1970 Dodge Challenger Has It All: All-Original, R/T Goodies, Rare Engine

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 9 photos
Photo: MMC Detroit Mopar OE Authority/YouTube
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
Introduced for the 1970 model year, the Dodge Challenger was an instant hit and moved nearly 77,000 units in the US, outselling its E-body sibling, the Plymouth Barracuda, by more than 25,000 examples. It was the nameplate's best year, which makes the 1970 version a rather common classic.
But while first-year Challengers aren't all that difficult to find, some versions are pretty rare. And those that aren't scarce are getting increasingly more difficult to find if you're looking for a complete and highly original example. But what makes a 1970 Challenger rare, you ask? Well, it's usually a combination of drivetrain combo, body style, and trim.

The R/T variant is notably rarer than the regular Challenger because only 18,512 customers went with this trim. No fewer than 12,281 units were equipped with the R/T's entry-level 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) V8, leaving only 6,231 vehicles fitted with the bigger powerplants. The 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI is arguably the scarcest at only 356 made.

But the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB is nothing to sneeze at, either. Dodge produced only 3,840 examples with the four-barrel unit and just 2,035 cars with the Six-Pack version. All these numbers drop dramatically if we also factor in the Special Edition (SE) package. Dodge sold 3,753 R/T SE rigs, including 60 HEMI, 296 Six-Packs, and 875 fitted with the four-barrel 440 V8.

As far as body styles go, all but 3,884 US customers went with the hardtop version. Accounting for only 5% of the total production, the 1970 Challenger Convertible is rare regardless of the drivetrain setup. Dodge sold 2,921 base Challengers with a soft top, including 2,543 V8 cars and only 378 slant-six vehicles. The R/T badge made it on just 963 examples. The numbers include only nine HEMIs, 99 Six-Pack rigs, and 163 with the four-barrel 440. All three are six-figure classics nowadays.

The HEMI Orange Mopar you see here is not one of those convertibles, but it's the second-rarest hardtop out there. That's because it rocks a 440-cubic-inch Six-Pack paired with a four-speed manual gearbox. Dodge built only 847 units with this drivetrain combo.

But that's not the only feature that makes this Challenger a stunning classic. It's also one of those golden-era Mopars that's still highly original despite spending over 50 years on the road. Yes, it's been repainted once, but all the sheet metal is original. In fact, everything on this car is just like it came from the factory except for the master cylinder.

And in addition to being a numbers-matching unit, the Six-Pack was recently rebuilt by Timmy Petty at Petty Enterprises Moonshine Speed Shop. Bored .040 over, the V8 now features a forged steel crank, forged beam rods, and forged and coated pistons. It's been balanced and dynoed in the Petty family shop, and it likely cranks out a bit more oomph than the factory 390-horsepower rating.

Rounding things up, this Challenger still has the original build sheet and a ton of documentation, including a detailed parts inventory and letters from the previous owners. It's one of those 1970 Challengers you don't get to see every day.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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