The HEMI is by far the rarest iteration of the 1970 Challenger since only 356 units left the assembly line with the mighty 426. Yes, it may seem like a low number for an era dominated by performance vehicles but insurance rates for high-power cars were getting expensive then.
And suppose we narrow it down to packages and body styles. In that case, we get a couple of even rarer variants, like only 60 HEMI cars with the Special Edition bundle and just nine convertibles.
Dodge’s SCCA Trans-Am entry against the Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the Challenger T/A wasn’t as powerful as its big-block siblings. But it was no slouch either, thanks to its 290-horsepower 340-cubic-inch (5.6-liter) V8 and weight-saving features.
Production of the Challenger T/A was also low at only 2,399 units or just a bit over 3% of total output for 1970.
Come 2023, and the T/A is a desirable classic. Granted, it’s not quite as rare as the HEMI, but it’s a hard-to-find gem, especially in all-original, unmolested condition. This cream example that’s been pampered for almost 50 years is perhaps the perfect specimen.
But the folks over at “Hagerty” recently stumbled upon a yellow version that’s been sitting for decades. And they brought it back to life.
This dusty pony car has been sitting in a barn since 1997, which is a whopping 26 years as of 2023. However, the car hasn’t been driven since 1984, so it’s been sitting for nearly 40 years.
That’s long enough to cause rust issues and lock the engine up, but this Challenger got lucky and soldiered on like a champ.
Not only the yellow paint is still in good condition, but the interior only shows a little wear and tear. Better yet, the 340-cubic-inch V8 came back to life with only a bit of work.
Yes, the T/A is not yet ready to hit the road, but it will become a fabulous survivor once it’s cleaned up inside and out and sorted out under the hood. For now, the numbers-matching V8 sounds fantastic.
Check it out in the video below.
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