1-Of-875: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE Project

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In 1970, the Dodge Challenger was the new kid on the block in the “pony car” arena. But the market had already been saturated by the competition, so who knows how successful it may have been if it had come out earlier. It shared its new E-body with the Plymouth Barracuda through 1974 and outsold the latter by 57% in its first outing. This Challenger is rare in that only a few hundred R/T Special Editions were built in ’70 with a 440 cubic inch V8. The engine and automatic transmission have been replaced by rust in several places, so this will be an ambitious project at the least. Located in Lebanon, Tennessee, the Dodge is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $9,099 but not the reserve and the Buy It Now price is only a few hundred dollars away.

Dodge produced just shy of 77,000 Challengers in 1970, a number that they would not come close to matching again. Which is a shame because they were good-looking cars and could be built to go very fast. 18,400 of these cars were badged as the R/T (short for Road/Track) as a handling machine, and the number would dwindle to 3,700 when you added the SE package on top of it. A 383 was the smallest engine you could get in an R/T, and when you ordered the 440 4-barrel, the number built fell to under 900 copies.

The seller’s Challenger left the factory with FC7 purple paint, officially known as Plum Crazy. It was flanked by a black vinyl top and the smaller rear window that would come with the SE; the interior was also black. Sadly, most of the exterior finish has been decimated by Mother Nature, there’s rust under the vinyl, and the interior is in bad shape. On top of this, there are some rather large holes in the car where sheet metal used to be. The rear end suffered a collision at some point and the bumper, truck lid and rear quarter panel are all eschew.

The VIN plate is said to be still intact although the number in the ad is the seller’s phone number! The fender tag and build sheet are gone with the wind. Hagerty says the R/T SE with a 383 can top out at $55,000, so we’d assume the 440 would go higher. But since there is no motor or tranny with this car, originality has gone out the window. It then becomes a matter of how much would it take to bring the car back from the brink or is it too far gone?

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  1. stillrunners

    Ruff and odd it has a Hemi/Six Pak K frame…..just a lot of money for purple now days.

    Like 2
  2. J_PaulMember

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought the 340 was the smallest R/T engine option?

    Like 1
    • Arthell64

      The 340 cars weren’t badged as an RT but they had everything the RT’s had.

      Like 2
    • piston poney

      340 cars were T/A’s there was at least one R/T that had a 340 but the guy’s dad was a higher up at Chrysler. there may have been 1 or 2 more but thats it, but no you couldn’t go to a dealer ship and order a Challenger R/T with anything smaller than a 383.

      Like 4
      • JohnfromSC

        Just a fyi: T/As were indeed 340s but very secial ones with sixpak carb setups and only built for six weeks total as homolgation cars for the TransAm racing series. They may appear to be “normal” 340 Challengers but the engines and many other components are unique to them and their sister cars, the AAR ‘cudas.

        Like 2
  3. Moparman MoparmanMember

    “Truck” lid?? “Eschew”?? How about trunk and askew, I’m not a grammar cop, but I do hold writers to a higher standard; especially when help exists in the form of online dictionaries/thesauruses/spell checkers, not to mention good ole proof reading. (IMO) Your money would be better spent on finding one in better condition. Of course, if you prefer to hemorrhage money, then this one will certainly help you to do just that! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 14
  4. PJ

    this looks like a project for that Graveyard Carz show – someone who specializes in very rough Mopar cars..

    Like 3
  5. DON

    Where are the junkyards that these flippers get these long dead cars from ?
    This looks like its been sitting in a yard since the early 1980s until someone put some Magnum 500 rims on her to dress it up and loaded her on his flatbed. First year, big block car and Plum Crazy – No doubt it will sell high, even in this shape.

    Like 1
  6. PetertheGreat

    The only thing salvageable on this wreck is the Challenger emblem on the front grill!! I had a ’70 almost like this one that I wish I’d kept after buying a 68 Corvette ragtop with an L46 350/350. Seeing this breaks my heart!!

    Like 3
  7. Kevin McCabe

    Given that information on cars sold in Canada isn’t readily available, the number “built” quoted by the seller is, at best, the number SOLD in the U.S. At some point this WAS a nice car. But with no fender tag or broadcast sheet and only a vin to go by, there’s no way to know with any certainty what this car looked like when new. As another poster has indicated this is a Graveyard Cars project for someone with ridiculously deep pockets and more money than sense.

    Like 0
  8. Charles Sawka

    Barely enough parts to make it a parts car.

    Like 4
  9. Kevin

    Whew…don’t lean on this one too hard,it might break in two!,wow …rare,yes,but in my opinion a donor or parts car,it’s once again a shame that it was let,rot away,I am a fan of graveyard cars,and would like to see,and hear mark wormans assessment of this car.

    Like 2
  10. Sam Shive

    (M)ostly (O)ld (P)arts (A)nd (R)ust Not even worth making a RUSTOMOD Out Of It

    Like 1
  11. Desert Rat

    And here I always thought MOPAR stood for “money or parts always required”…

    Like 1
  12. Kevin

    Well on this one desert rat,I can’t disagree with you, but mopar is simply short,for motor parts,and some would say “more power”,I like mopar products personally and own 2,but I like other stuff also,now ford don’t get me started on all the acronyms for them!

    Like 0
  13. Perry Grile

    Lol,,,,,,, He said ‘ford’,,,,

    Like 0

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