1953 Dodge Fire Arrow П concept car

Collectible Dodges have always been favorites at auctions featuring muscle cars. Over the years, Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, Mecum, and Auctions America have certainly sold their share of Challengers, Chargers and Darts. Here we examine collectible Dodges two ways: a look at five of the priciest Dodges sold at auction the last 10 years and a peek at a trio of Dodges that might be reasonably priced now—but won’t be for long.

1953 Dodge Fire Arrow П concept car
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale January 2007, $1.1 million
Of the Fire Arrow series—four one-off Ghia-designed concept cars (Fire Arrow I was just a mockup)—the Fire Arrow II was the first actual roadwor-thy car. Although it’s still quite striking, many historians feel Fire Arrow П was probably the least pretty of the four. Still, it hit the $1.1 million mark for Fire Arrows at Barrett-Jackson in 2007. It was worth every cent paid. Why? Because important ’50s concept cars like this rarely survived after their show days were done.

1954 Dodge Fire Arrow IV concept car

1954 Dodge Fire Arrow IV concept car
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, January 2007, $1.1 million
Essentially an open version of the Fire Arrow EI coupe, it’s debatable whether the coupe or convertible is prettier. To our eyes, the coupe’s fast-back roofline relieves the convertible’s slab-sidedness; but let’s face it, this is still a really pretty concept car. The market voted with its pocket book on this one—the price goes up when the top comes down. The Fire Arrows could have been Dodge’s Corvette and Thunderbird competitors had Chrysler Corp. wanted to enter that war. Turns out a Chicago businessman, Eugene Carasoll, decided to do what Chrysler chose not to do, putting a modified version of the Fire Arrow into production as the Dual-Ghia. In the late ’50s, it briefly became the Rat Pack’s darling.

1964 Dodge Hemi Charger concept car
RM Auctions Monterey, August 2007, $1.1 million
Indeed, 2007 was a big year. Here’s another Dodge concept, this one from the dawn of the muscle-car era. It looks nothing like the later cars wearing the Charger name. In fact, it looks far more related to ’60s Dodge Darts. While perhaps not as pretty as the Ghia Fire Arrows were, this car was nonetheless significant as the first car to use the famed 426 Hemi. Texas tobacco plaintiff’s lawyer John O’Quinn bought this one at the top of the market in ’07. His estate sold it four years later in a considerably less buoyant market for $715,000.

1954 Dodge Fire Arrow III concept car

1954 Dodge Fire Arrow III concept car
RM Auctions Phoenix January 2009, $880,000
The Fire Arrow Ш continued a successful series of Dodge concept cars appearing (not surprisingly) after the Fire Arrow П. It might well have been the prettiest of the Fire Arrows. The lovely light metallic-blue coupe stood 60 inches tall (quite low for any 1950s car) and was styled under the famed Virgil Exner’s regime. Unlike most of his peers at the time, Exner was no credit-stealing egomaniac. He preferred to give credit for the design where it should have actually gone, to Luigi Segre of Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, Italy. Not your typical concept, this one was fully functional, based on a Dodge Royal chassis with a stock Red-Ram V8. Upon completion, the car went to Chrysler’s Chelsea proving grounds, where it was driven at speed by Betty Skelton, a rather famous female aerobatic pilot (and charter pilot for NASC AR’s Bill France). The Fire Arrow Ш then hit the show circuit where, like the I and П predecessors, it proved extremely popular. Then it disappeared into a bit of obscurity, shipped back to Europe so Chrysler could avoid paying hefty duty on the coach-work. It bounced around Italy and France for several years until famed restorer Fran Roxas restored it. Surprisingly, the car was sold again in 2011, this time for about $30,000 less. Since neither 2009 nor 2011 were the best years for the collector-car market, it’s a fair bet it would fetch much more today.

1992 DODGE VIPER

1992 DODGE VIPER
The earliest Dodge Vipers are the most elemental (no roll-up windows or driver’s aids) but are also the most appealing from a collector’s standpoint. The first-gen Viper is the closest any major manufacturer has ever come to re-creating the 427 Shelby Cobra’s magic. Even though the truck-derived V10’s exhaust note has been compared to a UPS truck on steroids, it doesn’t matter; it gets the job done in fine fashion with a rumble all its own. With 400 hp and a six-speed manual transmission, the ’92 Viper was good for mid-12-second quarters and 150 mph. You can pay close to $40,000 for a mint one, but clean ’92s costing around $30,000 shouldn’t be hard to find. Buy one immediately; they’ll never be cheaper.

2006 DODGE MAGNUM SRT8

2006 DODGE MAGNUM SRT8
The Dodge faithful still to this day miss and mourn the Magnum-quite likely the most badass wagon ever. With a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 producing 425 hp, 0-60 came up in just under five seconds. SRT8s made up a tiny fraction of Magnum production, virtually insuring future collectability. Good low-mileage ones have held their value well.