LIMA — Steve Houseworth, of Lima, loves this 1968 Dodge Charger so much that he bought it twice. He has owned it for 22 years.
“I owned it once before, and I bought it again. I bought it in the early 70’s and sold it and acquired it back,” Houseworth said.
Houseworth brought the car to the Westgate Charity Car Show held at the end of June.
The Dodge Charger is one of the baddest muscle cars ever produced. Its reputation was enhanced by popular movies. In the film “Bullitt,” two distinct cars star along with Steve McQueen; one is the 1968 Ford Mustang that McQueen drives; the other is a 1968 Dodge Charger. In the movie, the Mustang wins; however one can’t help but wonder if McQueen was driving the Charger if he wouldn’t have caught the bad guys sooner.
Dodge redesigned its mid-sized car in 1968. The company left the fastback design behind and made the Charger curvier than most other cars. The company was banking on a unique design that the public would accept. The print advertising stated, “68 Dodge Charger. What a great shape to be in.”
Dodge produced 96,100 models during the 1968 model year.
Houseworth had to fix the car up after buying it the second time.
“It was a basket case,” Houseworth said. “Everything has been rebuilt.”
He installed a 440 six-pack engine. The paint color is turquoise, which was a factory color.
Houseworth’s favorite memories are the Frisch’s days.
“Constant cruises. Every night was a cruise-in,” Houseworth said.