1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 383 Magnum

Is this the ideal 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T for you?

I decided to gather some information to get enthusiasts and prospective buyers to begin thinking if this is an ideal car for them. At first passing glance, this is appears to be a vintage, unmolested 1970 Challenger R/T with factory pieces still being the highlight of the package.

Now when you look closer, you will find it is not a number’s matching vehicle and various parts are not OEM but still offer the vintage look, the seat belts and tires for example. The original showroom cars came with Goodyear Polyglas GT’s but this car does not. “General” starts with a “G” but they are not Goodyears.

The original 4 speed that this R/T came with, is long gone. I do not know when in the first 36 years of the car’s history, where the original engine and transmission went.

The car has drum brakes all around and under typical driving conditions, they feel firm.

The power steering feels solid and does not leak. It makes this car a joy to steer compared to my other Challenger with manual steering.

There is no radio,  and I do have an ash tray assembly to install. That’s another piece I had to find on EBay that got “lost” at the body shop.

Overall, this is a nice classic, with small jobs that will give a weekend enthusiast something to tinker with and drive. You won’t impress a detail-oriented restoration numbers matching kind of Mopar fan, but it is a real 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, looks good, runs, and is a testament to the proud heritage of Chrysler muscle cars.

Could this be the perfect combination for you? Is this maybe the Challenger of your dreams? Then Read on.

 

PHOTOS and CAPTIONS

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Need to raise the bumper and tighten the screws holding the bumper bracket on the driver’s side. Also to make it like the factory, you can spray the radiator crossmember, hood release support, and bumper brackets black to give the grill the proper blacked out appearance.

 

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The tail light panel should be sprayed semi gloss black to be correct for an R/T.

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This R/T from the factory had a luggage rack according to the build sheet. Also a white interior. There is a sister Challenger R/T of this one somewhere in Canada, The owner kindly sent the build sheet for this car to the previous owner when he found out this car was being sold on EBay in 2006.

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This is the area that could use some TLC to bring everything together. I made a mistake when the car was apart, by not getting the painter to paint the dash when the car was apart. I have an ash tray to go with the car, Also the sim wood grain on the dash could use replacement. Gauges work (except for the clock). The vent ducting below the dash should also be black. All this can be easily done, you jus need to mask everything off to do it. Yes, I realize this is not a 1970 shifter handle. I bought the car with he 1971 set up.

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Custom headliner and seat covers. The seats are pretty close for custom to the OEM style but my upholsterer didn’t use the ventilated headliner.

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I’ve got the interior trim for the rear window but it is not installed.

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Rear seat, with the rear window interior trim sitting on it.

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No stress cracks on this roof, This car wasn’t used for racing. Quite honestly, if you want to take this car and race prep it for ground pounding, this is not the Challenger to you.

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I do have an ash tray and the radio dash trim (plastic piece). The vent control cables and the emergency brake handle need attention. Parking brake does work. If you see this kind of work that remains on the car and you get excited or take great satisfaction to spend the time to help bring this to your standard, this may be the car for you.

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RH rear

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RH rear

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RH front

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LH front

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LH rear

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LH rear

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The hoods paint is done, just need an easy shoot on the tail light panel to get the scheme correct.

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Driver quality. 383 HP 4 barrel. Stock appearing.

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Correct 1970 dual snorkel air cleaner. Expensive piece. I got the car it had the 1968 circular can which is incorrect and cheaper. The engine is a 1968 block. The original 383 with the original 4 speed are long gone. I never saw them. Build sheet says 4 speed. Clutch linkage gone.

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Temperature gauge works and like many Challengers, it rides low under normal driving conditions. I took this picture after I stopped the engine after warming it up.

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Not 1970 horns, but they work.

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Sweet looking bumble bee Challenger

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Classic and simple lines.

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Could use some wood grain inserts for doors. Has new aftermarket retro style belts. All window crank handles, door knobs and handles installed. Gauges work except for clock. Simulated wood grain gauge panel needs attention.

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This picture is significant because when I bought this Challenger, the firewall connector was fried, I mean burned out. We had to get a new harness from a later model 1st generation Challenger and rebuild this car’s wiring harness. As a result, all the electrical which was messed up now works. That took a lot of work. Manual brakes with drums all around.

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A proud Holley four-barrel sitting atop the stock 383 HP engine.

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Yes… need to paint that box under the dash black.

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As with most old challengers this area required attention, the deck adjacent to the bottom of the window is a new used piece replacing the rotten old one.

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While I do not believe this car was in any major accidents, this corner was a bit crunched when I got it, the damage was localized (just affecting a small area but it looked bad). I needed to find a good used piece of sheet metal to restore the body line that is behind the LH chrome trim. The RH side was fine.

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The entire lower edge of the windshield gutter was pretty much rotted, requiring a good used piece I found on Ebay off a Challenger.

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The people at the body shop  lost my original hub caps and some other parts, including my wiper arms. The lesson is, do not trust people with parts they do not need to work on your car.

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This battery was originally in my restored Challenger T/A in 2004. Still runs strong. I have the fender tag, just in a safe spot in my office.

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Looks like stock point ignition. Room for little improvements.

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HD radiator. No catch bottle. Vintage spewing of coolant when warm.

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Yes, these stripes are not the easiest to put on, but they are on.

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The brakes and suspension, power steering are all freshened up. No leaks except I’m monitoring the transmission pan gasket I replaced a couple months ago.

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VIDEO

I am not in a hurry to sell this Challenger, though I do not currently have the time to spend on completing the project. Though if you find this is the right one for you and you have ready funds to take on ownership, I will be open to discussion.

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

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