Storage Unit Find: 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A!

It’s always amazing what kind of finds get stashed away in storage units! Take Reader LV’s most recent find. This 1970 Challenger T/A was stashed away in a storage unit in 1979 and stayed there until the storage unit’s contents were auctioned off, presumably as the result of unpaid fees. LV purchased it from the individual that bid on and won the unit. The car has since been extracted from the unit and is destined to be preserved rather than restored!

The Challenger T/A is a truly special muscle machine. For 1970, Dodge needed to homologate the Challenger to run in the Trans Am series. The car featured a 340 cui V8 with triple two-barrel carburetors, also known as the Six Pack. Officially, the engine was rated at 290 horsepower, but the actual output was likely closer to 350. To feed those all those carbs with fresh air, the hood received the massive scoop, and exhaust was sent out the back via a dual exhaust system. And since it was going to be raced somewhere other than a dragstrip, it also needed to handle well, so the suspension was reworked. The Rallye Suspension featured increased spring rates, heavy-duty components, modified chamber settings, and Goodyear Polyglas tires (with wider tires in the rear).

To make sure the outside looked just as aggressive as what’s under the skin, the T/A features unique graphics, a ducktail rear spoiler, and a fiberglass front spoiler. You could option a T/A in a variety of colors, but this one is wearing it’s original Bright Blue Poly (B5) paint. In the Mopar world, high-intensity colors like this one are highly sought after, especially factory original paint. Since it is all original, LV carefully polished it and has managed to revive much of its original luster. The white interior needs to be cleaned up as well but is the standard Challenger interior so it should be easy to find any part it might need. And it features its original Hurst pistol-grip shifter mounted to the numbers matching four-speed.

This Challenger has a lot going for it! The T/A was only offered in 1970, with just 2,399 cars built. Add in the fact that it’s a highly original survivor that’s been parked most of its life in a storage unit and you have one amazing find. Hopefully, LV will keep us posted as he works towards getting it back on the road. I for one am glad to hear that he is going to preserve it rather than restoring it, they are only original once! Be sure to wish him luck with this amazing find. And remember, finds like this are still out there waiting to be discovered!

If you have a cool barn find story, we sure would love to hear about it! You can send us your stories, finds, and tips via mail@barnfinds.com.

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Comments

  1. Dave

    Ok, so how do you go about getting the title for a storage unit find? There are a number of scenarios that could have you out the car and the money.

    Like 15
    • IkeyHeyman Member

      Yeah, a stolen car would be one scenario.

      Like 13
    • Steve R

      I wouldn’t bet on that. Laws vary by state, but if the storage company didn’t have the right to auction it off, they would be accountable for returning the money to the buyer if he couldn’t get a title in their name. There will always be a mechanism for storage companies to dispose of abandoned vehicles, otherwise, over time cars would permanently litter the yards of every facility in existence.

      Steve R

      Like 17
      • Dave

        When the city auctions off car pound refugees they come with a disclaimer that basically states that obtaining a title is all on the buyer. I’m guessing that the same would apply here?

        Like 3
      • Steve R

        These aren’t being sold by the city, it’s a private entity. They have rules that must be followed or they will be held liable. Storage contracts spell out what happens if you fail to pay rent, it gives the company the right to sell off the property abandoned if rent hasn’t been paid.

        A good friend who has the tow contract for the city he operates in. After a car has been there for 30 days he puts a lien on it. Once the lien is processed with the DMV he sells the car. The new owner then goes to the DMV with the paperwork and transfers the title in their name. It works that way if he sells the car to private party or sends it to a scrap yard. Until he has a lien in his hand he has no legal right to sell the car.

        That’s how it works in California, I’d be surprised if every state didn’t operate in a similar manner.

        Steve R

        Like 18
    • Justin

      You would have to get a bonded title.

      Like 2
    • Mike Ruple

      In my state you don’t need a title only a bill of sale on pretty 74 or 75 year model vehicles

  2. Weasel

    Didn’t the exhaust come out the side, not the back? I know they did on the AAR.

    Weren’t they called “high impact” colors and cost more than your run of the mill colors? Plum crazy, panther pink, lemon twist, go-go green.

    Like 13
    • Bill Nagribianko

      Yes they had several high impact colours but this one is Bright Blue Metallic (EB5), a standard colour.

      Like 8
    • Graham

      California cars had rear exhaust. Side exit couldn’t pass the state noise requirement for drive by noise. I believe some Corvettes had same issue with side pipes

      Like 6
    • LV

      This one also had side exiting pipes and yes I’ll put them on once I finish reassembling the car.

      Like 8
    • bone

      Most of the high impact colors were also pretty much standard ; I think one of the few that was an extra cost option was Lemon Twist . There were several stripper base model Dusters in my town when I was younger – one was Sassy Grass Green and one was Moulon Rouge .Those had the 198 cu in and a 3 speed on the floor . I remember the green one didn’t even have a radio in it !

  3. Bill Nagribianko

    No mention of anything on the engine???

    Like 7
    • RayT Member

      Looking at the photos, there doesn’t appear to BE an engine.

      One “date-correct replacement, coming up!

      Like 11
      • Josh Staff

        Actually, the numbers matching engine was with the car!

        Like 13
    • Steve R

      Nor did they mention where the car was located.

      With the cars nose high stance the engine bay might be empty.

      Steve R

      Like 10
    • Chris

      It’s numbers matching and complete. The engine and transmission are just out of it. The unit had tons of NOS parts in it that were bought from the Dodge dealership between 1979 and 1981 with the receipts taped or stapled to each one. Once in a lifetime find for sure. Could’ve built 3 1970 Challengers with all the new parts. 2 perfect build sheets, fender tags, and documentation from the original owner. The original owner put it in that storage unit when the complex was new (around 1979 or 80) and paid on it every month until he died in 2011 or so.

      Like 22
    • LV

      It came with matching numbers motor and transmission. A good friend has since rebuilt it and now on to the motor. Both match the car’s VIN!

      Like 4
      • Angrymike

        Wow, beautiful car. I don’t know what you paid, but I’m sure it wasn’t Barret-Jackson money. Great find, enjoy !

        Like 2
  4. Neil

    What a great find! Love that color!

    Like 10
  5. Jack M.

    Definitely looks like the engine is out of it due to the sky high stance. Was also expecting the exhaust to exit in front of the rear wheels.

    Like 4
  6. Matt in LA

    Why do I feel like a jealous guy watching another guy with the lover of my dreams? Sure guys, make up scenarios about why his lover isn’t good enough or really his. Go ahead! But it IS HIS! Dang. LOL!

    Like 13
  7. Mark

    41 years = 492 months.
    Let’s say the average rental fee was $75/month over time…..that’s a grand total of $36,900 in storage fees without taxes and in the end all for naught.
    “Here’s your sign”…….

    Like 15
  8. Ryland Anderson

    I wonder if he’s going to sell it…
    But it would probably be worth more than 25k as my budget.

    • Gus Fring

      LOL…ya think???

      Like 1
  9. Danger Dan

    Car hunters dream find
    Good for you
    It takes cajones to pony up and buy another fellas storage auction purchase

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      The contracts spell out exactly what happens if the customer doesn’t pay after a certain length of time, usually 3 to 4 months. All the anyone needs to do is make the payment right up until the moment the auction starts and they get to keep what’s inside.

      What is your alternative? Let them come get their stuff, no matter what it is or how much is owed? Or should they be able to keep their belongings there for years on end without paying rent?

      Steve R

      Like 2
    • LV

      Thank you. I appreciate the thought. I’m enjoying the heck out of this purchase!

      Like 4
  10. Mike

    Wow what a flipper. Just sell it for what you bought out for that’s sad he’s selling it for a profit. This used to be a fun hobby.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Why? How is it that someone sitting on the sidelines, at home on a computer get a voice in determining what an owner does with their property?

      The car was available to anyone that wanted to bid on the contents of the unit when the storage company auctioned it off. Anyone who feels as you do is more than able to put their time and money into doing their what you suggest. Nothing is stopping them except reality.

      Steve R

      Like 22
      • Shane

        I’m positive the storage company owners knew exactly what was inside, by law they cut the lock and inventory to gain possession ,

      • Steve R

        I’m not sure what the point of your comment is, your reply is not related to anything I brought up.

        Steve R

    • CR

      I’m definitely not a flipper and very upset that I had to sell it. It was like selling a family member but it went to a great guy. I had the car for 6 years so hardly a flip. But thanks for your stupid comment. Lol

      Like 7
  11. JCA

    Real nice car. I like this car better than the $90k 440 ‘Cuda. Even the Vinyl top looks right.

    Sad story for the previous owner. Instead of keeping it as a yard ornament under a blue tarp, he spent $37k in storage fees only to lose it for a few hundred bucks of late payments? That can’t be right. If he didn’t pass on then he’s locked in a world of eternal regret right now…

    Like 7
    • lil red vette

      said he died in 2011 .. so i guess you’re right .. he’s locked in for an eternity of regret…

  12. LV

    I bought this car earlier this year from the gentleman that found it in that storage auction. I had a great opportunity to buy my childhood dream car, a B5 blue T/A, similar to one I used to see parked behind someone’s house that I couldn’t grow up fast enough to buy. And then it disappeared. Now this is a labor of love and I will enjoy preserving it and passing it on to my sons along with the orange T/A pictured next to it. Thanks for the Feature article Josh!

    Like 13
    • Josh Staff

      Thanks for sharing your T/A with us! It really is an amazing find and I can’t wait to see it once you have it back on the road.

      Like 1
  13. Gus Fring

    I love the comments from the peanut gallery…more Lookie Lou’s here than a used car lot on a Saturday morning, lol!!! Complaining about someone “flipping it” or, how there must be something wrong with it. News flash: none of you guys were gonna buy it anyway.

    Like 14
    • Steve R

      I’ve worked with people like that and have several acquaintances who think the same way. The guys that are complaining are usually hard to deal with. They want everything for next to nothing, will never pass on information about stuff they have heard is for sale (even when they have no interest in buying it), and want top dollar when it comes time to sell something.

      Many of them are entitled children in adult bodies. Luckily they are easy to spot so they can be avoided without much effort.

      Steve R

      Like 6
  14. Bill McCoskey

    I’ve bought several house on the cheap because they needed some TLC. I sold each for a nice profit, everyone said what I did was the right way.

    I used to buy estates, again on the cheap because of the work involved to sort/move/store/repair/vend, and no one seems to mind me selling stuff at a nice profit.

    But the feedback from some people here, seems to suggest I should sell the cars for what I have in them. I’m guessing these people are not self employed or own a business.

    Like 18
    • GP Member

      I agree with you Bill, If you buy and sell at the same price it makes it hard to pay the electric bill or maybe get a burger. I don’t think Wal-Mart or Menards got to be where they are with out FLIPPING. GP

      Like 4
  15. JagManBill

    I knew a guy who lost 3 Outlaw Sprint cars that way. All three plus spare engines/etc were in the unit and rather than pay the bill he bought booze. We (another friend of his) tried to buy the lot from him but he refused to sell. So he lost it all instead. Value?…around $20-25 grand. Lost over a $1,000 storage bill.

    Like 3
  16. Joey Machado

    Yes, no matter how you find a car, someone comes up with. Boy, you overpaid. Today’s high prices are tomorrow’s discount. This T/A is a great color.
    On my way back from Ona, West Virginia, then Hickory, North Carolina. Almost in Nashville. Headin back to Calif. Found many cars, assorted conditions.
    So much still out there.
    Got 2 in trailer. Go home, unload, reload, and off to Phoenix.
    Met some fabulous people and racers.

    Like 3
  17. Guardstang

    After seeing many T/As and AARs at car shows I noticed very few of them had the Rally Dash. I asked an guy at the Mopar Nationals why that was and his theory was many dealers were strong armed into ordering they by factory reps in order to build enough to qualify for Trans Am racing. Many dealers thought they would be a tough sell, so they didn’t order many extra cost options.

    Like 2
    • KarlS

      I asked the same thing of a salesman as I was looking at an In Violet AAR in the showroom only it was about the bench seat and column shift automatic. He said something like, “well the new owner is probably going to gut it anyway to go racing,” and I was thinking, uh, I don’t think that’s how it’s done. You know, the whole body in white thing.

  18. harvey paul

    Why would anyone run a buffer on an original car , too bad .
    Most real buyers would much rather buy it in the condition it was found in .In the old days everyone restored everything , lack of knowledge .
    Leave um alone , shinny is not always good ! They are original only once !

  19. TimM

    This car looks solid and really good once cleaned up!! If the title can be acquired it would be a great find!!

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