Gathering Intel

I’ve been gathering intel on Michael Westen’s Charger.

Searching the internet is frustrating.  People can’t even agree on what year the Charger is, much less which body style.  I have found crazy answers in forums.  Some people claim it’s a 69 Charger (Dead Wrong – It’s not the Dukes of Hazard body style).  It is definitely a third generation body style charger (1971 – 1974).

Based on the auction sites who managed the sale of set props for the show back in August of 2013, the car is identified as a 1973.  There is very little difference between a ’73 and a ’74.  One of the easy identifiers are the rubber bumpers (which have been removed from Michael’s) and the vents in the hood (and of course, Michael’s hood has a custom scoop and may no longer reflect the original hood).  It is almost like the show has intentionally removed the easy identifiers that distinguishes a ’73 from a ’74.  I wonder if that was on purpose, so they could use both years to supply stunt cars.

Speaking of stunt cars…
At the auction in Florida, one of Michael’s stunt cars sold for only $4,000 (See news).  I wish I had of gotten a chance to bid on that one.  I had no idea cars would go that cheap, and the auction took place right before I committed to this project.  If the current owner of this stunt car is now having buyer’s remorse and doesn’t want to spend what it will take to complete the car, PLEASE CONTACT ME.  Maybe we can work out a deal, and you can watch the car evolve on this site into the official Burnt Spy Car!

What I do know…
The car is not a Rallye.  Dodge had a high performance Rallye edition in that year.  There were no R/T cars.  I have seen forums claiming that it was an R/T.  That’s not accurate for that year.  I have seen others claiming it was a Rallye hardtop.  However, as much as I would like that to be true, Michael’s car appears to be a base model.  It does not have the steering wheel of a Rallye.  Also, the hood was not flat on the Rallye.  Dodge put a “buldge hood” in the sport model to accommodate the larger big block options.  Michael’s car has the shifter on the column, another indicator of a base model.  Although, his car does have bucket seats.  It appears that the Burn Notice Car may be a mixture of parts from several models, and is not a true matching numbers car.  The car also has the optional Magnum 500 rims, which look great on a car of this vintage.

What about the engine…
Personally, I would like my Charger to have the 440 option that was still available in ’73.  However, if Michael’s car is a base model, it probably only has a 318.  Did they upgrade to a 440 despite the factory original to give Michael’s car the high performance deserving of a burnt spy?  I don’t know yet.  I’d like to find out.  Regardless, would you fault me for opting for the bigger motor for my build?  What good is a muscle car if it doesn’t have muscle?  And what is the point of Michael’s custom hood scoop if there isn’t a hungry motor sucking air on the under side?

Reaching out for more intel…
I have been scouring the internet for more information, and even reaching out to some people who would know.  I called the booking agency for Matt Nix, the producer of Burn Notice.  Naturally, I didn’t get anywhere.  I’ve been reaching out to cast members like Jeffrey Donovan on Twitter, but haven’t heard a reply yet.  Finally, I looked up some of the stunt doubles.  Surely, they are familiar with the car.  I have tried communicating with Dean Grimes (Michael’s stunt driver) through Facebook and Artie Malesci (Sam’s stunt driver) by email.  I am still awaiting replies from them.  Who knows…maybe one of these contacts will actually come through and provide me with information and resources on the car.

I need you…
Are you a Mopar enthusiast?  Maybe you know more about third generation Chargers than I do.  If I have missed anything, please let me know.  Do you have any clues about Michael’s model?  I’m not even 100% sure if his car is a true hardtop.  Anyone ever seen the back windows down?  If you have factual information (factual – I don’t need more opinions.  The forums are already full of those), please share.  If you know where a potential project car sits, or have one for sale, please pass that information along too.



Author: A.K.A. Michael

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