Challenger challenges Challenger for price?
The value of classic cars is an absolute roller coaster, and at the moment they are on the rise dramatically!
It's me your connoisseur of classics bringing you news of another auction smasher! Again from Bring a Trailer this time it's not the crisp Italian lines of a Lancia, but the bold lines of a Dodge Challenger.
I do love the styling of this generation of Challenger!
And as usual, this isn't just any Dodge Challenger, this is a 1970 R/T model with a matching numbers 426ci Hemi V8 mated to a three-speed A727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Finished in Chrysler Metalic Bright Blue (EB5), this is one of 287 Hemi Challenger R/T hardtops produced for 1970. Being an R/T it is kitted out with power brakes, manual steering, a Sport hood with hold-down pins, bucket seats, a centre console, and a Rallye instrument cluster. And yes, it's technically missing the R/T side stripe, but it was deleted on the original spec sheet.
That instrument cluster presents the driver with four pods on the padded dash, with a woodgrain panel backing at the far left was a 150 MPH speedometer and trip odometer, the second had an 8,000-RPM tach, the third featured a group of gauges for fuel, temp, alternator and oil pressure and the fourth had a Rallye clock. At the far left were a set of switches for the headlamps, wiper-washer and panel dimmer and space for more switches of optional accessories. The three-speed wipers and electric washer were standard with the Rallye instrument cluster.
A few other points of note, no shaker hood, which left the sheets in '71, so the standard sports hood features with its pins, 426 Hemi badging, bright finish fuel filler cap, and a styling choice on the E-body that I don't like, body colour mirrors. Should be in chrome, fight me.
The car rides on painted 15" steelies with dog-dish chrome hubcaps, shod with Goodyear Polyglas GT F60 white-letter tires. Inside, asides from the Rallye dash pack, there are high-back bucket seats, upholstered in pleated, black vinyl and divided by a woodgrain-accented (not actual wood, just woodgrain) centre console. A console-mounted shifter operates the three-speed A727 automatic. Power windows are not a thing here, so crank away, and talking of manually adjusting, that driver's seat can be adjusted six-ways, by hand. The three-spoke steering wheel features a wooden rim and sits ahead of the factory AM radio with a rear speaker. The five-digit odometer shows just over 63k miles, several dozen of which have been added during current ownership.
The 426ci Hemi V8 upfront is fed by two four-barrel Carter AFB carburettors and was factory rated at 425 gross horsepower. The stock intake manifold, exhaust manifolds, and air cleaner are still fitted. If you want a museum spec car, this is the one for you! Or it would have been, you see, when this fell onto my desk, it'd just sold at auction for $100,000. Yup. One hundred thousand dollars. And this is where it becomes interesting, as that's $20k more than a new Hellcat Redeye. 797 brake horsepower of Challenger that'll do the quarter-mile sprint in 10.8 seconds, and will cross the finish line at 131 miles per hour. Its predecessor will do the standing quarter in 14.1 seconds, with a 0-60mph time of just under six seconds. If you would like to spend exactly $100,000 try a 2021 spec Porsche 911 Carrera. Just a Carrera. Not a GT3, not an RS or a Turbo. Just a Carrera.
A classic Challenger or this? Hmmm
So what does this tell us? Well, I've again wasted your time telling you about a car you cannot buy. And, it tells us that the new Challenger on a performance stats alone basis is a very good bargain indeed. But again, like a lot of the classics I write about, the prices are still climbing, and there doesn't seem to be an end? How soon until absolute 90s chods become desirable? When will a 1995 Corsa be worth £20,000? Where will it end? And why am I now remembering that the second-gen Corsa had Lotus tuned suspension...