383 Power!? 1972 Dodge Challenger

Finding a non-muscle car variant of a model known for its performance prowess is always a nice find, simply because so many were not saved and have long since been converted into Haier refrigerators. I think that’s what we have here but the description throws me off a bit, and it’s not too telling anyway. Let’s try to unravel the mystery of this 1972 Dodge Challenger which is located in Buckeye, Arizona and is available here on craigslist for $12,900. Thanks to Rex M for this discovery!

What we do know is that Dodge offered only two Challenger models for ’72, a standard coupe and a sportier-looking Rallye version – the convertible body style had flown the coupe. This subject car is a standard model which was available with a 225 CI in-line six, and a pair of V8’s, neither displacing 383 Cubic inches – that motor went out of production, along with the aforementioned convertible, in the ’71 model year. So what’s really under the hood? Well, there’s no image, and if it’s a 383, it’s a transplant – a 150 net HP, 318 CI V8 would be the usual suspect but who knows with certainty. And if it were a 383, wouldn’t it be the normal inclination to show it off with at least a single image? One would think so. Regardless, as the seller states, “Has Been Sitting For Many Years Currently doesn’t run“. The mystery engine is lashed up to an automatic transmission.

It is stated that this Challenger has always been an Arizona car – it looks it! The Hemi Orange finish has turned to chalk and the roof is showing some blistered rust patches, ostensibly where the southwestern sun has burned through the paint, exposing the underlying steel surface. Rust or rot-through is not apparent but there is a dent or two marring the sheet metal and side beltline. The rear valance plastic panels are delaminating, no surprise there, and the plastic has more than likely become quite brittle. The full wheel covers/white letter tires are not an everyday observed combination. Usually, Dodge Rallye Wheels, Road Wheels, or aftermarket hoops are involved.

As for the interior, it looks as if someone took a string trimmer to it. It was white, or parchment, at one time but there’s not much left now. It’s hard to decide what’s more amazing, the amount of what looks like mud on top of the dash, or the Grand Canyon cracks in the dash pad that are so evident. One interesting item to note is the aluminum intake manifold sitting perched on the passenger seat – I wonder what it fits, a 383 maybe…

So, here you go, uncertain engine reference, dilapidated interior but a fair body – or so it seems from what can be gleaned from only five listing images. And it’s only $12,900! I say Mopar Derangement Syndrome, how about you?


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  1. Gary

    Gonna cost a ton of green backs and in the end not worth that much. Only do this because you love this particular model and year and want it all for yourself until the undertaker closes your lid. I really don’t think there is money to be made here (not that I am in general for that, too much of a purist…and cheapskate) Maybe a quick flip to some over eager person who has more want in his brain than reasoning ability. Of course that is immoral and might condemn your soul to something far worse and for far longer.

    Like 3
  2. Gary

    Horrendous grille and taillights, swap 70 parts on it, 340 5 spd.

    Like 2
    • Gary

      Nah, 1971 grills are nicer. The rear ends are a toss up to me. Like both the 71s and the 72-74 fannys. A 318 with air would make a nice cruiser. Prob has this, but the smarty pants that pulled this out of some geriatric ranchers ditch has no idea what is under the hood, he is just trying to cash in and hopes that some fool will believe the big block as written. The seller really needs to read my post, might save him an eternity of shoveling hot brimstone.

      Like 4
  3. Terrry

    So if rust through isn’t a problem on this car, I suppose desert rats chewed holes in the rear quarter panels? Yet again, another overpriced and over-rusted Mopar.

    Like 5
  4. Terry

    Ad has been mercifully deleted.

    Like 3
  5. Timmyt

    More interested in the gto in the background

  6. Johnny Demonic

    I can smell that car.

  7. Randy Hammett

    Intake manifold in front passenger seat looks to be a big block 2bbl. Looks similar to my 400 2bbl in my 1972 Charger SE. No certain but hope engine covered if that is the case. Block #s and VIN will solve the mystery. It’s a Mopar, don’t bet against the 383.

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