This Charger was upgraded to better withstand the rigors of street use and still look show worthy.
Text and photos by Mark Ehlen / MCR staff
It’s no secret that many, if not most, car guys are greatly influenced by those they encounter in their younger years. In the case of Gordon Wise, it started when his father brought home this ’73 Charger when he was just seven years old. It was the family car he grew up with. Not a car like this one, this exact car.
What really turned him on to Mopars though was when his dad gave him the car when he turned 16. It’s not hard to imagine how cool it must have been to be seen driving this Charger in his high school parking lot. But Gordon’s story is that it was in fairly rough shape by then. Likely due to the results of Midwestern winters.
What really turned Gordon into a Mopar guy was working on his Charger in high school auto shop class. At one point he says that he had three parts cars in the driveway. By the time he went to college it was drivable and he even got to drive at his wedding.
But then, as the story frequently goes, family life happened and the car had to sit in the garage until the kids got through college. After his father passed in 2010, the car and its memories took on an even greater meaning so the decision was made to have MCR’s expert craftsmen restore it so it could be driven and enjoyed once again. The plan was to make it a weekend driver.
Gordon remarked, “I could never understand why people would go through the process of restoring a car and not use it.”
To that end, the MCR team built it for fun. It still received all the attention that goes into an MCR Platinum restoration except that some of the underside finishes are upgraded to better withstand the rigors of street use and still look show worthy.
The 440 is potent enough to be exciting but not over the top. Gordon says the Six Pack fuel injection is mostly just for bling when he opens the hood and while the bling factor is accurate it also really improves the drivability of a 6-barrel set up. Four wheel Wilwood disc brakes allow the stop pedal to keep up with the power pedal and a 5-speed Tremec gives the original 4-speed feel with the added bonus of an overdrive for high speed cruising.
Gordon says that he’s not someone that’s into car shows and that he’s doubtful he’ll ever show it but the truth is every time it’s out on the road it will have the same effect.