Waterford resident  Brian Veit’s 1967 Dodge Charger has been a part of his family since Veit was 6 years old.

Waterford resident Brian Veit’s 1967 Dodge Charger has been a part of his family since Veit was 6 years old.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Behind the Wheel: 1967 Dodge Charger has long family history

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published May 31, 2018

 Veit poses with the Carger in 1967, the year his dad brought it home.

Veit poses with the Carger in 1967, the year his dad brought it home.

Photo provided by Brian Veit

 Veit washes the Charger in 1971.

Veit washes the Charger in 1971.

Photo provided by Brian Veit

 Veit acquired  the Charger from his dad in 1997.

Veit acquired the Charger from his dad in 1997.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Photo by Deb Jacques

In 1967, when Waterford resident Brian Veit was just 6 years old, his dad brought home a brand-new Dodge Charger. 

As a Dodge customer relations manager in Pennsylvania, Veit’s dad was given the Charger to be used as a field car. But after the Charger’s field duties were fulfilled, Veit’s dad decided to purchase the car — and it’s been in the family ever since. 

“Despite being exposed to all kinds of Mopars as a child — Dad brought home new demo/field cars all the time — I always thought this was the coolest car I’d ever seen, and still do,” Veit said in an email interview. 

The Charger was the Veit family’s daily car until the mid-’70s, and then it was garaged and sat dormant for the next two decades. Although it wasn’t driven, the car accompanied Veit’s dad through promotions and job transfers from region to region until returning home to Pennsylvania upon his retirement. Then in 1997, Veit, who was living in Michigan, got “the call.” His dad was ready to pass the car on to him. 

Veit, of course, jumped at the offer. A few years later, he had the car restored so his dad could see it back on the road again. 

Veit’s Charger is one of 2,000 1967 models that were originally marketed as Dodge “White Hat Specials,” which came with additional features — such as a white or black vinyl top, special wheel covers and power steering — at a discounted price. He noted that the ’67 Chargers “were notorious for rusting,” though, so there aren’t many left today. 

“My favorite aspect of the car would have to be the combination of the fact that it is a treasured family heirloom, as well as a fairly rare car,” said Veit.  

Now the Charger is Veit’s “daily driver, from the first rain of spring to the first snow of winter.” The car had 65,000 miles on it when Veit received it from his dad, and that number has more than doubled since he put it on the road in 2000. Veit noted that in 2011, his wife became ill, so he didn’t use the car much while he focused on her and her health. 

“Sadly, she passed away last May, so I eventually put the car back in action later that summer,” he said, adding that his dad died just three months after his wife. “So now it is with even greater pride and a sense of honor that I drive, share and just enjoy the history.” 

The Charger’s license plate reads “DADZ 67” as an homage to Veit’s dad and as a reminder of the family memories he’s had in the car. 

“I sat behind my mom and remember watching my father driving,” said Veit. “I’m pretty sure those were my very first lessons.”

Veit said that although he’s not a traditional “car guy,” he has found it rewarding to take the Charger to shows and share its story — especially with fathers and their kids. Veit and his Charger have participated in the EyesOn Design car show at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores; at the Willistead Classic in Windsor, Ontario; and in a Route 66 road trip for Motor Trend Classic magazine. 

“The car’s legacy as a Chrysler Service Division field car and then remaining in the family always seems to make people smile,” he said. “In the process, I have certainly learned to appreciate everyone’s stories.”


Do you own a vehicle that has an interesting history? Contact Staff Writer Jennifer Sigouin at jsigouin@candgnews.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Behind the Wheel.