Earlier this year, we encountered a Bright Blue Metallic 1968 Dodge Charger R/T parked in one of the halls at the Classic Auto Show in Costa Mesa, California during the second day of the event. Just recently, this same Charger ended up in the hands of Dominick Tomaino of Huntington Beach, California.
In December of 1967, Dominick Tomaino went to a Dodge dealership in Glendora, California, and ordered a triple green 1968 Charger R/T. He had to wait for eight and a half weeks before getting the car. Before then, he owned a 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury, and wanted to acquire the Charger. Eventually, Tomaino received the car on January 30th, 1968, which happens to be the build date of the Charger you see here. Dominick had been searching for his original Charger since 1972, only to find out that the car is believed to have been destroyed, possibly during filming of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” where a number of 1968/69 Chargers were used, most of which crashed during production.
A little over fifty years later, Tomaino searched on the Internet to acquire a second Charger. He found a Bright Blue Metallic R/T with white stripes on the back that was being advertised for sale by its original owner. “I’ve had several cars over the years, but the car I really wanted back is a ‘68 Charger,” he said. When he saw that the build date on this Charger was January 30th, 1968, Tomaino immediately jumped on an opportunity to purchase the car because that happened to be the day that he purchased his original Charger. A deal was made, and the car was his.
Dominick’s 1968 Dodge Charger R/T is the real deal. All the numbers match up accordingly. The car was purchased new at Wegge Motors, in Pasadena, California by the original owner. By 2001, the car had 71,000 original miles on the odometer, and now has 75,000 original miles. The engine is the famous 440 cubic-inch Magnum V8; found in the Charger R/T models. Factory air conditioning was an option you could get in 1968, along with a rear window defogger; which this car was ordered with. Also present is the original AM 8-track stereo. A full, factory correct restoration was done on the car by S&M Kustomz in San Gabriel, California.
Exterior features include period-correct Firestone Wide Oval Redline tires with Magnum 500 wheels. However, the wheels in the back have been widened, but the originals are still included with the car. 1968 was the first year of the hide-away headlights, and this Charger has them. Another unique feature about the exterior, is the white vinyl “Bumble Bee” stripes on the rear of the car. These were available in black, white, and red.
Interior is black all around. The “Tic Toc Tach” is included, and was present on all of the B-Body Chargers that were ordered from 1968 to 1970. Other features include the shoulder harnesses that mount next to the sun visors, and a light underneath the top of the dashboard. The steering wheel is the standard Dodge steering wheel, which is common on most Mopars. A wooden steering wheel was also available as a factory option.
Dominick Tomaino is a member of the Surf City Classics Car Club of Huntington Beach, California, run by Brian “Big Perm” Almas. Every Wednesday night, the club, puts on a car show and cruise in Huntington Beach, California. By 7:30PM, the cars all caravan over to Main Street in Downtown Huntington Beach. Weekly coverage is provided; by Surf City Dano, who videotapes the cars as they cruise on by. To see more about Surf City Classics, be sure to check out their Facebook page, Instagram account, and even the weekly coverage by Dano Live on YouTube.
The most recent endeavor for Dominick and his Charger was meeting fellow Mopar enthusiast Chris Jacobs, who hosts a show on MotorTrend Overhaulin’, starring legendary car customizer Chip Foose. At any local car show, or even at the Surf City Classics weekly cruise night, you can catch Dominick and his 1968 Dodge Charger R/T. This is a great Mopar with a truly incredible story.