Forgotten 1969 Charger Could Be Worth One Million Dollars

October 29th, 2015 by


It’s hard to anticipate when a particular vehicle will transform into a classic. No one, whether they’re an expert or not, really has any idea if the car they just purchased will be worth at least ten times the original value in 50 years. When you do hit on these vehicles, it can certainly be lucrative.

Nowadays, you’ll see these type of stories in regards to vehicles from the 1960s or 1970s. That was the case with one Washington resident, who realized his beaten-down 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was actually a rare and sought after item.

Continue reading to learn how much the owner paid (and could potentially be paid) for his car. It may convince you that you should be taking care of your future 2016 Dodge Charger, because you never know how much it could be worth…


As David K. Li of the New York Post writes, Ron Smith originally purchased the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona in the early 1970s, and he paid less than $5,000 for the vehicle ($4,776.46 to be exact). As a young driver, Smith enjoyed his ride for as long as he could, but he was soon deployed to Vietnam. His car was working good as new when he returned to the United States, but the engine ultimately called it quits in 1980.

Instead of ditching the car, Smith just left it at his father’s barn in Washington state, and the Charger sat there for more than 20 years. That was until a car enthusiast identified the vehicle, and he referred Smith to “car restoration whiz” Marshall Woolery.

“I went to see the car as a favor to a friend but never in a million years did I believe there would be a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona in there,” Woolery said.

Woolery understood the value of the car the moment he saw it, but he also understood that it would cost a pretty penny to get the car fully restored ($100,000 worth of pretty pennies, actually). Plus, the restoration expert was a bit apprehensive about doing the job, as he didn’t want to remove some of the Charger’s original parts.

“[You] would have lost a lot of what the car was,” Woolery continued. “You can’t recreate all the time that has passed since this car was built — so we just fixed it.”


Instead, Smith ended up dishing out $12,000 to fix up the car, and he managed to keep some of the throwbacks to the 1970s. This included, as Li notes, “an old blue-and-green Seattle Seahawks logo and a large “Spirit of 76” bicentennial  decal on each door.” Woolery ended up being thrilled with the final result.

“I hate to think what would’ve happened if he took it to somebody who didn’t understand what that car was,” he said (via Chris Shelton of “It would’ve probably gotten restored and more than likely improperly. It’s way easier to do more harm than good to a car like that. But it didn’t take much to convince him to not restore the car; he’s an intelligent and reasonable guy, and he trusted that I knew what I was doing.”

The car owner, meanwhile, was thankful for the assistance.

“Marshall turned out to be gold,” he said. “He was a man of his word and got right down with it.”


Smith originally ditched the car on the side of a barn, figuring it’d never serve any value again. More than two decades later, and the owner could be looking at close to a million dollar payday. A fully refurbished Charger was sold to actor David Spade this year for $900,000.

This should be enough to convince that you keeping care of your vehicle is important. You have no idea if your future car purchase could make you a millionaire.

Posted in Dodge