Racing has long been the art of going where the rules arent. Some of the most famous applications of this philosophy had to be during the great years of Trans Am racing, culminating in the 1970 season, when Dodge entered the Challenger T/A (and its cousin, the AAR Cuda). Ostensibly based on street cars like this brilliant Green Go 1970 Challenger T/A, the racers were similar enough to their showroom counterparts that win on Sunday, sell on Monday was a successful marketing strategy. Fully restored, with a correct 4-bolt 340 block, matching numbers transmission, rare radio delete, and a full Govier report, Challenger fans will want to take another look at this gorgeous road-going cruise missile.
And if you dont think those were wild, creative guys building some of the greatest racecars ever, the colorful stories surrounding them are legendary. For example, Roger Penske had developed the idea of dipping the racecars bodies in acid to make the sheet metal thinner (and therefore lighter) with his early Camarosthe rules said factory sheet metal had to be used, but did not specify how thick it had to be. Other teams quickly adopted the practice and rule-makers were slow to take action to stop the practice. At Laguna Seca, the first race of the 1970 season, the Challenger team was last in line for technical inspection. Since all the manufacturers were participating in 1970, the first inspection of the year was extremely rigorous. After the Challengers had passed tech inspection, the team offered John Taminus, the chief technical inspector, a beer. John rested his elbow on the roof of the car and the foil-thin steel immediately caved in. When that happened he told them that they could not run the car until the roof was replaced. Within an hour, the Challenger team had torched the roof off a Challenger on a dealer's showroom floor in downtown Monterey, and welded it to the top of their racer.
Now, whether all thats true or not, its part of the Trans Am legend, just as this Challenger T/A is. Only 2399 were built in 1970, more than enough to homologate the cars, but given that hundreds of thousands of E-bodies were built, they are exceedingly rare. Today, less than half that many are known to survive, making them highly sought collector pieces that still run and drive better than many of their big block powered contemporaries.
This Green Go example is in beautifully restored condition today, and is notable because it was ordered with radio delete. Check out the fender tag for yourself:
JH23:Dodge Challenger2 Door Hardtop
J0B: 340 290 horsepower 3x2 BBL 8 CYL1970Dodge Main, Hamtramck, MI, USA
267719: Sequence number
E55: 340 cubic inch 3x2 barrel V8 290hpD32: Heavy Duty Automatic TransmissionFJ6: Green Go / Sassy Grass Green Exterior ColorH6X9: Trim - High, Vinyl Bucket Seats, Black000: Full Door Panels324: Build Date: March 24058039: Order number
V1X: Full Vinyl Top, BlackA53: Trans Am PackageB51: Power BrakesC56: Bucket SeatsG34: OS LH Remote Racing MirrorJ45: Hood Tie Down Pins
J54: Sport HoodJ82: Rear Spoiler - Duck WingM21: Roof drip rail moldingsN44: Side ExhaustN94: Fiberglass Fresh Air HoodV6N: Longitudinal Stripes, Unknown color
Y05: Build to USA Specs26: 26 inch radiatorEN1: End of Sales Codes
Thats right, no R11 Music Master AM radio or anything of the sort, suggesting that perhaps the original owner of this car was planning something else for his potent new T/A. The current owner discovered this unique feature when Galen Govier inspected the car several years ago, giving him a detailed reportsure enough, no radio. Following that, the car was sent to Restorations by Julius to have all the detail items noted in Galens report corrected, making this a 100% show-ready T/A that can compete at the highest levels.
Looking absolutely magnificent in the original Green Go color with black T/A stripes and that aggressive fiberglass ram-air hood, this car is the very definition of show-worthy. Panel fit is factory exact, alignment is above average, and the bodywork is beautifully done. Our experts are convinced that its all original sheet metal on the car, with just a few patches done as necessary instead of complete panel replacements. The paint is 2-stage urethane for a deep, lasting shine, and the decals are all accurate reproductions from Phoenix Graphix. The fiberglass hood, which may very well be the original piece as far as we can tell, is in excellent condition with no cracks or damage. Out back, the unique ducktail spoiler is in similarly excellent condition, giving the T/A an aggressive, crouching stance that looks like an animal poised to attack. Its topped off with a fresh black vinyl roof, which compliments the black hood, spoiler and graphics perfectly.
Stainless and chrome trim is outstanding, fully restored and buffed to new condition or replaced with exact, high-quality reproduction pieces. From the hood pins up front, to the unique side exhaust trumpets, to the chrome bumper out back, its all brilliantly polished like fine jewelry. The large taillight lenses (with center-mounted back-up light lens) are extremely nice, and up front, the deeply inset grille looks like its fresh out of the box.
Its no surprise that Dodge rated the 340 Six-Pack at 290 horsepowerthats what Ford and Chevy were rating the small block V8s in the Trans-Am-ready Boss 302s and Z/28s. In reality, the 340 made considerably more than that, given its 38 extra cubic inches and two extra throats for ingesting air and fuel. The engine in this car is a date-code correct R/T piece, complete with 4-bolt mains, which were only used on the R/T and AAR cars. This one also includes the unique iron heads with a different port configuration from those used on the four-barrel 340, and an Edelbrock-sourced aluminum intake sporting three Holley two-barrels. Making the heads OEM pieces meant they could be used in Trans Am racing that year, as they were on the No. 77 Challenger T/A campaigned by Sam Posey. Hemi Orange paint was the order of the day, and it is really set off inside that Green Go engine bayits almost too shiny. Details are correct, from the painted hose on the water pump, to the hose clamps and 26-inch radiator up front. As I mentioned before, Galen Govier went over this car, and every issue he identified was subsequently corrected by Julius Steuer.
A show-winner doesnt stop at a clean engine bay. Underneath, this one is highly accurate, from the beautifully finished floors to the correct side-exhaust mufflers, to the heavy-duty brakes that were standard on the T/As. This one also sports its original, matching-numbers TorqueFlite transmission and neck-snapping 3.91 gears in the 8.75-inch rear. The suspension features correct colors, from the bare metal colored front suspension stampings, to the satin black sway bars, to the natural steel on the drive shaft and rear leaf springs. The T/As were some of the first production cars to wear staggered tire sizes, and this car carries correct E60-15 front and G60-15 rear Goodyear Polyglas GT tires on restored Rallye wheels.
Inside, youll find a great combination of restored and original components. Seats, carpets and other soft parts are, of course, reproduction items that look every bit as good as the original pieces. Look a little closer and youll see an original steering wheel, original gauges, and that unique radio block-off plate. Door panels are outstanding, and everything works as it should, just in case you decide to put this T/A on the road. The trunk is highly detailed as well, with a correct trunk mat, space-saver spare and inflator bottle.
Ive been talking about that Govier report, and its included with the car. In addition, we have a copy of the original build sheet, Owners Manual, as well as receipts for more than $19,000 worth of work from Restorations by Julius, making this car ready to compete at the Mopar Nationals.
No matter if youre a Challenger fan or simply a fan of the brilliant Trans Am racing series, this is a car that deserves your consideration. Beautifully restored, highly accurate, and with a few notable options (and lack thereof), it is a car that will stand proud in any collection. These are wonderful cars to drive, too, with light weight, big horsepower, and sharp reflexes. Pick this one up, and we guarantee that the top is original, and the body wont cave in when you lean on it. Call now!
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