. Life is good! Over time the car ages, things break down and deteriorate, and you aren’t able to drive your dream car anymore. You still love her, you still cherish the memories, but you want to relive the dream, and cruise the highway in your now, Classic Muscle Car…. This is what brought one of our customers to us…

In late 2012, Mark brought us his 1968 Dodge Charger R/T. It was in rough shape. He adored this car, it was the car he drove in high school, and it was the only car that would do. We went back and forth on finding this same car in better shape and doing a restoration, but ultimately, sentimental value won, and Mark chose to have thiscar restored.
68 Charger Project disassembly

This is what the car looked like at the beginning of the project.


Looking at this picture, you can see why we jokingly said this was “Resurrection vs Restoration.” We knew this would be a large task, but we live to see our customers dreams, be turned into reality. After all the decisions had been made, paperwork had been signed, and Mark gave us the go ahead, we started on the journey of bringing his baby back from the dead.

68 Charger Project on the rotisserie

Here is the car after it had come back from chemical stripping


We began this portion of the restoration by chemically stripping the body. Here’s when we could see the lower quarter panel was missing, as well as a bunch of holes and remnants from previous patch jobs -the body was basically Swiss Cheese.
From this point, we began cutting out all of the rust and corrosion, welding in new panels and metal finishes so it would look like it had just left the factory, instead of looking like a patchwork quilt.

68 Charger Project on the rotisserie

After this, the car spent the better part of a couple months on the rotisserie. You can see all the new steel -where we cut out the old, and welded new panels in. We used all new sheet metal that had been e-coated -an electrostatic coating that goes on to the metal to protect it. The inner rockers, corner extensions and inner fenders had all been replaced as well.

After what seemed like ages, we finally completed all of the metal work, and the body had been restored. Everything had been put back to stock specs. The Charger then went to the paint booth, where it continued on it’s makeover journey. The “Metallic Bronze” paint job took this car to a whole new level. We were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Mark’s dream car was coming back from the dead, and letting us see glimpses of it’s old glory days.


68 Charger Project painted

The Charger with it’s fresh new coat of “Metallic Bronze.”


Everything on this car was put back to just how Mark had it in high school. We left the original engine with the period updates that he added back in the day. As well as the custom wheels that he upgraded to at some point on this cars journey; we reconditioned them, and they we ready to be put back on, and reused. After all of the big jobs were done, we added the finishing touches: R/T stripes, vinyl wrapped top and hideaway headlights. Over 1,000 hours of labor were put into this build, but this beaut was completed and ready for pick up. The hard work paid off, as Mark loved his restored, resurrected car now more than he did before.

68 Charger Project complete

Completed and ready to go back home. You can see the hideaway headlights here. These are the custom wheels that Mark bought back in the day that we reconditioned.

68 Charger Project complete

68 Charger Project complete

Shot of the rear of the car. The vinyl wrapped top, and the R/T stripes in the original style and color


68 Charger Project with Steve, owner and Don

Spring 2014, and it has come: Pick-up day! Here we have the completely restored 1968 Dodge Charger R/T with owner, Mark, as well as Don and Steve Valenti

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