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413 V8 Project: 1971 Dodge Challenger

Dodge was a latecomer to the “pony car” market, putting their toes in the water more than five years after the Ford Mustang started a furor. It shared its new E-body platform with the Plymouth Barracuda, but the cars wore separate sheet metal. This second-year Challenger was a rather basic model when new, but its original 318 cubic inch V8 was replaced with a 413 that would have been built a decade earlier. The car hasn’t run in ages and will need a lot of cosmetic and mechanical work. You can find it in North Augusta, South Carolina, and it’s available here on eBay where the current bid is $7,800 (with an unmet reserve).

With an encouraging debut in 1970, Dodge sold nearly 77,000 Challengers. But, demand in the muscle car market was beginning to wane, and the Challenger was not exempt. Deliveries for 1971 were off by two-thirds and would not recover before Chrysler pulled the plug on the Challenger and Barracuda in 1974 (the Plymouth’s sales had declined, too). Of the nearly 28,000 Challengers to leave the assembly line in ‘71, more than 20,000 are estimated to have come with the 318 V8 which was once in this automobile.

It’s not uncommon to see a routine Challenger get treated to a big-block engine, but usually, it’s a 383 or a 440. For whatever reason (perhaps due to immediate availability), this Dodge got a 413 which was in production from 1959 to 1965. The car has been dormant for some time and the seller has made no attempts to start the Dodge (it doesn’t even have a battery). The seller estimates that the fuel system and the carburetor at a minimum will need to be reworked. The car has an automatic transmission, but is it the same one the 318 was paired with?

While the car looks kind of rough, we’re told the body is in good shape overall. Rust has not managed to ravage areas like the floorboards, exterior sheet metal, and more. But the hood was cut up and rewelded, so it will have to go. The Dodge was painted gold when new with a white top (vinyl?) paired with a green interior. A lot of work will be needed here. Would you try to restore it with the 413 or go with an engine that would have been period-correct?


  1. Avatar photo Oldschoolmuscle

    My opinion . Not worth the effort…. everyone now thinks they have gold….

    Like 23
    • Avatar photo Bob

      I agree I bought a 72 with a 318 back in the day for 800 bucks just think if i would of kept it……would be worth 8000 easy today LMAO :)

      Like 8
    • Avatar photo BA

      I’d like to weigh in , I’ve owned restored bought sold over 20 mopars some ppl are purists some want all original but some don’t. I can see this car being an over the top restomod at SEEMA in Vegas. Mark Worman sends every car to be dipped so he sees a starting point. Not everyone can do that. So who knows what’s under that paint or if it needs complete floors n we all know where they rust they weren’t known to not rust they all rusted. As for power train a 413 has tons of potential you need vision to see it. Anyone can put a 383 or 440 in a car but to go from a 318 small block k member has to be swapped out for a big block k member remember that. How much work is already in this car that we don’t see. It’s not about being right. It’s about what’s right for you to enjoy until you no longer enjoy it then you take it to Mecum or Barrett n sell it there n get the exposure. I’m sure ppl won’t agree with me. Also the small block 318 904 trans 8.25 rear was weak you need upgrades to run that big block 727 or 833 4spd to 8.75 rear with a 3.55 gear is terrific and a 3.91 is good too. So many directions to go in which is why I say individually your vision makes your car special bc you did it your way. Thank you for reading my opinion. BA

      Like 17
      • Avatar photo Jeffrey Yannello


        Like 0
    • Avatar photo TRUTH

      Agreed completely. It’s a total pig. Already bid about 7k more than it’s worth.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo St.Michael

    I like it n a I’d take the 413 over that 318 any day. 413’s with steel cranks were used in trucks n motorhomes till 79 with the 727 behind them having 6 pack guts… also IF the body is solid its great starting point

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Jim

      But it’s not what the car came with. So many cars ruined by changing engines. Fortunately, this one is junk anyway

      Like 8
    • Avatar photo Harry

      Once again St. Mike you enthusiastically dole out misinformation. The industrial or RV grade 413s which were phased out in ’73 for 440s. Nether came from the factory with six pack rods. They were built with forged cranks though.

      The RV heads were not so special and probably flowed about as well as any 318 head, which was pretty bad.

      Good day!

      Like 3
  3. Avatar photo Stan

    🎶 but the 413s really digging in “🎵 ⛱️

    Like 22
  4. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    Boy I remember these customers. Many a 65, 66 New Yorker died for one of these gearhead abominations. Less we forget the once coveted 215 head from the 67 440. Brings back many junkyard memories and the car here doesn’t look much worse than the ones back then.

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo C Force

    I think the 318 would of had the 909a torqueflite trans.The 727 is for big blocks.The 413 is part of the RB big block family(426 wedge and 440)so you could use 440 top end components.The only other Mopar swap i’ve seen this different was a 392 rear distributor Hemi in a 1970 Road Runner…

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Philbo427

      I think the 909 transmission was used in later years. Might be a 904 and probably has a smaller rear end differential with a 318 engine unless swapped out.

      If bought for a decent price it’s definitely a good starting point. There’s surface rust but hard to know what’s going on with the floorboards in the frame underneath it as the torsion bar mount often times will rust out on these cars first. Also note that it has, 1972-1974 front fenders and those would need to be swapped out for a better look. But definitely a great starting point and would be great for the buyer if that engine actually ran. Never know fixed up the carburetor and the fuel line as the seller states and maybe it can yard drive? Not an R/T so a blank canvas to do what you want.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Troy

      I had ’73 Satellite cop car with a 318, 727 trans and big car C Body brakes, a disc/drum setup.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Donnie L Sears

      They made 727’s for the 340 Darts.

      Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Gary

    413 put out a hefty 350 bph and was replaced by the 440 in 1966.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo T. Mann Member

    Scored a 1963 Coronet 500 with 383 2bbl.
    Everybody had more power then me.
    Junkyard got a 1965 New Yorker with a 413.
    Made the upgrade on a Sunday, so nobody knew.
    WOW I could keep up, but the cost of gasoline put me back on a bicycle.
    Traded the Coronet for a Ford Falcon, 200 six with 3 speed.
    Oh a Falcon convertible. Then I could Travel :-)

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo John Jasper

    That one looks like it was rode hard and put away wet. But the body tin is straight. It could be rescued.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo stillrunners Member

    nbsp and nbsp and nbsp and nbsp and nbsp and nbsp….

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Jamie

    To quote Russ, “A lot of work will be needed here. Would you try to restore it with the 413 or go with an engine that would have been period-correct?”

    I’ll take option 3, neither. 1971 isn’t that popular, this car wasn’t that popular. While the tin may be pretty straight, it appears that each piece has just enough rust to need a little work. Which equals totally tearing everything down and rebuilding it. Maybe I’m just getting too old?

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Kevin

    Depending on what the reserve is ? Being 2024, the body looks to be not so bad, but would require a close inspection. If 413 runs strong, just leave it . Drive it , and enjoy it .

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Joseph

    413 was available up though the 70’s just not in cars. My 1973 motorhome came with a 413, yes with lower compression and mild cam, but still pulled strong. Don’t know the year or specs on this one in this challenger but that 413 is no pushover,ran against a few in my day street racing, if you don’t have a 426 hemi sitting around leave it in. Ultimate cool factor to boot.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Donnie L Sears

      What would you do if you had the 440 with 390 hp just leave the 413 in there. It is a fact that some of the 440 cars were faster than the hemis.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Joseph

        Like I said, what version of 413 do we have, you might not be gaining much with the 440. 63 and 64 413’s with w dual 4’s were rated at 390 hp. And a 62 max wedge 413 was 420 hp. Nothing against a good 440 but those 413’s were nothing to sneeze at!

        Like 3

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