A bit late but here is the latest Mopar of the Month. Pictures really don't do this car enough justice. It is just a great looking car. The restoration of this car was started by Ian Kerry and finished up by Alan Gallant @ AGAR.
The pictures start with the car arriving at AGAR and end in a few of the Southern Ontario Mopar Shows. If you get a chance give this car a good looking over in person...I promise you'll be impressed!!! What is truly exciting about this car is that it was an ordered car and the original owner still owns it today. I will let Alan Gallant and the owner Tim tell the rest of the story, enjoy!
In the early spring of 1971 a young 20 year old named Tim walked into a local Brampton Dodge dealership, sat down and ordered his brand new car. He ordered a 1971 Challenger R/T, 340 automatic with a rally dash, dual mirrors, rear spoiler AM radio w/rear speaker and rear window defroster, etc... He opted for GW3 white exterior with white interior, black R/T stripes and hood stripe. Because this was 1971, Tim thought a landau vinyl roof would look real nice, but the sales person wasn't sure if it was available so he checked off a "formal roof package" . What Tim ended up with was a complete SE roof package with a small rear window and a overhead console.....not very happy but this was what he got. Tim also insisted the car came with plain steel wheels. Because of that roof option, the car is very rare. They never made 1971 R/T/SE's.
In the first weeks of ownership, the side stripe started bubbling up, so he had the dealer remove the dual side stripes and paint on a solid T/A style stripe which he liked better. Tim also fried the rear tires in the first week and replaced the steel rims with Cragars when the car was only three weeks old. He has pictures of the car before/after the rims went on.
Tim' s Challenger made two trips out of Ontario. The first trip was to Nova Scotia and the second was to Battle Creek Michigan in the summer of 71. Here's Tim's story:
I put a CDN sticker on the bumper for that trip which was still on it when I bought it back last year. I also brought 2 cases of Canadian beer along for the trip which I traded for extra US beer and their appreciation. The interesting thing about the US trip was that a lot of guys were coming back from Vietnam and all were buying muscle cars. I met them at parties and listened to their war stories. They were having trouble with the attitude at that time regarding the support for the war. They were all my age but had aged up to 10 years on their tour of duty. Kind of fearless would be my impression as their attitude was much more aggressive in running their cars fast over the boys back in Toronto at the Harvey's on Jane Street. I went out street racing one evening with a bunch of them and was paired up to race a Charger. Their idea of a drag strip was on the Turnpike. When I hit 100 MPH I figured that we had passed the quarter mile so shut down but the Charger kept on running out of sight. When I returned back to the start the guys asked me why I stopped. Did I not know that they were racing half mile runs on the turn pike? Such was my introduction to the hard driving boys back from Vietnam running muscle cars into the 150 MPH range and above!!! You know the tires they were using on these 440 and 427 engined cars with rear end ratios under 3.00 to get those speeds was junk . I remember most of those cars sat very high from the factory and would catch a lot of air once over 120 MPH. I remember that they would get very light and want to fly at those speeds. I remember only big cars like Thunderbirds ( 4,000 lbs and up) could run up to those speeds without lifting.
Unfortunately in 1973 Tim sold that Challenger and bought a brand new Corvette, in 77 a new Trans Am, in 1979 he bought his first Porsches....and has been driving them over the last few years. Never losing track of his first car, it never left Georgetown, he once tried to buy it back about 10 years ago, but failed, it wasn't for sale. Then came the phone call this time last year when the current owner called him and Tim immediately went and bought back his very same first car that he had ordered new in 1971. Here's the best part...the car was still wearing its original paint and the same ole Cragars and tires!
Thanks again to Tim and Alan for providing such a great car to feature. If you are looking for a Restoration Shop I would highly recommend talking to Alan and visiting his fine website for pictures of some other restorations and examples of his work!