NOT A Barn Find: 1970 Dodge Challenger

By Nathan Avots-Smith

We’re playing with fire by featuring this 1970 Dodge Challenger, because the seller is adamant that it is “NOT a barn find,” further asserting, “‘barn find’ is an abused phrase these days, does anyone still fall for it?” So don’t be fooled by its presence here, this Challenger is not a barn find – but it’s too nice a survivor to ignore! It’s here on eBay out of Naples, Florida, with a buy-it-now price of $28,000 or best offer, and until it sells we are assured it is housed in a clean, rodent-free garage.

Don’t be fooled by the R/T badges, either. This is a slant six coupe (and the badges are stick-ons, so no holes were added to the body), and while I know everybody wants a car like this in the hottest possible spec, I can’t help thinking how handsome this car is without all of the scoops, stripes, vinyl roofs, and flat black hoods; the purity of its basic shape shines through and is nicely accented by the classy gold paint. That paint, by the way, is a respray.

This brings us to another contradiction inherent in this ad (besides it being featured on Barn Finds when it is NOT a barn find, that is!): the seller is upfront that the badges have been added and the car has been repainted, but adds the old saw “it’s only original once,” and then turns around to suggest that this car would be a great candidate for a 440 or Hemi swap. Of course it’ll be up to a new owner to decide what (if anything) to do with this car, but c’mon, friend, make up your mind! Personally, I’d leave it alone. The slant six is a legendarily reliable powerplant—and this one is going strong with just 83,000 believed-to-be-original miles—and if it’s not the most exciting, well, as the owner says, “it’s the way it was built.” There are already more big motor Challengers running around today than there were back then, and so few reminders that the long order forms for these cars meant that they could be just about anything from a fairly economical family car with style to a personal luxury coupe to a fire-breathing muscle beast.

The interior is in incredibly nice shape, if a bit plain, supporting the low-ish mileage claim. We are assured that the A/C blows cold, although confusingly, the ad also mentions that the seller has an “A/C compressor and power steering box included.” Are they extras, or are they the originals and just not installed? In any event, it’s a functional place to do business, with accommodations for four friends that you’d never have to feel embarrassed about.

You also needn’t worry about any embarrassing rust issues; the seller has provided several photos of solid floors, quarter panels, frame rails, and more. Disdain for barn finds notwithstanding, this is a really nicely preserved and maintained Challenger, and a handsome beast even if it’s set up more for cruising than for tearing it up. What do you think—is it nice enough to forgive the slander of our good name?

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Comments

  1. Mike

    Wasn’t this just posted about a month ago? Same seller?

    8+

  2. Rich Tague

    $ 28,000………for a Slant 6 ……PASS!!!!!

    18+

    • Bart

      No doubt.

      You can buy a brand new one with a six and a factory warranty for that much.

      7+

  3. Marvelous

    Used half his post to rant on barn finds…smooth. Nice 6 cyl car…not original. Not a 28k car. But nice….

    5+

  4. txchief

    All original, but with non-correct badges and a repaint? If it was a /6 real R/T without a power bulge or shaker hood, it would be the rarest Mopar ever! 28K? Only if you were dying for a simple Hemi swap candidate.

    4+

  5. jw454

    It looks like the heater coil has been by passed. For 28K that should be fixed along with any other issues.

    3+

    • Moxman

      That was the first thing I noticed when I saw the engine photo. So either the heater core is shot or the heater control valve leaks and was bypassed. For that kind of money, all the basics should be in working order. The car is in really great shape, otherwise.

      2+

  6. William

    For 28k, you think you could do something with the tray leaking like a sieve?

    1+

  7. Joe Haska

    I agree with everything said about this car, even saying it is not a Barn Find, but does it really matter, what is a Barn Find? Better yet what is a Hot Rod? or worse yet what is a Rat Rod? In this vast Automotive Culture we have all these terms, that we describe our cars with, but no one can agree on the definition of the term. We seem to disagree and fight about all the time, I know I do, and I don’t even know why. Is it a survivor? or is it original?, it could be restored?, it could even be a frame off, or even a rotisserie restoration, WOW! We seem to even come up with new terms all the time, biggest abuser “Barrett-Jackson” , there terms are endless ,and mean nothing ,who dreams this stuff up, Resto-Mod, that’s a really good one! I think what we have here “Is a failure to communicate”.

    7+

    • MikeL

      Let’s not forget the term ”clone” which is now called a ”tribute” car… what the heck!?

      0

      • The Walrus

        Clone? I thought it was clown.

        1+

  8. Joe

    I agree with the seller that this is not a Barn Find. It’s maybe a Flood Find, post-hurricane. “Swim on Sunday, Sell on Monday”.

    1+

  9. KevinR

    The seller declares it is “only original once.” Then goes on to talk about the repaint, the poseur badges and the possibility of a 440 or Hemi swap.

    Combine the fact that I saw this car on one of the internet sites a while back (so it obviously didn’t sell) with the attitude of the seller and I just don’t see $28K here. Maybe someone else does…

    1+

    • PRA4SNW

      You saw it on this site. Yet another repeat.

      0

  10. Michael

    It’s a beautiful car but about $10,000.00 overpriced.

    2+

  11. lawrence

    yep…seen before…didn’t sell….he installed the R/T badges since…..

    1+

    • John D.

      Odd, it was the mention of the R/T badges that reminded me that I had seen this one before this post. And it is $28000 or best offer.

      0

  12. House of Hotrods

    Neat car, tho overpriced for sure. One day it’s likely the six cylinder variants of desirable pony cars will be the rarest in captivity. Six in a row mills have tons of torque, run forever and the bodies aren’t twisted and cracked as some of the Hipo ones are, and if you do grenade the engine they are cheep to replace, sometimes even free. I own an early Camaro and Camino both with 4 speeds and sixes. They are mildly built, get great mpg – and sound sweet. Buy it for 16-18k, tweak mildly and you’d have a sano lifetime A/C equipped lifetime ride for 20k or less.

    8+

  13. The Walrus

    As has been stated a few times on this post, this ask is a bit heavy. My preference for valuation is Old Cars Price Guide. It’s been around forever and is considered ‘the bible’ by many. The reason is for cars like this. Some of the available online tools are too heavily influenced by unrealistic auction results of over restored cars. They then ‘back fill’ the values for lesser condition vehicles. The problem is, real world values don’t work that way, even though they use the same type of condition coding (1 best – 6 basket case), there is no linear relationship. Lower class vehicle values are relatively flat, but once you get to 2’s and 1’s the value begins to increase rapidly. The more desirable the vehicle, the greater the value increase.

    Without seeing it in person, this car appears to be a #3+ car. It is clearly not a #2 (for some of the reasons mentioned such as the heater bypass). The seller has it priced as a #2+ and that’s before the note in OCPG for Challengers of ‘Deduct 10% for six cylinder’ is taken into account. This car is worth somewhere between $13,000 and $20,000. Note… if you happen to have a 1970 HEMI Challenger Convertible carcass laying around, its worth 3x that.

    Here are the values from the July/August 2017 guide:

    1970 Challenger, V-8, 110″ wb
    2d HT – 6: 1,320 5: 3,960 4: 6,600 3: 14,850 2: 23,100 1: 33,000
    2d HT SE Fml – 6: 1,400 5: 4,200 4: 7,000 3: 15,750 2: 24,500 1: 35,000
    2d Conv – 6: 1,690 5: 5,080 4: 8,460 3: 19,040 2: 29,610 1: 42,300
    2d Deputy HT – 6: 1,200 5: 3,600 4: 6,000 3: 13,500 2: 21,000 1: 30,000
    NOTE: Deduct 10% for six cylinder. Add 20% for 340/275 V-8.

    1970 Challenger R/T
    2d HT – 6: 1,960 5: 5,880 4: 9,800 3: 22,050 2: 34,300 1: 49,000
    2d HT SE Fml – 6: 1,800 5: 5,400 4: 9,000 3: 20,250 2: 31,500 1: 45,000
    2d Conv – 6: 3,600 5: 10,800 4: 18,000 3: 40,500 2: 63,000 1: 90,000
    NOTE: Add 25% for 440/375 V-8; 40% for 440/390 V-8.

    1970 Challenger T/A
    2d Cpe – 6: 4,000 5: 12,000 4: 20,000 3: 45,000 2: 70,000 1: 100,000

    1970 HEMI Challenger R/T
    2d HT – 6: 14,000 5: 42,000 4: 70,000 3: 157,500 2: 245,000 1: 350,000
    2d Conv – 6: 66,000 5: 198,000 4: 330,000 3: 742,500 2:1,155,000 1:1,650,000

    1) EXCELLENT: Restored to current maximum professional standards of quality in every area, or perfect original with components operating and appearing as new. controlled facility. It is not driven. There are few number 1 vehicles.

    2) FINE: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original. Also, an extremely well-maintained original showing minimal wear.
    Except for the closest inspection, a number 2 vehicle may appear as a number 1.

    3) VERY GOOD: Completely operable original or “older restoration” showing wear. Also, a good amateur restoration, all presentable and serviceable inside and out. Plus, combinations of well-done restoration and good operable components; or a partially restored car with all parts necessary to complete it and/or valuable new old stock (NOS) parts.

    4) GOOD: A drivable vehicle needing no, or only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or a poor amateur restoration. All components may need restoration to be “excellent,” but the vehicle is mostly usable “as is.”

    5) RESTORABLE: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior. May or may not be running, but isn’t weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.

    6) PARTS CAR: May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts.

    4+

    • PRA4SNW

      @Walrus: Where do you find the Old Cars Price Guide?
      When I Google for it, this is the closest match, but not sure if this is the one you are talking about:
      http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/oldcarspriceguide

      0

      • The Walrus

        That’s it. It’s in magazine format. They offered it electronically as a pdf for a couple years, but since it comes out 6 times a year, subscriptions fell off because people could just email it to eachother.

        1+

      • PRA4SNW

        Thanks for the info!

        1+

      • Sober Guy

        Sorry didn’t know being honest & trying to help someone would offended anybody, guess I was wrong, but I’m not surprised.

        0

      • PRA4SNW

        @SoberGuy: What are you referring to? I simply asked another member to name the website that he gets classic car pricing from. You did not offend me and I hope that I didn’t offend you.

        0

  14. AMXSTEVE

    Ya think the lazy flipper could have taped off the valve cover before he sprayed it?
    What a clown

    3+

  15. John Newell

    One thing you can see from the photo of the inside of the rear quarter is how flimsily these cars were built. What a joke.

    0

  16. James

    $28,000, what a joker! These reserve/Buy It Now sellers really don’t like or understand the free market.

    0

  17. Wrong Way

    I must voice my opinion! This is a nice car, but common guys what is this site called!!!!!! ( BARN FINDS? ) This is why I originally started looking at this site a long time ago! I really would like to see more original BARN FINDS, HELLO?

    0

  18. Tommy D

    Add for the right V8, 5-7k? Then what do you have…a barnstormer to enjoy for years. 20k might be a decent price?

    0

  19. Mike Williams

    How much are new spark plug wires? Pass

    0

  20. William

    How much is a Trans gasket and tail shafts seal?

    0

  21. Tommy D

    …about 2 1/2 hours on your back.

    0

  22. Sober Guy

    Note to the seller here’s some advice my friend, first lose the attitude those of us who appreciate this site as well as eBay that swim in the deep end of the classic car pool are very savvy and know what we’re looking at. Your rant sounds like your trying to convince yourself this car is something that it’s not. You state the mileage is believed to be original, any of my classic car family will attest to believed to be & documented are two entirely different beast. The biggest red flag for me is, you bring up the R/T badging, I don’t know who put the badging on this car it’s hard to swallow a 92 year old did. Which takes me back to your rant about trying to convince yourself this cars something it’s not, I thought you might want to know the way we see it. One thing I’m a 100% sure of other than being outright lied to, the second thing that makes most of us turn around and walk away is having somebody trying to insult our intelligence. Just trying to help my friend.

    0

  23. Sober Guy

    Just a misunderstanding my friend, and Walrus is right that’s a great publication to see what the classic car market is doing, it’s actually a great way to see what the economy is about to do. Classic cars start moving and going up in price, the USA economy isn’t far behind, I can’t remember for sure but I believe it was Carrol Shelby I heard say that twenty or thirty years ago, so I started paying more attention to it and there are a lot of parallel’s with the two.

    0

    • PRA4SNW

      That’s a great point, Sober Guy. It’s actually interesting to see that investment in blue chip, high end, vehicles are going up and it has even replaced the stock market for many investors.

      I guess that’s a double edged sword for the rest of us, as it seems like a lot of people now think that the cars they own are worth a heck of a lot more than they are actually worth.

      0

      • Sober Guy

        One of the worse thing that has happened to the classic car market is the Internet, it’s not hard to find out what somethings worth. Especially when a individual has very little knowledge of these cars they hit a few computer keys and the car uncle Bob had setting in the barn is a investment grade automobile, like you see on this site that don’t need a nut a bolt restoration so for a fifteen or twenty thousand dollar make over they end up with a car that’s worth three times their investment when they don’t have any skin in the game to begin with. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad they end up restored but that’s another reason why these types of cars are getting harder and harder to find.

        0

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