Highlights

  • Believed to be the first Challenger Convertible produced with the 440 Six Pack engine
  • Pilot car used by automotive press
  • One of 61 Six Pack Convertibles produced
  • Restored in 2004 at Restorations by Julius in Chatsworth, California
  • V-Code 440/390 HP Six Pack engine
  • 956 radiator
  • 4-speed transmission
  • A33 Track Pak
  • Dana rear end
  • Power steering front disc brakes
  • A 10% buyer premium applies
mecum-1970-dodge-challenger-440-6-convertible-prototype-07
  • Hood tie-down pins
  • FE5 Bright Red with White longitudinal striping
  • White and Black interior
  • Vinyl bucket seats and woodgrain console
  • Pistol Grip shifter
  • Rallye instrument cluster
  • Chromed mirrors
  • Luggage rack
  • Tinted glass
  • Magnum 500 wheels
  • Goodyear polyglas tires
  • Chrysler Registry report
  • Restoration invoices and photos
  • Copy of May, 1970 Dodge News magazine
  • Copy of December, 1969 Car Life Magazine
mecum-1971-dodge-hemi-challenger-sunroof-04

Story

Dodge’s brand-new Challenger was an exciting introduction for 1970, and the Dodge Hamtramck plant in Detroit began building the new E-body models in late summer 1969. During the course of getting things underway for full-scale mass assembly, vehicles are often test-built to make adjustments for that process. Constructed on Saturday, August 1, 1969, this example is one of the very first Challengers ever created, and this car is commonly believed to be the first 440 Six Pack Challenger convertible built. In fact, according to research done when this spectacular car was documented for restoration, only three earlier 1970 Hamtramck Dodge VINs were known to exist.

The Challenger was the last of the so-called pony cars to emerge after the 1964 introduction of the Mustang began the breed. However, the R/T designation would last just two years, retiring from the product line at the end of 1971, along with the 440 Six Pack engine itself. Furthermore, convertible R/T models would only be built in 1970; there were none offered in ‘71. This car is definitely one of the first examples ever built by Dodge that received Six Pack power.

The Six Pack engine was just six months old at the time this car was built; prior to 1970 releases, it had only been available in a run of special Super Bees in the spring of 1969. These engines made use of the three Holley 2-barrel carburetors as well as some internal component upgrades. Easier to keep in tune than the 426 Hemi, many buyers found the package extremely adequate in all driving situations.

mecum-1970-dodge-challenger-440-6-convertible-prototype-13

This car is a stunning example regardless of its production date. Painted FE5 Bright Red with a color-matched white top, premium white vinyl interior and white longitudinal striping, it is a stellar example at first glance. That impression continues with the option list. Behind the matching-numbers 440 Six Pack engine went the A33 Track Pak to put the A833 4-speed, bulletproof 3.54 Dana 60 Sure Grip differential and performance cooling system upgrades onto this car. It also received a power convertible top, power steering, power front disc brakes and chrome 5-spoke wheels with Goodyear Polyglas tires.

The interior matches its driveline appeal—a six-way driver’s-side bucket seat, premium vinyl upholstery, woodgrain-type center console, Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, power windows, A01 light group, matched driver’s-side and passenger-side chromed mirrors, tinted glass, AM/FM stereo and Rallye dash with tachometer. Beyond the superb FE5 Bright Red paint (coded specifically on the fender tag as Y91 – Show Car finish) are hood pins, chrome tips, a luggage rack, performance hood, 440 Six Pack callouts, R/T-notated stripe and flip-open gas filler cap.

Presented today as it left the factory, Restorations by Julius in Chatsworth, California, refreshed this car to outstanding condition. One of the foremost Mopar restoration specialists in the country, Julius Steuer has more than 40 years of experience restoring and refurbishing E-bodies, and the quality of his work is evident in this 440 Six Pack convertible Pilot Car.

mecum-1970-dodge-challenger-440-6-convertible-prototype-12.1