1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

1969 Charger RT-SE – Katzeff’s Keeper

The ’69 Dodge Charger was a mass-produced muscle car but the 1969 Charger RT-SE proved more elusive. Of the 69,142 Chargers built that year, 20,100 Were R/Ts but this particular model is one of one as equipped. This was all decoded by Midwest muscle car guru Galen Govier.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

The massive 7.2 liter 440c.i. V8 with the 4bbl carb was the top of the food chain in terms of available power for ‘69 Chargers. Richard Katzeff’s fresh restoration gives us a ride in a Time Capsule back to your local Dodge dealer at the close of the swingin’ 60s.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

A lifetime muscle car enthusiast and organic farmer, Richard jumped headlong into restoring and showing Detroit Muscle approximately seven years ago. While Richard and his son Chris have their own shop to house, service and maintain their growing collection, he has used several shops to restore his projects. This light bronze poly (T3) stunner carrying the SE option (Code A47), was brought back to showroom condition by Julius Steuer from Restorations by Julius in Chatsworth, California.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

About the only item that isn’t NOS or OEM is the PPG Deltron base coat mixed perfectly to match the factory T3 coded hue. They had to mix quite a lot to cover all that B-Body tin!


1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

The heartbeat of the Charger was fully rebuilt, balanced and blueprinted to original factory specs at Restorations by Julius. The dual point ignition, the cast manifolds – all of it is displayed in like-new fashion under the heavy hood. The 720 torqueflight stands ready for a heavy right foot.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

These cars made their bones at stoplights and dragstrips not road courses. Equipped with Dodge’s subframe, torsion bar front suspension and rear leafs, stance is solid. These had the 17:1 steering ratio, Chrysler 8 ¾” rear end, front discs and rear drum brakes – all of which look brand new! The 15-inch road wheels are wrapped in redline bias ply tires. This was long before the radial revolution hit high gear.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel CurveInside, the cabin is fully decked in original S/E trim – that elusive blend of real leather and vinyl. If we had to guess, we’d say at least 90% of all Mopar muscle cars came with vinyl only, making this a rare bird. The sport steering wheel, wood grain instrument panel, pedal dress up option and lighting package are all accounted for.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

Richard and Julius pulled off an effective restoration showing just how the 1969 Charger R/T SE embodied a combination of muscle and luxury. The car made its debut at the Goodguys Summer GetTogether in early June and will be featured at Mopar events this summer and fall. Joining the bronze Charger RT/SE in the Katzeff collection is a convertible ’67 Camaro SS, a ’68 Dodge Coronet and a ’69 Plymouth Roadrunner and others.

Richard’s builds have done well and this Charger should be no different. Feathers in Richard’s cap with other muscle cars include the Best Muscle Car at the Chico Concours, Show Director Memorial awards and Goodguys hardware to boot. We know this Charger will find the winner’s circle every time it rolls into the show gates no matter when or where that is.

1969 Charger RT-SE 440, Fuel Curve

Liner Note: This is kind of funny. When we were doing our ’69 Charger research one of the Google search results was “How many Chargers were destroyed in Duke’s of Hazard?”

Photography by Steven Bunker

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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