1 in 4 Dodge Challenger 426 HEMI Convertible up for auction
This convertible muscle car has a starting bid of $1,225,000 owing to how rare it is
Classic American muscle cars are some of the most characterful machines on earth. Dramatic styling, big V8 engines, and names that sounded like they were fresh out of a comic book. Many of these heroes of the past are highly sought after today, and this 1970 Dodge Challenger 426 HEMI RT Convertible is of some historical significance. Collectors take note as this car is said to be one of just nine known to exist today.
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Found on eBay with a starting bid of $1,225,000, this drop-top Challenger is one of the rarest muscle cars out there. Being one of only nine examples is special, but the fact that this example is one of only four automatic cars produced makes it even more so. Verified to be the genuine article via its VIN and paperwork, the seller has owned this car since 1979.
Currently painted ‘Plum Crazy’ to match the owner’s other Hemi, the original color of ‘Sublime’ was changed during a restoration in 1979. Some body panels were replaced, but the original fenders, passenger door, and decklid have been retained in their original state and come with the car.
Early in this rare car’s life, the original 426 Hemi engine was removed and put into a 1966 Plymouth Satellite for reasons only known to the original owner. Thankfully, the current custodian of this Dodge convertible got the opportunity to buy the motor back in 2015. The VIN was removed from the engine when it was transferred into the Plymouth, but the block has since been verified as being original via Chrysler's Julian date code system used in the factory.
The 419bhp engine has recently been rebuilt close to its original specification with new internal components. KC Engine took care of the block while the heads were the responsibility of a company called Noland Bros. This powerful V8 roars once again, and now it’s back in the original car it was intended for.
This classic Dodge has been garaged for most of its near 50-year history, and as a result hosts hardly any rust. The seller notes that the only area showing any signs of oxidization are three small spots in the trunk valley trays.
A lime green 1970 Dodge Challenger 426 HEMI RT was sold by Mecum Auctions in 2016 for a reported $1.65 million. This might give potential buyers of this example an idea of what the car could be worth if returned to its original specification. Interestingly, one of the other automatic Challenger 426 HEMI RT Convertibles will be auctioned with Mecum in March 2019.
At this point in time the seller isn’t open to offers with the description stating that the $1,225,000 price is ‘beyond fair for a car without rust.’ Buyers do have the option to ‘Buy It Now’ for $1,250,000 if they fear missing out in a bidding war. The rare HEMI can be seen by appointment only.
We’ll watch with keen interest to find out how much the 1970 Dodge Challenger sells for when the online auction finishes on February 5.
Classic Cars for Sale
Introduced in fall 1969 for the 1970 model year, the Challenger was one of two Chrysler E-body cars, the other being the slightly smaller Plymouth Barracuda. Positioned to compete against the Mercury Cougar and Pontiac Firebird in the upper end of the pony car market segment, it was "a rather late response" to the Ford Mustang, which debuted in April 1964. Even so, Chrysler intended the new Chal
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