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Worthy But Rusty: ’71 Dodge Challenger Convertible

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There are cars that your heart goes out to, simply because you know they deserve saving – but the work involved in doing so is awe-inspiring. This 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible is one such vehicle, with extensive rust and an empty engine bay to contend with. The seller has owned the car for 15 years and attempted to start the restoration but never quite got there. With lots of loose ends to tie up, the next owner is taking on quite a project. 

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As you can see in the first two photos, the rear quarter panels have been cut away due to rust but bodywork never commenced. Two used quarter panels will be included for the next owner, so that’s a start at least. Unfortunately, shipping will be tricky, so you’ll have to either grab them yourself or work closely with a shipper to ensure they are handled with care. The rear frame rails are also rusty, along with the floors and trunk.

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As you can see, the work needed continues on to the interior. You’ll have to start over here as well, as it looks like the insides have been gutted for parts. It makes you wonder what this Challenger’s story was: did it get parted out before they became desirable? Was it a theft recovery? It does have a power top from the factory, but there are components missing, the seller notes. Unfortunately, the trim tag has gone missing due to the car’s extensive rust.

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Originally a small-block V8 car, the engine and transmission are long gone. Based on the lettering scrawled on the fender, “Not 4 Sale,” how many of you would be willing to bet this Challenger sat outside for years rusting away while its owner rebuffed every attempt to buy it? You can find it here on eBay with links to tons of other photos showing the extent of the recovery needed to bring this one back. There are two bids at just over $1,000 with the reserve unmet.


  1. Chuck

    Good for parts only–it would be a “living nightmare” to attempt restoration.

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  2. mtshootist1

    That was one of the reasons I never liked Dodges, it seemed like their sheet metal was thin and prone to rust especially these seventies cars.

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    • Jay

      Really? I remember GM and Fords rotting out fast. I will never forget when my brother made a comment to a young lady about her Chevelle and suggested that she should try chemotherapy instead of taking it to body shop.

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    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      Makes you wonder what it’s current state of assembly is. This is one time I wish they had digital dates on their pics.

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  3. MH

    Junk!!!!! Send it to the scrap yard.

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    • Perry

      There is a purpose for everything. It would make a Mint Donner car.

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  4. JW

    This is probably one of those guys that turned numerous people away who stopped and wanted to buy it with the story “I’m going to restore it someday “.

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  5. racer99

    Over $5k already. You might have to wonder if the only salvageable part of this is the VIN tag.

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  6. Joe Nose

    fold along the dotted line and dispose of properly in a suitable five gallon container

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  7. Dave

    Ha HaHa……!!

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  8. Bill

    Rare car. Too bad it was left to deteriorate like this. Seller is asking 14k on Craigslist.

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  9. Jeff Staff

    Hard to determine whether it looks like it does in the craigslist ad or the eBay listing.

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  10. Paul

    Some one with DEEP pockets will buy it THROW tons of money to make it a HEMI clone

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  11. kenzo

    worthless…maybe 1400 in usable parts. maybe more for the VIN tag as racer99 suggests

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  12. stillrunners

    And how much did that Camero convert bare cowl and tag bring ?

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  13. james burton

    you people don’t understand how rare these ebody converts are worth. i bet this car will bring 20 grand at the end of auction. i had one of these in the 80’s that was bad as this one except the firewall was rotted out at the seam at the door posts. i crushed it cause back then you didn’t have amd selling all the panels like now. hardtop glass doesn’t fit these cars. sold all of mine to a guy in idaho.

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  14. james burton

    pic of my vert when i bought it fo8 bills in 85 follow up of prev. post when car was together.

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  15. james burton

    pic of my vert when i bought it for 8 bills in 85 follow up of prev. post when car was together.

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  16. kenzo

    still a parts and VIN plate and nothing else unless you are Jay Leno or somebody who has the money to spend and brag at a social / smoker with the comment “Guess What I have In My Stable”

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  17. PRA4SNW

    Best thing to do is get it as cheaply as possible, open up your checkbook and send it over to Graveyard Carz. This is right up their alley and would probably be a several episode feature.

    I agree with the above comment that these are very valuable and worth restoring. Someone will.

    Like 1
  18. james burton

    man was i wrong. this car sold for less than 10 grand.

    Like 0

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