1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
FOR SALE Restoration Page 1
This page will be used to document the restoration of my #'s Matching 383 R/T.
This car came to me in pretty much pieces. The interior had been removed, engine & drive shaft disconnected, brake lines cut, grille tossed away (or sold), and the original seats were missing. You get the picture. It was either destined to become a parts car or it was a "Someday I'm Gonna" project. To make matters worse (for my website at least), my camera/computer lost the pictures of it in the condition I bought it in. I had already started to work on it when I realized this. As a result, these pictures are kind of picking up midstream.
The car itself is a numbers matching 383 R/T with automatic trans, factory FK5 Burnt Orange with a Burnt Orange interior. This was evidenced by the burnt Orange dash and a tiny bit of headliner remnant. I don't know what seats it came with so I am going to put the standard R/T interior in it. It was also a vinyl roof car and I plan on putting one back on it in white along with a white R/T stripe. I have decided to put 15" Rallyes all around. Overall the body was in pretty good condition. I had to weld one patch panel in the passenger rear lower quarter plus one small fabricated patch under the windshield on the driver side. After I sand blasted the engine compartment, I found evidence of a minor fender bender from days gone by. So, I had to re-weld one of the inner fender braces, a slight tear in the cowl, and a tear in one of the inner fenders as well. This is where the pictures pick up.
I had a goal of finishing the car within the 3 months, but life kind of got in the way. I plan on starting back up on it within the next 2-3 months.
Update - 8-01-10
I have since had to change directions on this car as I am now unemployed. I am building this car for re-sale now and it is available at any time during the restoration process. I have decided to paint it FE5 Rallye Red instead of the original FK5 Dark Burnt Orange. I have also decided that the viyl top, interior, and side stripes will now be black. The reason for the changes is simple - FK5, while a beautiful color, doe snot have the manistream appeal that FE5 Rallye Red does. Also, because white is such a bear to keep clean, I decided that blacck accents would do best.
The engine is out getting rebuilt along with the tranny. I already have a large portion of the parts I need to put her together so follow along on the next couple of pages. I promise, you will see progress being made rapidly now.
Sandblasted Engine Compartment
These next few pictures show some of the work in the engine compartment. You'll notice the torn inner fender brace. What you cannot see, because I lost the picture, is the patches that were necessary in the cowl (due to a tear) and the windshield frame (due to minor rust). Sorry those pictures got deleted somehow.
Nice Clean Frame Rails
Amazing what a little hard work and some paint will do:)
I've also decided to drop the K-Frame and restore it out of the car. I'll possibly even install the engine like the factory did; from the bottom. It's going to be pretty tough to do without a lift, but I've seen it done. What the heck, if some else can do it, so can I!
Under carriage & Frame Rails In GREAT shap
Well, I figured before I went much further I should show how the underside of the car looks before I do anything to it. The car is Very Very clean and rust free underneath. Frankly, I was shocked! I had to patch one part of the driver's front floor pan due to the leaky windshield frame. Otherwise, I am only going to have to prep and paint the bottom. I've dropped the K-frame and fuel tank already and plan on removing the rear end tomorrow. Once the body work is done and the threat of primer overspray is gone, I will be fully painting the bottom of this car.
Another pleasant surprise is the presence of a Sure-Grip 3.23 in the 8-3/4. Thought for sure it would be gone since a lot of these cars have had their gears removed over the years for other projects. Already ordered the poly front end rebuild kit and new leaf springs from Espo. They should all be here by the weekend. Also, have the carpet, headliner, seat covers, vinyl top and all weatherstirping due to arrive shortly.
Body is coming along nicely. I sanded the car down, smoothed over a few rough spots, and then Epoxy Primed the whole thing. I have now started the process of sanding & priming,sanding & priming,sanding & priming,sanding & priming, - well you get the picture - I want this car to be STRAIGHT if it KILLS ME!
Yes, that is the Factory Trunk Pan
Update - July 2008
Well, took some time off to do a few other projects and just realized all of my pic links were dead on this page. So, I figured I'd post a few more recent pics of the project. As you can see, I've undercoated the car. I used spray-on truck bed liner because I have found that it is extremely durable and cleans up a heckuva lot easier than regular undercoating. I knw it is "not correct" but I think it will add to the overall finished product rather than taking away from it. I plan on making this car a "show driver" so that who ever buys it from me can actually enjoy it. Other mods will include aftermarket a/c and a few other goodies.
I took this pic just for grins. I had to bolt the suspension back on the car in order to move it. There are no torsion bars or shocks installed in the front end. I did, however, mount the new leaf springs in the rear.
Sad State of Affairs :(
Well, it's been almost 2 years since I've touched the R/T and it shows...Gonna be starting back up on the resto here in the next couple of weeks. I'll start to post progress pics as I move through the process. I plan on dropping int the newly rebuilt engine and trans within the next 2-3 weeks.
Unfortunately, she's going to have to get sold as I will be unemployed here pretty soon
Started to work on it again - 8-13-10
First step was to re-sand the entire car and re-prime with 2 coats of 2K Urethane Primer. Next, I installed a brand new set of Mopar Performance Torsion bars. Went with 1.12" ones to improve the handling of the car when completed.
See the next page for more updates