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It’s said that all good things come to an end at the proper time. Such was probably the case with the American muscle car era of the 1960s for the simple reason that the cars shown in the 1970 model year were at their all-time best. The 1971 model year would, for most brands, show little if any improvement in appearance, and would begin an era of staggering drops in performance capabilities. The specter of lowered compression ratios, newly mandated smog controls and the added weight of increased safety requirements was drawing nearer by the day. The half decade of tire-smokin’, rumpy-sounding, fast-looking cars available for ninety bucks a month off the showroom floor had reached its end. Opera windows, standup hood ornaments and vinyl tops were waiting in the wings for their day in the sun. Gag....
For every car model though, there was to be one absolute ‘last’ example of its best effort. The example shown here is documented as being the very last of 12,747 freshman-year Dodge Challenger R/Ts built, and when new it was certainly a grand example of factory rarity on many levels.
The elements are all there… it’s a sleeper, an all-‘Kowalski white’ Challenger R/T with all the good stuff. It displays the intimidating optional Shaker hood scoop sitting atop one of 2035 440-cube, Six Barrel, 390 horse wedge powerplants ahead of a 4-speed manual transmission. Cool! [Authors’ note: We’re told that the optional ($97) shaker hood was a rarity on later-production 1970 Challengers, because the hoods could pop open at speed due to extreme air pressure within the deeply recessed grille area. Dodge corrected the problem in 1971 Challengers.]