The Little Limousine! 1970 Dodge Challenger RT/SE

Some drivers like a dose of luxury with their performance, and Dodge obliged with the Challenger SE package in 1970. Sales literature called it the “little limousine.” Combined with the R/T (Road/Track) package, it prepared the lucky owner for a night on the town or a day at the track. This 1970 Dodge Challenger in Dayton, Texas looks like it could have hailed from Dayton, Ohio judging from the rust. Nevertheless, this is presented as one of 400 1970 383-4bbl RT/SE four-speed Challengers built, and more than 20 bids here on eBay have driven the market value above $5500.

I must confess that my computer folder of lottery dream cars includes a sub-folder called “70-ChallengerRT-SE(Ultimate),” and this one caught my eye despite its rough condition. (Note to self: is tetanus shot up to date?) Give proper respect to the seller who decoded the body tag options, used mixed case, deployed more than a giant paragraph, and included a bunch of pictures, even though none depict the entire car.

Mopar experts can comment on whether this looks right for an SE car that would have come with a vinyl roof and smaller rear window. I’d also feel better if I saw the four-speed hole in the floor-boards but other pictures show that part of the car is completely gone. An automatic brake pedal is pictured, but a transmission swap often includes a full set of pedals from the donor car. Can you imagine putting an automatic into a car? Let’s not jump to conclusions, though; it’s possible a previous owner suffered a limb-destroying accident.

This is the engine picture, folks:¬† a non-original 1970 383 cid (6.3L) V8 listing hard to port. The good news is that this car comes with a host of parts including new seat covers with the “correct NOS blue and black houndstooth inserts,” a new dash pad, NOS back SE glass, four-speed console, partial wiring harness, new vinyl top, correct dual snorkel air cleaner, 833 four-speed, new four-speed tunnel, and original R/T rear valance. Picture this “little limousine” in blue with a white vinyl top and you’ll understand why people are clicking “Place Bid.” This project’s not for the meek, but the personal reward would be great even if you calculated the financial reward minus labor. What’s your top bid for this ’70 Challenger SE / RT restoration kit?

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Comments

  1. gbvette62

    At the start of my junior year of high school in 71, one of the seniors returned from summer vacation with a new 70 Challenger “small window” SE RT.

    It was the same bright blue as this car, with a white vinyl top, a white interior and white RT stripes on the sides. It also had a 440 4bbl, automatic, the stock Dodge rally wheels, air conditioning and power windows. But what really made the car special was that it also had the very rare power sunroof.

    I was (and still am) a GM guy, and tended to hang out with a group of Chevy and Pontiac guys, while the kid with the SE usually hung around with the Mopar guys. Because of this, and the fact that he was a year ahead of me, I didn’t really know him well, but I sure wish I knew what became of his car.

    To the author, the car does have the smaller SE rear window. If you look at the picture of the left rear quarter above, you can identify the small rear window by the rounded bottom corner molding. The standard Challenger rear window came down further, and had square corners.

    6
    • 36 Packard

      Gosh, I bet that boy had to deliver a lot of newspapers to pay for that! Must have been a very hard working young man!

      4
    • Dracula

      Where does a high school kid get the cash to buy a brand new muscle car? If given to him, what lesson has he learned?

      5
      • Sandy Claws

        He learned that its good to be da King! He learned that life is not fair, but he beat out that rule through luck of the genetic lottery. He learned that money is the worlds oldest and most reliable aphrodisiac. Most of all he learned that a 440 gets around 5 MPG and he could care less.

        5
      • lonnie93041

        Be careful before you judge. I was 15 and worked all summer in 1973 at my old man’s music store and he offered to pay me cash, buy a used car or a new motorcycle for me. I picked a leftover 1972 Kawasaki 90 and the kids at school all thought we were rich. I worked for that sucker. Yes I know a $350 G3SS90 isn’t in the same league as a $3500 muscle car but he might have busted his butt to make straight As or worked at Dad’s construction business for 20 bucks an hour. I never envied them. Those that did well sour grapes.

      • Sandy Claws

        Lonnie, you made my point when you said “Dad’s” Business owners can give their own kids far more in wages then the average off the street kid would get. 1972, I made 90 cents an hour, and busted my backside for it, no way I was going to get rich and the money I did earn? It went towards later college tuition. The point is that wealthy people pass on wealth to off spring, not necessarily a bad thing (esp if they work some for it) but the rewards of being connected far out weigh those most of us get from equal or even greater effort. My baby sister met a young man with a new Mercury Capri in 1979 while he was in high school. Said he had worked summers on his Dad’s farm “real hard” so it wasn’t like he was just given it. I tactfully pointed out his fathers other help, a hired hand, who was similar in age and drove a 1964 Oldsmobile at the time. She didn’t seem to want to grasp the concept. She married the boy, and they still are, happily so. He did well financially through his connections (also some hard work, but it is akin to the “hard work” some CEO does to make tens of millions of dollars per year vs one of his laborers who comes home dirty and sweaty every night) Again, there is nothing wrong with treating your family well, but lets not pretend that they worked extra hard, above every one else, to get where they are. Is that judging, or is that a good solid observation? BTW, nice bike.

        1
  2. irocrobb

    I parted out 2 SE model Challengers in the late 1980s. Both were 318 cars and rusted bad. The SE trim level also gave you a overhead console with a seatbelt warning, low fuel and something else that I cant remember at this time.
    This one looks like a major project but think what it looked like brand new !

    2
  3. Dracula

    New high end muscle car, paper route, right. What I want to know is how the car fared years later, as did this boy. My guess, he did just fine, no matter what he did for obvious reasons.

  4. Capriest Member

    Quite the project, but she will be a stunner with that options list. This was quite a pimp muscle machine in it’s day.

    3
    • Sandy Claws

      Please do not take this wrong, but I detest the use of the word “pimp”. I understand in this regard, it has none of the usual connotations, but it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

      • Chris

        Sandy I have to wonder what kind of life you DON’T you have to post such long winded, opinionated blathering posts on an old car web site? Seriously, it sounds as if nobody in your immediate circle pays a damn bit of attention to you or they’ve all told you to shut the hell up so often you’ve no choice but to unload on us! Lol

        Curious, was your father a pimp?

        2
  5. Stinger

    I know you would feel better if you saw the 4 speed hole in the floor, but you actually do. When you remove the “tunnel”, (as it was clearly rotted) under that welded-in tunnel would be two large holes as can be seen in the pics. The smaller one to the rear would be where the shifter would go through. On an automatic, these two holes would not be there. It’s fairly common practice here in the north to replace the tunnel because of rust issues and is why the tunnel is offered as a repro part.. I know I have done a few myself.

    Disappointed that there’s no pic of the engine bay though. One of the more important pics to take as E-bodies were notorious for rotted inner fenders, firewall and rad support sides.

    irocrobb.. the third light was “door ajar”

    Very cool color combo but make sure you bank account has some gold in it.

    4
  6. Chris

    Good luck to the new owner. It’s a jigsaw puzzle. Not the way I like to start a project.

  7. PatrickM

    Chris, took the words right out of my mouth. Yessir! Quite the jigsaw puzzle! And all the parts , too. Some assembly required. BTW, bidding at $7,877.00. Good luck, y’all!!

  8. Wingnut

    Hey gang! If I’m not mistaken, sure looks like it has a brake pedal for auto trans.

  9. Lonnie Cavenee

    “Is that judging, or is that a good solid observation? BTW, nice bike.”

    Thanks, I had more fun than humans should be allowed to have on that bike. Don’t know why I can’t reply to that particular post but I try never to judge people. If they have more than me that’s just how it is and good for them. Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike and in the end we have to live with ourselves. Yeah I know more than a few well heeled adults in my small town who got rich off of ripping people off and their kids benefited but that ain’t the kids’ fault. What kid can say no to a nice gift from mom and dad?

    I worked for three months opening and closing the store, selling everything from guitar strings to record albums. I was responsible for reconciling the cash and checks, cleaned, stocked, everything. The only thing the old man did was come in once in awhile to do some instrument and electronics repairs (he was one of the best). I even ordered stock and held out for the best price. It was fun but did suck at times like any other job.

    The bike was $357 out the door with a helmet and gloves thrown in. Three hours a day for three months at minimum wage in CA would have been $851.40. I wuz robbed!

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