53k Miles? 1973 Dodge Challenger 340

While Plymouth was the first automaker to get into the pony car market (they beat Ford by 17 days), brother Dodge was the last. Dodge had been focusing their attention on the mid-size muscle market car with the Charger and Super Bee. The Challenger debuted for 1970 and was around for just five model years, all on the same platform. This is a sharp, two-owner Challenger from 1973 and it comes with the 340 V8 in its last year in the line-up. It’s located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is available here on eBay where the reserve hasn’t been met yet at $22,300 OBO. But note, the seller says the car has a rebuilt title.

For its first six years, the Plymouth Barracuda was a derivative of the Valiant (as the Mustang was of the Falcon). For 1970, the Barracuda was to get an all-new body which created the opportunity for Dodge to have a foundation for its new pony car. While the new car was highly anticipated, 1970 sales were only about 77,000, far shy of the 200,000 that had been forecasted going into production. This was an indicator that the pony car market was reaching maturity. For the next three years, production wouldn’t top 28,000 in any year and for 1974 (the last hurrah) sales barely cracked 11,000. The car would see a revival some 35 years later and that version is still in production at Chrysler. Thanks, AllPar, for some Challenger history and details.

The seller’s car has had just two owners so far. The odometer only reads 53,000 miles, which the seller thinks is accurate, but cannot document. The first owner had the car in Louisiana in 2005 when rising water got into the garage and the transmission as well. That resulted in an insurance claim, a new TCI automatic with a 2500 stall converter, and a rebuilt title. The seller has a letter from that owner describing the situation that will come with the deal. We surmise that the tranny was the only victim of that water damage as the seller says the car is rust-free and it looks it. The original paint and vinyl roof have no noticeable flaws, but nothing is perfect after 47 years.

This Challenger comes with the Rallye package, which provided for a higher level of trim and comfort than a standard Challenger. The seats, door panels, dashboard, console, woodgrain and carpeting all look to be in good condition. The doors open and close as they should. We assume the car has factory air conditioning, but that is not mentioned.

For being one of the car’s principal features, the 340 cubic inch V8, there are no photos of the engine compartment except from below on a lift. The motor is said to be original and has been rebuilt at some point (so maybe it’s not 53,000 miles), but it has some slight modifications. Those come in the form of “X” heads and a mild camshaft. We’re told the car runs and drives great and – as a bonus – the original build sheet and window sticker are included.

It’s a shame the Challenger only saw about 165,000 copies made during its first incarnation. Combined, that’s less than one off-year for the Mustang. Hagerty suggests a ’73 Challenger in excellent condition to top out in the low-to-mid-20’s, but a 340 should be worth more. However, does the rebuilt title have a bearing on what a car like this would pass ownership for?

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  1. Classic Steel

    Its an old car and to me a rebuilt title is not a deal breaker.
    It looks like it would cruise and spin the tires fine 😎

    It looks nice!

    Like 9
  2. Arby

    The original Barracuda a “pony car”?

    Why did they name it after a fish then?

    Like 7
    • Nick

      They didn’t. This is actually a Challenger. Similar though entirely distinct sheet metal than the ‘Cuda, and a 2 inch longer wheelbase.

      Like 3
      • Jeff M

        If you read the story, it claims the Barracuda (ie: 1964) was the first pony car.

    • Bellingham Fred

      Maybe it is a Seahorse.

      Like 1
  3. John Q Public

    The last time I was in a car like this it smelled like pickles and onions. Of course, that was in Brooklyn.

    Like 3
  4. WH

    I had a 73 with the 340 and a 4spd.
    Bought it in 1983.
    Had fun with that car.
    It’s still around I heard.

    Like 1
  5. Moparman Member

    This car does NOT have A/C, and the shifter T handle has the usual cracks in it; otherwise it appears to be a nice solid survivor. I am curious, however: if the water level got high enough to damage the transmission, what about the interior/other components?? GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 7
  6. 37Hotrod

    Paint is not original. Those fender pieces should have a set of “strobe” stripes coming out of them. The tail panel should be argent grey, not black. The rocker panels do not match the rest of the door jamb. Also, I believe that all Rallye equipped cars also came with the light package, which put the turn signal repeaters on the front fenders. Potentially nice car, but not of the survivor sort.

    • bone

      The build sheet says the car had a manual trans as well as being equipped with strobe tape so you have to wonder what else is odd with the car

  7. 4 barrel

    Never buy a hurricane vehicle no matter what it is.

    Like 2

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