RKM Restored Challenger RT Convertible 426 HEMI 5 Speed
Quick ... who's sold no less than three E Body HEMI Convertibles for $130K plus in the past 90 days? Here's a hint: same company that's sold no less than 13 E-Body HEMI Convertibles for $130K plus over the past four years. Give up? Ok, it's RK Motors Charlotte. And out of the lot of them, this one is the best value we've ever had in a brand spanking new, frame-up built E Body HEMI convertible!
They just dont get any nicer than this Challenger, I dont care where you shop. And talk about a new lease on life! According to the fender tag, this car started out with an emasculated 225 slant six and a light duty TorqueFlite (and actually, that makes it quite rareonly 378 6-cylinder convertibles were built in 1970). Today it has been completely resurrected with a thumping 426 cubic-inch HEMI backed by a Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission, making one of the most potent combinations ever put into a street car.
I could show you the fender tag breakdown, but it wont tell you any of the important stuff, other than the fact that the car has a power top, an 8-track player and that wheezing six cylinder motor. If you need to see that information, call us and well get you the codes, but on a car like this, that stuff isnt critical.
At first glance, the layman might mistake the Challenger and Barracuda bodies, but they are actually quite different with almost no interchangeable pieces. The Challenger was a little longer, a little leaner, and designed to be slightly more upscale than the Barracuda. This car, with its fresh 2-stage Plum Crazy paint is just jaw-dropping in person. Panel gaps are excellent, alignment is first rate, and the finish is about a million times nicer than these cars ever were when they were new. That crease that stretches from the leading edge of the front fender to the rear fascia, with a kick-up over the rear wheel, is laser-straight with a knife edge all along, suggesting a careful job of sanding and straightening the body. On cars that have been raced and abused, thats very tough to get perfect, but this car looks great. The white bumblebee stripe around the tail is painted on and under the clear-coat, so it is seamless and sharp, but looks factory. The effect is subtle, but these cars with the painted stripes under the clear somehow look that much more spectacular.
During the transformation from wheezing grocery-getter to fire-breathing beast, this car also received a full complement of R/T badges and trim, which are all high-quality reproduction items that look perfect. The taillight lenses and rear panel are in great condition, the stainless has all been buffed to a high shine, and the chrome front and rear bumpers have show-quality plating with no waves or dimples. Under the rear bumper, correct stainless quad tips poke through the rear valence and really let the HEMI under the hood grumble. Up front it sports a correct R/T grille, and a Shaker hood scoop and hood have been added, along with the requisite hood pins for a total performance look. For a tribute car, this one is very, very accurate.
Of course, on a car like this, the engine compartment is where the real story lies, and it should come as no shock to you to find that theres a highly detailed HEMI under the hood of this Challenger. As with most of the high-end Mopars here at RK Motors Charlotte, the hoses are correct, the clamps are authentic, the finishes are true to the originals, and theres a Group 27 red cap battery topping it all off. The engine itself is a new HEMI crate motor from Mopar and it just cackles. It has correct wrinkle-finish valve covers hiding under that giant scoop, which also conceals a pair of 4-barrel carburetors that emit the most spine-tingling intake howl at full tilt. Just because its a tribute car, thats no reason to cut corners and not try for 100% authenticity wherever possible, and the guys at the RKM Performance Center restoration shop worked hard to get things right. This is one of the best-running HEMIs weve had in here in a long time.Backing up the elephant under the hood is a Keisler/Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission. Weve done a lot of these conversions and it makes for one of the most drivable, potent combinations on the street. The upgrade is cleverly disguised with a factory pistol-grip shifter, so nobody but you will ever know its not original. With that overdrive 5th gear, we used a relatively tall 3.73 gear with Sure Grip in the new $2,500 Dana 60 for explosive launches, while still allowing relaxed high-speed driving on the highway without beating up the passengers. That pricey rear also includes 35-spline axles, a 1350 yoke and strap kit, as well as fresh bearings and seals throughout, all hidden behind a stock steel cover. If you can keep the secondaries from opening, this Challenger can pull down close to 20 MPG on the open roadtry that with a garden-variety HEMI!
The car was fully restored on a rotisserie, so the bottom is every bit as nice as the top. No overspray, no undercoating, just clean, flat, shiny floors that you should probably wash and wax just like the rest of the car. Again, more detailing underneath makes this a show-quality car, from new lines and hoses, to a rebuilt driveshaft, to a 3-inch dual exhaust system with the correct tips out back. The entire suspension has been upgraded to HEMI specs (no wimpy 6-cylinder drum brakes on this car), and it drives and handles like a car that came from the factory with that giant lump of cast iron up front. The shocks are all new, and wherever possible, factory markings were duplicated. Looking at the pictures, you probably noticed the custom transmission mounting bracket for the 5-speed, and the bleeder valve for the hydraulic clutch. Finally, theres a new Rallye wheel at each corner, shod with a 225/60/15 BFGoodrich T/A radial.
Inside, youll find the original drab black interior dressed up in fresh whites from Legendary. The seats are new, the door panels are new, the carpet is new, the dash is new, and, well you get the point. The console looks factory with the pistol grip shifter sticking up through it, and the wood-grain wheel is the perfect finishing touch. The Rallye gauges have been rebuilt, including the tachometer, and even the clock works. The original 8-track is gone, but there is a correct AM radio in its place, as well as all the controls for the Shaker Hood under the dash. Overhead, a brand new white vinyl convertible top has been installed and theres a top boot thats so new that we just installed the snaps on it today. Like I said, this is a brand new car in every way, and it is as nice as they come.
There were only 3,857 Challenger convertibles built in 1970 of all types and configurations, with only 9 of them being HEMIs. Want a real 1970 HEMI, 4-speed convertible? Unless youre a lottery winner or a trust fund baby, chances are youre like usyou just cant afford one. And if you did have one, how often would you drive it? On and off the trailer is about the only road time the car would ever see. Hence the tribute cars like this convertiblecars that give you all the pleasure of driving a HEMI Challenger ragtop with none of the headaches. When theyre as nice as this one, thats an easy decision. Weve sold at least a dozen of these over the past two years and this one is the nicest of the group. Want to blow all of your Mopar buddies away at the next show or cruise? This is your car! Grab it while you can!
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.