Not-So-Finders Keepers: Multi-Mopar Field Find


FIND

Normally, every month Mopar Connection publishes a feature called “Finders Keepers” where a rare or unique car is saved from certain doom. This month’s installment is going to be a little different, and told in a very personal way: It started with a Facebook post on one of the various Mopar groups I follow back in late January saying, “Just driving by 200th and 82/83rd Ave., Langley BC; looks to be about 8 or more mid-to-late ’60 2-doors. Ones I can see are a ’68 Barracuda, ’63 or ’64 2-door Polara, ’68 or ’69 Coronet 2-door… they all look to be complete with glass. Land is being excavated. Other 2-doors that I can’t tell what they are. I’m a Ford guy so not interested but hope they can be saved.”

As soon as I was off of work, I hopped in my car and took a drive over there. The location that was mentioned was one I had driven by thousands of times and never once seen a Mopar let alone anything old. The property always had a tall fence around it and was heavily treed. Besides, it was a vacant lot. It appeared that both properties had been recently sold and the owner was moving everything so the land could be cleared for a new development. Sure enough, just as mentioned in the Facebook post, there were a row of Mopars lined up on the vacant lot next door to the house. I was shocked; it appears these cars had been hiding in the bush this whole time and nobody (including myself) had a clue! I found a safe place to pull over and decided to take a peak and see if I could find the owner.

The first car I spotted at the front of the lineup was a 1964 Fury followed by a 1969 Satellite 4-door powered by a 318. Behind that was a big C-body, a mid ’70s Volare, and a pair of 1969 Satellite 2-doors. One Satellite was a 383 car and the other was a 318. Both seemed restorable if somebody had enough desire to do so. It was then I spotted an older gentleman wearing gumboots and carrying a pair of gas cans walking out of the bush from the direction of the derelict house next door. I walked over and introduced myself. He told me he was indeed the owner of the cars and I was more than welcome to photograph and check out everything. He shared with me how he had just dragged them out of the bush because he sold his property and everything needed to go.

He then really piqued my attention when he asked me if I had seen the Demon and the Road Runner that were hiding near the back. I excitingly told him no I hadn’t, so he pointed in their direction and told me to check them out and come find him when I was done. After trekking through some deep mud in my running shoes, I came across an EV2 Hemi Orange 1971 Demon. This Demon was honestly the rustiest car I have ever come across. The trunk was non-existent along with the rear frame rails, causing the leaf springs to arch into the space where the trunk used to be. The tail light panel was almost completely gone and the bumper brackets had rusted off so when they moved the car out of the bush, the back bumper almost fell off! The front of the car wasn’t any better as the front frame rails were completely crumbled and the front of the car actually bent and tried to tear apart when they moved it.

When I looked inside the car, the first thing I noticed was an orange bucket seat. I decided to check the VIN tag to see what power plant it had originally and that’s when I discovered the biggest shock. This wasn’t any Demon; it was a factory H-Code 340 automatic car! What a waste! The inner fender was completely rotten and sunken down so I was able to check the fender tag without even opening the hood. It was indeed an original Hemi Orange Demon with black stripes and orange interior! To make things even sadder, the complete original 340 engine was still resting in the engine bay. Unfortunately, the Demon was absolutely toast and completely un-restorable in my opinion. Besides the drivetrain, there was some usable parts on it and that was about it.

From there, I walked past a Dart 2-door post and over to where the Road Runner was. Sure enough, there it was resting under a blue tarp. The Road Runner turned out to be a 383 big block car with a column shift automatic. Rather than a usual hardtop configuration, this one was a post car! It appeared to have been wearing T7 Bronze Metallic paint with a full tan deluxe bench seat interior. However, in patches where the paint was peeled, I spotted what appeared to be Q5 Turquoise underneath! Unfortunately, I was unable to get the hood open to confirm the options and original paint color as the latch was seized. Besides missing hood bezels, the car was 100-percent complete including the powerplant. While it was quite rusty in the usual B-body spots, this one was definitely a good restoration candidate.

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After finding the owner again, I asked him about the cars. He said he didn’t really want to sell anything but if the right offer came around, he would. He shared how he had purchased the Road Runner around 1973 and used it as his daily driver until 1979 when he got bored of it and bought something else that caught his attention. Rather than sell the car, he parked it out back and that’s where it sat until then. He didn’t have much of a story for the Demon or the other cars but he was very adamant that the Demon was not for sale as he was going to take it with him. I thanked him from his time and left. About three weeks later the cars vanished from the property. The house was bulldozed and the land was cleared.

Naturally, I wondered where the cars ended up; that was until a few weeks ago. The Fury and the three Satellites ended up with another Mopar guy a few blocks down the street from where they were. He’s currently trying to sell them or part them out. The Demon and Road Runner vanished into thin air until a friend of mine spotted them sitting in a blueberry field not too far from his house around 35 minutes from where they were when I found them. It appears the Demon crumbled more when it was moved. Along side the Demon and Road Runner is the Dart, Volare and Monaco that were on the original property as well. We at Mopar Connection hope that someone is able to purchase them before they are only good for scrap!

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Cody Cole

Associate Editor – cody.cole@shawgroupmedia.com
Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody’s parents gave him a rusty ’69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody’s garage still features that ’69 Charger as well as the additions of a ’70 Coronet, ’71 Charger R/T, ’71 Road Runner, ’04 SRT-4, ’06 Grand Cherokee SRT8, ’08 Challenger SRT8, ’16 Wrangler Unlimited Back Country and a ’17 Ram 1500 Rebel. Cody can truly and proudly say him and his wife are true Mopar nuts in love with all types of Mopars!

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