Discovery’s Desert Car Kings Resurrect a 1968 Charger


The Discovery Channel’s newest automotive themed reality show ‘Desert Car Kings’ follows Ron and Jason McClure and their family business, Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix, Arizona. These two travel to junk yards, back yards, barns and even abandoned warehouses in search of vintage vehicles to restore. Their mission is to breathe new life into these classics and get them back on the highways and byways and eventually take them to auction to fetch some money to recoup their investment. Tonight’s episode has them restoring an icon of the Dodge brand – a 1968 Charger. Make sure to tune to the Discovery Channel tonight at 9 PM ET to witness the transformation of this worn out sun baked hulk to a pristine refurbished high-horsepower cruiser. Ron and Jason also have a “New School vs. Old School” muscle showdown planned between their freshly rebuilt 1968 Charger and our 2011 Charger R/T that just happens to be in the neighborhood!


  • mike morrison
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Neat show… but PLEASE!!!…dont make the people in the show READ those stupid lines! It sounds SO CORNY and pre thoughtout! COME ON NOW!! It’s terrible!

    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    What the heck kind of comparison is this?  They throw a 383 two barrel junkyard motor with over 100,000 miles on it and they never even had a chance to tune it before they run it on the drag strip.  They run a 19 second quarter mile.  Of course you can beat it with one of your new cars. I think you could get a Caliber to beat that.  Even your R/T man van should beat that one.  What was with the funky green and the old style LeBaron vinyl top.  These guys couldn’t find parts for it.  Did they think to look online or in a Mopar magazine?  You can get every single body panel for a 1968 Dodge Charger brand new from AMD and Legendary Interiors makes the entire interior for the car. Did you see them spread the Bondo over rusty panels?  You get what you pay for and these guys give mopar a bad name.  That was a hard episode to watch. They make good beater cars for 16 year olds that are going to wreck them anyhow.

  • moparman
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I missed the show, but it sounds like I would have hated it anyway. 

    They seriously didn’t fix the body panels?  Sounds like it wasn’t a very high quality end product.

  • 440
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


    I missed the show..did it really ran 19  seconds !!! Stock 318 2 bbls run high 15’s to low 16’s in a 68 Charger…

    A stock,original  383 2 barrel runs 15 flat in the 1/4 !!! I had one !!

    also my 67 Newport 383 2bbl,ran a 15.21 with single exhaust and a 2.94 rear ratio..

     I didnt see the show,but it seems they are down playing the performance of old cars to make it seem their new Dodge’s are better than ever.The new  Charger R/T Hemi runs like a stock 68 Charger with a 383 magnum…

    If the 68 ran 19 sec 1/4’s the engine had 300,000 miles and down on compression.

    I had dozens of  big blocks and they run smooth and most people cant tell the engine is only running on 6 cyl..meaning engine is shot !! They run smooth and still have power when running 50 psi on a cyl or two..And people drive them like that thinking its full power/performance of what it was like when new..For example say in 2030 some guy races a 2011 Charger R/T and runs 19 sec 1/4 miles,and everyone is saying yep,thats what they ran when they were new…but we know its faster,because the 5.7 is stuck in 4 cyl mds mode and low on compression..

  • 440
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    A old magazine tested a 383 2 barrel Challenger at 15.1 @96 mph,they weight the same as a Charger !!!

     I am getting sick of seeing the new 2011 Charger racing beat up,non correct,1968-69 Charger’s….

    They know a new R/T cant out run a original 383 4bbl or 440 4bbl,so they use a non correct jacked up in the air,wrong year of engine 440 in the Dukes Charger and this green clunker,with a shot engine..

    Remember CarLife ran low 12’s with a new stock 440 Mopar back in the day…Dodge needs the new 392 to come close to a 440 !!

    I am sorry, 19 seconds from a 383,are you kidding me !! 

  • Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I thought the same thing 19 seconds for a 383 Charger is an embarassment to their shop, and a tribute to their quality of work, I saw several things wrong with this build including bent trim, and a rhino lined lower left quarter panel?  See when they unveil the car to dad in the show, and freeze frame it.

  • Posted April 30, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    It really did look like a hack build. Am I wrong or did it appear they were installing the new vinyl top right over the old one?   And 19 seconds in the quarter just proved how tired that motor was.  My bone stock, 2000 Ram Quad Cab 4×4 with a 5.9/Auto and 100k on the odometer ran a flat 17.

  • Bobby Powell
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    This is why I LOVE being a Mopar guy. we hate to lose, even to one of our own. But guys, There is no way you can tell me a 68 383 Charger wouldn’t do any better than 19 seconds. Who tuned it, Grumpy Jenkins ? If you don’t know what you’re doing, kindly leave the Mopars alone.

  • Bobby Powell
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I mean props for putting one back on the street, it gives me hope that the damn Dukes didn’t manage to kill all of them. But don’t dishonor it.

  • Curran Thomas
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I use to own that car, it was a 318 car, I got the 383 out of a newport it was factory rated at 325, I put a cam and intake on it, I think its the same motor they put in the car but not sure, I sold it with the car, the newport it was in was fast I don’t know what happened on the show?

  • Curran Thomas
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I use to own that car, it was a 318 car, I got the 383 out of a newport it was factory rated at 325, I put a cam and intake on it, I think its the same motor they put in the car but not sure, I sold it with the car, the newport it was in was fast I don’t know what happened on the show? yeah that car was rough, sat in my yard for 7 years, I got 3k out of it rat poop and all, the guy I sold it too got $3600 for it, then I guess the fat guy on the show only got 3k out of it again?

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