This is definitely my biggest project car, but I have no doubt it will be fantastic when it's done.
I searched for months to find a decent Challenger R/T, 4spd matching number car. I didn't care whether it was a 70 or 71, and either the 383 or 440 would be fine. With prices climbing so high, so fast for these E Bodies, there was no way I could simply purchase one already restored or in a nearly done condition.
As luck would have it, I found this 70 Challenger R/T through Classifieds2000. It was located in San Jose, California and as luck would have it, I had a business trip to Santa Clara the following week! I checked out the car when I was there, and although for a California car it has a lot more rust than I had expected, it was just what I was looking for. I brought my Dodge & Plymouth red book to help decode it.
The matching number 383 had just been through a rebuild and ran great. The 4 speed tranny had also been rebuilt and is real tight. Also, many of the front suspension parts had been replaced. As shown by the fender tag, the original color was Plum Crazy, with the interior being white buckets. It is a non vinyl roof car, and originally had the white R/T stripe running the length of the car. A big plus is that the dash pad is mint.
I thought about it for a couple days and decided to buy it and have it shipped back to Colorado. The worst thing about this whole process was that the shipping company dented the passenger quarter. They paid for the damage, but it was a sour experience and will make me think twice about shipping a car again. Email me for info on what I paid for the car, or the name of the bad shipping company.
Over the last year or so, I have gathered most of the parts to restore it back to original. I just put a new brake master cylinder in and it's almost ready to make a trip to a couple body shops for estimates (which I probably don't want to hear!). The floors are solid, and the trunk has already been replaced, but I'm afraid it will need two new quarters, possibly a passenger fender, and some rust repair on the firewall, behind the rear windows, and rocker panels.
Check out my cool new license plates:
Click pictures for full-size version.
Here's a picture of the ratty engine compartment hosting that original 383. Notice it's all there though, right down to the original exhaust manifolds.
August 2006: Finally I've prioritized the Challenger and it will be the next car I work on. I'm nearing the end of all my household projects that have had to take priority over the cars. I think there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I moved the Challenger into the shop. I spent a little time banging out the dent caused by the transport company. Also started cutting out some of the rust that exists.
Warning - pictures are huge and not recommended for dial-up.
I bought a partial quarter panel due to this wheel well and the rust fore and aft of the passenger tire. This will go on after the smaller rust spots are fixed.
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