1971 Dodge Challenger Barn Find Emerges With Rare Color Combo and Cool Patina

1971 Dodge Challenger barn find 8 photos
Photo: Route 66 Road Relics/YouTube
1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find1971 Dodge Challenger barn find
Introduced in 1969 for the 1970 model year, the Dodge Challenger was one of the last nameplates that joined the muscle car wars. And even though it was a bit late to the party, it morphed into one of the most iconic rigs of the golden era.
Even though it was smaller than the Charger, the Challenger looked just as aggressive and arrived with the same potent units under the hood. Sure, Dodge also offered inline-six and small-block V8 mills, but the pony car was also available with the massive 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB and the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI.

Chrysler discontinued both powerplants at the end of the 1971 model year, leaving the fully-blown muscle Challenger a two-year affair. As a result, the 1970 and 1971 versions are now the most sought-after iterations of the nameplate.

Not surprisingly, the HEMI cars get the most attention in the classic car market. And not just because they pack the most potent mill. They're also rare. Dodge sold only 356 units in 1970 and just 71 examples in 1971. While notably more common, the 440 Six-Pack rigs are also scarce. The company moved 2,035 cars in 1970 and 250 units in 1971.

Most other configurations are too familiar to fetch six-figure sums at auctions, but they hide a few rare gems. While far from desirable, some six-cylinder cars are also rare. The list includes 350 SE models, 378 convertibles from 1970, and 83 drop-tops from 1971.

The barn-found Challenger you see here is neither a HEMI nor a convertible, but it sports a color combo you won't see very often. Recently brought back into the light, this Mopar is one of 27,377 Challengers sold in 1971. That's a lot of cars, but it's a notable drop from 1970 when Dodge moved nearly 77,000 units.

The hardtop hides a 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) small-block V8 under the hood. The base V8 at the time, the 318 is the most common powerplant in the 1971 Challenger. However, there's no specific info on how many were ordered with this unit. All we know is that Dodge shipped 18,956 non-R/T models equipped with V8 engines. This number includes other powerplants, too, but it's safe to say at least 10,000 got the 318.

But while it's a mundane classic by drivetrain, this Challenger sports a triple-green color combo. As in it has a green exterior with no vinyl top and a matching interior. And by "matching," I mean an entirely green interior, not the more usual layout with color seats and door panels and a black dashboard and console.

The hue appears to be Dark Green. It's not a High-Impact color, and it's not as flashy as Green Go, but it's one of the rarer shades on the 1971-model-year Challenger. The car also has an optional luggage rack. I don't know how many were built like this, but we're probably looking at one of fewer than 100 units.

But even if it's not that scarce, this Challenger is a wonderful survivor that took decades of storage like a champ. The weathered paint still looks the part, and the patina on the roof and the front hood looks cool.

Moreover, the interior is in good condition, aside from a few cracks in the dash and seats and an incomplete headliner. The engine could also fire up with some maintenance, but the jury is still out on whether it's a numbers-matching mill.

While I'd love to see this Mopar get a proper restoration, it's also a solid candidate for a mild refresh that retains the battle scars. Not all classics have to be shiny to stand at local car shows. Hopefully, this 1971 Challenger will roar on public roads sooner rather than later. Check it out in the video below.

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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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