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Parked Since ’82! 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

It’s hard to imagine a sweet Mopar in this condition sitting around since the Nixon era! This 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE in San Carlos, California represents the Holy Grail for many E-body fans as the sporty R/T (Road / Track) and luxurious SE (Special Edition) packages were only available together in 1970, offering style and power for the buyer willing to pay for both. A numbers-matching engine and automatic transmission sweeten the pot. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least ten bidders, setting the market value above $12,500. If this long-parked pony car is calling your name, simply click Buy It Now for $29,950, and it’s yours.

Someone sprung for new seats in what the seller describes as “original houndstooth,” an interesting choice as the default interior on an RT/SE would have been leather, probably black in this car. Dodge did offer hide-haters a no-cost upholstery option of cloth and vinyl. The steering wheel is correct for an R/T but not as SE, according to original brochures. “Special Edition” door panels feature carpeting across the bottom and reflectors as shown in the listing. Though not pictured, SE cars also featured a cool overhead console with “Low Fuel,” “Door Ajar,” and “Fasten Belt” lights.

A virtual clone of its Plymouth sibling, the ‘Cuda, the Challengers sports differences including a longer wheelbase and overall length. Tip your hat to the seller for including pictures of many stamping numbers that expert buyers can decode. Ironically this is the best picture of the car’s front, no doubt due to its sedentary condition. An aggregate shot of some paperwork suggests further documentation, though none is legible or detailed elsewhere. Thanks to Wikipedia for some details.

The twin-snorkel R/T hood looks great. Interestingly this picture shows a different location than others, and here the right front fender is black, possibly shipping primer, while elsewhere we see it as damaged and yellow.

The R/T’s 383 cid (6.3L) Magnum V8 used a four-barrel carburetor and 9.5:1 compression to make 335 HP plus a tire-shredding 425 lb-ft of torque. Missing wiring and accessories, plus the disassembled hood hinges, suggest the motor was only recently returned to the engine bay for transport or photography. It won’t run, but it sure looks tidy in there. Horsepower numbers started taking a hit after 1970 as emissions restrictions welled up and compression ratios fell down, another reason to covet the ’70 E-body. Would you pay full price for this stylish and powerful Challenger?


  1. Avatar photo Steve R

    The car has been sitting since Reagan was in office, not Nixon who left in 1974.

    The car is dry, but rough. The primered right front fender and damaged hood indicates an accident, it would be wife to look at the inner fender and frame rail.

    Steve R

    Like 22
    • Avatar photo Todd Fitch Staff

      Hello Steve R. 100% correct. I was reading 1982 but thinking 1972! Thanks for the correction! -Todd

      Like 10
  2. Avatar photo Joe Machado

    May have been a spun bearing issue!
    San Carlos has salt air ocean on both side of the strip of land.
    Non air.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      I was raised in San Carlos, it is not subject to salt air. That’s a common misconception for people that are not from the area.

      Besides, the cars current registration which was issued in 2019 shows San Carlos on its address, that does not mean it had been stored there.

      Steve R

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo Chris M.

      Huh. Figured you had one or bought one new Cool Joe. This might be a first!

      Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Woody

    I think they should sell the Camaro next to it,probably a tribute SS,the Challenger would be a worth-while project!

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo bone

    And in the short period of time it was on the road, some knucklehead painted in the inner fenders black !! Sorry, pet peeve of mine , I’ll let myself out ……

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo George mattar

    Gonna take a ton of skinned knuckles and $ to restore this properly. But there are plenty of 70 Challengers left. Still to this day the highest single production year ever.

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo 370zpp Member

    Hey, I learned something here today: The differences in size between these Cudas vs. Challengers. Thanks Todd.

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Cal

    Needs a 340

    Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Ted

    Always wanted one, could this be it?

    Like 3
  9. Avatar photo John Gribbins

    A lot of rust in engine compartment front floor boards looks like they were worked this does not look like a California car maybe under water somewhere else just saying inspecting cars for 52 years I know.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Whynot Member

      I agree , parked in 82 only after 12 years it’s pretty rough. Signs of rust in places you wouldn’t expect if stored out of the weather. Vinyl top stripped ? Carpet removed.

      Like 1
  10. Avatar photo MikeB

    Way to much stuff missing in engine compartment. I agree, a motor was dropped in for the photos, big expensive problem there I would say.

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo Johnny

    It will only increase in value. Well for $12,000 anyone can find a nicer car for $12,000 and drive it home. Some think because its a Chrysler product–comaro or mustang –in bad shape or not——its worth alot more then other makes. I,m not one. Maybe half the price–if everything checks out GOOD. Is the block any good? Is it busted inside? The transmission? Hidden rust. Why pay a high price when they really have not seen the vehicle and checked out everything first hand? That about like taking someone on top of a building. Put a blind fold over their eyes and ask them to walk 100 feet on a 75 foot roof. They must be alot of gulliable people out their.

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Terry Bowman

    I’m impressed with the original Dash pad.

    Like 2
  13. Avatar photo Paolo

    Mopar maintained high compression and horsepower ratings through the end of the 1971 model year. GM dropped compression and horsepower after the 1970 model year. Commit that to memory Todd.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo JBD

      Ford followed GM also. Insuarance rates and gas prices were the biggest drivers.

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Morley Member

    The only thing to do with these cars, make them a work bench and garbage storage. Good luck

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo gaspumpchas

    You would have to look it over with a fine tooth comb and decide if its for you, starting out with that 30 grand nut. Seems you could buy something done??
    Good luck and stay safe.

    Like 2
  16. Avatar photo John Oliveri

    Unfortunately Nixon left in 74, Regan was in office, totally different generation, but that car is still that car, hopefully no JC Whitney parts to make it 80s correct, like a cassette deck w Cindy Lauper, that car needs Grand Funk on 8 track

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo SDJames

    I bet that low fuel light bulb burnt out often…

    Like 1

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