1971 Dodge Challenger Backyard Find

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The seller of this 1971 Dodge Challenger Coupe tells us that the car has been in someone’s backyard for the last 30 years. What a shame, because even in California, it rains and the weather has taken its toll. The car is now located in the San Fransisco area and is available here on craigslist for what I would consider a relatively ambitious $9,500. Of course, you can try to negotiate that figure down! Thanks to frequent finder Pat L. for passing along this Mopar find!

As best as I can tell from the factory 1971 Challenger brochure, this is the base “Challenger Coupe” model, as there are no signs of body side molding and the rear quarter windows look like the fixed ones. The car was equipped with the optional automatic transmission and if the V-8 is original, it’s a 318 cubic-inch version. I’m also guessing it had a vinyl roof originally due to the trim around the bottom of the roofline and the surface rust on the roof.

Yes, I said rust. And despite being a California car, there’s plenty of it. Certainly, all of it is repairable, but since this isn’t a particularly special version of Challenger, I think it will end up either being turned into a restomod or clone.

Repairing the front edge of this hood will be a little tricky. At least almost all of the trim is reproduced and is available from several suppliers. It’s encouraging to see a rechromeable and straight front bumper but I can’t tell if the kink in the grille is a break or a trick of the angle. What do you think?

Nothing but the finest vintage fake sheepskin seat covers for this Challenger! I’m guilty of fitting a set of those to a car in my youth and to be honest, they were pretty comfortable.  Have you ever sat on a set? What first-generation Challenger memories do you have?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    I still own my first generation 74 Challenger w/ 69K actual miles. It was a one owner base car, that I upgraded with OEM Rallye parts. This one in typical Craigslist fashion, is shy on details and needs a lot of work. It appears to be a base Challenger, and as Jamie stated, the asking price (IMO) is high, considering all of the unknowns.

    Like 10
    • PRA4SNW

      Nice car.
      I like the use of whitewalls. Bucking the trend of RWL.

      Like 2
  2. Arthell64

    Looks complete, but kind of pricey for a 1971 non-RT car. Always hated the non tach dash. Probably needs a lot of rust work.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      If it wasn’t parked on dirt it probably isn’t too rusty. That area of California is very dry without much humidity, the numbers on the plates on what you would expect for a car sold new in the state. It’s definitely worth looking at for anyone looking for a Challenger that lives within driving distance.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  3. Joe Machado

    San Francisco has rusty cars. Ocean salty air. Lots of it.
    Picked up a 70 Challenger 14 years ago with tons of holes under vinyl top.
    Along coast, lots O rust.
    Way more rain and freezing weather there.
    South of Bakersfield, way less rust.
    Deserts are way better for no rust. But, paint, rubber, seals harden.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      In most parts of the Bay Area the “ocean salty air” doesn’t penetrate more than than a mile or two, often less, due to the coastal hills. Anyone that thinks otherwise isn’t truly familiar with the area.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  4. Rodger Danbury

    Bought a new 70 Challenger R/T back in September of 69. Kept it for 2 years. Wish I still had it.
    383 magnum and 4 speed, dark metallic green with black vinyl top.

    Like 6
  5. Brian S

    Already down to $8900….it should keep dropping…like his expectations…Lol

    Like 3
  6. Mike

    WHY keep an old rusty car in the backyard for 30 years..
    People are just plain HOGS..

    Like 4
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    The yellow and black versions were my favorite, but just didn’t give props to Mopar cars. The only way this car is worth saving is for the love of the game. Still I hate to see any cars over 40 years old get recycled, so I hope someone will love it enough to save it.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  8. Steve Clinton

    So what’s the cost of scrap metal going for these days?

    Like 2
  9. stillrunners

    Seller states “true barn find” in a man’s back yard for 30 yrs and bought for a song……where was the barn ?

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds