Dark Bronze Bruiser: 1973 Dodge Challenger

I don’t normally get very worked up overtired muscle cars, but I dig this 1973 Dodge Challenger. It’s a 340/4-speed car, which is ideal, but the original color of Dark Bronze with a black/white bucket seat interior really is striking, and rarely seen in an era where reds and blacks were far more prominent. As the owner of a vintage car with a similar color, I can say confidently that brown is back given the era of nostalgia we’re in. This Challenger has some flaws but nothing endless piles of cash can’t fix. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $6,500 and the reserve unmet.

The Challenger comes with a cool period spoiler, that looks an awful lot like the ones found on an AMX or even European cars of the same period. Kamei was famous for making these black rubber spoilers that conformed nicely to the contours of the car, and I’m surprised to see one on the back of a Challenger. It looks good. The Challenger wears a set of non-matching wheels and tires, which looks surprisingly badass and fits the overall roughshod appearance of the car.

The Challenger retains its original 340 blocks, but that’s it. It comes with the crank, rods, and pistons, so you’ll need to do some parts-sourcing to complete it. The transmission is not original, so it’s not exactly a matching car – but having the original block is a bonus, and at least it was born with a 4-speed from the factory. The biggest issue this Challenger has – like so many others – is rust, and the seller details more than a few areas that will need repair.

The trunk floor, extensions, left and right quarters and the outer lower wheelhouses are all said to be in need of repair. The interior is also missing, and the seller says this is a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get, so I’d assume no buckets are included. The rest of the cabin doesn’t look bad, however. While this Challenger is certainly rough around the edges, the rarely-seen paint with a 340 and manual combination makes it a tempting project, especially if it can be bought for under the asking price.

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Comments

  1. GeneB Member

    In 1972 my buddy had a red 318 challenger and he let his girlfriend drive it as we left the bar on a Saturday night. One little ice patch and the car was totaled. It sat on the AutoBody Repair parking lot for 2 years while he looked for replacement panels, etc to repair the car…Becoming extremely impatient, in 1974 he found a new 1973 Challenger (same ugly grill) on a dealers lot and bought it. It was medium green metallic, not a nice color; but he desperately wanted another Challenger. He (we) never bonded with the 1973, eventually got the red one repaired, but it just wasn’t the same…he dumped both.

    Like 2
  2. Sandy Claws

    I miss when these cars were a few hundred dollars in this shape. Then you could buy one, wrench on it in your garage and have fun, now it is all dollars and cents-high finance with all the pitfalls and rewards that go with that. Takes all the fun out of it. I pass.

    Like 20
    • James R Burton

      i hate to say it but i crushed alot of chals. in better shape than this one. but like they said, back in the 80s an early 90s these things were a dime a dozen hell i bought a 71 convertable for $800. in 88.

      Like 2
    • Chris

      Geez Sandy (Billy007), maybe just pass on all future commentary as well?? Not really much worth hearing anyway, just an old bitter man who’d rather drive base 318 cars that have no real value. Just like the old days before the “evil rich dudes” ruined the fun!

  3. Dennis Hockenberry

    Look who is selling it !!!! Mark Worman, MR. Snotty on TV. Trust me, if it was worth anything, it would not be for sale. I had a numbers matching 340 1971 Challenger, it needed restored, but he low balled me on it, and now he’s asking 6,500. For a plain Challenger ? I guess it’s different when he is the seller. No thanks, rather shop somewhere else.

    Like 15
    • Sandy Claws

      Agreed, he is a “special” guy. Even he understands that the party is soon over. This could be a nice car for a regular guy to work slowly on himself if it were 2,3. maybe 400 bucks. Face it, he is a middle man, they are the only ones making money in this fools game. He will charge 50K to restore it and then it will be worth maybe half that. A nice car at 25K if all restored, but then he would lose money. The only way this particular car is getting that kind of treatment is if you have a sentimental connection to that particular car. Maybe if he charged half as much for his services, then the market would still work, but the hypocrite wants every nickel he can gouge out of fools to support his white trash family. And ya know what? I bet he could still make a killing charging half of what he does now. Never liked him, a Mr Know it All with useless information. Not like he is a brain surgeon or something, saving the world, all he does is make over priced cars for the one percent.

      Like 9
      • Steve R

        I can’t stsnd the guy, but if his shop is busy why would he drop his labor rates in half? That makes no sense.

        Steve R

        Like 5
      • Rick Rothermel

        Guess again, pard. At any normal shop rate cars like you describe would be in low 6-digits before it turned a wheel. Serious resto projects require serious budgets but unless the buyers’ markets totally implode or the car (or seller) is repellent, the car would bring decent money at the end.

        Yet another case of the One Percenters providing employment for talented workers, huh?

    • Sandy Claws

      @Steve R, I said I bet he could still make a handsome profit at half his rates, and at the same time open up the hobby to a new group of Mopar hungry people. There was a time when even this hunk of rotted metal would have brought big bucks, but the hand writing is on the wall, the crazy prices are almost over, soon the market will collapse, so why not try to cut your prices and make it last a little longer? This has been a time tested Capitalist tool for eons, when something loses its luster, cut the price a little and people love to flock to a “sale”. What we now have in the market is short sighted, people, look to the horizon and beyond. Mr W could clean up, by doubling his work force because he will need them when people rush to his shop to take advantage of good deals. Look at Sam Walton, say what you want about Walmart, but by lowering prices, didn’t he make his useless children uber rich?

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        I have some friends that have been singing a similar tune as you for the last 20 years, that prices are inflated and it’s just a matter of time until those interested in these cars age out of the hobby. I’m still waiting for them to be proven right. Maybe one day, but not anytime soon. It’s just a boring regurgitated line of thinking that is old and tired.

        A few years ago a car magazine re-published an article with a similar sentiment, it’s original publication date was in the mid-60’s, the author was complaining of the lack of long term appeal of cars such as the 55-57 Chevy’s and muscle cars. There is nothing original or interesting about what you are saying.

        Your class warfare rhetoric is even more boring and only makes you come across as bitter and spiteful.

        Steve R

        Like 7
      • Sandy Claws

        @Steve R, “class warfare” is an ugly set of words meant to create an equally ugly reactionary emotion. Perhaps we should all agree to stop using them and similar terms and discuss the real core issues in a calm and respectful manner. Butttt, that is a different conversation frowned upon here, so lets discuss this particular car. Why would the illustrious Mr W. up and sell it if all his creations brought big bucks? If people with ready cash in hand are knocking each other down to get to his door, wouldn’t ever E body be pure gold? Maybe, now just maybe, the gig is up, or soon up. Maybe the average and upper average people who were once customers either have all the cars they want, or perhaps the economy is not what we so often are told it is. Logic tells us that what goes up must come down, sooner or later this will tumble to the earth, and when something falls from a great height, it hits hard at the bottom, possible crushing someone caught beneath it. Then, did you even read my analogy with Walmart? What part of Capitalism 101 do you not understand? (American educational system, yechh!) Was Sam Walton a class warfare martyr? Did he suffer for the cause? If I brought him up, why would you accuse me of such? Makes no sense. Are you stirring the pot for sh#ts and giggles? Say, you sound just like Billy Boy 007. Are you trying to pull a fast one on us? Playing both sides for reactions?

        Like 3
  4. grant

    That spoiler looks like carp. It isn’t even set on straight.

    Like 2
    • Tom Member

      I don’t think it looks like a fish? Just kidding Grant !! Couldn’t resist !! LOL !!

      Like 6
      • grant

        Lol new phone. Apparently it will not let me say “crap”

        Like 2
    • Dave

      It might look like carp if it was mounted on a Barracuda…

      Like 8
  5. 36 Packard

    The man (Markie Boy) is a ” savant” Like some mentally challenged kid who is really good at just one thing, but otherwise so dumb can’t even tie his own shoelaces. So what, he knows Chryslers, is that really what the world truly needs? I bet he can’t even name his two Oregon US Senators if asked. It is people like him, and perhaps the people who watch him, is why we have the government we now have. Like cats, fascinated by shiny objects.

    Like 5
    • Rick Rothermel

      I’ve talked to him on the phone regarding product placement on his show and was quite impressed with his versatility and sense of humor. I had an issue with the manner in which a client’s product had been presented on the show, and he responded in a timely, polite and very professional manner.

      Lotsa car guys, me included, have craniums full of useless information. It’s unique and I think cool that someone like him can put the contents of that cranium to productive and profitable use.

      Having produced for Discovery 25+ years ago, before car shows on cable had BUDGETSI have my issues with most of the cable shows, but I have an idea what he’s up against. I respect him quite a bit.

      Like 3
  6. Danger Dan

    Lots of grumpy grumps on this challenging challenger. Reminds me of when a guy tried to sell us on a brown lake boat.
    “You boys ever seen a brown boat in the water?” He said.. All I could think of was turds in the commode. Yup that about sums it up-

    Like 2
  7. TimM

    I get the idea no you likes this guy!! I don’t know him but I can say I’ve never paid $6500 for a car with no in interior and the motor taken apart and put in the trunk!! It’s a $1000 dollar car when it’s that way!! I buy stuff that doesn’t run and sometimes I do a real good restoration and others I just get them running and drive the hell out of them!! I guess what I’m saying is if your not going to fix it move it to the next guy!! Don’t take his head off with the deal!! Be glad that some might get the car back on the road again!!

    Like 2
  8. Crazyhawk

    Well, this has to be the most unpleasant bunch of comments I’ve ever seen on BF. Yikes. I love Challengers. I love the grille on the ’72-’74’s and the ’70 and ’71’s also. This particular one however, no way.

    Like 5
    • Tom Member

      Agreed. I don’t know Mark Worman at all but I have seen the show and he is definitely weird. Not sure where all the hate is coming from?

      The guy’s shop does amazing work (and I am not a mopar guy by a long shot). His knowledge relative to Mopars is outrageous.

      Steve R hit it…if you are busy and booked out, you don’t lower your rates.

      If Mark W IS selling this car I believe that is a bad sign for this car….meaning it is not valuable relative to the ratio of what it will take to restore vs what it will be worth as Sandy mentioned. OR there is something really wrong/not right with it. Restored is will bring more than 25K BUT it WILL take more to restore it than it will be worth.

      All classics, by in large, as the saying goes…..Don’t crush em, restore em…..OR “Make them great again!”…..Like America !!!! We live in the greatest country on the planet. We are blessed. God bless America. If you don’t like America, please leave, more room for those of us who want to be here with all of these great classic cars, good bad or indifferent. I am a small business owner and the past 2 years have been better than the 8 before them, exponentially. Looking forward to at least the next 6 !!!!!!

      Like 6
      • Mountainwoodie

        Easy there, Tom. :)

        I needn’t point out to you that the last two years have been just a continuation of a climb upwards out of a very deep hole, do I?

        And the “hate”…….. merely opinion……….kind of like watching an apprentice learning how to do his job and saying ridiculous things that he alone is sure of.

        Sound familiar?

        Like 3
  9. Dave

    FWIW, Graveyard Cars makes museum quality restorations, from what we see in TV. Have you ever heard from anyone who was dissatisfied with his work?

    Cinematography 101 teaches you to make the camera see what you want it to see. A properly scripted and directed show could make all of us look like geniuses.

    That said, Mark isn’t stupid. He owns a library of all of the A/B/E body assembly manuals from back in the day. That is how he is able to tell us that before December 31, 1969, this bolt was a 1/2 inch and after that date it was a 9/16.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s about doing the research.

    Like 7
  10. Capriest

    I love the color/drivetrain combo on this, but nope. Not worth trying to bring it back at that price. Another thing that scares me is it appears someone has “restored” this car already and it’s fallen into disrepair again. As Mark Worman would tell you Mopar engine compartments were body color. This one’s been completely apart before because someone spraybombed it black. That’s normally only done on a color change on mopars. If they hacked that who knows what other corners were cut on the body.

    • Dave

      The 66 Sport Fury I owned had a 383 Commando and was painted painted blue. It was a 2bbl rated at 275 hp. The two U-code 71 Furies I owned had red painted engines, the same as the 69 Charger R/T I ruined. The story back in the 70s was that hipo engines were red while standards were blue. Fraudsters of the time would rattlecan red a 318 and bolt a manifold and carb from a junked 340 on it and try to pass it off.

      Like 1
      • Rick Rothermel

        We’re why they’re rare.

        Like 1
  11. Jim in FL

    As a bunch of others said, in the late 70s and early 80s these were $500 all day long. For a time, my brother and I were into sad face challengers. I was in grade 8 or so and he was working at an auto parts store, at one point we had two challengers and a ‘cuda all at once, trying to build a street racer.

    The interiors of these were total garbage. Giant plastic panels, cheap buckets that sat a few inches off the deck. Still, we had a blast with the cars. Pep boys radios with 6×9 speakers, bought carpet by the roll and pulled out all the insulation.

    In the end we wound up with a 440 ‘cuda with a 4 speed and dual quads. It ran great but only had header mufflers, so it attracted a bunch of attention. My brother got busted for street racing so mom and dad made us divest the whole pack of e bodies. So now we’re coming to my point.

    We sold the challengers for a few hundred each. In the shape this one represents. So accounting for inflation, if we got 500 each for the Challengers, google says that’s about 1200. Any money above that is nostalgia, but objectively these weren’t hand built Mercedes. It seems like a stretch to me.

    Oh, the ‘cuda went to a guy who pulled the engine for a charger he raced at englishown NJ. My brother and I learned a lot about loving cars. Love hurts, financially.

    Like 2
  12. Bruce Fischer

    I sure miss my 73 challenger.The ex wife got it in court.Bruce.

    Like 3
  13. Terry Bowman

    My observation here is some of you are being a little tough here, but in reality what I see is a guy buying a parts car to complete a project and placing the replaced parts on the hosts car to appear it is a whole car instead of parting it out as others would do. Unless someone has a complete Challenger needing a frame or clean title, this will be a losing battle. It’s a pile of parts that’s not needed for a restored car, with the miss matched wheels being a good sign to make it look like a roller.

    Like 1
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Mark is starting Graveyard Motorz where someone can search his inventory and buy a car as-is, or (I’m sure he is hoping) have a restoration performed.

    Cars like this one don’t fit into that picture very well, since it would need too much to bring back to life, so why not try and sell it on E-Bay?

    The auction was ended early.

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