• 2020

Two Dodge Challengers for a Lifetime

1972 Dodge Challenger

In 1974, while going to school at Idaho State University I saw a Dodge Challenger on a used car lot that I loved but thought there was no way my dad would agree to help me get it. It was a 1972 Dodge Challenger in B5 blue with a partial white vinyl top covering the front half of the top, white interior, factory air and had about 23,000 miles on it. It was a 318 with automatic shift on the column. I was able to get the car on June 8, 1974 for the sum of $3,395 (and still have the original contract). The sales clerk told me at the time that this car would become a collector’s item. I had my doubts.

This car was my daily driver for many years. In 1977 I left on a church mission and thought I’d probably have to sell the car. My parents thought I should keep it so it was basically under wraps for two years. I started driving the car once again in June 1979. In the summer of 1980, a lady where I worked backed into the car in the parking lot and wrinkled the passenger rear quarter panel of the car. I thought at the time it would be fun to do a more exciting paint job on the car so it was painted a dark gray metallic with white accents down the sides. The paint quickly started to fail due to the sunshine and the car saw limited use but still acquired about 125,000 miles on it. I did not want to get rid of the car and had thoughts of one day restoring it back to its B5 blue days.

In the 1980’s I did a lot of restoration prep work on the car. The windshield defroster never did work very well and one day I pulled the defrost ducts out from under the dash and found a set of keys in the duct that belonged to it. The keys had a plastic key tag attached suggesting it was from a Hertz rental car business in Denver, Colorado. At the time I bought the car the glove box contained an inspection receipt from Murray, Utah, dated March, 1973. So the car started off as a rental car in Denver and then was owned by someone in Utah for a short time and then came up to my area in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1974. I figured I was the second private owner of the car.

In 1989, my brother-in-law Ken had thought of restoring the car and so I sold the car to him for $1,500. After a couple years he decided he was going to part with the car so I was able to buy it back from him for $1,000. That made me the second and fourth private owner. The car has remained in my possession ever since.

I was then able to start doing a thorough restoration of the car but I did want to make some changes. I wanted it to be a Rallye version. Through some local contacts and eBay I acquired a rallye dash, wheels, shift console, dual-scoop hood, dual exhaust, steering column, dual sport mirrors and the outside louvers on the front fenders. All original parts. On the front end I converted the front brakes from drum to disc using parts from a 1974 Dodge Dart. Lower control arms were changed so I could install a front sway bar.

The engine was rebuilt and bored .030 over and a four barrel carb and intake were installed. This is a list of all the changes that were done to the original car. Just Dashes recovered the dash and seat upholstery was through Legendary Auto Interiors. The car was lifted up onto a display rack and underside of the car was sandblasted, coated in Por 15 and painted B5 blue. I did as close to a rotisserie restoration as I could without having the equipment. During this process, I found the original build sheet under the rear seat cushion.

2010 Dodge Challenger

The 2010 Dodge Challenger was a realization of a dream that came about when I first heard that a Challenger R/T Classic was going to be produced. I picked Detonator Yellow — the Dodge Challenger that was sitting in a dealer’s showroom. It had 11 miles on it and a price tag of $37,427. It has the 5.7 liter HEMI® V8 and six speed manual tranny. Here it is 10+ years later and the car now has 999 miles on it, has never been in the rain or on wet roads and only gets an occasional hand washing. It has always been garaged and covered. The only changes I did were to install a black vinyl strobe cover on the hood, stripe extensions that extend the side stripes forward onto the front clip and a Challenger R/T decal on the rear spoiler. I still have all the original paperwork that came with the car and it still has the new car smell. I have it hooked up to a battery minder to keep the original battery charged.