Steve & Donna Berry's 1968 Dodge Charger R/T
(from Volume 19, Issue 228)

Steve Berry has loved cars and anything with wheels on it since he was a kid. He started driving in 1968 during the muscle car era, and spent every dollar he earned on cars. Back in the day Steve owned everything from Z/28’s, SS Chevelles, a 440 ‘Cuda, Dusters, Charger R/T’s and Corvettes. He settled in with a 1973 L-82, 4-speed Corvette that he kept for almost 20 years. That’s when the kids came along, and the ‘Vette had to go. After the family got older, Steve wanted to start playing with cars again. His heart has always been with old Mopar muscle cars, and he has bought and sold several over the last few years....the last one sold being a pristine 1968 Plymouth GTX that was the favorite of his wife, Donna. (He’s still hearing about that!).

That brings us to the Charger story. Steve and Donna had taken their Plum Crazy ‘72 Duster with a 340 engine to the Rods & Rockets car show in Cape Canaveral last fall, and were settling in and talking cars with others in the parking lot when this Viper Red 1968 Dodge Charger R/T pulled in and parked beside him. Being a Mopar guy, Steve naturally got up to check out the car. While talking with the owner, he said that he really wasn’t a Mopar lover, having several other cars all being Chevys. This got Steve’s attention! Steve ran into him again the next day, and told him that if he ever wanted to sell the car to call him, and Steve made him an offer. The owner called a week later, and as you can see Steve got the Charger.

The car was in nice condition, but not quite up to Steve’s standards, so several improvements have been made since getting the Charger. That included taking care of some body issues, concluding in multi-stage sanding and buffing. Together with the black Bumblebee stripes on the rear of the car, and the Red Line steel belted radials, it looks like the Charger came straight from 1968 via a time machine.

Steve and Donna removed the date code correct 440/375hp motor, and had the block bored .040 over to 447 cubic inches, installed new Speed Pro pistons, Mopar heavy duty 6-pac rods, and a new steel crank. The motor has a .480 lift Xtreme Energy Comp cam kit, including adjustable roller rocker arms, they also installed a Mopar M-1 intake topped by a Holley Street Avenger carb, and a Melling high-volume oil pump and Moroso 8-quart oil pan. When the motor was complete Donna helped Steve with the installation and start up. Power is sent to a 727 Torque Flite 3-speed automatic transmission with a TransGo shift kit and TCI deep pan, and finally a Dana 60 rear end with 3.54:1 gears.

Inside things remain stock looking, and showroom fresh. In addition to the nice looking black vinyl upholstery and bucket seats, you’ll find a Tic Toc tachometer and Rally instrument gages. While behind the wheel you’ll also notice the optional turn signal indicator lights tucked into the dual reliefs in the hood, plus power steering and power front disc brakes making the ride more enjoyable.

Steve and Donna like to run with the Dodge Scat Pack....the cars with the Bumblebee stripes. They also go to cruise-ins and car shows weekly when possible, and their ‘68 Dodge Charger R/T and ‘72 Plymouth Duster always attract attention. Now the tough choice to make is which muscular Mopar to take? Of course....Steve can always drive one, and Donna the other! CN