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.
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.
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.
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."