A Close Call with Luck

Challen’s Challenger Story – continued: A Close Call with Luck


A purple Challenger T/A – Added effects to image, original sourced from http://www.kimballstock.com


In 1977, when I was in 9th grade, my older brothers’ friend told me about some guy who was selling a purple 1970 Challenger T/A for $2400. He said it had a 340 6-pak and a four speed. This was a very exciting proposition, but I was unsure for two reasons: one, I didn’t have half that much money and, two, I didn’t know how to drive a four speed… Wait that’s not completely true. I may have known how to drive a four speed (practicing on my Dad’ Japanese mini-pickup), but being the young kid venturing into manly things, I had no concept of how to handle real POWER.

The imminent possibilities of getting a Challenger, especially something like the T/A, was an absolutely fantastic and unreal concept, a real teenage kid’s wild dream. Being the young teenage kid, I thought that maybe a T/A was just too awesome and would somehow be a complete outrage in the hands of an inexperienced kid who hadn’t even earned his driver’s license yet. Well, after a few days, talking with my brothers and my Dad, my fear changed to consideration. With my dad’s help, my consideration evolved into realization that just maybe this was going to be THE Challenger. My hands began to sweat…

I could just about feel my anxious fingers folding around that pistol grip Hurst shifter, the throaty rumble of the exhaust, the engine sucking in low flying birds through the hood scoop, and the complete satisfaction that results from having earth pounding horsepower plaster my back against a bucket seat. A machine like a T/A seemed to have some unearthly power to launch my life into manhood like almost nothing else could! With the green light sparkling, we called to follow up on the sale. But, wouldn’t you know it, the seller decided not to sell! (#%&*, I always get slightly annoyed when I remember that experience).


Next: What’s Lime Green and sits under a tree looking like it left to rot in the weeds? It’s not an apple.


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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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