Flash Back Friday: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Lake-Elsinore-Front
The 2018 Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon looks almost as good as a Ford GT

My 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is actually the third Dodge Challenger I’ve owned. As featured a few weeks ago, I had a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye when I was in college in Colorado. That car was pretty cool, but as fun as it was to drive I always wanted a big-block Dodge Challenger, preferably a 440 or 426 Hemi version from 1970 or 1971.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front
The Challenger’s body damage was not extreme, but every panel had a noticeable flaw

About 13 years after selling my 1973 Dodge Challenger Rally I found another Challenger while browsing eBay. This was was an all-original, one-owner car with every single feature I wanted. First, it was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, which immediately makes it a relatively rare and well-equipped car. There were plenty of Dodge Challenger R/Ts produced, and a fair amount of Dodge Challenger SEs were made, too. But there are very few original Challengers that featured both packages in one car.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE Front Sunset
My 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE had every factory feature I wanted

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this car was also a Chrysler executive ordered car, which is why it was so loaded with features. When I saw the eBay listing I was thrilled to see this Challenger’s list of factory features: 440 engine, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, rear defrost, rim-blow steering wheel, chrome trim (mirrors and windows) and hood pins. And, best of all, it was painted my favorite vintage challenger color: Plum Crazy Purple.

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The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: America’s Porsche 911?

Dodge Challenger Porsche 911 Auto Show Girl
These two models share timeless styling that hasn’t changed, and hopefully never does

Few cars posses a style that can hold up over a single decade, let alone multiple decades. One of those cars is the Porsche 911. The 911 has certainly evolved since its introduction in 1963, but the sports car’s basic profile and proportions remain unchanged after more than 50 years. I’d argue that at this point Porsche can’t change the 911 without risking a massive revolt from the car’s dedicated fanbase.

Porsche 911 Vintage Show Monterey
The Porsche 911’s basic shape and proportions have aged gracefully

I’d make the same argument about the Dodge Challenger. Unlike the Porsche 911, the Dodge Challenger doesn’t have 5 decades of uninterrupted production. Dodge’s muscle car was only in production for 5 years before it vanished for 35 years (and no, the Mitsubishi “Challenger” from the 1980s doesn’t count…).

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Ford GT Seat Comfort, Door Pulls, Detailing Chores and an Owners Rally

One year into my Ford GT ownership and I had almost gotten used to the door design and how to avoid doing the “GT Limbo” as many owners call it. Some complaints about seat comfort had come up, the need to carefully clean each engine vent made for demanding detailing, and a Southern California GT Rally proved fun, even though I went in my 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE. The odometer almost hit 5,000 miles in August of 2006.

2005 Ford GT Seat
2005 Ford GT seat uses a retro design

Ford GT Seat Can Cause Discomfort

August 2, 2006 at 4,820 miles

The question of the Ford GT’s seat comfort has been raised by more than one occupant. Most feel it is fine for at least a few hours of driving, if not more, but some have experienced lower back pain caused by the stiff seam between the seatback panels. To me the claim initially seemed dubious, but once it was pointed out I quickly discovered that, well…yes, that seam can feel a bit intrusive — especially once you’re “looking” for it… Read more