Sitting Since ’89: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T HEMI

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This 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T has been sitting since 1989 when the current owner purchased it. A life of being kept in garages has resulted in a car that appears to be solid and would make a great basis for a project. Bidding on the Challenger has been quite strong, and this has pushed the price to $35,100, although the reserve hasn’t been met. Located in Waterloo, Illinois, you will find the Challenger listed for sale here on eBay.

A life spent living in garages has done the body of the Challenger the world of good. It is basically straight, and there doesn’t seem to be any issues with rust. The car was originally finished in F8 Green, and with the white tail stripes, it really must have been a trick looking car. There are a number of pieces missing off the body such as the door handles, tail-lights, and the rear bumper. Some of these items can be seen in the photos, but it isn’t clear whether everything is present.

It’s hard to believe from this photo, but apart from the carpet and headliner, the interior looks like it is complete, unmodified, and in pretty good condition. Certainly, the dash pad looks good, the dash itself is unmodified, and it looks like the trim pieces that aren’t attached to the car are present in some of the photos. Once again, that green-on-green color scheme must have looked extremely nice. It’s also worth noting that the Challenger has only covered a claimed 15,200 miles, but I’m not really sure about the relevance of that claim once we lift the hood.

So, now we get to the bad news, and it’s enough to make grown men weep. This Challenger spent part of its early life racing, and now it is missing the original engine and transmission. What makes it worse is when you look at the option codes and find the designation E74. That was the 426ci Hemi fitted with 2×4-barrel carburetors. That monster pumped out 425hp and fed the power through to a 4-speed heavy duty transmission. Because the Challenger had been optioned with the Super Track Pack, you also get a Sure Grip Dana rear end with 4.10 gears and front power disc brakes. The rear end and the power discs are still present, but that engine and transmission have been missing since at least 1989. The chances of ever locating them are pretty slim, but given the fact that the owner has never attempted to find them, it’s one of those situations where you will never know unless you try.

There’s no doubt that if this were a numbers-matching Challenger R/T, we would be talking about a car with a healthy six-figure value. Unfortunately, it isn’t such a car, but even if the original engine and transmission aren’t present, it could still be restored with date-correct components. Even in this form, it isn’t unusual to see these cars still fetch upwards of $85,000. I guess for me, this is one of those cars where the eventual value would be less of an issue in that form, versus just how much fun it would be to drive. If you bought the Challenger, what would your plans be?

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  1. Stillrunners


    Like 2
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Except for the dragstrip, IMO it would drive and handle better set up as an AAR was with a 340 and 4 speed, You could also drive it that way until the bank account allows for finding a Hemi and the appropriate 4 speed.

    My thoughts.

    Like 11
  3. Rock On

    Great way to unleash your inner Kowalski.

    Like 15
    • Gaspumpchas

      Rock On, great comment. Somebody had to say it. IMHO, vanishing point is one of the best car chase movies ever, it beats 2 lame blacktop hands down!!!


      Like 9
      • Pat LMember

        Vanishing Point is out on Blu Ray now. If you have a Blu Ray player do yourself a favour and watch it again. They cleaned up the movie really well and added a few interviews with the actors.

        Like 6
      • Sandy Claws

        The VP Bluray is indeed great, but flip it over and watch the British cut of the film, it is much better. Go Kowalski!

        Like 9
      • HoA Howard AMember

        I don’t recall anyone chasing him, just whacked out on wowie pills. And it was a Camaro that hit the dozers,,,

        Like 4
      • Troy s

        I never understood the ending of Two Lane Blacktop, did the ’55 just blow up or what?
        They made a remake of Vanishing Point sometime ago but completely missed the point of the original.
        Dirty Mary Crazy Larry was tops for me for years and years, especially the chase between the Charger and the police interceptor. All fun movies to watch, Bullit no doubt, but these days I just cringe seeing those cars get destroyed. Hard Driver was another one.(akaThe Last American Hero)

        Like 3
    • Oingo

      Nick the owner of Indy racing is restoring a real one.

      Like 0
      • Jack

        Black top was a boring movie waiting for something all the way through ! No excitement at all.

        Like 0
  4. Skorzeny

    Overpriced as it sits. I would just buy a new carbed hemi for it as the potential value is destroyed with no original motor and trans. Not a restomod but a correct driver… My thought….

    Like 7
  5. Gaspumpchas

    31 large orginal mill and tranny missing. Primer scares me, must be worth it to someone who has a hemi and tranny in the basement. Cool car. Good luck!!


    Like 3
  6. Sandy Claws

    I wish this were a thousound bucks and a guy could plop in a 318 and drive it, eventually painting it. Unfortunately it will be a big buck fiasco where only the middle men win. I miss the hobby the way it used to be.

    Like 10
    • Gaspumpchas

      Amen, sandy Claws. My high school shop teacher gave me a 63 falcon sprint body that he took the components out of for a street rod, told me if I brought him the same parts he would give me back the originals, found a cowl section of a falcon that had all those parts, another buddy gave me a rear out of a mustang, bought a $20 jumped time 289 and rebuilt with parts from JC whitney. Another bud brought me a 3 speed tranny. Did all this while going to high school and working after school pumping gas for a buck an hour. Owner of the gas station said any work I did in the shop was mine. sigh. Those days of laying in the mud pullng parts were the best ever. sadly, no more gas stations to hang around, and mentors like I had who taught me right from wrong and showed me how to be a good honest mechanic are rare indeed. Off the soap box. Those days shaped my adult life!!!


      Like 14
  7. Srt8

    I’m not entirely convinced that you could get 85k out of this as it sits. I routinely watch Barrett and Meecum and from what I am seeing the prices on decent drivers have come down from the insanely high levels they were. The restomods are still carrying some of the $$$ but 85k for a roller is doubtful.

    Like 4
  8. John Oliveri

    If your in the business and you have at least a Hemi laying around, it’s worth it, at 35,000, figure 15,000 for a Keith Black Hemi, maybe more, need a transmission and paint Lil things, it would be a looser to job out, at that point buy one done

    Like 1
    • Mike Akerman

      Nick from Nick’s garage videos on you tube has the complete drivetrain for this car.

      Like 5
  9. Troy s

    One of the things that made that Hemi powered ’69 Road Runner posted a few days ago so interesting was the fact it was all there, big part was the 426 still under the hood. That’s what made it so special, as opposed to a run of the mill 383 or in this case just a big gaping hole.
    Would have liked to seen this car in its former glory, one quarter mile at a time.

    Like 2
  10. BuickNut

    Did anyone else notice the floorboard doesn’t have the 4 spd tunnel? Makes you wonder. Also, they have a Hemi vin locating page to help reunite engines with bodies now.

    Like 2
    • moosie moosie

      not now, not ever , for a roller.

      Like 0
  11. Terry Bowman

    VETTE, this car can never be a AAR, because this car would have to be a “CUDA”, but it could be transformed into a “TA”. I agree with Buicknut, where is the tunnel. Also appears to be a column shifter for an automatic. The Dana 60 would be correct it is a true 4 – speed. Being a possible racer, it could of been changed over to an automatic, but I would think they would of left the 4 speed tunnel intact.

    Like 1
  12. Darren

    That dual quad hemi was well over 425 Hp!

    Like 1

    Galen Govier has a registry and has repatriated several vehicles with their missing components. Well worth the effort for a car like this!

    Like 0

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