Never Left Nevada: 1970 Dodge Challenger

chally1

Here’s a listing that appears ready for lift-off: a 1970 Dodge Challenger here on eBay that lived with its original owner up until just recently. A completely stock 3-speed manual transmission example with only 35,000 original miles, this is the epitome of a survivor and bidders seem to agree: we’re over $10,000 with four days left on the auction. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find. 

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The listing is a fun one to read, as you can’t fake the authenticity: there’s photos of the original female owner standing next to her pride and joy when she was a young woman, right up to current day when she finally let this pastel yellow Chally go to a new home. The seller (or flipper, more likely) is quick to point out that the six cylinder / 3-speed combination is a rare one, and I’m inclined to agree – haven’t seen too many of those. Despite sitting since 1986, the engine fired right up and the transmission still functions as intended.

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Of course, that dry Nevada air is great for keeping bodywork straight and clean but a disaster for interior surfaces and materials. The dash looks like a melted Popsicle and the seats will need recovering. The caretaker for all of these many years did let the car sit outside her house, unprotected, since 1986 so some deterioration is to be expected. While a better interior than this would have been a nice bonus, I’m not going to complain too loudly given the condition of the exterior.

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Although the car did belong to another owner for a short time, the original driver bought it back and has held onto it ever since. So while this now technically a 3-owner car, it’s still an impressive specimen that’s a bit unrepeatable. But since the seller acknowledges he bought the car this very month and already has it on eBay, he’s clearly not a sentimental type – and I doubt he’s going to cut the longtime owner in on his profits. Given the current popularity of unmodified originals like this example, I doubt the bidders are going to care much about the righteousness of the flipper.

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Comments

  1. David C

    I owned a 1970 Barracuda, slant six, automatic but bare bones. The car was deceptively quick (light weight, gearing) I really liked the car but the interior completely fell apart. All the molded plastic door and side panels just disintegrated. Believe it or not I traded it straight up to a girl for her 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340. She wanted good gas mileage, and well I didn’t. I made a lot of changes to that car but that’s a whole story in itself.

  2. Charles

    The body sure is nice and straight!

  3. Chris In Australia

    Restore the interior, polish the paint, a disc brake conversion and a set of Rally wheels. Maybe an overdrive if it can be fitted with out butchery.

  4. JW

    Repair the interior, upgrade brakes then drive it as a daily summer driver for all of us Midwesterners.

  5. grant

    Do all of what everyone else is saying but maybe address the rust peeking around the corners of the windows and in that quarter before it gets serious. This is a nice car it would be a shame to see it continue to deteriorate. I do wonder why it was parked with such (allegedly) low miles.

    • racer99

      Nevada summers with no a/c would be my guess.

  6. motoring mo

    Drivers side door looks like it’s been repainted or replaced.

  7. racer99

    Would certainly be cautious due to seller’s feedback. Fair number of concerns about truth of condition description. This is one of those cars where I just don’t understand the price people are willing to pay unless it’s to be used as a base for an upgraded drivetrain, etc..

  8. bob

    Hope it doesn’t get painted Purple. Pretty unique as is.

  9. redwagon

    more rust than i would have imagined for a 36k nevada car. do yourself a favor and do the ppi.

    • racer99

      Yup, rust issues, worn out clutch pedal, roached driver’s seat, and clean paint/bad sealer application on right front apron would all lead me to wonder what the real story is on this. As I mentioned above, seller’s reputation isn’t the greatest either.

      • Ron

        I agree the clutch pedal wear shows 135,000 miles as well as the wear and tear on it.

      • Rspcharger Rspcharger

        That clutch pedal is a huge red flag

  10. Rando

    I bet this one gets bought and converted to ProTouring or some such. Then to Mecum or BJ for some astronomical price. Shame. While not a huge fan of the 6/3, it would be a shame to mess with it. THat is definitely not how I used to think, but now? Yeah I can appreciate the original ness of the car. Stop the rust and fix the interior, hopefully with some other parts that don’t look too new and go. Enjoy the simplicity of it just as it is.

    After looking at the ebay photos, there may be more work than I thought, but still… I really like it.

    • racer99

      At the last Barrett-Jackson auction the resto-mods were out-pricing the honest truthful restorations on almost all the different generation vehicles. I’m with you — I bet that’s where it goes. That’s the only idea that justifies the $10K (and climbing) price.

      • Rspcharger Rspcharger

        As proof of your point – Mecum Kansas:
        1970 Charger RT resto-mod – Unsold at $65K
        1969 Chrarger RT SE OEM resto – Sold at $35K
        The buyer of the 69 made out like a bandit. My only guess is that the 69 was on the block early in the day before all the booze started flowing.

  11. DENIS

    If it is solid, I would do a crate hemi/6 spd/ pro-tourer…great candidate. And yeah, I know it’s all wrong..don’t care.

  12. AMC STEVE

    I didn’t know they even could be ordered in this configuration. I would get it looking and running respectable and take it to shows. Can you imagine the conversations?

  13. Charles

    A friend of mine has the same year, same color, in a convertable. It has the slant 6, an automatic transmission, and factory AC. The 6 cylinder pulls the car easily. Someone will likely build this into a muscle car clone, however in recent years more people are seeing the value of maintaining these low option cars in stock form. I have seen 6 cylinder Camaro’s and Firebird’s at shows.

  14. The Walrus

    Growing up, we had a ’70 convertible with a slant 6 and a console 3 speed. The 6 cylinder cars are rare indeed. Out of 76,935 1970 Challengers made, only 10,657 were 6 cylinder cars. I’m pasting a table with the numbers below… hope it comes out OK…

    CHALLENGER (Base) ENGINE TYPE
    6 CYLINDER 8 CYLINDER TOTAL
    TWO DOOR HARDTOP 9,929 36,951 46,880
    SPECIAL EDITION 350 5,873 6,223
    CONVERTIBLE 378 2,543 2,921
    TOTAL 10,657 45,367 56,024

    CHALLENGER R/T ENGINE SIZE
    383 440 440+6 426 HEMI TOTAL
    TWO DOOR HARDTOP 9,067 2,802 1,640 287 13,796
    SPECIAL EDITION 2,522 875 296 60 3,753
    CONVERTIBLE 692 163 99 9 963
    TOTAL 12,281 3,840 2,035 356 18,512

    CHALLENGER T/A ENGINE SIZE
    340+6 Automatic 4 Speed TOTAL
    TWO DOOR HARDTOP 2,399 1,410 989 2,399
    TOTAL 2,399 2,399

    TOTAL
    TOTAL FOR ALL 1970 PRODUCTION 76,935

  15. Joe

    Car looks good overall. I am not happy when the flipper/seller cuts themselves out of the owner count. The original owner bought the car (seems like new) and sold it once and then purchased it back. That makes 2 owners. The current owner/flipper purchased it in March 2016. That makes 3 owners. When an original owner goes to sell a car then and only then in my mind is it a one owner car.

  16. Rick

    I had a ’70 Challenger 225 slant 6 automatic, bought it back in 1977 for $550, think it had about 70K miles on it, got it cheap because the windsheild and rear window were broke out and it was outside under a tarp, was that Sublime color with a black vinyl top, anyhow was a pretty straight car so I was gonna paint it black and put some nice wheels on it, instead I ended up driving it as is for a couple of years, in the process bent both front corners (the right front on a fire hydrant in the snow, and the left front on the back of a ’66 Mustang) after that I decided I didn’t want to do all the body work it now needed, so I sold it to a friend, and while he had it was at my house and I backed into it and bent one of the rear corners (was the night John Lennon was murdered) anyhow, last time I saw it was around 1986, it was sitting with a flat tire abandoned at the local shopping center, was gone after a couple of weeks, probably got crushed.

  17. Rick

    Oh and if those are before and after photos of the owner, I’d have to say the car held up way better!

    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      Ouch, LOL

  18. Van

    If you guys are going to say keep it original and restore it I may have to shoot myself.
    I’d be imbaraced to open the hood at a show.
    I’d be happier with a big block in this un-restored than fully restored as is.

  19. ed the welder

    This will end up as a Hemi or 440 car in Plum Crazy with some bogus VIN tag for huge money … It’s ironic that because people liked Camaros and Mustangs better there were much fewer Barracudas and Challengers sold , which now makes them worth more…

  20. Jubjub

    Really like the clean, poverty spec. Like Kowalski meets Taxi Driver.

    Build up a Hyper-Pak for it.

  21. Charles

    Considering that we are talking cars here, is there a right or wrong way to approach what to do with an old car. The first person who is willing to spend the money and buy the car can do what ever their heart desires with it. No doubt it would make a nice base to build a Hemi Clone, or some other highly desired version of the Challenger. One can choose to clean it up and keep it with the patina as is, restore it to original specs, or any number of variations in between. In the end no one gets a vote except the buyer. At 10K of these six cylinder cars produced in 1970 does not make them a rare car.

    The car does have a nice body, although that interior is so rough that the car will probably never be considered a survivor. In the Camaro and Firebird circles some people who once removed six cylinder engines and replaced them with V-8’s are starting to re-install the original drivelines back into the cars and restore them to OE specs. There is one fellow from SC who shows up the Pontiac shows with Pontiac Firebird with an OHC six. For several years he drove the car around with a 400 Pontiac engine, but he kept the original six cylinder. A couple years ago, he restored the car back to OE specs with the original engine. The car shows well, and runs well. It garners a lot of attention at the shows. The car always earns an award in it’s class.

    I have an original underpowered car that some people believe should be modified, however I have chose to keep it original. It is a 1982 Pontiac Trans AM WS7. Think Knightrider only white paint. The car has 25K actual miles on it and has always been stored inside in an air conditioned and heated environment. It has never been allowed to sit and deteriorate, and has been kept maintained all of these years. I am the second owner, and the first owner is a friend. The car is so original that we had the OE tires, hoses, belts, and other soft parts updated in 2015 so that the car could be driven safely. The original owner saved the buyers contract, build sheet, window sticker, and every piece of paper ever generated for this car. I paid PHS for a full history of the car from dealer order form to shipping labels. The little car is the low point for the Trans Am cars with it’s corporate GM 145 HP 305 V-8, a turbo 200 trans, and a GM 10 bolt posi unit. Yeah, it’s a slug…

    Some people have suggested that this is the perfect car to build into a street rod. Others say that it should be left stock, and maintained as is. Pontiac made 44K of these cars, so they are not rare. All stock unmolested examples are getting difficult to find because most owners got fed up with the lack of performance and modified their cars. Aftermarket support is very strong for these cars. The car is probably worth more in parts then it is as a whole. 15 inch Bowling Ball wheel covers are selling for $2500.00 a set now, rims at $1200.00 for a nice set, and PMD bucket seats are going for $1500.00 for a nice pair. At least for me, I am going to keep this car in the as built, preserved, slug like condition, however the next owner may want something different. To each their own.

  22. Walter Joy

    As much as I am a Mopar fan and as much as I want a V8 in this as the other guy, I think it should be kept like this. I’ve only seen 1 other slant-6 Challenger. Not much left in the world. All the others have V8s and V10s

  23. Steve

    Rare does not always equal desirable. Someone somewhere once said “it is rare that I crap my pants. It is never desirable.”

    I have a buddy that has a plum crazy 70 challenger RT 383 auto, 70 orange swinger with a 318 auto and 67 Malibu 2 dr 327 4 spd in His garage. Been sitting for 20 yrs. never touches them. All need restored. Wont sell. At least thyre inside.

  24. Dave Wright

    That will be a great estate sale someday…………and I agree with your rare anology. Rare can mean they were junk and no one wanted one when new or they were so bad few survived. Yugos are rare today.

  25. Glen

    To me, any car still in decent shape with little rust and an original drivetrain is becoming rare. Maybe not valuable, but worth saving, AS IS. but that’s just me, and everybody has their own opinion, …even if it’s wrong!

  26. Van

    If the car is an excellent condition servivor then yes keep it that way.
    Value has little to do with production numbers.
    More corvette convertibles were produced in 1967 than triumph stags were imported in all from 1971 through 1977. Total production Stags in the UK was only slightly higher than all corvettes in in 67.
    A mint condition Stag is worth a fraction of a 67 corvette in un-original driver condition. Production numbers are only an excuse to spend to much money on an investment, not passion.

  27. Charles

    I could be very happy with this car with the slant six. I used to want a V8 in everything, however as I get older I have grown a respect for odd ball variations of muscle cars. To me this is the ideal condition to start a restoration. When you’re done have a nice car that still has a lot of original parts. The whole patina thing is OK if we’re talking about an original car with a few minor blemishes, but not rust through that is only going to get worse with time.

  28. Luke Fitzgerald

    Not 35 K – these chryslers always look odd with wind ups on those bolsted, moulded door cards – nice find – slant last won’t last

  29. WSS Al

    In the early part of 1973, I purchased for $1,100 a 1970 Dodge Challenger in WSS trim, go-mango orange, black bucket SE interior as a trade-in with 40k on the clock.powered by the venerable slant-6,3speed on floor. 43 years later and with now 525k on the clock. 3 engines, 2 trannys, 2 rearends. A very well taken care of dodge still looks showroom new. 95 % OEM. The purchase from my local dodge dealership. I’m glad though with everything that life has thrown at me, she’s still with me. Is there anything else I can say?

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