Plum Crazy Column Shift: 1970 Dodge Challenger 340

1970 was the start of it all for the Dodge Challenger, and many enthusiasts would say it was the best year for the first-generation E-Body.  Dodge had over 20 colors to choose from for its ’70 Challenger, some of which were pretty basic but also a handful that were so over the top they were called High Impact colors at Chrysler.  One of their High Impact paint offerings was known as Plum Crazy, which can be seen on the vehicle being offered for sale here.  If you are in the market for a nicely restored E-Body that needs nothing except an A/C charge, this 1970 Dodge Challenger might be worth a look.  Located in Denver, Colorado, it can be seen here on eBay with a current bid of $21,211, but if you want it today there is also an option to Buy It Now at a cost of $49,500.

Checking the A66 box on a 1970 Challenger got you the 340 Performance Package.  This included the single 4 barrel 340 cubic inch V8, which was rated at 275 horsepower.  But A66 also got you 11-inch heavy-duty drum brakes, the sports hood, rally suspension, transverse paint stripe, and a 26-inch radiator.  Surprisingly, the 340 was not available on the R/T or S/E models, so you had to choose the base Challenger to get this package.

The fender tag verifies the seller’s claim that this Challenger did indeed leave the factory in Plum Crazy Metallic (FC7), and he says that this car has had a high-quality restoration to its correct specs with the matching-numbers engine and original 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission.  Several photos are provided, and it really does look like a really nice driver-quality restoration effort.  The odometer is showing 33,000 miles and the seller believes that this is authentic.

This Challenger has something that seems uncommon, at least I haven’t seen it very often- a steering column shift lever.  While it may not be as cool as a console shifter, just the odd factor is kind of noteworthy.  I’m curious how many of our readers have seen this before on a Challenger?  The interior appears to be in very nice condition, with its bucket seats and no console, and both the body and paint look to be top-notch.

Overall this looks like a very nice Challenger, only in need of an A/C charge before it’s ready for the next owner to start enjoying it.  Other than that, the seller says it is ready to drive anywhere.  What are your thoughts on this Plum Crazy 1970 Dodge Challenger?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Hi Mike, always welcome to see a new name. Just to be clear, when you said “column shift” in the banner headline, most here, including me, thought a manual column shift, which would be unheard of in a car like this. Actually, the column shift probably outsold the console shift 2 to 1. Ever sit on a console? Cool car, when color and style meant something.

    Like 13
    • Chris

      Column shift …….means on the column “Automatic”

      Like 1
  2. Harvey Member

    Buy it now at 49,500.Saw two new ones yesterday.6cylinder automatic is 40k,392 hemi 6speed 60k :-)

    Like 2
    • Bob Wade

      And what, exactly, does that have to do with a beautiful 1970 340 Challenger?

      Like 12
      • Dave

        You can choose between a 51 year old car that you don’t want to drive every day or for the same money you can buy a new car that comes with a warranty and you will want to drive it every day (the AWD version actually does well in snow and is the performance equal to the 340).
        It’s your money, and it’s your choice.

        Like 8
  3. Tony Primo

    If you believe that all that the A/C needs to function properly, boy do I have some prime building lots in Southern Florida for you!!!

    Like 18
    • Howard A Member

      Do you supply the hip waders?

      Like 3
    • Howie Mueler

      Tony, any with a ocean view?

  4. Tony Primo

    Dam edit button, is a recharge.

    Like 4
  5. BA

    Tony you hit it out of the park! I’m working on my fuel rails on my 2013 ram 1500 & I’m ringing wet not doing a lot here in Central Florida so yeah when I see a high dollar vehicle even the most desirable the A/C doesn’t work forget it! Not me!

    Like 4
  6. Connecticut mark

    Does the build tag really come with Phillips head screws?

    Like 1
    • Bob Wade

      All MOPARS back then had fender tags attached with phillips screws. If you see rivets that should be a red flag.

      Like 4
  7. JoeNYWF64

    I’m glad the Kowalski Chally did not have that rear spoiler.
    I don’t remember seein rear spoilers on Challys back in the day, except the small one on the T/A model.
    Rear sway bar OVER the rear axle – i wonder why …

    Like 1
  8. Fifemichigan

    I bought the 1970 basic 340 4barrel, column mounted auto, drums around, no AC. The standard seat was a bench which i referred it as a benchseat bucket. Girlfriend could easily slide on over. I built the engine, reversed the linkage so when i raced i didn’t throw it into neutral @ 6k rpm. I also installed a manual valve body and stall converter. Great Memories, won a few 12 packs in my day.

    Like 5
  9. MikeB

    As I have said before regarding 1970 Challengers -serious young male buyers were only interested in big block models at that time. With the exception of the T/A model of course. That being said, this is really a strange car indeed.

    Like 1
    • Donnie L Sears

      You had to love that big block mentality. The big block fans never knew what hit them when Chrysler brought a small block out that would turn 6500 rpm’s from the factory. The big blocks never stood a chance on top end. I owned enough of the 340’s to know I never feared any big block made by anybody. The 340 was probably one of the best motors ever built. Very few people wanted to go to where the TA’s went. That would be 147 MPH from the factory.

      Like 1
      • Mark

        My buddy had a 73 Roadrunner that he thought was fast. I had a 79 corvette that I put an L76 327 out of my brother’s wrecked 65 Vette. I literally ran away from him from a 30 mph roll as well as on the highway. It didn’t matter where we raced his 340 was no comparison for a good running 327.

        Like 1
  10. Rich

    For this kind of money, why wouldn’t you get the A/C fixed?

    Like 3
  11. Mark

    The prices of there Mopars are getting ridiculous.

    Like 1
    • Donnie L Sears

      If you are the same Mark that was out running the 1973 Roadrunner you were running against the low compression 340. You do not understand the difference do you. I saw a man that had about $5000 in a 327 try to out run a Swinger with a 340 and he could never do it. Blew his motor up trying to do it. Like the man blew his 396 big block up trying to out run my 340. He was too dumb to know I was just playing games with him. He never had a chance at any time.

  12. Mark

    I wasn’t the one bragging about how quick my Vette was that was the Roadrunner driver. It never impressed me and neither did any other 340 I smoked.

    Like 1
    • Donnie L Sears

      Maybe the smoke you are talking about was weed. Because I would have destroyed that Vette. And the 79 Vette was a dog. Had to go to a 65 327 to get it to move.

      • Mark

        I got a lot more skin in that Vette than you ever got in that grandma car… Swinger, that’s funny, probably a four door grocery getter. Slowpars are oil burning turds.

        Like 1
    • Donnie L Sears

      You know all the cars made after 72 were dogs and that includes your 79 Vette. That 327 you put in the Vette had more horsepower than the GM big blocks made in 79. Just to be specific my Dart was fast and still running the factory motor. You had to get a back model small block to make your slug move. I would never brag about out running a low compression 340. They were dogs like your Vette. I am a GM man but GM never made a fast car after 73 until the GNB came out. Then they got back in the game by putting the 350’s back in the Camaro and making the ZR 1 Corvettes. But the best small block was the 302 in Camaros.

      • JoeNYWF64

        You forgot about 1 hard to get motor made by Pontiac in ’73 & ’74 – the ONLY! low compression motor(8.4:1 !!!) on this list below of 50 cars that turned less than 14 sec back in the day.
        & that’s with cast iron intake & block, quadrajet, pts & condenser, egr, & a single heavy sideways muffler & 2 “resonators” before that. & i see only 1 small block on this list & it aint no hi compress 302 or 350. lol Nor do i see a hi compress 340 below. I am not surprised tho to see the amazin boss 351 on this list …

        Like 1
      • Mark

        My Vette from the factory was a dog. I made mine better than most other 79 corvettes. What did you do with your grandma grocery getter? Oh yeah it’s still a factory snail that won’t get out of its own way. Your logic that small block are the fastest factory cars ever built is laughable. Did a factory 302 camaro even run in a 13 second 1/4 mile, I doubt that. An finally the Mopars are all rather low compression engines compared to the performance cars from Ford or Chevy of the era. Educate yourself Donnie.

        Like 1
  13. Mark A Reynolds

    By 1970, insurance payments for big block muscle cars could easily exceed the car payment. A Chrysler Zone Manager remembered then that you hoped the young muscle car buyer got the keys before he checked on his new insurance quote.
    By ’70, there were a lot of packages engineered to dodge the insurance rate, using small blocks and non-performance base models to avoid triggering the rates on certain VIN codes. A66 was one of these.

  14. BW

    Lot’s of pissing and moaning between small block (340) and big block fans. Although all the statistics point toward big block being faster (in a controlled 1/4 mile environment) the reality was the small block pretty much ruled the street racing scene. By the time the big block got wound up, the small block, and especially the 340, were long gone and the race was over.

    How do I know? I was one of those extremely lucky ones who got his hands on a freakishly quick ’70 340 Duster. Every big block in town hated the car. I don’t think I need to tell you why.

    Like 1
    • Donnie L Sears

      You have one thing correct. The 340’s dominated on the streets. And my brother destroyed the 727 that was in my dart. To the best of my knowledge no big block would turn 6500 at that time. And my nephew has a friend who has a Challenger that is a 440/6 and he has a TA Challenger. My nephew asked him which one was faster. He said it was not even close. He said that TA would blow the doors off the big block. Why would the guy lie? He owns both cars. I don’t know of anything at that time that would turn the RPM’s the 340 would turn. If anything would it would be the 302 in the Camaro. And I do not remember them every testing the small blocks in the quarter. But I do remember Hot Rod magazine that 275 horse power on the 340 was way off. They said all the ones they tested had at least 350 hp.

  15. BW

    Let me ad, my ’70 340 Duster ate three, count ’em, three 727s under warranty and we all know how stout the 727 is. Thank God for the 5/50 power-train warranty.

  16. BW

    Add, not ad. Damned auto-correct.

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