Plum Crazy Survivor: 1970 Dodge Challenger

This 1970 Dodge Challenger SE is a pleasing combination of color, options, and history, attributable to its unusual VIN number – more on that in a moment. The Challenger wears nicely aged Plum Crazy paint and is equipped with a 383 and four-speed manual. The car runs and drives and has been in storage for many years. The interior looks quite fresh and there’s not a whole lot to fault for a driver-quality example. Find it here on eBay with bidding over $16K and the reserve unmet.

The stance is awesome, and there’s not a whole lot I would change about this Challenger. Keep the weathered appearance, the nicks and scars. The seller notes the Challenger is equipped with the 8 3/4 rear with the stronger 489 case, and that the car runs well with excellent oil pressure. He further notes it sounds pretty sweet, too, with the T/A-style side-exit exhaust.

Inside, the cabin looks near faultless, and I have to believe the interior was refreshed sometime before it went into storage. Getting to the VIN number, the seller notes it ends with “666” and was built the week before Halloween in 1969. Do with that what you will, but it’s a fun piece of folklore regardless – especially with its close sibling Christine lighting up the silver screen.

The engine bay looks awesome, but the paint almost looks too good to be true. Was it resprayed at some point? Who knows – it wouldn’t be out of the question – but given the factory color was Plum Crazy, the provenance factor is what’s more important. The seller notes it needs a new vinyl top, and the brakes and steering need attention. I predict bidding will easily clear $20K.

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    Sweet challenger! Kowalski is grandfathered in for Shotgun. Bet this runs like a raped ape. Love this year, probably because of the Movie! Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    8
    • Steve R

      Don’t you mean, it runs like the grape ape?

      Steve R

      2
  2. Mike

    Had a co-worker back in the 1980’s that had one of these. She said that she would never part with her plum crazy car. She retired and I would pass by her house about twice a month while going into town and see her car in the driveway. This went on for years until one day the car wasn’t there. I had a feeling that this might be a sign that she passed away. The internet was just getting started back then, so I couldn’t confirm right away. Talked to another retired co-worker and he told me she did pass away three weeks before I drove by. The house got flipped and the car got sold almost the second she was gone by her kids. She loved that car and I was happy that she had it till the end.

    28
    • Karl

      383 was a very decent engine my dad had a 69 Road Runner with that engine and it was a very strong runner, I would expect the same from this car!

      7
  3. irocrobb

    My all time favorite car since I was 12 and I am 59 now. Favorite color as well as a 4 speed. Everything I would want except I would prefer a 340 engine and power brakes.
    I think this one will go for a lot of money

    10
  4. Dan

    As “VIN” stands for “Vehicle Identification Number,” following said acronym with “number” is redundant. Plum Crazy is a terrific color, and I think the car deserves a repaint. Being an SE, I’d also put a new vinyl top on it. Challenger SEs are an exception to my “no vinyl tops” rule. Assuming the mechanicals are in good order, the only other thing I’d do is replace the aftermarket gauges with a Rallye gauge cluster.

    9
    • Skorzeny

      Thank you Dan, why do people say it that way!?!?

      5
      • grant

        Same reason they say “ATM machine.” Drives me batty.

        7
    • Moparman Member

      Dan: While we’re at it, it gripes me to hear RPM’s for “Revolutions Per Minute”, and MPG’s for “Miles Per Gallon”, and Vice grips for “Vise” grips! :-)

      2
    • George mattar

      This very nice car will go for close to $25,000. While Plum Crazy was the most popular color in 1970, very few are left in this condition. Trunk pan looks like an afternoon of work. No holes, at least visible to my 63 year old eyes, is remarkable in a 50 year old Mopar. I would go over the mechanicals and drive it. Paint is a total waste of money for a driver.

      2
  5. sparkster

    In 1970 as a 13 yr old kid I would ride my Schwinn StingRay over to the Plymouth dealer and feast my eyes on the 340 “Cuda” and then zoom across the street to the Dodge dealer and feast my eyes on a Dodge Challenger. Always perplexed as to which I loved more. I never could come up with a clean cut winner then as well as now that I’m 61, I still can’t Then my uncle came by the house with his 1970 Road Runner in FC7 with white interior , pistol grip 4 speed.
    I miss those days.

    9
  6. Troy s

    Have to say that Challenger does have a swagger to it, definitely like the TA exhaust pipes. Maybe its got oversized tires but they sure fit well, overall a tough mopar that would be a fun driver. I’m sure in a short while someone will begin ragging on it and wishing it had a 318, I can just feel it comin’.

    4
    • Steve R

      I hope not. The 318 comment wasn’t funny the first time and hasn’t gotten any better the more it’s suggested.

      Steve R

      2
      • 36Packard

        You “gentlemen” obviously have never owned and loved a 318. Sad, your loss is great. A 318 four speed is one Chryslers greatest feats, but only mature people need apply when checking off those boxes at ordering time.

        9
    • 36Packard

      Maybe someone should bring up the slant six idea! Now THERE was a REAL engine! Or maybe, early 80s Camaros came with a standard Iron Duke, maybe one of those could be transplanted in. Or, this crowd likes LS transplants, I am open to anything, how about you guys? Heyyyyyy, electric self driving! Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

      4
      • triumph1954 Member

        36Packard- Have you ever owned or driven a 318 four speed or driven a four speed behind any motor? If you don’t care for muscle or performance cars, why do you continue to comment with your nonsence? There is plenty of vehicles on BarnFinds more suited to your taste to comment on with your vast knowledge.

        3
      • Troy s

        Come on, Packard, you know you love this car here, or you wouldn’t bother. 383 4 speed great looks, a 340 would be just fine, probably quicker. A 318, maybe in the days of ridiculous insurance premiums and then you had plum crazy bread and butter.
        Enjoy this ride here for what it is, that goes for Sandy as well. Ahahah!

      • 36Packard

        Actually Mr T, I DID drive a 318 four speed. My buddy in LA ordered one, a 1971 Challenger. He wanted the silly big block but the insurance would have had him working to an early grave. HE WAS REALLY PLEASED WITH IT. Had a HD suspension and a 3.23 rear end, made for an awfully nice car. It had air, which was kind of a no brainer in LA, so when he and I took it to the Grand Canyon one week, we went in style. Yes children, Chrysler did offer this combo, any V8, but no six in those years could have the pistol grip Hurst 4 speed. I know, most people with 318s went TF or standard 3 speed, but Brad was a man who just had to have that shifter, and he was pleased with his purchase. Where is that car today you ask? Crushed in 1985 because the engine at 190,000 miles gave up the ghost and no one wanted it after he had put an ad in the paper. I do speak from experience, age has a tendency to let you do that. I only commented because of the silly people above here who had to make the comment that 318 comments would be coming and were not welcome. Some of us fought for this country and to uphold all the acquired rights, one of which is free speech.

        6
    • Ken Wittick

      Wishing it had a 318 ? I can honestly say ,I never heard anyone ever say that !

      2
  7. Ken Carney

    Makes me think of Gibb’s Challenger on the show NCIS although his was yellow
    and had a hemi under the hood. After
    seeing one at Oldtown, my sister in law
    has a new favorite car. When I reminded
    her what she said about old cars not being safe, she said she’d drive something like this. Next thing you know,
    she’ll want me to build her one of these.
    Now, whenever we go to Oldtown, she looks forward to seeing her Challenger
    come down the street. Women! Who can figure ’em out.

    2
    • 36Packard

      I can’t see Gibbs with a yellow hemi, the man makes wooden boats in his basement. Who writes this stuff? I see Gibbs with an old Rambler or something sedate. He has enough excitement in his life
      already with his job. The man has been to war, after that, peace and tranquility mean much to you , even your choice of cars.

      2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I think you mean Don Johnson and Cheech Marin in the show Nash Bridges.

      4
  8. jimjim

    I had a 69 Charger in high school with the 383 in it. Great engine. My uncle bought it new. It was amazing we didn’t kill ourselves in that thing. Want is strong on this one if it’s what it purports to be. I always thought they sprayed the vin/option tag the same color as the body. Does anyone know?

    1
  9. rpol35

    I really like the patina, I’d be inclined to keep it like that.

    (I hope that sign behind it in the cul-de-sac isn’t indicative of how things will ultimately turn out!)

    3
  10. Woody

    Same here,don’t think I would change the patina right away.Just tune and tear,love that pistol grip!

    2
  11. Greg

    Nice find!

    Assuming the next owner wanted to bring it up a few notches; I noticed the following: Rust in the lower rear passenger side quarter panel, small amount of surface rust (it appears) on trunk pan, needs new vinyl top, needs new body and paint, steering wheel is cracked in some places, exhaust is not correct, front spoiler is not correct but could be wrong on that, will need new tires, will need new suspension, engine block and engine area needs detailing, brakes may need work, who knows on fuel tank, and fuel lines, bumpers need to be re-chromed, stainless will need to be polished, carpets although appear to be original needs to be replaced, rear package tray is shot, correct exhaust manifolds needed, and can not see below the car to determine if there is any rust. The good is that the dash pad, seat covers, door panels, head liner, all seem to be in very good condition. The rally gauge package that will most likely need to be worked on. The clock and tach will need it I bet.

    Just taking a shot here but I think with the above mentioned you are looking at close to 20k to take it to the next level. Hard to say not knowing the condition of the below unibody. This is not mentioned in the add and no pictures of that. Note: Hemi 4 speed is not original to the car. Came with an 727 Automatic as mentioned. Or, drive it and enjoy it as it is.

    I had a 1970 Challenger RT/SE and was very upside down after a complete restoration. This car needs to be bought for less than 20k IMO if the above is the plan for the next owner.

    • 36Packard

      “Or, drive it and enjoy it as it is” Shouldn’t that be the way it should be? Enjoy the car even though it is not “factory perfect” for investment reasons? Over time tech has improved, why not use it? If you like the tail pipes or front spoiler that way, why not? Our hobby needs less financial thought and more fun thoughts.

      5
      • triumph1954 Member

        36Packard- Good comment and I agree 100%. Does not need to be perfect to be enjoyed.

        2
    • Stinger

      The car is a white Vinyl top car which should look even nicer on the purple. Should not have R/T Badges or stripes on it as it’s not an R/T, just an SE. Los Angeles built car, kinda cool to see that on the east coast.

      I had a 71 340 Demon at one time with the last 3 digits of the VIN “Number” with 666

      1
  12. Greg

    I personally like them nice but hey that’s just me…Not for investment purposes trust me on that, LOL

  13. John Oliveri

    For 20 grand it’s a keeper, you improve as u go, it’s got good bones

  14. Del

    Great find.

    Price good so far

  15. KKW

    $20k? $25k? What?!! Come on now, it’s a Mopar!!! Gotta be worth at least a half a million!!! Lol

    3
    • 36Packard

      Keith, I was wondering where you were. I was worried that maybe because outing publicly your sad experience (losing that girl to a Mopar Man) might have made you even more emotionally unstable.

      3
      • KKW

        Who’s Keith?

        3
  16. Martie Williams

    My 70 Charger with a 318/TorqueFlite would slow down when I up shifted to 3rd from 2nd if I wound it up in 2nd. Of course, it could up to 18 mpg (measured) with the gearing it had. The axle was a 2.71, if I remember correctly.

    1
  17. bobhess Member

    Slick car…

    1
  18. MDW1966

    Shoudn’t this car have the overhead console if it is an SE?

    • Stinger

      You are Correct…but it is an SE. The “29” in the VIN denotes that. Notice the trim that goes front to rear holding in the roof liner? Looks like rubber pinch well trim… clearly a few liberties have been taken…

      Looking at the dash pad, notice the missing Challenger script on the passenger side ? It’s a plastic cap/cover. If you look at the pic from the passenger side, looking at the steering wheel, you will see the cap is poorly installed near the steering wheel.

      It maybe a lil cobbled together here and there, but still a cool car. If you have the resources, you can fix some of these cosmetics. Looks fairly clean rust wise.

      1
  19. DonC

    You’ve heard from me before. Grew up with a 70 Challenger convertible with the 383 slapstick automatic. Dad had the 66 charger with the 318. Not sure about Packards commentary, cuz the 383 dominates the 318, but hey….each to his own, it’s all good! What I don’t get is why this 70 is only pulling $20-25K, but an R/T like ours was will pull $90k or more? Maybe I took it for granted how special our R/T was?

    3
  20. poseur Member

    heck yeah, i’d swap out that boat anchor 383 and superfluous 4-speed for a slant-six and three-on-the-tree!

    probably invest the cash from insurance and fuel savings into hair plugs and laugh all the way down Woodward Ave

    7
    • Troy s

      Hair plugs!!! That’s too funny, and laughing all the way and getting laughed at cruising Woodward in a plum crazy six banger. That’s good…

      3
  21. RoughDiamond Member

    Always thought Dodge had it “right’ with those gas caps. There have been a total of three car rides that scared to heck out of me. The three were the original owner/mechanic of a ’69 Z/28 driving it like he stole it, me driving my ’66 GTO with factory 389 3 deuces, 4-speed and limited slip rear axle and getting caught in a bad rain (can you say front bumper rear bumper swap x 2 = immediately change drawers) and the number one without a doubt was me riding in my car nut Assistant Scout Master’s new ’70 T/A 340 six pack that he just picked up and was blasting down a narrow rough asphalt road (barely wide enough for two donkeys to pass side by side on) slamming that Pistol Grip and traveling at ? (I couldn’t look at speedo after 110) just knowing we were dead. Well four including the time I was drinking/driving behind the wheel and pulled most of the way into the parking lot of a popular beer joint and then hastily putting my ’67 GTO into reverse in order to avoid a parking lot head on collision with a car coming in the wrong direction. I successfully backed the entire rear Gabriel Hijackers equipped axle of my GOAT far enough up the hood of a new ’79 TA my rear wheels were off the ground. The next morning I could not even think of breathing without agonizing pain all over. At one point I thought I had dreamed about the blue T/A until I mustered up enough courage to face the pain of breathing and moving and walked down to my car. Carefully squatting down and stabilizing myself with my L hand on the car, I carefully ran my right hand along the bottom edge of the rear bumper only to have shiny fragments of blue paint falling into my hand. I suddenly felt sicker.

    2
  22. TimM

    Great car in great shape!! It’s nice to see one not rusted to pieces!!

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