Plum Crazy Project! 1970 Dodge Challenger 340

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Dodge was the last automaker to debut a “pony car” but it was more than five years after the party had already started. Perhaps it came about because Plymouth wanted a new body for its Barracuda, and Chrysler needed more production to justify the expense. The Challenger only ran for five years, but that was long enough to establish itself as a desirable car 50 years later. This 1970 edition appears to be a Challenger 340 that comes with rare Plum Crazy paint. It’s said to be a driver but will need a fair amount of work. Located in El Paso, Texas, this classic is available here on eBay where the reserve is yet to be met at $22,100.

First-year sales of the Challenger were brisk, but nothing compared to the Mustang’s peak in 1966 (77,000 cars vs. 607,000). It would be downhill after that as muscle car demand (of which the Challenger had many) declined due to rising insurance premiums and tightening emissions controls. Dodge built 6,633 Challenger 340s in 1970 and this car seems to be one, but the engine is not original and, thus, not numbers-matching.

We have every reason to believe the Plum Crazy color is original to this car but is not the factory paint job as you can see layers peeling in places. Sources indicate that 5,447 Challengers were finished in FC7 “purple” in 1970, but that’s across all non-R/T, non-T/A Challengers. So the number of Plum Crazy 340 Challengers that still survive may be in the hundreds – or for that matter – even in the dozens.

It seems this Challenger was built in California but has lived most of its life in Texas. The body looks good overall but the rear quarter panels and passenger door are going to need some rust repair. And we’re told that the door is not original, so maybe the car was in a fender bender at some point. The interior is described as black in color, but the photos show a combination involving grey material that doesn’t look right (to me) to 1970s Challengers. It’s a well-optioned car including factory air conditioning, but that hardware flew the coop when the motor was swapped.

The seller says the gauge package is wrong for the car but is worth $1,500. You could remove and sell it yourself if you wanted to go stock, or he’ll pull and keep it and cut the final price by that amount. The Cragar aftermarket wheels look very good and no mention is made of them not coming with the car. Since the seller says he/she “will consider wholesale trades plus cash” we surmise that this was a dealer acquisition. Some of the descriptions provided – that include a trip to Vegas – are a bit confusing and perhaps have nothing to do with this car at all.

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  1. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    I think it’s comical, Chrysler so aptly described the classic car hobby with this color 50 years ago. Every once in a great while, someone will have an odd color( like this) Subaru, and it looks so out of place. To be fair, the Challenger was never meant to compete with the Mustang. The Mustang was far more universal, this appealed to one group, and still does today. Plum Crazy was a hold over from the far out, psychedelic wild colors and puffy letters era. Plum Crazy was just one of the “high impact” colors offered. There was, Go Mango, Sublime, Pink Panther, all intended for you to stand out. By the mid 70s, they were gone and so were the puffy letters thing, but we kept the weed.

    Like 10
  2. 19sixty5Member

    First and best (IMO) looking Challengers, and a great little motor. Is that left rear lower quarter patch attached with the aluminum duct tape or am I seeing things??

    Like 4
  3. Dave

    I had a ’73 back in ’78 – ’79. And who says it wasn’t meant to compete with the Mustang because of the colors? This is a pony car as much as the Mustang is, there’s even a mention of that in the article. Mine was red, pretty sure Ford sold alot of red Mustangs.

    Like 4
  4. Lathebiosas

    I am completely confused by the sellers added comments. Is he talking about another car or this car?

    Like 1
  5. Leslie MartinMember

    Lets see what my Mopar save or scrap checklist looks like:

    70 Challenger? Check
    340 car? Check
    Desirable color? Check
    4 speed w/pistol grip? Check
    Interior mostly intact? Check
    Visible rust repairable? Check
    Rallye Dash? Hmmm… not sure
    Numbers Matching? Nope!

    6 out of 8 isn’t bad. And this would be a fun car to drive one restored.

    Reserve not met at $22,875. This one will be back up soon and someone will buy it.

    Like 2
    • Melton Mooney

      There was part of a rally cluster shown on the ground behind the trailer that I’m guessing went with it…so 6+1.

      Like 1
      • Leslie MartinMember

        Good eye! I didn’t catch that!

        Like 0
    • Lathebiosas

      I’ve seen worse go for more…..

      Like 2
  6. Grant

    These were so cheap to buy in 1970. I might be willing to pay full list, would that work? 22 grand and no sale? People are nuts.

    Like 1
  7. Mitch

    I think people are out of their minds spending 20,000 or more to buy and start a resto this car will need 35,/40,000. to get it on the road and that’s if the new owner does most of the work him self if he takes it to a shop your looking at 60,000 and the car doesn’t have the original motor, way to much for a daily summer driver and if your gonna flip it well good luck!!

    Like 2

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