Dodge Dilemma: 1970 Dodge Challenger SE

Dodge built the first generation Challengers from 1970 through 1974, and for the debut year, you could get one of five different models (six if you count the West Coast only Western Sport Special, but that one’s another story).  For 1970, Dodge offered the base model Challenger, the high-performance R/T (Road/Track) model, the street version of its race car T/A (Trans Am) model, the mid-year entry budget Deputy model, and the more luxurious SE (Special Edition) model like the Challenger being offered here.  If you’ve been in the market for a nice driver quality E-Body, this 1970 Dodge Challenger SE might be a good car to take a look at.  Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, it can be seen here on eBay with a current bid of $25,000 at the time of this writing.

So what’s the dilemma?  Well, the seller says that this Challenger was originally a Plum Crazy car, one of Chrysler’s now coveted High Impact color offerings.  The F7 on the fender tag confirms the purple, but the color was changed to black about 5 years ago.  The car also originally had a full vinyl top, as evidenced by the V1W on the fender tag, and a luggage rack on the trunk (code M91).  So this Challenger has had some major changes.  While the seller says that the paint is not perfect, it does look good enough that I’d be tempted to leave it just like it is and just enjoy driving it for a while.  My dilemma is that the other part of me would want to return it to its original color and factory trim level.  The good news is regardless of which choice the next owner makes, this is an Arizona car with all original sheet metal.  The seller says that every panel is original to the car, although the trim piece that is supposed to be on the front of the hood is missing.

More good news is how much documentation comes with this Challenger.  Not just one, but two build sheets were found, and the car is said to have documents and registration cards from 1970-2020.  It also comes with its original 1970 Arizona title.

A good news/ bad news issue is that the car is said to have come from the factory with a 318 cubic inch V8, which can be backed up by the E44 code on the fender tag.  The seller says that the 318 has been replaced by a 360 V8 from an early seventies Mopar, so the bad news is that the motor is non-matching.  The good news is that the 360 has been overhauled and has less than 100 miles on it, and everything under the hood is said to be new.  The transmission is original and has also been rebuilt, and the seller says that this Challenger runs and drives amazing with no leaks, no smoke, and no mechanical issues.

Inside, things are looking really good, with brand new seat covers and padding.  The dashboard has no cracks, but the original AM/8-track radio (code R22) is gone and it now has an aftermarket AM/FM/Cassette unit.  The car does retain its factory cruise control (code N88) and overhead Consolette (code C26).

For someone who wants a nice daily driver, this Challenger looks like a really good candidate, but it may turn off the purists and numbers-matching crowd.  What are your thoughts on this 1970 Dodge Challenger SE?


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  1. Gary

    Never liked the AR hoods, besides, no place for that air to go on this air cleaner. The 360 got a lot of flack but for the times it was pretty good. Had a lot of pull, better for all around driving, though I would have kept the 318. Like the color much better then the color of my least favorite dinosaur Are those repo 15 inch Magnums? I like those..

    Like 6

      360 is a pos 318 can be built better and faster.

      Like 4
    • Felix Gallardo

      Gary, it’s “than” not “then” and, the wheels are “repros” not “repos”. Repros are reproductions…”repos” are repossessions.

  2. gary g

    SE rear window is missing

    Like 13
    • Craig

      I’m with Gary…what’s the SE without the rear window (or mask?)

      Like 7
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Buy this for 25K, source the missing chrome trim on the front of the hood and the front wheel wells, and drive it. Maybe even put that AR hood on Craigslist.
    And let the purists and numbers-matching crowd moan.

    Like 8
  4. Dave

    Gonna be tough to drive in the rain without a wiper motor. Air conditioning looks like the same compressor that my 93 Dakota 3.9 V6 had.

    Like 7
  5. JohnfromSC

    If that T/A hood is original and not a repop, it’s worth some good coin.

    Given the engine compartment appears also to have been repainted to car color, going back would be expensive. IMO this is a relatively fairly priced driver that looks bad××× in black! ’70 and ’71 models are always going to be the most desireable of the series.

    Like 5
  6. Enzo Desimone

    LMFAO it not a SE the SE had the small back glass every one came with a Vinal top and overhead console this is just a Challenger FAKER SE with a T/A repo hood . Sad to call this a Challenger SE

    Like 7
    • Tom B.

      Enzo – 4th digit in the Vin “9” denotes an SE model….. and the V1W code is a white vinyl top.

      Like 3
    • Mike Ehrmantraut

      Enzo, you should read before you comment with incorrect babble.

  7. Stephen Miklos

    The SE model needed a vinyl top because it covered the rear window to make it look smaller. The glass was the same size in all the Challengers. The inside was bigger moldings around the window and made it smaller looking. So when you took off the vinyl top you had a full size rear window. Yes it’s possible this was a SE. But somebody made sure you could not tell. As for the overhead console that’s from a SE. Could had it be added when the car was repainted? Paper work will tell the truth. Good luck to the next owner.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 6
    • mikethetractorguy

      The rear window opening on all Challengers is the same size. SE cars have a fiberglass panel that is screwed into the opening and holds the smaller SE rear window. The vinyl top hides the assembly.

      Like 8
    • Mike Ehrmantraut

      Dude, just look at the VIN, lol. It’s not rocket science.

  8. George Louis

    Do not understand why the owner would change the engine and do all the work said to be done to the replacement engine. Why not just rebuild the original 318 V8 that came with the car/? No indication of what the true mileage is of this ride. Too pricey for what is offered!!!!!!

    Like 1
  9. Jost

    This is a nice car. No need to get hung up on matching numbers. It’s a driver and a fun one at that. I would change the hood back to stock and enjoy a good cool old car. Numbers match only matters on special cars that had somewhat limited production. And then, you are afraid to drive it.

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      Complaints about NOM for generic cars most often come from people that have no interest in the car as potential buyers. It’s low hanging fruit used to pick a car apart.

      Steve R

      Like 6

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