Today we’re examining a car that’s probably on many muscle car restoration wish lists, the 1970 Dodge Challenger.
In 1970 Dodge made an effort to ‘challenge’ (pun INTENDED!!) the Ford Mustang’s reign over the pony car market by introducing it’s own. The Challenger did in fact live up to it’s name. It outsold every other pony car in it’s flagship year except for the Mustang and the Camaro. It even out performed it’s ‘sister’ model, the Barracuda. (Both the Challenger and the Barracuda had the same Class-E body type)
Most experts and auto restoration aficionados believe that the major contributor to the Challenger’s success was the plethora of options that Dodge made available to buyers. They offered nearly every engine in Chrysler’s inventory, excluding only the puny 198-slant six.
The most powerful engine upgrade for the Challenger in 1970 was, of course, the Hemi. This 426 cubic inch beast could get 425 horsepower on the chassis dyno tester! Other upgrades included two powerful 440 cubic inch V8s, the “Magnum” and the “Six Pack” that pumped out 375 and 390 horsepower respectively.
All of these features combined to make the ’70 Challenger immensely popular. The total production run that year was over 83,000 units. With that many produced, it’s one of the easier cars to find if you’re looking for a restoration project.
That said, fully restored Challengers are still fetching a pretty penny in online auctions. Recently we saw one with a $175K asking price!