For collectors, authenticity matters, and if originality and pedigree are important to you, this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible deserves a closer look
With just 2-owners since new, this lifelong Texas Mopar is about as original as you’ll find, although it’s not some dusty old barn find. Born with a 383 Magnum V8, it was upgraded to the 440 Magnum V8 that powers it now, and features its original, numbers matching Torqueflight automatic transmission, HEMI suspension/handling package, and Sure Grip rear end. Beyond that impressive drivetrain, the B5 Bright Blue Metallic that adorns this Challenger’s original sheetmetal is a fan favorite, further punctuated by the sporty white bucket seat interior and power convertible top. R/T convertibles are rare enough as it is but finding one with this kind of pedigree is the stuff of legends.
High-impact colors are always the best on Mopar muscle, and this one wears its correct B5 Bright Blue Metallic – professionally resprayed to a high standard several years back and still holding up very nicely today. Thanks to conscientious owners whom have always cherished the car and treated it as something of value, the paint and body looks as incredible in person as it does in our pictures. Sure, there are a few minor signs of use and age and recent touch-ups on the hood and tops of the rear quarters were carefully performed to extend the life of the finish, but the overall presentation is exactly what you want from a top, driver-grade droptop. The sheetmetal is laser straight, the gaps are factory-precise, and everything lines up just the way the factory intended back in 1970. Chrysler got the look exactly right with their A-body siblings and the Challenger ideally embodies the long hood/short deck profile that just screams high performance. A dual scoop hood with hood pins and lanyards add to the purposely aggressive look up front, as do the lower chin spoilers, and the big racing gas cap and dual exhaust exits in the rear valance are deliciously muscle. Most Challengers in 1970 were like this, no spoilers or blacked-out hoods, making it refreshing in its honesty, although there are a set of red ‘R/T’ emblems inside the blacked-out front grille, on the fenders, and atop the decklid that let everyone know this isn’t just some wheezing beach cruiser. As a result, I’m afraid you’re just not going to be able to keep a low profile with this car, but we do love the omission of any gaudy stripes or graphics anywhere on the body, allowing instead for that gorgeous B5 Blue to do all the talking. The front and rear bumpers are in great shape, as is all of the accessory brightwork throughout the car, adding just the right amount of bling to really make this droptop glisten.
The white bucket seat interior is the right choice with a classic color like Bright Blue Metallic, giving it a purposeful, period-perfect look that seems appropriate given the car’s lofty credentials. There’s a black vinyl and woodgrained center console surrounding the original automatic shifter, which is remarkably easy to use as intended, and the woodgrained S-83 rim blow steering wheel needs nothing more than a pair of string-back driving gloves to complete the look. This Challenger came equipped with a Rallye instrument cluster that includes a big speedometer is to the left, followed by a tachometer, all-in-one, and clock, and all those original instruments are inside big round pods that look very cool inside the woodgrained dash. The original Chrysler Solid State AM/FM/8-track radio is remarkably still in place, although it will require an upgrade if tunes are what you’re after, and following the theme of the exterior there’s almost nothing inside this car that doesn’t look incredibly well preserved. That includes the plush black carpets and Challenger mats that line the floors, the white-and-woodgrain door panels at the flanks, and the expansive, crack-free dash that anchors the cabin and exemplifies this droptop’s amazing originality. Options include dual side mirrors, power steering and power front disc brakes, seatbelts up front, and a factory A/C that’s all there, although will need a service before it blows cold again. Even the trunk is shockingly original and very clean, housing an original mat, spare tire, and jack set that completes the look perfectly.
The car’s original 383 Magnum V8 big block engine was swapped several years back for the much stouter 440 Magnum V8 that lives under the hood today. Topped with a Holley 4-barrel carburetor the motor runs out great, with great power and a fat torque curve that’s felt up and down the numbers matching Torqueflight A727 3-speed automatic transmission. It’s clean but not overly detailed under the hood, keeping in line with the vibe of the rest of the car, but still pulls off a performance look with Hemi Orange paint on the block and a correct snorkeled air cleaner assembly up top that was custom painted with blue ghost flames. Power steering and power front disc brakes are great factory options, and a set of headers feed a Super Turbo dual exhaust system with dual tips under the rear bumper, one of the R/T’s defining features. That aforementioned Torqueflight spins a heavy-duty 8.75″ SureGrip rear end with 3.55 gears, there’s a heavy-duty cooling system that keeps temperatures at bay, and a HEMI suspension package punctuated with recent front and rear shocks, front ball joints, and front and rear sway bar bushings. This Challenger was built to be driven HARD. The solid chassis features clean floors, detailed chassis components, and the right factory stance atop a set of classic 14″ Rallye Magnum 500 wheels wearing F70-14 Goodyear Polyglass tires that finish off the period-perfect look.
A beautifully restored/preserved muscle car legend, the kind you may never have the chance to own again. If you love pedigreed Mopars, this R/T droptop is a slam dunk.
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Location: La Vergne, Tennessee, United States