‘Dukes’ driving ’69 Charger prices?
Values for the classic muscle car are spiking. Are the Duke boys to blame?
July 29, 2005; Posted: 12:01 p.m. EDT (1601 GMT)
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN/Money staff writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – As the national release of the movie “The Dukes of Hazzard” approaches, prices of 1969 Dodge Chargers, the type of car driven by cousins Bo and Luke Duke in the movie and in the TV series on which it was based, are starting to rise, according to data from Kelley Blue Book.
Kelley Blue Book attributes the increase to renewed interest in the car sparked by the impending release of the movie.
Collectors, anticipating increasing demand for the cars, may be buying up classic Chargers, said Jack Nerad, Kelley Blue Book’s editorial director.
Prices paid for 1969 Charger R/T’s rose about 20 percent during 2004. Their value increased 55 percent during the first six months of 2005, according to data from Kelley Blue Book.
Meanwhile, prices of 1969 Plymouth Barracudas, very similar cars which, like the Dodge Charger, were made by Chrysler Corp., increased only slightly during the same periods.
Movies can sometimes boost the value of certain cars, especially ones that weren’t particularly popular to begin with, said Nerad. He noted increasing prices paid for Toyota Supra sports cars following the release of the movie “The Fast and The Furious.
While classic Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Barracudas with high-output Hemi engines can be extremely expensive, non-Hemi versions sell for more modest prices.
Still, a Charger 500 in “Excellent” condition can be worth $61,600 today, according to Kelley Blue Book. In January, the same car would have been valued at about $43,900
Some others are less certain that an increase in values for Dodge Chargers is related to the release of the movie.
“it’s difficult to judge how the reaction will be to the 1969 Dodge Charger only based on the trailers and TV spots,” Steve Davis, an executive with the collector car auction company Barrett-Jackson, said in an e-mail. “There will be a better opportunity to read into it’s popularity after the film has opened.”
Movies can help spur sales of desirable cars by exposing those cars to a wider audience, Davis said.
“For example, the cars in ‘Bullit,’ ‘The Italian Job,’ the James Bond films and ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ were already popular, and the films merely increased their desirability,” he said.
In addition to the movie, the release of the 2006 Dodge Charger, which resurrects a model name that had been retired for some time, could be boosting awareness of older Chargers, Nerad said.