Deep Purple: 1970 Dodge Challenger Convertible

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

With a world full of base model muscle cars, there are still a few “true” muscle cars that pop up out of the wood work like this 1970 Dodge Challenger convertible. Packing a 383 V8 and originally built as a Plum Crazy purple car, this Challenger is a sweet project, but is in need of a fair amount of work. Considered to be a numbers matching car , this convertible has covered only 85,000 miles in its lifetime. Parked since 1986, but currently running, this Challenger is bid up to $18,000 with the reserve not met. Check it out here on eBay out of Croydon, Pennsylvania.

Considered to be numbers matching and low mileage, the engine bay shows a few years of age as well as the exciting and original Plum Crazy paint. The 383 V8 is an excellent runner after a carb rebuild and a fresh gas tank. There are a few areas of crispy rust on the fire wall, but overall the engine bay isn’t too shabby. I would have selected the check box for power brakes, but at least this Challenger has power steering.

Is there any better color combination than Plum crazy purple with a white interior? When it comes to a muscular Mopar, I think not. Much of the interior remains, but the carpet is missing, and boy does it paint a picture. There is rot in the floors, and the driver side floor is ready to Fred Flintstone to a halt. The white interior is more cream colored at this point, and the seats are reasonable minus the driver seat. The power top is functional, but it is unclear how much of the top has survived.

When talking about old Mopar convertibles, you can’t forget about rust, as there is usually some to be found. Although the floors have some troubles, this Mopar isn’t a total rust bucket. There is some typical rust in the quarters, rockers, and trunk, but the frame rails appear decent. There are a few dents to be found, and the hood is a reproduction unit. The cragar wheels offer a cool look, and the Polyglass tires are absolutely fitting on this classic muscle machine. Also taking a close look, you can see that this Challenger has been a few different colors in its lifetime. Originally Plum crazy, then a light metallic blue, and then a darker almost plum color the last time around. Thought to be 1 of 9 built in this configuration, this rare colored Mopar seems a worthy restoration candidate. What would be your top bid for this muscular drop top?

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Comments

  1. crazyhawk

    Can’t afford something like this, but when I close my eyes and think “musclecar”, this is what I see….well, without the “funk”

    4+
  2. redwagon

    lordy, lordy, lordy there is a ton of rust on this car. definitely worth restoring, and it will look cool to boot but that is a lot of work and a lot of time for someone.

    16+
  3. jdjonesdr

    I bet that was one pretty car when it was new.

    17+
  4. flmikey

    Reading the letter in the ad from the Chrysler registry, it says 7 of these cars were built with a 383/3 speed…could you imagine ordering one of these with that tranny in 1970? Betcha one of those is worth a small fortune now…

    7+
  5. TriPowerVette

    They are stunningly beautiful cars. Breathtaking when new. They make the new Challengers look like re-used bricks. But, as most of you know, I was one of the owners of a HemiCuda convertible. I traded it for my first TriPower Corvette and never looked back.

    I LOVED the Hemi engine. Loved the looks. And loved the convertible top.

    However; it handled like a pig. When I later got a 340 AAR Cuda, I realized that there was a good steering box for this car, but it wasn’t on the Hemi.

    The interior LOOKED good, but didn’t FEEL good. The plastic dash, console, and door panels didn’t compare favorably to the Mustang or Camaro interiors of the period.

    The so-called ‘bucket’ seats, weren’t.

    They were just small bench seats (BTW – our ‘Cuda had the leather interior). Going around ANY turn meant you slid from one side of the seat to the other, even with seat belts fastened. No support anywhere.

    The coup de gras, though, was the actual closing of the doors. That ‘KA-CLUNK nnnng’, still sends shivers up the backs of anyone who has ever heard it.

    All of that said, fully restored, it is rolling automotive art. Just driving up in it makes ANYONE look like they have arrived.

    That may be enough for some. There will certainly have been enough money spent for the privilege.

    27+
  6. XMA0891

    I don’t know what it is about this car; but looking at it, and thinking back to the now-famous “bent ‘Bird on blocks” from a few months ago, has me seeing just about the same amount of work: Both worth saving? For sure, but redwagon is right: Once you get going; this one is going to be a ton work – I’m tapping-out. $18 K? Good Luck new owner on this rusty can ‘o worms – I think there’s a lot “less” here than meets the eye.

    8+
  7. OIL SLICK

    $500 beater back in the day, {80’s} now bend over

    12+
  8. james r burton

    i bought one of these back in 84 for$300.SAME COLOR COMBO BUT WAS A 318 car. the firewall was rotted out from doorpost to doorpost. you could open the doors but was a job getting them closed. i tore it apart to fix but nobody wanted to tackle the job to fix the rot. back then you couldn’t buy all these panels to fix it. i ended up crushing it for $85. i kick my but every morning for doing it now.

    6+
  9. james r burton

    pic when i bought it

    6+
  10. Gregory Mason

    Nice car but a lot of work and money to buy and restore. Good luck to who ever buys it and Mark Worman’s phone # is ###.

    5+
    • Jonathan House

      Yeah call Mark he will give you fair $$$$$$ for it and will bring it back to og when he’s done

      1+
  11. Ron Bunting

    Love the Challenger! I had a customer with a genny 340 T/A back in the 70’s and you can keep your mustangs,Camaros etc because that car not only looked great but sounded and ran well too. It still survives despite being thrashed to hell and back in the early 80’s. The crazyness of the late 90’s over prices is still there but thankfully the market is easing now.

    1+
  12. LAWRENCE

    So a tri-power Vette rolls a little better thru the corners….yep that was a great tri-power pony car.

    0
  13. Rustytech

    If this was a 440 or Hemi car there wouldn’t be any conversation, it would be way over $18k, but 383 cars are the forgotten stepchild. With the amount of work needed I wouldn’t offer more than $10k for this one.

    4+
    • Jonathan House

      There is a offer of 18k so 10k ain’t g gonna get it

      0
  14. DonC

    This is the car I grew up with. Only mine was Candy Apple Red instead of Crazy Plum. But yeah…white interior, 383 magnum. Mine was slapstick auto. If I had the $18K or more, I might go see it and make a rash decision, cuz the memories And love remain.

    4+
  15. DonC

    Dang….forget it. Now that I went to see all the photos…rust, rust, rust….and there’s some rust. And where oh where is the R/T package. You bought a 383, convertible, and no R/T !?!? Shame on you.

    1+
  16. Troy s

    I went for a ride in a plum crazy purple Challenger, had a warm 440 magnum and automatic, more power than the rear tires could ever handle. I passed on that car as it was being sold by what seemed to be dope dealers back in the mid eighties for a whopping 4000 dollars. At the time the color didn’t agree with me at all, but now it does look appealing, go figure.

    3+
  17. sluggo

    Beautiful car, will be challenging to restore or rebuild but never been a better time to do so assuming you have the skills and equip, not really a great move if you can only manage a check book resto to pay someone else.
    I agree that many of these eras cars bring fond memories but reality of ownership can be different. Lots of cars had some serious army tank character so the comments about the doors hits home.
    How about the sound of the starters on these?? Thats a sound I can spot a mile away.
    Since its not a hemi or 440,, it would be tempting as a restomod with modern suspension, brakes, and upgraded power train.

    2+
  18. irocrobb

    A friend and I bought a 1971 Challenger convertible back in about 1983. I wanted the NOS fenders and decklid that came with the car and he wanted the windshield and chrome ,interior stuff etc. It was a 318 car but rusted very bad. It had been dismantled and was sitting in a barn. It was 1000. dollars and we loaded all the parts and left the rest there.We still joke about it .

    1+
  19. oa5599

    I remember how Bad Ass these looked when they routinely roamed the roads in the 70’s and 80’s. One of the best convertibles ever.

    As far as this one goes, unless you can DIY, it will unleash a Tsunami in someone’s wallet.

    1+
  20. mark sullivan

    I bought a plum crazy one owner 1970 340 Challenger convertible in about 1980 for $100. It was incredibly rusty, and only had about 50,000 miles, so it ran perfectly. I was in college, so money was short. 6 months later the trans let go, and I junked it for $50. That one still hurts!!

    0
  21. Mark Alesio

    Always loved the style of these cars. The hood and back window. And the way the reverse lights were in the tail lights in some models. The drive trane was bullet proof. But um sorry to say they were very cheaply made after that. I always hated how the internals inside the door would rattle around. “Tri power” got the sound exactly. Um not happy criticizing these Chrysler cars. But the truth be told. They couldn’t hold a stick to a Mustang or Camaro as far general fit n finish. Or overall buill quality at that time.

    1+
    • TriPowerVette

      +Mark Alesio – Pretty much restated what I said, but gave you a thumbs up, since you are absolutely correct on all points.

      0
  22. Maestro1

    I’m a fan of the exterior design but nothing else about it even though I’m a part
    time Mopar guy. I’m also at a stage where I can’t do my own work anymore and as sad as that is, it does mean mucho money for someone else to do it. I would
    say around $30,000 to get it to sharp driver and the asking price is absurd.

    1+
  23. Jay E.

    Plum Crazy, white interior, convertible. One of the best combinations ever. The Cragers are perfect. When these cars were parked in the high school parking lot they always had a spot of honor. The guys that had them just oozed cool. There was always a pretty girl in the front seat.
    Perhaps you needed to be one of those that didn’t have to appreciate how desirable this car was in the day. If I thought the current price was anywhere near what it is going to sell for I would bid on it just to park it in the garage and reminisce. (It sold for $28,600, way out of my range but worth every penny) This is a car that brings back such strong memories, I don’t understand how some cars can tap into that so strongly.

    0
  24. leiniedude

    Ended: Nov 16, 2017 , 7:56PM
    Current bid:US $28,600.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 69 bids ]

    0

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