Muscle Car Project: 1970 Dodge Challenger

It is hard to find a much sadder situation than exists with this 1970 Dodge Challenger. It is being listed for sale by a family friend following the passing of the car’s owner. When you look at the car you can get an idea of what that person’s vision was for the car, and it is a sad reality that they never had the opportunity to see this vision through to fruition. The time has come for the car to move on, so you will find it located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $7,001, and with the reserve now met, it is time for the Challenger to head to a new owner.

I will admit that I was a bit worried when I first saw the photos because the vehicle’s current location is not ideal when it comes to the question of preservation. However, it appears that this has been a temporary situation, because if the text in the listing is accurate, then the Challenger has been garage-stored for the past 20-years. It isn’t clear whether the Dark Burnt Orange paint that the car currently wears is original, but I do get the feeling that it may have originally been fitted with a vinyl top. As far as rust issues are concerned, it all looks quite promising. Externally, the rear quarter panels, rockers, bottoms of the doors, bottoms of the front fenders, and around the rear windows all look to be solid and clean. We get a brief glimpse of the floors in some of the photos, and they also look like they might be solid as well. The seller makes no mention of any problems in this respect, but he does state that while the rear bumper is present, the rear valance is pretty knocked about. Also included with the car is a set of Rallye wheels.

The seller is unable to provide any photos of the engine, but it does make for some pretty interesting reading. The Challenger was originally equipped with a 340ci V8 and a TorqueFlite transmission. It would seem that there is a TorqueFlite of some description present, but the 340 has made way for a 383. The seller says that this has been bored and stroked, but doesn’t elaborate on what its ultimate specifications are. He also says that the engine doesn’t currently run, but that he has checked, and can confirm that it does turn freely. Hopefully, someone might hold the documentation confirming the engine’s specifications or might be able to point the next owner in the direction of the person who performed the work.

It looks like the next owner will be starting from scratch with the Challenger’s interior, but they will essentially have free reign on how they eventually finish it. Included with the car is a new carpet set, but it looks like new door trims, new seat covers, a headliner, and a dash pad are all going to be required to return it to its best. The floor console looks like it could be restored okay, so the potential is definitely there to have it all looking very nice once again. It will be interesting to see what path our readers would follow with the interior.

Buying a classic project car under circumstances such as this would not be the easiest experience in the world. Any potential buyer is going to be faced with people who are dealing with the grieving process, which is never an easy situation. It is going to take sensitivity and empathy on behalf of the buyer, but there could be an important positive to be drawn from the experience. If those who have been left behind know what the vision was for this car, it might align with the buyer’s own vision. If this is the case, the end result of all of the hard work might not merely be a desirable muscle car, but one that serves as a fitting tribute to one of our fellow enthusiasts who is no longer with us.


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  1. Matt Murray

    Small block torqueflite bolted to a 383?

    Like 2
  2. Rob

    From the looks of the pictures the front end sits so high it dont even look like it had a motor in it LOL

    Like 7
  3. Mike

    Um, how many calories would it take to remove the tarp? I mean just slide it off. Let gravity pull it down for you. All you have to do is just give it a helping hand. What a distraction.

    Like 28
  4. Classic Steel

    I would love to see the car as stated on eBay fly again. 😮

    One just needs to email for more pictures. I will say for the least rust it seems reasonable for a mopar. It will need a hood and seat covers and install of carpet or rug as stated.

    I have to many projects but this 70 has potential and the engine could be a hidden gem if one was lucky 🍀👀🎅

    Like 4
  5. Steve R

    The bottom of the drivers door shows more than a little rust, it also looks loje there is rust on the rear passenger wheel well. This car is likely rougher that it first appears.

    I’d be very wary of a seller claiming they are selling a car for the family of a deceased owner. I follow a couple of flippers on eBay and nearly every car they sell belongs to a deceased family member, the family of a deceased friend or a relative that no longer drives. It makes the seller seem trustworthy while simultaneously gets them off the hook when it comes to answering even the simplest questions.

    Steve R

    Like 26
  6. Paolo

    Really terrible pictures of a soggy tarp draped on a car. The ebay seller has no sales history and his name is “robbe”. Due diligence advised.
    It could all be on the level. It looks worth checking out in person.

    Like 6
  7. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Back in the early ’80s, my brother had one of these. His was white with a black vinyl top and a 383 auto. It was a really nice car, very clean in and out. He had to sell it as he and his family were moving to Ireland. I told him I had a buyer for it, someone who would have paid about $2,500, decent money at the time. I would have bought it if I had the money, I liked that car. For some reason, my brother sold it for $500. Don’t know why he did that and it really ticked me off. I would have bought it for that. Automotive regret is painful and it lingers. The ones we sold, missed out on or should have bought.

    Like 11
  8. Danger Dan

    RIP bad long term car storage guy

    Like 5
  9. irocrobb

    The car sure has that early 1980s vibe to me. The aftermarket.fog lights,fuzzy seat covers,extra gauges and aftermarket mags. I would go see the car before I bid as he has no feedback. I am sure there will be lots of issues.

    Like 1
  10. Troy s

    Looks like a six pack hood scoop although it says “400 Magnum”. Like the color, wheels could be better, absolutely the ugliest seat covers looks like fungus green.
    Curious on the finished displacement of the built 383 and think pictures of the engine actually installed under the hood might have been nice.

    Like 2
  11. Poncho

    I have never thought to use a car battery as a wheel chock. Finally a purpose for those old car batteries sitting around the shop.

  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This car has sold twice on EBay:
    12/21/19 for $8200
    1/7/20 for $7900

    Like 1

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