The 1970 Dodge Challenger was the first in its line to go toe to toe against other pony cars, as well as luxury muscle cars. This was Dodge‘s answer to the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro even though it was a somewhat late to the party.

1970 dodge challenger
1970 Dodge Challenger

Challenger in 1970 was offered in two body styles, hardtop and convertible with a total of eight different models to choose from.

The 1970 Dodge Challenger

The 1970 Dodge Challenger was derived from the Plymouth Barracuda. The Challenger actually gained a cult following after it appeared in the 1971 road movie, “Vanishing Point.”

Dodge used the longer wheelbase Chrysler E Platform for all first generation Challenger models, both hardtops and convertibles. Much of the car used Plymouth Barracuda components. Throughout the first generation production run very few changes were made year to year. The minor changes pertained to the grille and rear lights. The basic design essentially stayed intact.

Even though the Challenger was an answer to the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challengers direct competitors would have been the Mercury Cougar and Pontiac Firebird which would have been in the same price range. The Mercury Cougar really was an up-market version of the Mustang  Trim and option availability was numerous with the Challenger. The Challenger model could handle any big block engine Chrysler had where the Barracuda could not.

1970 dodge challenger specificationsThere were three packages that were available for the 70 Challenger. These were the SE (speical edition), RT (road and track) and the T/A ( Trans AM). The RT was considered the performance model. It came with a 383 cubic inch V-8 delivering 335 HP. It was also upgraded to a 440 cubic inch V-8 with 375 HP. Chrysler cars were fast for their time, a 1970 Challenger with the 426 Hemi was able to go 0- 60 in 6.3 seconds.

Designer Carl Cameron

Well known designer Carl Cameron worked for the Chrysler Corporation for 31 years and is the designer of the original ‘1965 Dart, ‘1966 Dodge Charger and the 1970 Dodge Challenger.

An interesting side note is that  the grille on the 1970 Dodge Challenger was originally designed for the 1966 Turbine Dodge Charger. The Turbine model never made it to production and when the Challenger model was in the design stage they referred to the old Turbine Charger drawings for it’s deeply recessed grille.

1970 Dodge Challenger Specifications

The 1970 Dodge Challenger had engine options for everybody. A base 225 cubic inch six cylinder or a 318 cubic inch base V-8. Also, two 340 cubic inch V-8s, three 383 cubic inch V-8s, two 440 cubic inch V-8s and the very popular 426 cubic inch HEMI. The engines available for the Dodge Challenger was literally every engine in the Chrysler inventory at the time.

A three speed manual transmission was standard on all engines. In addition, you could opt for a four speed manual or the TorqueFlite automatic .

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums with optional front discs.

The car was built with torsion bar front susp70 dodge challenger model historyension and a live axle rear suspension with semi elliptical leaf springs. Anti roll bars were optional.

Dimensions included a 110.0 inch wheelbase, 191.3 inch overall length, 51.5 inch height and a 76.5 inch width. Curb weight was 3,295 lbs.

For the 1970 model year Dodge produced 76,900 Challengers. New car price was between $2,800 and $3,700 depending on the trim and package. .

See additional Auto Museum Online article found on the links below…

1969 Ford Torino GT

1970 Chevy Camaro RS/SS

Reference material for this articles includes...Dodge Challenger& Plymouth Barracuda by author Peter Grist…Barracuda and Challenger by Paul Zazarine...Collector Cars by the Editors of Consiumers Guide.

1970 Dodge Challenger Collector Car Values and Popularity

dodge challenger pony carThe 1970 Dodge Charger is a very popular collector car especially the RT performance model. The powerful HEMI makes the car extra  special. The RT version offered heavy duty suspension and twin hood scoops.

Another fact about the 1970 Challenger is that it was produced shortly before federal safety and emission regulations went into effect. Although the regulations made Challenger’s performance pony car debut short lived, the 70 models have a special place among collectors.

At this time the price range for a 1970 Dodge Challenger runs from about $29,000 to  $80,000 +. This would cover models in good condition all the way up to perfect showroom condition. Exact model trim package including engine size also determines asking prices. Other considerations include mileage and originality.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)