Hemi Survivor: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

1970 Dodge Challenger RT Hemi

I still remember the first time I saw a Hemi powered Challenger R/T. It was painted in Plum Crazy purple and made the earth around it shake. I couldn’t believe the roar that came from its exhaust, from sound alone you knew it was built to go fast. I’ve seen a number of Challengers since, but it isn’t every day that you spot a real Hemi 426 Challenger, making this one a rather desirable find. The seller has already been through everything and has it running and driving nicely. After a year of ownership, they have decided to part ways with it. You can find it here on eBay, with the reserve unmet.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT Hemi 426

The seller claims that they found this Mopar in a storage facility, but initially they didn’t believe it really was a Hemi car. Rather than the correct 426 hood badges, it was wearing 383 badges and the hood was securely locked down with padlocks. After popping the hood and discovering the mighty 426 Hemi, they did some research and discovered this left the factory as a 426 car and this was the correct engine. Once a deal with the owner was made, the seller got right to work on it.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT Hemi Interior

The engine and transmission were pulled from the car and sent to a shop for rebuilding. While the oil pump had some problems, everything else turned out to be in good shape, but since they had the motor out they had all new pistons and seals installed. Since everything appeared to be original, the seller decided to not do a full restoration, so they cleaned it up, fixed the brakes, greased the suspension, reinstalled the drivetrain, and left it otherwise original. Other than some rust, this Challenger really is in nice shape inside and out. The only thing I would want to change on it is the transmission, while it is the durable 727 automatic I prefer rowing through the gears myself.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT

Of all the various Mopars I’ve driven and seen over the years, the ’70 Challenger is my favorite (especially ones in the high intensity paint colors!) and I think this one would make for a great addition to any Mopar fans collection. I am a bit worried about the rust that is starting to form, but I’m glad the seller decided not to perform a full restoration. That leaves the next owner with the option of whether to do a partial, full restoration, or to just leave it as is and enjoy it. I would want to address the rust, but I’m sure a product like Waxoyl could slow down, if not stop, the rust from progressing further. I would want to inspect it in greater detail before deciding what route to take it, but I think this could be a fun driver and would grab lots of attention on the street and at shows! So do you think this Mopar deserves a full restoration or should it be preserved as close to original as possible?

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Comments

  1. James

    Flipping mopars!!

    • Horse Radish

      I agree.
      Very apparent: to do that it takes NO BRAINS whatsoever .
      Looks like a West Coast car with a rebuilt engine and 138 k miles on the rest of it,
      including rust bubbles starting to form in the usual places…..
      I give an
      A+ on the BS story , though.
      C+ on Grammar,
      F + on spelling and word selection
      (don’t choose fancy words unless you know THEIR meaning, not that “insistence” is a fancy word)

      • TuckerTorpedo

        You guys have called it. I count 7 cars flipped on his eBay history, and he’s no doubt looking for a $50K profit on this rusty Mopar that needs a full restoration.

  2. Mark in Medford

    Chrysler did a crummy job on the quarter panel to roof seams leaving an area that is prone to rust, I would inspect that area very closely. This does look to be a very nice survivor.

  3. Chris in San Diego

    To me the price seems a little steep but maybe my Mopar price points are a few years behind. Nice car but I would not drop 60k on her.

  4. Vince Habel

    I don’t think it is going to stop at 60k.

  5. The Chucker

    Preserve or restore? The rust shown bugs me and the engine, by the seller’s own admission, has already been out and redone. I’d have to be in the restore camp to arrest any further rot, but then run the risk of paying too much for a supposed original.

    What say you barnfinders?

  6. GOPAR

    The rust must be addressed! There’s nothing attractive or nostalgic about rust. It The car is certainly worth saving, and that means taking care of the corrosion problems.

  7. JW454

    For this car, “Survivor” doesn’t mean a whole lot. It needs a very expensive restoration to be the high dollar car it could be. Rust holes are rust holes regardless how bad it is. I mean, if you’re driving around in a car with big rust holes in it what’s the point of saying “It’s all original”?

  8. rjc Member

    This is a bucket list car for me!!

    great find!!!

  9. Doc

    The only problem with rowing is missing a shift. And then there is a slipping clutch, the list goes on. I prefer an automatic with a solid shift kit and hi stall converter.it is really cool , nail it, converter hooks, slicks hook second gear kicks in and, bye bye 4 speed car

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