Big Block Project: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T?

Advertised as a complete car this ’70 Challenger is available here on craigslist in Atlanta, Georgia. Warning: according to the car’s seller this project is for experienced restorers only.  Well, after looking at the ad’s photos I completely agree.  Take a look for yourself and if the advanced state of deterioration of this Challenger doesn’t scare you then perhaps you’re the right man or woman for the job.  $5,000 is what you’ll need to pony up for this crusty classic.  Offer less and you’ll be turned away. Special thanks to Barn Finds reader Ricky Matthews for spotting this ad!

Please forgive the tightly cropped photos but we can only work with what’s provided.  Can you ascertain the car’s original color?  I think that’s Dark Burnt Orange Metallic covering the driver side fender, quarter panel, and trunk lid. The presence of the black side stripe on the driver side door and running the length of the passenger side look original to the car.  But what’s the paint color underneath the stripe?  Is it badly faded Hemi Orange?  Adding to the confusion is the blue showing on the roof and in parts of the engine bay.  Would blue have been used as a primer on this old Mopar?

The Challenger’s original 383 big block is long gone and in its place is this 360 from some other year to go along with the automatic transmission.  There is some good news, however.  For an additional $5,000 the seller has a 1970 383 he’ll throw in with the sale!  He mentions the big block motor needs rebuilding so on second thought, perhaps the news isn’t so great after all.  There are other details left out of the ad that a serious buyer is sure to inquire about.  Is the original rear axle still present?  Is it a 7.25 inch geared axle or 8.75?  Mopar fanatics need to know!

The presence of the large four pod Rallye instrument cluster confirms this Challenger’s legitimacy as an R/T packaged model, as does the high backed bucket seats.  Despite a thick layer of filth and grime, things actually look fairly promising inside the car.  Unfortunately, this is the only photo provided of the interior so we can’t see whether the rear cabin is equally preserved.  The seller confidently states that if this Challenger is restored correctly it’ll be worth a minimum of $50K.  He’s probably not wrong about that but without a doubt, this car will require a major restoration.  How does that Jimi Hendrix song go?  Are you…experienced?


  1. Angel Member

    Experienced restorers only….50k car when done on the low end….offer less and youll be turned away….no time for ridiculous questions….If I ever needed someone to help me sell something I really wanted to keep, he would absolutely be my guy.

    Like 11
  2. Ron h

    The car started life B5 blue. How it was delivered I couldn’t say. Factory and dealer repaints were not unheard in those days. It was about getting the product to the customer as he wanted it. Insurance companies were clamping down on big block pony cars so again if a customer wanted it… a build tag in the pics would have helped too. But as Angel just said ‘sell something I really wanted to keep’. Great observation.

    Like 4
  3. Del


    2 grand parts car

    Like 7
  4. KohnLarrel

    I am am experienced enough to walk away …, NOM … and rust and auto means run 🏃 way fast …,

    Like 3
  5. George mattar

    $5,000 for a 383 needing work? This guy has brass ones. Total POS rusted Chrysler of the 70s.

    Like 11
  6. Keith

    Hey all, I’ve seen worse clapped out rusty old roller Mopars go for way more than this one! Usually the Mopar freaks will pay much more! Calling out all you Mopar freaks, come and get it!

    Like 4
    • Crazyhawk

      oh great…..

      Like 5
    • Sandy Claws

      Kieth, I swear, you must have lost a woman to a guy driving a Mopar sometime in your life. How else can one understand your pure hatred of the breed?

      Like 12
    • Chris M.

      Kieth I see you’re back with that painfully bland sense of humor. Lol

      Like 3
  7. Keith

    Ahhhh you got me!…….LOL!

    Like 5
  8. Keith

    Actually the real reason why I bust on Mopars is because back in the early 2000’s these cars were selling for ridiculous prices (The Barrett Jackson Syndrome) and all the Mopar buyers continually bragged about how good their Mopars were. Well I happen to grow up in that era of the 60’s/70’s and I know that most of these old Mopars were junk (even when they were new)! I will say that they were fast cars (when they were working) but junk nonetheless. Fast forward to today (2019) the bubble has busted on these Mopars, they are in no way commanding the big bucks like they use to 10 or 11 years ago. So those who spent the big bucks back then are either stuck with their over priced Mopar or are going to take a big loss if they sell it. But to be fair I think overall the 60’s/70,s era cars are bringing in less money due to changing demographics and generational changes. By the way, the first car I owned (believe it or not) was a 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger, that car loved to go through starters all of the time.

    Like 8
    • Crazyhawk

      But you are not ripping on the cars as much as chastising the PEOPLE who like them. Because you don’t like Mopars makes me a “freak”? wow

      Like 5
    • Terry Bowman

      Keith, I must respond in defending the Mopar brand. I do agree the value of some of these are well over estimated, but the buyer thought is, if one sales for XXXX another should be similar, but the reality is a car that was produced only one of or even 10 of, is not the same as 200,0000 of (original motor options are the big factor). Buyer Beware!!!! for the Big money. Rarity, maybe that could be a factor. I don’t have the exact numbers, but a guesstimate would be for every 20 Mustangs or 20 Camaros, there were probably one Dodge Dart. Ever been to a Car Show and there would be 10 Corvettes and maybe one Dodge Viper. Your starter issue is probably your fault. Don’t buy your rebuilt starters, same with alternators, from your local “WE OFFER CHEAP REBUILDS”, auto part suppliers. Go to your local rebuilder. Mopar also offered, I call, a heavy duty starter(a larger armature and field) for higher compression engines (which I have always used) and a standard one for the other motors. The old saying,”you get, what you pay for”, hopefully. I have never had a motor fail me, but I have rebuilt them that had over 200,000 miles on them, not including water pumps and such. Rust, yes, but the other brands, same. That also could be the owners fault. Cover your investments.

      Like 6
      • Keith

        Yes you are right about me buying cheap starters, I was a young Airman in the Airforce and that’s all I could afford. But I sure got good at replacing them though…..LOL!

        Like 4
    • KKW

      I’ll agree with you up to a point. My dad bought a new Belvedere in 67, a pretty well built car, and sharp looking as well. He never had any problems with it. In 68, when Chrysler changed the body styles, that’s when things started going down hill. Body wise that is, I think their powertrains were as good as anybody’s. I had a buddy in highschool who had a 70 Challenger, you shut the doors, and it sounded like they were full of empty beer cans. But he thrashed that car relentlessly for a number of years with no mechanical issues. I saw similar situations with a number of Mopar guys I knew, great running cars with shoddy bodies, and it trickled down the line, even their pickups were flimsy back then. The prices people have paid for these cars in recent years is definitely ridiculous, they’re not buying great cars by any means, they’re buying a novelty. And really the prices have gotten crazy for all brands. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth.

      Like 1
      • Mike

        Have you closed the door on a 70-81 Camaro or Firebird? As for flimsy pickups the 73-87 GM trucks win that title, I’ve owned plenty.

        Like 2
      • Mike

        As a lifelong owner of Challengers I do agree with the sound the doors make.

      • Terry Bowman

        So true Mike about the Chevy trucks. Bought a new 3 + 3 and the doors never closed right. Rust on all body parts, hood would bend at the hinges. Did have to change the bed into a 85′ and never had an issue after that with rust (must of been coated with something). Three engines(350) and almost all the options were replaced, but the best part was, it was cheap to fix. Sold it in 2008 to a landscaper.

        Like 1

    If it’s a Challenger RT it should have had a 440 or in it not a 383

    • Mike

      Base engine for the E body
      Challenger R/T is a 383 yet the B bodies base R/T engine was a 440.

  10. Keith

    Not necessarily just against those arrogant Mopar freaks who think anything Mopar is worth more and better than anything else on the road no matter the condition. I’ve seen and heard plenty of them brother. Wow!

    • Chris M.

      Speaking of over generalizing with diluted insight. Say Kieth, you haven’t got out much have you?

      Like 2
    • Mike

      As a “Mopar Freak” I have a love and respect for most all makes of classic cars and an exceptional fondness of early 70s firebirds. In the Mopar crowd I see like minded respect however the arrogance and sometimes downright hatred that I generally experience comes from the Chevy crowd. That being said I’m not calling all Chevy owners arrogant or haters. Keith did a Mopar Freak steal your girl or something awful like that?

      Like 1
  11. Keith


  12. Poncho

    Going back to the 70’s, the aftermarket parts suppliers probably weren’t that good and back then, money was a lot tighter than by today’s standards I would say. I’m sure we all bought junk replacement parts over the years. I remember going through many alternators from Pep Boys back in the 80’s. True Blue was the brand name. Don’t know if they use them anymore. I went thru several alternators. Be driving along and then all of a sudden the alternator would be overcharging. It was like a power spike. It would fry my headlights. I took the alternators back as there was a lifetime warranty. They gave me a replacement every time. The last time I went to them I had them test the alternator before I took it. There were one or two bad ones overcharging before they gave it to me. I said clearly there is a problem with the internal voltage regulators and asked if they are going to reimburse me for the fried headlights that I had to replace. No reimbursement for the headlights, just covered by the warranty on the alternator replacement. Longer story short, when we purchase parts, one can assume you are buying a quality replacement, when actually you are probably buying a product made/rebuilt from the lowest bidder. IE: parts made in Taiwan/Mexico/China.

    Challenger Update: Ad is not on Craigslist anymore. Maybe someone needed a parts car.

    Like 2
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    But Keith….goes on and on and on and on…..

    Like 2
  14. Keith

    Call me the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going and going and going!………LOL!

    Like 1
  15. Keith

    But really folks, it’s just my opinion, nothing more.

  16. Troy s

    The seller here is banking on Keith’s philosophy, ahhaha! Craziest thing I’ve seen here on this site was a Big Wheel toy still in the box with a 2500 dollar price! Hey, you just never know what folks will be throwing money at.
    One thing about cars built back years and years ago was they figured people would drive ’em a few years then probably trade the heap in for a new car, never realizing fifty years later we’d all still be scrutinizing there mass produced clunkers. Who knew.
    This car here was never meant to still be around, either on the road, someone’s yard or garage, or even in the wrecking yard. Not this many years later. Luckily the hobby never died off and there’s still plenty of these relics around to at least look at. My own opinion, not worth two cents.

  17. TimM

    The truth is we are seeing rolling frames selling for more than the five thousand this guy is asking for!! I’m not saying it’s a great deal, probably the whole ass end of the car needs replacing but at least all the parts are there!! It sucks it’s an automatic!!

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