1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
440 Magnum Auto 3:55 Sure Grip.
Owners: Steve Williamson/Dave Mounsey
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

440 Magnum Auto 3:55's 8-3/4

Absolutely Stunning Restoration!!!

Here is the Mopar of the Month for April 2006. Did you miss out on the June (1970) deadline to order your brand new Dodge Challenger? Well here's the next best thing!!! What we have here is a restoration done to one of the highest levels achievable. The car speaks for itself. This Challenger R/T was the product of countless hours of researching parts, components, finishes, nuts and bolts, procedures etc., and was five years in the making!!! Attention to detail is everywhere with only the finest available parts being used. Every effort was made to keep the car original as possible. This is not your Mop & Glow resto, it was in fact part of a well thought out plan utilizing the talents of the best restoration specialists in the Mopar hobby today.

As an end result you get the stunning car you see set before your eyes. Be confident that every detail of this car has been addressed, from the bullet proof drivetrain, to the second to none blinding paint, to the simplest of details such as the key buzzer and the trunk light. Rest assured everything works just as it was designed to. The car does not leak or rattle, but put your foot into it and this Challenger R/T will ROCK 'n ROLL!!!

The meat and potatoes of this car is a great drivetrain wrapped up in a body/chassis that has to be one of the best designed cars ever....period! Just check out the cool lines, the compound curves, the recessed grille, the twin scooped power bulge hood, the hidden wiper arms, the outside mirrors  that look modern some 35+ years later!!! Continue on to the full length tail light panel and the super cool cutouts for the dual exhaust tips. When you look at the cars details and see how well it flows from front to back its hard to imagine anything that could have been overlooked. Built in an era when car companies continually tried to one up another, Dodge hit the sweet spot with the Challenger resulting in a no doubt HOME RUN!!! One simple glance is not what this car is all about. This Sublime Challenger R/T screams out to be appreciated, preferably when you have the time...cause once set, your eyes ain't going anywhere for awhile...  

A truly great design is one that passes the test of time. What bigger compliment to the classic 1970 model than the Detroit Auto Show spotlight stealing Concept Challenger!!! Interest in the new Challenger grew to such a fever pitch that the general public demanded that the car be built and Chrysler has been forced to tool up for another run in 2008. Talk about a timeless design!!!

By far the thing that sets this Challenger R/T away from the pack (Scatpack?), is its one of a kind colour combo. If you think it is striking in the pictures, let me assure you it is absolutely show stopping in person. As with any beauty, it really has to be viewed in person to be fully appreciated. What is amazing to most is that this Challenger R/T was assembled this way from the factory and was not the product of a creative mind some 36 years later! The new for for 1970 FJ5-Sublime paint in combination with the Top Banana butt stripe just looks soo right together. It admittingly is not the first colour combo that comes to mind, and 99.9% of people would be deciding between the white and black stripes to go with their Sublime paint but this one is not easily forgotten once viewed. It is "burned in" to your memory. And to think this look was achieved by paying a measly $14.05 for the High Impact Sublime paint and checking the "right" colour for the FREE (as included as part of the R/T package) stripe. So far only three other examples have surfaced with this unique but stunning colour combo. Did I mention that this one has to be seen or better yet....BE SEEN IN!!!

Since we are talking about money well spent...was there a better deal than the A36-Performance Axle Package? For less than $100 ($92.25 to be exact) you got a 3:55 sure grip in your 8-3/4 rearend replacing the open 3:23 gears, a maximum cooling 26 inch radiator and core support replaced the 22 inch opening and radiator. A seven blade torque fan was thrown in to make sure everything stayed cool in the least amount of horsepower robbing manner possible. But wait to top off the already sweet deal was the well balanced HEMI suspension. So the same springs, shocks and torsion bars that were designed to handle the extreme forces of the Legendary HEMI were all included for about the same amount as a 2 watt AM radio!!! It often surprises me that every car didn't at least have this package...talk about value added!

We have tried to post as many pictures as possible to show you the level of restoration, please study them closely. Featuring the incredible work of Jules Daddio (wiper motor, steering column, heater box, door handles and clock), Alan Gallant (entire front suspension-all new parts and correct detailing including steering box, torsion bars, upper and lower control arms, hood latch, hood catch) and John Stuart (calipers and brake booster). Everything has been gone over and no base has been left untouched. To ensure years of trouble free driving and to achieve the goal of a top level restoration the following is a partial list to give you some idea what was done:

Professionally rebuilt items include, carburetor (correct part number and date code), distributor (correct part number and date code), radiator (correct part number), Engine (30 over all stock components) transmission, power steering pump, alternator (date code correct).

The following items are new reproduction: Interior (seat covers, head liner, carpet, floor mats), gas tank, fuel lines, brake hardware, including brand new drums, shoes, rotors and pads, flex lines, trunk mat, inflator bottle bracket, seals and weather stripping, rear tail light bezels, early polyglass tires and trim rings.

The following items are OE correct reproduction: belts, hoses, plug wires, wiring harnesses, fuel lines (KV hoses) and all other under hood clamps, clips, brackets etc.

The following are mint original parts used: Original '70 dash pad, interior panels, side marker lenses, rear tail light lenses, sun visors, rallye gauges and original woodgrain.  

The following parts were re-chromed: front and rear bumpers, rear bumperettes, inside door handles and lock levers.

The following items were restored original pieces: Grille, headlight bezels, rallye wheels and centers, jack, hook, base, space saver rim (date coded) "070"clutch fan,"216" fan, dual snorkel air cleaner and steering wheel.  

Any good car guy is thinking..."seems like a great car, well detailed but whats hiding under the shiny paint?" Glad you asked!!! Even though this was a solid piece to begin with decisions had to be made when it came to the sheetmetal. Nothing worse than a High Impact paint job covering up wavy poor fitting body panels, so to achieve the goal of a top notch restoration the following should be noted:

The hood is not original to the car, but is a southern one year only '70 Challenger hood.
The fenders are not original to the car, but are a matching pair of one year only fenders from an Oregon '70 Challenger.
The front rails, inner fenders, firewall, radiator support and cowl are orignal.
The drivers door is original.
The passenger door was replaced with a southern door due to major dents, not rust.
The drivers and passenger front foot pans were replaced with reproduction pieces.
The rockers are original.
The rear seat pans (under butt) were replaced with original pieces
The center trunk pan and the passenger extension were replaced using reproduction pieces.
The trunk lid is not original to the car but again is unique to early build '70 Challengers.
The rear rails are original as is the back panel and inner and outer wheel housings.
Only the lower quarters were replaced which kept intact the factory undercoating inside the trunk.

Hours and hours of block sanding, panel fitment and alignment were used up to get all those cool Challenger lines just right. All the gaps are true, everything fits, opens and closes as they should. The paintwork is blinding! The car is just right!!!

Every cool car should have a story, here is the history of this Challenger R/T:

This all started when my buddy and I responded to an online ad which simply stated "For Sale '70 R/T Challenger". The car was in Buffalo, New York and was being sold by a guy named Bob who had fallen on rough times and could no longer afford to hang on to this project car.  The car was a bare shell on a rotisserie and amazingly, the numbers motor, tranny, fender tag and VIN tag were still with the car. Through extensive research it turns out that the car had been bought and sold in this manner several times over the past 20 years. When we went to look at the car, we brought along our trusty little white book to do a quick fender tag decode. I was able to figure out all but one code. After dragging the car and all the parts back to Canada, more research went into the mystery code … V9Y. 

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we had come home with an FJ5 sublime green car that had rolled out of the factory with a top banana yellow bumble bee stripe. Other options included power steering, power disc brakes, and automatic on the column (yes on the column?) the max.cooling package, 3:55 sure grip, dual painted mirrors, hood pins and the performance hood treatment.

With help from Moparts.com we were able to get in contact with Ken Garrett, a service technician who worked at the original selling dealer, Greco’s Auto Sales in Darien Centre, New York (a Dodge, Renault, Peugeot dealership). Would you believe that he still had the phone number of the guy he had sold it to? Mike Meyers (not the actor) was the first owner of this car and has told me that the car spent quite a bit of time tearing up the streets of Baltimore. In speaking with Mike, I also learned that the car rolled out of the factory with 383 emblems on the hood. A factory mistake that Mike said he used to use in his favor when lining up against an unsuspecting racer. Mike also informed us that he bought the car off of the lot which really makes you wonder what the dealer thought when this one showed up on his front door!!! Mike told me he didn't like the yellow stripe and had it painted over in black. Also, he liked the look of the '71 R/T stripe and had that put on as well as having the hood inserts painted black. After sending Mike some photos of the finished car, he told us we had done a good job putting it back to original but he didn't ever remember there being the hood blackout decal on the car. That said, along with him mentioning that the car had 383 hoods emblems I am going to assume that someone on the line made a mistake with the hood detailing. Of course a picture is worth a thousand words, so please check out Mike proudly leaning up against his car in the "back in the day"!!!

Production Number Quick Facts

13,668 Challenger R/T's sold new in the USA
2802 Challenger R/T's with the 440 Magnum 375 horse engine
1886 Challenger R/T's 440 Magnum and Auto Tranny

In Summary

*matching numbers engine/tranny
*matching body stamp radiator support and cowl numbers
*fender tag
*date code correct throughout
*bullet proof 440 Magnum, Torqueflite, 8-3/4 drivetrain 
*performance axle package (3:55's & sure grip, Hemi Suspension)
*complete owner history
*unique colour combo
*top notch restoration
*a CD with over 200 pictures of the restoration is available
*includes the original owners manual

Achieved the Best of Show @ Mississauga Mopar Spring Fling 2006
Achieved the Best E-body @ Mississauga Mopar Spring Fling 2006
Achieved the Best E-body @ Brampton Mopar Spring Fling 2006
Special Building Invitee @ Moparfest 2006
Fender Tag Decode

E86-440 HP 375 horse
D32-3 speed torqueflite auto
JS-Challenger R/T
23-2 door hardtop
U-440 HP engine
0-model year 1970
B-assembled at Hamtramck Michgan
147122-VIN sequence
FJ5-Sublime body paint
H6X9-high grade black buckets seat interior
000-N/A full door panels
A03-sceduled build date Friday October 3rd 1969
029723-order number
FJ5-Sublime roof paint
A01-light package
A04-radio group
A36-Performance Axle Package
A62-Rallye Guages
B51-power disc brakes
C55-bucket seats
G32-painted drivers remote sport mirror
G34-painted passenger side manual sport mirror
J45-hood pins with lanyards
M21-drip rail mouldings
N41-dual exhaust
N42-bright exhaust tips
N85-8,000 rpm tach
R11-AM radio
V21-Performance Hood blackout
V9Y-yellow bumblebee butt stripe
Y05-sold new in USA
26-26 inch radiator
EN2-assemly line number 2  
Dave/Steve always had a bowl of these displayed along with the car at shows!!! What a great tie in !!!!
Ok... who's hungry...nobody can resist the rich chocolate, dipped in a Sublime and Top Bananna shell.
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