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Lot 652
1971 Dodge Challenger 'Hemi' Convertible


Selling on Saturday Evening


• 1 of just 1,857 Challenger convertibles produced in 1971
• A factory Hemi Orange car nicely equipped
• Beautiful 426 Hemi installed during the ground-up restoration

426 cid V-8 engine, 425 HP, three-speed automatic transmission, front power disc brakes, rear drums, independent front suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs; wheelbase: 110”

If you know your E-Body history, then you know that few Dodge Challenger convertibles rolled out of Hamtramck Assembly during the '71 model run. Factors such as high insurance costs for anything considered sporty, and the fact that air-conditioned hardtops and coupes were outselling convertibles by huge margins led to their demise. Droptop sales across all of the Mopar car platforms from the mid-'60s onward were slumping and are all cited as reasons why the E-Body, and all of Chrysler's U.S. built car lines, went with steel roofs only starting in 1972. The majority of that last run of Challenger convertibles, some 1,857 units, were built with engines better suited to grocery-getting than performance. The 225-inch Slant Six or the two-barrel-equipped 318 were reliable but hardly exciting. Meanwhile, fewer than 350 Challenger convertibles got the “performance” 340 or 383, and for 1971, any engine bigger than that was not available as a factory option. What’s a muscle car enthusiast to do?

Well, the owner of this lovely Hemi Orange convertible took the obvious step and, during the impressive restoration, installed the 426 Hemi V-8 that everyone wants in these cars. Backing up the big V-8 is a TorqueFlite 727 three-speed automatic transmission with power-assisted front disc brakes and the desirable Magnum 500 wheels. The engine bay is accurate and impeccably clean, with just enough chrome to really shine. Delivered from the factory in Hemi Orange (EV2), the car was treated to new sheet metal in the fender wells and trunk floor before it was meticulously repainted in its original Hemi Orange with black stripes. Features include a new black convertible top with a plastic rear window, chrome wheel arch molding, chrome side-view mirrors, an antenna, power steering and brakes, and the sport hood with R/T graphics and hood pins. The Magnum 500-style wheels are mounted with 225/70 front and 235/70 rear Firestone Wide Oval tires. The cabin features front bucket seats and a rear bench seat in black vinyl along with a black dashboard, center console, and carpets. Interior appointments include woodgrain trim, console mounter shifter, and a locking center console storage bin. The woodgrain steering wheel frames a 150-mph speedometer, a 7,000-rpm tachometer, a combination gauge and a rally clock. Add in tinted glass, a power top, and an AM factory radio, and this well-equipped Challenger is a comfortable choice for any sporty driving you might choose.

You’ll definitely want to also check out the underside of this beauty - the restoration was impressively thorough, and obviously done from the ground up. It’s just as clean down under as it is inside - with new exhaust, drive lines, and impressive finishes. Look in all the “hard spots” on this one, and you won't be disappointed. Whether you’ve got judged events, tours, or just fun with your family in mind, this amazing Challenger convertible looks fantastic, sounds impressive, and will no doubt be an absolute blast to drive.

Considered by many to be the “ultimate” Muscle car, the Hemi-powered Mopars not only had the power to captivate but also came in some of the most eye-shattering colors available. Fittingly, this Hemi Orange convertible has the look and performance to satisfy that occasional need for speed that can only be quenched by the legendary 426 Hemi.

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