I’ve always wanted a Challenger since I saw the movie “Vanishing Point” one late night in 1978 or 79 before I could even drive. Good thing that I never got one back then. I would have wrapped it around a tree on some back road in Orange County, N.Y.
Fast forward to August 1997, the day before my birthday. I just happened to be checking the classifieds and came across an ad for a ’70 Challenger: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, 440 magnum, 4spd, $5k”. I called up saying “Hi, this is Albert and I’m calling about the Challenger”. The voice responded saying: “Hello Albert, this is Robert and no you can’t afford it”. Turns out Robert had moved and got married, and I had moved also. I told him he didn’t have to put his car up for sale to catch up with an old friend. So I told him I’ll take it.
Robert had the car 19 years and replaced the 383 and automatic with the 440 and 4-spd. The 440 is a 69 block with 6-pack rods, 906 heads,
and a mild cam (272/272 degrees duration and .455″/.455″lift). He also had a head on collision with a truck and had to replace the front clip and did a great job. Since I’ve owned it, I’ve done the following: upgraded to front disc brakes using ’73-’76 A-body spindles,
added power brake booster, added heavier front and rear sway bars, hand made an engine wiring harness and added electronic ignition, rebuilt the tranny and replaced the gears with small block gears for a lower first
gear ratio (3.09:1), replaced the factory tachometer with an aftermarket one that has a shift light, added the Magnum 500 wheels, a reproduction dash pad from Just Dashes, and a Holley 770cfm Street Avenger carburetor w/electric choke. I had the a/c working for a while until a leak developed in the evaporator core. This was after replacing all the underhood hardware (that was removed in the interests of speed by the previous owner).
Then, there are, of course, those little nickel and dime things too…