Gator Top: 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six-Pack

Enthusiasts beyond the Mopar faithful might see this low-slung Dodge with the matte black hood, snorkel scoop, exhaust dumping in front of the rear wheels, hood locks, and chin spoiler and assume it’s a vintage “Day Two” car wearing aftermarket upgrades common in the classic muscle car era. True aficionados know that this 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A in Enfield, Connecticut came with all of those goodies from the factory… and more! Dodge even fitted different sized tires, front and rear, highly unusual in that era. The listing here on craigslist asks $65,000 or best offer. Thanks to reader Pat L. for spotting this well turned-out high-strung small-block E-body.

The only non-440 of its era to wear a “Six-Pack,” Dodge’s name for the trio of two-barrel carburetors, the hot 340 cid (5.6L) V8 made an advertised 290 HP. Musclecars.howstuffworks and others have documented real horsepower nearer to 350. The latter aligns with real ratings for other road-going Trans-Am inspired cars like the Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

Why do they call it a “Gator Top?” One look answers that question. No alligators were harmed in the making of this vinyl top, which looks as perfect as one could want. Road-racing advantages of the beastly hide defy explanation, but it sure looks cool.

Unlike R/T (Road / Track), a reference to that model’s usefulness on both public roads and race tracks, it’s more difficult to understand the slash in the T/A. It’s clearly referring to the race-going car’s participation in the Trans-American racing series, but does it mean “Trans… *something*” or “America?” Inquiring minds want to know. Nevertheless, we know it means a capable road-racing themed model with real upgrades, not just stripes and letters.

Not everyone appreciates a green vinyl interior, but this one leaves little to complain about. Like the Gator Top, this car’s “Pistol-Grip” shifter explains itself, though it wouldn’t be my first choice for road-racing. I’d love to run this T/A around Road America, even at 7/10ths. The last car I drove on that historic Wisconsin road course was a four-cylinder Toyota Camry! When it comes to Six-Pack cars, would you choose this corner-carving T/A or the brute-force of a 440?

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Comments

  1. Moncton(was Winnipeg)carnut Member

    I would gladly have this over a 440 any time.

    Like 18
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Saw these race in the Transam series in the early ’70s. They were fast and fun to watch along with all the other “pony” cars of the day. This is a nice one.

    Like 16
  3. Troy s

    Day two, or at the time street machine, was exactly what I thought the first time I saw either the T/A or AAR’Cuda, thinking AAR, parked near juvinelle court. Side pipes, nasty looking hood skip, big tires/little ones up front, dont remember if it had a spoiler, all the makings of what kids had and were still doing to neat old rides. I found out a few years later that what I’d seen was actually how it looked brand new off the lot! It was hard for me to believe for a long time that cars looking that obvious came straight from the factory! Not weird like the Daytona or Super bird, but an out right Woodward Avenue street machine.
    Great car here with a well strung 340 that can back up those hairy looks!

    Like 9
    • Troy s

      Gee Troy, just exactly what is a hood SKIP! Doh!
      Dern fool spell check.

      Like 4
  4. JohnfromSC

    This and the AAR ‘cuda are the best handling Mopars of the era. And not many folks know that the 340’s specific to these cars breathes so efficiently that in the straight line quarter mile, a 426 hemi is only able to overtake them in the last 100 yards. And on a road track they will leave hemis in the dust.

    Like 13
    • Duwane McKnight

      The 340 was available in the duster the demon and the dart

      Like 3
  5. Boatman Member

    Never saw one in that color. Or without the stripe. Or with a vinyl top. (?)

    • J_Paul Member

      It’s got the stripe —it just blends in because the paint is quite dark.

      Like 3
  6. Brendon

    The perfect Challenger. I’ll gladly take it

    Like 8
  7. nlpnt

    Is there a point of having a 1970 car WITHOUT a green interior?

    Like 10
  8. Jcs

    Assuming that she is as nice as she appears, those of you that know the history of my comments may be surprised to here me say….

    Worth every penny.

    Like 8
  9. Steve Bush Member

    Always thought the TAs and the AARs were the best E bodies. And at $65k, I’d much rather have this one than the 1970 440 Challenger featured here recently with a $90k asking.

    Like 11
  10. Keith

    Wonder how many Gator top T/A cars were made. Never saw one before this.

    Like 4
  11. Lynn Dockey Member

    vinyl tops were to hide the welds and the factory didnt need to finish the paint. Also went thru the air better, like dimples on a golf ball. Only a single 4 barrel carb was allowed for the trans am racing series, but the 6 pack was cool

    Like 2
    • Keith

      The only car to actually use a vinyl top to cover up welds was the Plymouth Superbird.

      Like 6
  12. Mountainwoodie

    Oh a pistol grip shift………..be still my 16 year old heart!

    Like 5
  13. Desert Rat

    I’m an old chevy guy never owned a mopar car but boy would I love to had one of these back in the day, and today can’t afford one so looks like all I can do is dream. I went to a classic trans/am race a few years back in California. When the green flag dropped the sound of 20 to 25 five liter small blocks screaming at 8 grand was the sound of angles.

    Like 3
  14. Phil D

    I’ve seen a ton of these Mopar Trans-Am E-bodies over the years, but never one with as severe an identity crisis as this one. It’s a fire-breathing, corner carving muscle car that identifies as a “Grandma’s ride to church” coupe.

    If anyone had asked me if there were any Challenger T/As or Cuda AARs with Gator Grain vinyl tops I’d have looked at them as if they were crazy and said, “Not a chance!”.

    Like 2
  15. JoeNYWF64

    Molding lifting up on top of windshield. Never seen that before, actually, even on a car outside for more than 50 years, uncovered.

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