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A Love for Muscle
All that is missing is the “new car” smell! The interior, with the exception of the floor carpet, is the original from the day the 1968 Charger was purchased by Floyd Opp.
The 1968 Charger was ordered in the late summer of 1967, from the Martyn-Edwards dealership in Aberdeen, SD, when Floyd was discharged from military duty. The car was ordered as an RT but the dealer made an error in the paper work. When the car arrived, Floyd decided not to reorder and kept the car.
The odometer is marked to 150 mph with the speed having been tested by Floyd, unknown to his wife until years later! It was the Opp’s family car for ten years and if one looks closely, the evidence of tiny bite marks put there by one of the Opp’s three daughters, remains on the right side of the dash. While they could be removed, the Opp’s have chosen to leave them as part of the car’s history.
The car has a history that has come full circle. It’s first road trip was to the Black Hills for the Opp’s Honeymoon. Being a family car, it also had the privilege of giving each of the Opp’s three daughters, following their birth at the hospital, their very first ride home! The Charger has remained with the Opp’s throughout their 47-year-marriage and has joined them in their move from Eureka, SD, back to the Black Hills area where it had it’s first road trip.
The paint color of the car is the original Bright Blue Poly, code QQ1, but was repainted twenty plus years ago. It still sports it’s original dash, seats, vinyl top and wheels. Because it had been a family car for many years and accumulated 136,000 miles, Floyd recently had the 383 motor rebuilt using the original block. The pistons were replaced with street performance pistons covered with Edelbrock heads and a Edelbrock intake along with COMP cams and aluminum roller rockers fed by a Proform 750 CFM carburetor. The exhaust system is a set of Hooker headers with 3” Flowmaster exhaust. The automatic transmission was also rebuilt.
The Charger was the first new car purchased by Floyd, so he has kept the original window sticker and build sheets as part of the car’s history. The grand total for the car at time of purchase shows $3,923.00.
Floyd has always had a love for cars but up until the couple’s recent retirement from farming and ranching, he did not have the opportunity and time to enjoy them as much as he would have liked. After moving to the Piedmont area, he has found the perfect opportunity by joining the “Counts of the Cobblestone’s” Car Club of Rapid City.
With the Counts of the Cobblestones being one of the longest running car clubs in the United States and being a very active club, the couple has been able to take the Charger, along with their ‘65 Mustang Fastback, ‘67 Camaro and ‘64 Corvette on many club cruises and events. Although Floyd has a love for muscle cars, he also enjoys many of the hot rods built by the club’s members.
Since the Charger happens to be the favorite of Floyd’s wife, Donna, they were especially thrilled when the ‘68 Charger was chosen by the former Police Chief, Steve Allender, as the “Chief’s Choice” at the Rapid City Downtown Cruiser Car Show in 2012. The Rapid City Cruiser Car Show is an annual event sponsored by the Rapid City Police Dept.
Other projects in Floyd’s shop are a 1960 T-Bird owned since the 70’s, which will become a resto mod, a 1957 Chevy pick-up and a 1963 Corvair Monza.
If you attend the upcoming 16th Annual Counts of The Cobblestones Car Show, you’ll get to see the Opp’s ‘68 Charger in person, along with several other Street Rods, Classics, Rat Rods, Muscle Cars, Sports Cars, Pickups, Street Machines, Motorcycles and more. The show is the end result of countless hours of dreaming, planning, and the building of all these vehicles. All brought together in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. This is not just a car show but also a social event. It is the chance to view amazing displays and to visit with old friends and make new. There is something for all ages including the 4th Annual Women’s Expo, Make-N-Take model car building, Kids coloring contest and vendor seminars at selected times throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning, the first 500 kids 10 and under receive a free Hot Wheels toy. Come play with us on Feb 20th, 21st and 22nd, hope to see you there!
TAKE A KID TO A CAR SHOW
In the last few years the Counts of the Cobblestone Car Club have implemented the very successful “Take a Kid to the Car Show” program that many do not see. Local business’, car enthusiasts, and our club members make donations of not only money, but their time and hard work to make “TAKE A KID TO THE CAR SHOW” happen. This program helps organizations that work with underprivileged children. It gives them the opportunity for the children to attend a show and learn about cars. Donations to “Take a kid to the Car Show” are being accepted at any time, feel free to contact the Counts of the Cobblestone to make a donation. TMM