Please Complete It: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440

When a family member passes away it is heartbreaking for those left behind, and that is the back-story on this 1970 Dodge Challenger T/T 440. It was being restored when the owner passed away. One of his relatives has decided that the car now needs to go off to a new home where the restoration can be completed. Even though it still has a way to go, not only does it appear that a lot of the hard work has already been done, but almost everything, including the paint, is there to see it through to fruition. Located in Lake Park, Minnesota, you will find the Challenger listed for sale here on eBay. some pretty enthusiastic people have pushed the bidding along to $16,800, but the reserve hasn’t been met at this point.

As you can see from the photos, the late owner had replaced a lot of metal in the car before he passed away. There is still some work to do, but it seems that the pieces for any further work are included with the car. The seller says that the underside of the floors haven’t been sandblasted, but he can’t see any rust-through. I can see evidence of some minor corrosion appearing on the floors inside the Challenger, so I might be inclined to strip those again to ensure that this doesn’t go any further. It appears that all of the original external trim and chrome is present, and the only major items required will be a replacement windshield and the Dodge badge for the hood. There is also a nice, fresh, white vinyl top included with the car, which is ready to be fitted at the right time. Paint color? Well, the Challenger started life finished in Plum Crazy, so who are we to change that? Included with the car is all of the consumables that you would need to apply a fresh layer of paint, including a gallon of Plum Crazy base-coat, two gallons of clear-coat, a gallon of primer, thinners, activator, reducer, and filler. That should at least be enough to get the next owner started.

When the late owner took the car off the road it is said to have run and driven okay. The engine and transmission are out of the car now, but they appear to be present and complete. The 4-speed manual transmission is definitely numbers-matching, but the current 440ci V8 doesn’t appear to be original. It isn’t clear how long the restoration has been going for, but with these components already out of the car it is probably worth taking the opportunity to give them a check-up. Better to do it now than to find a problem once the car has all been bolted back together. I would also be inclined to give them a decent detail so that they look nice and fresh when they are dropped back into the car. The owner does suggest that it would be worth the effort to replace some of the bushes in the front end because some of these are looking a bit tired. In all honesty, I would probably go right through the car and check every part. If you’ve got a car stripped to this point, it would seem crazy to not refresh anything that needed it while you had the chance.

Apart from the dash, the rest of the interior trim has been removed and is just waiting to be slotted back into the car. The dash and pad look really nice, with an aftermarket Pioneer radio/cassette player being the only deviation from standard. The white interior trim, including the center console and pistol grip shifter, also look to be in great condition. The new white headliner that is included with the car should finish it off nicely.

To see a project car proceed to this stage, and then to see fate deprive the owner of the opportunity to see it through to completion, is an incredibly sad thing. The seller says that he would love to complete the job, but admits that he simply doesn’t possess the skills to do it. He says that he would like the car to go to a person who is able to do the car justice. I get the impression that he would see the completion of the car as a fitting tribute to the beloved family member that he has lost. I just hope that someone is able to fulfill that dream for him. If I was the person who restored this car, I would want to take the completed car back so that he could see first-hand the car that had been the pride and joy of a true enthusiast that is no longer with us.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks very promising though it all depends on what the reserve is on this one.

    4
  2. Keith

    Cool, looks like most of the rust issues have been addressed! Wow!

    4
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      LOL! I was just thinking that this car isn’t rusty enough for a Keith comment.

      2
  3. irocrobb

    The 1970 Dodge Challenger RT is probably my favorite car ever produced. Well, tied with the 1970 Cuda. I have loved them for the last 40 years or more.
    A 4 speed and purple would likely have been my choice when ordering. I would rather have the 340 engine though.
    Sad the owner never got to complete this car but hopefully some loving fellow will finish it.

    4
    • JOHN

      A buddy of mine in high school traded in his 68 Chevelle SS396/375 for a brand new 1970 Challenger R/T 440 6 pack 4 speed, Plum Crazy/white. The funny thing is he bought it with E78/14 thin stripe whitewalls with full wheel covers, the way it was delivered to the dealership. People thought he bought emblems and put them on the car to look like a 440. He beat on that car mercilessly from the moment he drove off the lot, burned the tires off pretty much immediately, put on some L60x14’s on it, the rims were way too narrow, but thats the way we rolled back then. Blew it up around 7500 miles, but that thing was fast… he said break it in like you intend to drive it!

      2
  4. Arthell64 Member

    After watching vanishing point who didn’t want a 70 challenger.

    14
  5. Dan

    I’m curious about this car’s history. The floors look great for a Minnesota car, and based on the awful stereo in the dash, it was on the road in the 1980s. With that powertrain and color combo, it is a great car to restore!

    2
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Paint it white and name it Kowalski. This thing looks fast sitting still. If its reasonable, hopefully it can go to someone who always wanted one. Like Arthell said–after seeing the movie , who didn’t want one.! Good luck!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    3
    • Steve R

      Why would anyone do that with a matching number 440/4spd/Dana 60 car? If that’s the plan, start with a base Challenger, then add a repro hood and emblems. I figure you are joking, but there are people out there that are dumb enough to do what you suggest.

      Steve R

      1
  7. TimM

    If the work is done right and the amount of extra parts it’s pretty much at the top dollar it should be at in order to put it back together and be able to get the trim piece along with clutch brakes and suspension parts to finish it right!!

    1
  8. DonC

    Bidding is at $17,100 with 2 days left. I grew up with a 70 Challenger convertible with 383 and slapstick auto. Candy Apple red with white interior and white top. Wish I could find the $$ for this. It’s all there to be put together!

    2
  9. Del

    The ultimate jigsaw puzzle

  10. John van meveren

    My name is john van meveren from south dakota tell ya what bring the car to me just give it to me I will finish it cause I been restoring cars for 30 years I will make it nice again and fast the family can use it for car shows and weddings and family reunions and I will never sell the car they can see it done and use it upon request

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