1 of 83: 1971 Dodge Challenger Convertible

The Challenger was in its second year in 1971. Dodge had finally joined the pony car fracas the year before, giving it a new body only shared with the Plymouth Barracuda (although all the sheet metal was separate). Production would dip in ‘71 as muscle cars were falling out of favor and many Challengers were built that way. Even though this ’71 convertible left the factory with Hemi Orange paint, there’s a 225 Slant-Six engine under the hood to fool folks. The seller bought this car with the intention of doing a big block transformation, but then realized the car was too nice to alter. So, it’s ready to move on to another home, offered from Tampa, Florida and available here on Barn Finds Classifieds or here on eBay for $44,000.

More than 50 years after its debut, the Dodge Challenger is still one of the most sought-after muscle cars. They came with 340s, 383s, 440s, Hemis, and Six-Packs that could really light up the asphalt. And they also built them for less strenuous activities, with a Slant-Six or the tame 318 small block. The seller’s car is one of the sixes, and also one of just a handful of convertibles built that way. Add to that the “Hi-Impact” color selected for the car and there may have only been a handful built exactly this way.

This car is in Florida now but wears an Ohio historical vehicle license plate. It’s a true survivor, which suggests that the paint and interior are both original and show well. No restoration work was ever done, as we’re told. The seller’s vision was to drop a modern Hemi and transmission in the car but changed his mind driving it home after the purchase. He doesn’t have the heart after all to yank the motor, so the next owner gets to choose between sticking with the original or going in another direction.

There apparently is no rust on the car and plenty of all-around photos are provided to confirm that. Just a smidge of the surface type in the usual places. And a tiny little ding in the rear bumper. The black/white interior looks as good as it probably did rolling off the assembly line. We’re also told the car runs and drives great and the driver’s experience has been enhanced by the addition of power front disc brakes and classic auto air condition, both done by the seller. Everything that’s supposed to go up or down and in or out works as it should, even the convertible top.

The indicated mileage is 96,000, so if everything here is original, the car was gently used for the past 50 years. The VIN number properly identifies the Dodge as a Challenger convertible built-in 1971 at Chrysler’s Hamtramck, Michigan plant. According to Hagerty, a top-flight non-muscle ’71 Challenger should be worth about $35,000. The fact that it’s a convertible would surely add more and maybe the Slant-Six less. But combining those with the Hemi Orange paint and the seller’s price point could just be in the right neighborhood.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    This is a real beauty, and the /6 adds that touch of rarity to it. I would try to source the wood grain edition of the current dash panel, or maybe swap it for the Rallye cluster, and then cruise! You don’t have to have a monster motor to enjoy this one (Although my preference would be for at least the 318).
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 15
  2. Rick

    What a gorgeous car! They’re only original once.. drop the top and cruise as-is!

    Like 11
  3. Connecticut Mark

    I was never in a 1970s car with a six cylinder and Air Conditioning, will it really work , does it drain the engine or you can drive fine be really ice cold and still have power ?

    Like 3
    • ADM

      Yeah, it’ll still move along, just fine.

      Like 2
    • Charles Sawka

      My 71 Dodge Dart would cruise happily with the A/C on. More than adequate power.

  4. Eugene

    The only two things I would do to it,a modern stereo from custom auto sound. and may be a set of Crager SS rims.

    Like 1
  5. Tom Parker

    I have had several slant 6 cars, starting with a 1964 Valiant in high school. My only slant 6 car currently is a restored 1963 Dart convertible. They will get you from point A to point B eventually. When the engine starts to get tired though it becomes a problem. I had a 1963 4 door Dart that did not have enough power to go up steep hills. I would have to drive around the long way to get where I was going. It met an untimely demise when it caught fire in a parking garage. I was in College and had no money. I gave the car to the tow truck driver in exchange for the towing bill.

    Like 1
  6. Keith

    Hellcrate upgrade 6-sp trans and a beefed up Dana 60 axle is the only way to fly with this one.Although with a 44k purchase price you would close to six figures with the the upgrades. Still needs a V8. IMO

    Like 1
    • Charles Sawka

      Unless you frequent the drag strip on weekends, there is absolutely no NEED for a 700 hp anything. Only a want.

  7. JoeNYWF64

    I would think a ’71 hemi motor(& proper rear, etc) will wind up in this car making it even rarer & MUCH more valuable.
    Did Chrysler cars have problems with their hidden wipers not parking recessed when off?
    That many miles & paint & interior that good & white not turned yellow inside?
    I don’t remember seeing many ’70-71s with body side molding.
    You could get chrome exterior hood locks on a std hood?

  8. Steven

    Nothing a hellcat crate engine won’t cure…….

  9. Kevin

    Nice car,would be anemic to say the least with the a/c on and that 6,but as stated, only original once, I’d leave it be,but also would not pay 44k for it,good to see such a nice original car.

  10. KELLY SHARPTON

    My best friend had a car just like this only difference was his was yellow with a white top. I remember that slant six like it was yesterday, I bet if the car still around it’s got a hemi, 426 in it today. But this was in the late 70s, I was just a teenager, he bought it off a used car lot. I wouldn’t change it, I think it would be a shame to change it now, 40 years ago, yes but leave it be.

    Like 1
  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Looks just like the one that was on here a while back – Dennis the Jeep guy had it and the new owner has buyer remorse.

  12. ADM

    Don’t touch this car. There are plenty of others out there, with all the power you want. I remember when Wrecks To Riches bought a 1970 plain Jane Torino, or maybe a “Falcon,” with the 3 speed standard, and the 250 six. It was mint, dark Blue, with only 13K. They turned it into a car, they couldn’t sell at auction, with a bad shade of blue, and a body stripe that looked ridiculous.

  13. Desert Rat

    Put a turbo on it. Then you have the best of both worlds.

    • ADM

      It would probably sound like a Viper.

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