The 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) "Magnum" mill rated 335 horsepower was the base V8, but Dodge also offered a larger 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB good for 375 horsepower. The same engine came with 390 horsepower on tap in "Six Pack" trim, which means three two-barrel carburetors instead of the four-barrel setup. Finally, the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 topped the range with 425 horsepower.
Dodge sold 18,512 R/Ts in 1970. Most of them left the factory with 383 V8, the engine of choice for 12,281 customers. Next up is the 440 RB with 3,840 units, while the 440-6 moved 2,035 cars. The 426 HEMI wasn't that popular, though. Due to high insurance rates for high-performance vehicles, only 356 buyers went with the top-of-the-line V8. And that's precisely what makes golden-era HEMI Mopars rare today.
But while some of these figures are impressively low, they can be narrowed down even more if we factor in the Special Edition package. A 1970-only bundle, it included leather and vinyl bucket seats, a woodgrain steering wheel, a matching instrument panel, unique pedals, and a special lighting group with turn signal indicators mounted on the hood. Dodge sold almost 10,000 SE-equipped Challengers in 1970, but only 3,753 were also fitted with the R/T bundle.
About 2,500 of these cars got the 383-cubic-inch V8, while 875 came with the four-barrel 440 RB. As we move up the powertrain ladder, things become scarcer with only 296 440-6 cars and just 60 HEMIs. It doesn't get much rarer than this unless we're talking about R/T convertibles.
How many of these rare R/T SE cars are still around? Well, it's impossible to tell with accuracy, but most likely, fewer than 1,000 units are still running and driving today. The Vitamin C example you see here is one of those super-rare gems.
The result of a frame-off restoration, this 1970 Challenger, looks like it just left the assembly line. It comes with all the trim and features that define an R/T SE, and it also packs a rare engine under the hood. Specifically, this Mopar rocks a V-code 440 "Six Pack," so it's one of only 296 units made. What's more, the Torqueflite automatic transmission further narrows it down to one of only 161 produced. The Vitamin C likely moves it close to one-of-one territory, but that's tough to tell without access to a proper registry.
On the flip side, this isn't a numbers-matching muscle car. Unfortunately, the original 440 V8 got lost on the way, and the Challenger now relies on a replacement unit. But it's a period-correct mill, which is something I would be able to live with, given how rare these R/T SE rigs are. And while it's not a better option than the HEMI, it sounds just as fantastic when the pedal hits the floor. Check it out in the video below.