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Lot 35
1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T

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Selling on Wednesday

CHASSIS NO: JS23R0B113492

• Documented with Original Broadcast Sheet
• Double-black Hemi Challenger with factory N96 shaker hood
• Professional restoration by marque expert Paul Christopherson
• Laser straight bodywork, extensive use of NOS parts throughout
• Super Track Pak and Dana 60 rear axle
• Gold awards for overall excellence; test miles only since completion


Documents

Lot 35_Concours Gold Certificate.pdf
Lot 35_Copy of Broadcast Sheet.pdf


426 cid OHV Hemi V-8 engine rated at 425 HP, dual Carter AFB four-barrel carburetors, 727 three-speed automatic transmission, torsion bar front suspension, semi-elliptic rear leaf springs with live axle rear suspension, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 110”


It was a magical era for dedicated fans of high horsepower, top performance, and sleek new looks. Leading the charge during the muscle car era were the engineers working under the Mopar emblem and among the most revered vehicles they created was the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, available with the legendary 426 Hemi V-8. This shining example of one of the most sought-after collector cars in the world started life much as it appears today. Finished in black with black vinyl trim, and the white “Bumble-Bee” stripe across the back, this car saw little use on the public roadways in its early life. Early in the Hemi Challenger’s life, it was tubbed and caged for quarter-mile duty. After its racing career, the used-up car was parked and forgotten about for several decades. Our consignor acquired the neglected ex-racer and saw the hidden gem inside. Here was a real deal R-Code Challenger R/T, and it needed to be resurrected. A wonderful set of photos documenting the discovery accompanies the car. Turning to one of the marques’ highest respected experts, Paul Christopherson of Suite 426 Restorations, the challenge was on to restore this car to it the same degree of quality and authenticity as when it left the factory.

Working from a copy of the original broadcast sheet, which had miraculously survived, the work began. Much of the original flooring had been disposed of during the race car build. Original panels were located, and painstaking researched showing the location and proper number of spot welds that the factory had used on the original assembly of the car. Factory sheet metal was found to replace those needed NOS parts, including body panels, for an estimated cost of $75,000. The main ingredient for this recipe of perfection, the original 426 Hemi V-8, had long since been destroyed mostly likely on a Sunday afternoon quarter-mile trip down the strip. A new engine was sought out, but a new engine from today would not do. An original “Blue Tag” warranty replacement block was located in the Chicago area, for which a king’s ransom was paid. The search continued for the proper parts to make it correct. Heads, exhaust headers, intake manifold and other components were found and restored to new. Two of the toughest items to find were proper Carter AFB carburetors. Today the engine is equipped with the proper 4742 version up front and to the rear the 4746 version, unique to 426 Hemis with automatic transmissions. A NOS numbers-matching and date-coded distributor was located and sent to another expert for its performance and authenticity. Placed on the dynamometer, this potent engine was found to be producing 509 HP with 460 ft. lb. torque, above original factory specifications to be sure. Another tough item to find was a proper transmission. Again, the original transmission had long since disappeared, but a proper date-coded unit with proper part number was located, an original 727 “Hemi” Torqueflite unit with the deeper gear basket to accommodate the extra clutch found only in those units destined for use behind those mighty V-8s. This car was also equipped with the D58 “Super Track Pak” package with front disc brakes and a Dana 60 rear axle fitted with 4.20:1 gears.

This car handles like a dream employing NOS date-coded components as well as NOS U-joints down to proper date-coded U-joint straps. To the rear, new leaf springs to identical dimensions of the originals, were created and specially treated protecting the natural preserved finish that combine to give this beauty the “just off the production line” looks. Christopherson is truly obsessed with perfection when it comes to these cars. During the process he took note of the hole in the firewall for the N96 shaker hood, noting that the factory had used a chassis punch rather than a drill, which was a crucial factor in the authentication of this car. He is also a “nit-picker” and “stickler for details” making sure the little things were not overlooked. NOS polished aluminum wheel lip moldings were located, along with other aluminum trim, which were then restored to reflect the proper appearance as when they were new before being installed on the car. The proper stamped steel wheels, again properly coded, were found and painted deep, finished off with an NOS set of red stripe dog dish hubcaps located for a cost of $2,500. Today the car rides on a set of F60X15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires that act like icing on the cake. While reproduction lenses are available, only originals from the Chrysler Corporation would be going on this car. ECS Automotive Glass made sure the windshield, backlight and side windows were correct in every detail with proper markings and dimensions. Even the interior was given a thorough restoration starting with Instrument Specialties restoration of an original Rally cluster ensuring that the gauges looked right and worked right. All vinyl seating surfaces were in original matching grains while the interior door panels are originals with the door weather seals employing rare NOS material. Even the basic AM push-button radio installed in this spectacular automobile was an NOS unit.

Was it all worth it? Unveiled at the November 2018 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago, the car scored 974 out of 1,000 points to receive their Concours Certified Gold Award for Excellence as well as the Showcase Display Award. Christopherson said there was an automatic 20-point deduction due to the use of the Blue Tag warranty engine, and the other six points were minor issues that have all since been corrected. With absolute perfection in its execution, this is the first time this historic Hemi has ever been offered to the public. Carefully stored since its debut, and showing under 100 test miles since its completion, there are surely many more awards in this Challenger R/T’s future. Its black, its beautiful, its mean and menacing and makes its presence known at a single glance. To most enthusiasts, Mopar Hemi cars represent the ultimate in the muscle car wars. To collectors and investors, this Hemi Challenger represents an opportunity to acquire excellence.

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