Dodge Challenger R/T SE 1970-1971

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Dodge CHALLENGER R/T SE 1970-1971

 Dodge CHALLENGER R/T SE 1970-1971

As the muscle car movement reached its peak in 1970, Dodge finally got a ponycar of its own. Aptly named the Challenger, it offered a huge range of engines and options. Enthusiasts were drawn to the R/T model. In 440 Six Pack form, it could run with the best of them.

There is something really magical about E-body Mopars. The seats may offer little support and the light steering can make the Challenger feel a little unwieldy at times, but take the car for a blast and you cannot help but fall in love with it. The 440 Six Pack engine, coupled to a Pistol Grip four-speed enables the R/T to accelerate like a speeding bullet, accompanied by tremendous tire squealing and a thundering exhaust roar; it is muscle at its finest!

Built on the new E-body platform, the Challenger shares its firewall and front subframe with the bigger B-body cars. Beyond the cowl, it was all new. The chassis is unitary, with Chrysler's proven torsion-bar front suspension and a live axle on leaf springs at the rear. Various axle ratios were available, up to a steep 4.10:1 cogs. Four-wheel drum brakes were standard with optional front power brakes.

Base Challengers came with the bulletproof but hardly exciting 225-cubic inch Slant-Six, but eight V8s were optional. R/T models got a standard 335-bhp, 383-cubic inch mill, though the mighty Hemi and 440 were available. The 440 is an immensely robust and torquey engine. which cranks out a whopping 480 lb-ft at 3,200 rpm. In Six Pack form, with a trio of Holley two-barrel carburetors, the 440 gets an additional 10 lb-ft of torque. 

As with most Chrysler products, owners were free to order virtually any option on their Challenger R/T. If ordered in the sporty SE guise, these hot Dodges came with soft leather seats, a sporty vinyl top and smaller rear window.

Mopar Power

Although the 383 was standard fare, the big 440 Magnum was an ideal choice for those into serious racing. Adding the Six-Pack option with three two-barrel carburetors resulted in 390 bhp and 490 lb-ft of torque. A good running Six Pack was a threat to just about anything with wheels.

Manual Trasmission

Although the standard Challenger transmission was a three-speed manual, R/T ordered with the 440 or Hemi got the robust TorqueFlite automatic transmission. A handful were, however, fitted with four-speed manuals, complete with Hurst shifters with a wood-grain Pistol-Grip shift handle.

Special Edition

An SE, or Special Edition, package was basically a luxury trim package on the Challenger. It added a vinyl roof with a smaller rear window, upgraded interior appointments and exterior trim. It could be ordered on both base and R/T models.

"Smoothly styled and an able performer in R/T guise, the Challenger was well received when new, and remains today as one of the most sought-after early muscle cars."