340 4-Speed! 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye

Drive around anywhere today and you’ll encounter a Dodge Challenger, a third-generation Challenger that is. When introduced in 2008, it was designed with the original model (1970-1974) in mind, some would say a tribute to the original. Having familiarity with a 2018 model, I can safely say yes, there is a similarity in terms of the general styling and shape with a few identifying cues being carried over. But no, it is a much different car, particularly in terms of size and weight, not to mention features. Today, we’re going to examine the original in the form of a 1972 example. This Rallye model is located in Torrington, Connecticut, and is available, here on craigslist for $20,000. Thanks to Mike L. for this tip!

The Challenger arrived in 1970 and sold vigorously that first year but started to trail-off quickly, from 76K copies in its inaugural year down to 22K by ’72. Body styles, models, and options were pretty limited in ’72 as well; no more convertible, and just a standard Challenger model or a sportier Rallye version. Engine choices were reduced to three.

In spite of the limitation of models/options available, the original owner of this Challenger checked the right boxes, opting for the Rallye package, 340 CI V8 engine, and a four-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, this Dodge is claimed as a 41K mile example yet the engine has undergone a complete rebuild with a .030″ overbore. Additionally, the seller has replaced the original intake manifold and carburetor with aftermarket pieces though he says he has the original Thermoquad carburetor. Originally good for 240 net HP, there is no improved power estimate offered. Other mechanical improvements include a new gas tank, new fuel lines, sending unit, master cylinder, brake lines, calipers wheel cylinders, drums, shoes, all hardware, e-brake cable, radiator, leaf springs, clutch, and universal joints. The seller has driven this Challenger about 3K miles since the rebuild and he claims, “The car drives and stops great.

The finish of this Challenger, probably “Top Banana” yellow, is worn with signs of road rash. The exterior condition belies the 41K mile claim and the seller suggests that it’s a repaint. It is definitely faded, you can tell from the underhood view, so this Dodge has probably spent a lot of time out in the open. There are signs of peeling paint and surface rust though the seller claims the floors and unibody are solid, he does mention some rust as a result of its Connecticut locale. While the black vinyl top looks fair, it’s peeling at the edges and you can spy the c-pillar welded seams under the vinyl covering. For the sake of originality, the seller has outfitted this challenger with period-correct bias-ply tires. The entire exterior package presents pretty well, it’s just worn looking.

Inside is pretty typical for a Mopar of this era. It is all in pretty good nick except for the shredded driver’s seat, again, peculiar for a 41K mile car. The pistol grip shift, sans center console, lends itself to the Challenger Rallye’s performance vibe. The seller claims that everything on this car works, “All gauges, wipers, speedo, tach, all lights, rear defroster, radio, horn, (the) clock works but sticks occasionally.

You can easily buy a third-generation Challenger of pretty much any stripe you want, there are thousands for sale everywhere. And while a new one may be faster, safer, cleaner, more reliable, and possess better road manners, it’s still a newish car and lacking the analog connection between man and machine that existed in 1972. This Challenger has a lot going for it, it seems to need mostly cosmetics. Worth investigating? Maybe, the seller admonishes, “I’m in no rush to sell, don’t waist (sic) my time. If you are serious contact me…” What do you think, new or old, which would you prefer?

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Comments

  1. Old car guy

    I’m not seeing 41,000 miles. No mention of proof. Car is too ratty for that to be true. Probably 141,000 or more. How about some under carriage pictures to see the work that was done. Also why the 30 over bore on a low mileage engine . I’m not seeing 20 grand here. May half that , mopar or not. Just a small block 4 speed car with no options

    Like 17
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Odd the shaker hood scoop was no longer avail in ’72. Would have been of some benefit.

    • Nick

      HA. All of the cool performance or appearance items including Hi Impact colors and such were off the table after 1971.*
      * A very low number of 1972 Road Runners were sold with the Air Grabber pop up scoop system. Only B Body muscle cars (Charger/Road Runner) MOPARS could be had with a 400 or 440 big block. This was the top of the heap for a 1972 Challenger.

      Like 4
  3. andy SMITH

    yea a ten grand car at best some people thing they have gold just an old mopar.in need of 10 grand of work to be even nice.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Since when is a 340 4spd Challenger with a freshly rebuilt engine and a laundry list of recently completed work that isn’t rusted beyond repair only worth $10,000, at best? Be realistic. This isn’t the early-1990’s. It may or may not be worth the asking price, but it’s a very desirable make and model, while rough around the edges, can be driven and enjoyed either “as is” or used as a foundation of a restoration.

      Steve R

      Like 18
  4. Chris M.

    I’m willing to bet when Cool Joe Machado shows up he bought one of these new!! That cat has bought or owned every model of Mopar ever made!!

    He’s the coolest of the cool, that’s Cool Joe Machado!! A true “Barn finds Legend”

    Let’s hear it Joe.

    Like 5
  5. Dave

    Since you asked…I’d opt for a new one with AWD and the V6. If my 2016 Patriot wasn’t paid off I would think about it, but then again, it’s tough not having any cargo carrying ability.

  6. Robert May

    That’s a big asking price. Granted, a lot of work has been done, but what kind of parts were used? Factory? Factory correct? Autozone? No knock on Autozone, they keep me on the road but they aren’t necessarily “factory correct”. Nice enough car to go full bore restoration or rest-mod or drive it as is. But $20,000.00 is way too much for either of those options. $10,000.00 seems high, too. But it’s a Mopar and the market favors the sellers right now.

    Like 3
  7. A body Fan

    It’s worth it to me because 20,000 is entry level money for these cars and if it’s a good driver I’d enjoy as is. The milage could be correct, it’s hard to tell but I just bought a very similar condition GTO with 19,000 miles (from a friend) and the poor storage was the culprit. The low mileage give away is how well the doors open and close and the manual window actuator cranking firm.

    Like 1
  8. George Louis

    I would like to know how the driver seat got in the condition that is shown in the pictures shown with 40, 000 on the clock?

  9. David J David J

    “What do you think, new or old, which would you prefer?”

    Besides the name and a somewhat similar body style, the new and old cars are from different worlds.

    Of course, I’d choose both.

    The new one would be a 2011 Challenger SRT8 Kowalski Edition. This would be my errand and touring car. Perfect.

    The old one would be a white, 1970 Challenger 440 R/T with a manual tranny and no stripes. I’d mount CO plates and name it, “Super Soul.” This would be my badass Sunday car, or for long, fast trips to the west coast.

    Like 2
  10. John Oliveri

    Personally, I prefer the 70 Cuda,black black,,4 speed nice 383, or 440, can’t see the money a Hemi brings,

    Like 1
  11. John

    Is it pronounced “eye” or is it pronounced as the long “e” sound?

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