Backyard Find: 1973 Dodge Challenger

Dodge’s Challenger was a formidable pony car during its first iteration from 1970-74.  By 1973, there were only two engines you could order in the Challenger: the 318 and the 340, both V8s. The seller doesn’t know which engine is in his car, but we think it could be the 340. That would make sense with the aftermarket air cleaner and wheels, hood pins, and Panther Pink paint job. Located in Wichita, Kansas, this Challenger looks as though it hasn’t moved in a while and will require both mechanical and cosmetic work. It’s available here on Facebook Marketplace for $12,000.

We’re told this ’73 Challenger is a one-owner car with 90,000 miles on it. It’s been residing in a backyard with a tarp over it for an undetermined amount of time, surrounded by other cars probably in the same situation. Besides the mystery over the engine, we’re not sure about the paint job. It looks like a tired version of Panther Pink, but that color was not offered in 1973, as we can best determine. And the Marketplace listing says the exterior color is black. So perhaps this car started out in one color and changed to another some time ago.

Challenger production for 1973 was just shy of 28,000 units, with 8,400 being the 340. That means some 19,600 had the smaller motor. The seller’s car has an automatic and the TorqueFlite was a popular choice with the 340 in its last year of production (it would morph into a 360 the next year that isn’t as popular with Mopar folks as the 340). The seller tells us this car has all original parts, which would suggest a lot of things are likely tired and will need replacement once you get the car running again.

Online value guides seem to peg a 1973 Challenger with a 318 as having an average resale value of $20,000. You’d likely add 50% on top of that for a 340. Pristine examples will go for far more. The seller makes no mention of rust on this car and there are glimpses of it here and there. The use of mostly close-up photos don’t give us a good feel of the overall product.


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  1. Moparman Member

    Based upon what little I can see of the engine/carburetor, and the intake manifold, I’d venture a guess that this is a basic 318 c.i. car. Also, a 340 car wouldn’t have had the flat hood that this one does. $12K is pricey for all of the unknowns associated with this one. I concur with the color change, based on the fire wall overspray, and the paint odes for ’73. Buyer Beware!

    Like 8
  2. Rustytech Member

    With a Base 318ci. Though well hidden there is rust in several areas, no under car pictures. This car is a dangerous investment, especially if bought site unseen.

    Like 4
    • William

      I will be happier when cars are no longer seen as an investment.

      Like 12
      • WH

        William, I one hundred percent agree with you. It’s not like it was 40 years ago.

        Like 2
  3. 77GL

    Maybe if it’s all there. Worse cars have been fully restored. The old classics still look better than the new repops.

    Like 2
  4. irocrobb

    I think it came with a 318 engine and regular hood. Looks like a base model to me which is the way most of them rolled out that year
    I have a ralley model Challenger and it has a factory 318 engine and scooped hood. Also the neat side strobe strips and ralley gauges.
    In my eyes this car is not worth nearly what they are asking.
    Glad to see the 1972 to 1974 cars gaining in price lately.

    Like 3
  5. WH

    I believe the rallye package could be had on the base model Challenger with a 318 which included the rallye dash and hood among other things which I can’t recall at the moment.

  6. WH

    Yes this car is definitely a base model. I just looked at the pictures on Facebook and it has the regular dashboard.

    Like 1

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