1972 Dodge Charger Rallye Will Need A Miracle To Become Road-Worthy Again - SUV VEHICLE

1972 Dodge Charger Rallye Will Need A Miracle To Become Road-Worthy Again


Key Takeaways

  • Ryan from Auto Archaeology explores a junkyard in Illinois containing abandoned American cars, including a 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye in poor condition, but with unique and interesting features.
  • The Charger Rallye has significant rust issues on various parts of the car, from the rockers to the hood, and the back of the car has corrosion as well.
  • The Charger Rallye is equipped with a 340 cu-in 4-barrel V8 engine, exclusive to the Rallye model, but the hood is rusted shut and cannot be inspected. Ryan documents the car instead of restoring it due to the extensive restoration requirements.

The classic car scene has been going from strength to strength in recent years, with dedicated individuals continually digging up neglected sports cars and muscle cars from yesteryear and giving them a new lease of life for the road. While barn finds typically get the most plaudits from the car community, it’s not the only way to go about finding classic cars worth restoring.

Junkyard dives are also a great way to find some rare abandoned cars that need some serious TLC. It can also be a great way to find some of the more overlooked hidden gems that collectors or enthusiasts may not have coveted and stored away decades ago.

Ryan from the YouTube channel Auto Archaeology has been digging around this junkyard in Illinois full of abandoned American cars from the past six decades, including this 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye that’s in serious need of life support. It’s not just this classic Dodge he’s looking at but a whole host of eclectic and interesting cars that could make an amazing restoration project build.

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The iconic Richard Petty 1974 Dodge Charger is still in running condition, a car that took Petty to two NASCAR championships in 1974 and 1975.

This 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye Is On Its Last Legs

1972 Dodge Charger Rallye Junkyard Find Key Details

  • Ryan was granted special access to this Illinois junkyard full of rotting classics
  • This 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye was Ryan’s highlight, despite being in really rough condition
  • The Charger Rallye has serious rust issues on the rockers, doors, fenders, hood, and underside
  • This car has the 340 cu-in 4-barrel V8, exclusive to the Rallye-spec ’72 Charger
  • Unfortunately, the hood is rusted shut and Ryan can’t inspect the motor
  • This junkyard has plenty of other classics, including a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville and an Oldsmobile 442

The main car that piques Ryan’s interest is this seriously neglected ’72 Charger Rallye that’s been sitting on the back of a low loader for at least two decades. Looking around the car, Ryan spots that this ’72 Charger Rallye actually has a 1971 Charger front grille and taillights, but is still recognizably a ’72 Rallye from its unique “corporate” side marker lights and the gills in the doors that were unique to the Rallye model. Sadly, the body is in pretty rough shape, with the front bumper mangled and pretty rusty.

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Moving further down the side of the Charger, the front fenders have some pretty bad rust and deformation, and the rockers appear to have some pretty deep rust. The back of the rockers leading to the rear wheel arches have some of the worst corrosion, with the inner and outer fenders completely rusted through. The back of the car also has some corrosion, and the rear taillight assembly and bumper appear badly warped.

Looking under the car, Ryan spots the 8.75 Mopar rear end, albeit with no driveshaft, and the fuel tank is falling out the bottom of the vehicle. The Charger is also sitting on space-saver wheels all around with tires that have begun to decompose after sitting outside for so long. Ryan also spots the rear plate, with the car not registered for road use since 1987.

The ’72 Charger Rallye Offered An Exclusive 340 Cu-in V8

1972 Dodge Charger Rallye 340 Specifications


340 cu-in naturally aspirated V8


Front-engine, rear-wheel drive


TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic


240 hp


290 hp


$44,083 (avg)

(figures provided by Hemmings/automobile-catalog/classic.com)

The hood badging says this ’72 Charger Rallye has a 340 cui-in 4-barrel V8 producing 240 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. Interestingly, the 340 motor was exclusive to the 1972 Rallye and had the second-highest output after the 440 4-barrel V8. Unfortunately, the hood on this Charger is rusted shut, and Ryan doesn’t have keys, so he can’t get inside to check the motor, transmission, or interior.

It doesn’t look like Ryan wants to buy and restore the Charger, though, but instead, just document it. With the condition the car is in, it would require a serious amount of time, blood, sweat, and money to get this thing road-worthy, let alone fun and reliable to drive.

The 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye Replaced The Charger R/T, Super Bee, And 500

A red 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye 340 front shot
via Auto Archaeology (YT)

The 1970s saw the beginning of the end of the golden era of muscle cars. Government emissions and economic regulations, along with the move to lower lead and unleaded fuel, meant that the horsepower wars of the 1960s were quickly becoming a distant memory. Sky-high insurance costs for anything with even a little bit of power and the impending 1973 oil crisis were also taking their toll, leaving U.S. automakers little option but to scale back on performance altogether.

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1971 was the last year of the iconic Hemi V8 Charger, and the Rallye trim was introduced in 1972 as a midpoint between hot rod muscle and a more refined luxury GT. The Rallye was available with a choice of four engines: the base 318 V8 producing a meek 150 hp; a two and four-barrel 400 V8 producing 190 hp and 225 hp, respectively; the Rallye-exclusive 340 4-barrel; and the 440 4-barrel producing 280 hp.

According to Hemmings, initial marketing materials for the ’72 Charger Rallye offered the more powerful 440 6-barrel V8, but this motor did not pass the emissions regulations at the time and was never officially fitted. Some conflicting reports show that between two and six Charger Rallyes were equipped with the six-barrel motor, but these have not been confirmed.

This Junkyard Has A Host of Other Abandoned Classic Cars

Ryan Says that he has been driving around this area for years but had no idea that this junkyard even existed. A relative of the yard owner contacted Ryan and offered to let him film all the different vehicles, with Ryan keenly obliging.

Moving on from the Charger Rallye, Ryan soon spots a 1969 Mercury Cougar in similarly awful condition. This Cougar has some day-two mods, including SS Cragar wheels, an aftermarket steering wheel, along with what appears to be a 351 Cleveland V8 under the hood.

Next up is a 1973 Dodge Charger with some rather unusual details. Under the hood, the Charger has a rather anemic 318 V8, but interestingly has dual aftermarket moonroofs, an aftermarket shifter, and a Plymouth steering wheel. Bizarrely, after pulling the car out to inspect, Ryan discovers that the fender tag is entirely blank – a first for him.

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Some other cool finds include a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville, a 1980 Nissan 280 ZX, the infamous Chevy Corvair, a Pontiac Firebird, and a 4-door Chevy Impala. Arguably, the pick of the bunch, though, is a 1970 Oldsmobile 442.

The 442 came with Oldsmobile’s 445 cu-in (7.5-liter) “Rocket” V8 as standard, producing 365 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the car in this junkyard has no motor and is far beyond saving. Ryan says the 442 was so corroded that the body came away from the frame when they were moving the car to inspect it.

Ryan doesn’t appear to be looking around for his next project build, though; instead, he wants to showcase some of the country’s hidden slices of forgotten automobiles. While junkyard vehicles are at the mercy of the elements, they can throw up some salvageable gems if you have the time, budget, and patience.

Source:YouTube @ Auto Archaeology, Hemmings, automobile-catalog, classic.com


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