Ready To Resto: 1973 Challenger

The seller of this 1973 Dodge Challenger has posted a handful of pictures that will surely get your blood pumping if you’re a fan of Mopar Muscle fan. It’s a barn find stored since ’99 – and seems to have absolutely everything ready for restoration with full exterior trim, interior accessories, and everything else from bumper to 5 mph impact rubber bumpers.

If that wasn’t enough to get you motivated to make this your next rebuild, at $10k it’s got lots of room for making a buck back if that’s what drives you. It’s easy to find examples ready to rumble over $25k, with rare models with low miles fetching from $50 – $75k. Your project will focus on engine and cosmetic work – paint and interior – because the body looks to be straight with just a few dings and dents in chrome work.

Many thanks to reader Michael, who found it here on craigslist, it’s listed as having a 318 V8 (which means it’s a 5.21L which came out of their Los Angeles factory) and means one simple thing: Mopar Music. For classical combustion composers, this has it all – rumble, bass, brass and boom. Take a listen, and you’ll drift away into dreams of tiring shredding, neck snapping, tail shaking power.

If you remember ’73 well – with great American great iconic moments like the Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes”, or Nixon proclaiming he’s not a crook – then restoring and reliving those glory years with this great ’73 might be your own (very fast and loud) time machine.



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  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Could be a fun machine but it is going to take some $$ and time. Even forgive it being an automatic.

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Great find- if it was 18 months older it’d be at least 3 times the price – detail and drive – fling steering wheel

  3. John D.

    I think you may be confused about what the designation of an ‘LA’ engine means. The ‘A’ engine block was built in the fifties from 1956 to 1967. This block was very similar to the hemi block and in fact, some can interchange heads. The A engine was designed to lower build costs from the hemi.

    In the late fifties, the B block came out as a larger engine.

    Chrysler brought out a lighter engine design, I would assume to be used in the Valiant chassis. This engine borrowed from the A engine. In fact the many dimensions of the early hemi and A allows them to be used in many cars and trucks that had the newest engine from the factory. Because of the dimensional similarities and its lighter weight, it was designated ‘LA’. A few parts can be interchange between the two ‘A’ engines, but there is no real performance advantage.

  4. Troy S

    I like the color AND the fact it has an automatic. This whole 4 speed thing is over rated, Chrysler had one of the best automatics around and as far as drag racing goes automatics are way more consistent. Could use some air in the tires though.

  5. Gunner

    A great looking body style, even if it is a 73. As far a the “tire shredding, neck snapping, tail shaking power”, that is open to interpretation. 73 only offered two engines: the 318 & the 340. They were already starting to close the lid on these E-Bodied cars with only one year remaining. I give credit however to the Mopar brand for fighting back from the stranglehold the Federal Government had mandated on Detroit. A sad end to a once glorious time for the American Automaker.

  6. JW

    A friend of mine has 3 Mopars a 69 Charger he bought new in 69, a 71 Challenger with a 440, a 73 with a 318 as his daily driver. Both the Challengers have the same Flowmaster exhaust but the 73 has a “H” pipe and sounds meaner than the 440 but not near as fast. Nothing beats displacement.

  7. crazyhawk

    ’72 to ’74 challenger haters are starting to sound kinda grouchy. These are gorgeous cars and loads of fun . In a few hours you can take a stock 318 or 340 with lower compression and smog stuff and turn it into a street terror. Nice car.

  8. DM DeLuka

    ’73 was past Mopar muscle years, ’71 was last high compression 340. Light yellow w white interior? It would take quite a resto $ and engine to put muscle & good looks back in this one.

    • crazyhawk

      It’s not 1973 anymore. The fact that 340s had less compression after 1971 is totally irrelevant today. If that’s the gripe that keeps prices down on some of these Mopars, that’s great for true car lovers that don’t want to spend stupid $$.

  9. txchief

    I’d recheck a few facts. Sad face 1972-4 Challengers don’t bring anywhere near $50-75K in nearly any condition. 1970-1 Challenges do.

  10. Mattyou63

    I always thought the 73 was ugly..same as 73 mach 1…now …not so much..funny how time changes your perspective

  11. Crazyhawk

    It’s funny. Whenever ’72-’74 Challengers are discussed on the internet in any form, the words “sad mouth” and “less valuable” come up. Whenever I drive my ’73 Challenger Rallye with a 340 on the street or to local car shows, I am bombarded with compliments from fellow car guys. I love my ’73. It’s a blast to drive and it’s so fun to read the constant bashing from some of the internet guys.

  12. Terry Schulze

    U might get $5000.00 it takes $20, rebuild it. Sell in mint condition $30,000.00

  13. Chris

    Is that a 73 I thought the 73 had flat rear taillights not slanted

  14. DAVE

    be careful here folks… I has one with a vynal top that was left out in the weather for years- very expensive fix – front a pillars, trunk and other areas will be full of rust. Looks like a nice starting point as long as you check it out before buying it!

  15. Greg Smith

    Yeah I also feel that $10,000 is a little bit high for a 73. A friend of mine had a 73 Challenger he confessed that the name is what it is because everything about the car was a challenge. Difficult parts to find in decent condition and all expensive. Definitely a nice car though.

  16. stillrunners lawrence Member

    John – take a break….the early Poly head was used on some blocks that also ran the hemi head.

    This is NOT true for the 277 motor introduced in 1956 and in 1957 to become a 318 – most refer to as the POLY 318. Hemi heads of NO years will fit this motor.

    Now back to the LA – which I do not see a reference – only the notation of a 318 which is maybe a 5.2 by some books…

    The first LA engine would be the 273 in late 1964….

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Reminds me of my first car: ’73 Barracuda with 318 and column mounted automatic. Not a bad car and got a bunch of compliments, even back in ’79.

    It’s nice to see one that hasn’t been converted into something it never was and hasn’t been molested. Even the rubber bumper guards (new to ’73) are still intact.

  18. russell spreeman

    My brother had a ’73 Challenger SE, white w/ white vinyl, white interior with black carpet, totally loaded, beautiful car. Wonder what it would be worth today. Later he bought a 71 Cuda 318 stick which turned out to be a rust bucket. (Never buy a car in the dark even at a dealer.) He didn’t see the large rust hole in the firewall and the dealer thoughtfully put a new trunk mat over enormous rust holes in the trunk -you could see most of the top of the gas tank from above. They refused to do anything about it when he returned after seen the car in the light. However, some months later he returned the favor – and the car – to the same dealer on a trade-in and they didn’t seem to recognize the car.

  19. John martinez

    I love all challengers. from 70 thru 74. Each one has it’s cool in it’s own way. I have ah 71challenger. But if I could afford it. I would buy ah 70 72 73 and ah 74 . I love those challengers!! Thanks JOHN M.

    • Crazyhawk

      I’m with you JOHN M.!

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