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Once the R/T was sold, it was quickly forgotten, and the dealership personnel moved on with the business of selling new cars and repairing used vehicles in the service department. Wassil, a Chrysler Master Technician, an expert body man, and a service manager since the end of WWII, left the dealership within a year of the sale of the Challenger. In 1972, Wassil opened a gas station and garage where a young Barry started working. It was during the early years working with his father when the Challenger popped back into Wassil’s life. In 1973, the original owner decided to trade the Challenger for a new Monte Carlo, and the Challenger ended up on the used car lot of Peter Postupack Select Cars located in Still Creek, PA. If you have not made a connection with the name, it was yet another of Barry’s uncles. Wassil worked a deal with Peter on April 27, 1973, and the Challenger was purchased for Barry’s older brother Mark. The Challenger was often used by the family for parts running for the business.
In the spring of 1974, Mark on the down low purchased a Direct Connection Hemi grind camshaft for the 383. When Wassil left for a Canadian fishing trip, Barry and Mark rolled the Challenger into the garage and proceeded to swap the factory camshaft with the new DC cam. When Wassil returned from his trip, he noticed the Challenger was not running correctly. The engine sounded like it had a misfire because there was a tremendous lope when idling, so Wassil told Barry to pull in the Challenger and replace the plugs. It was at this time that Barry fessed up about the new camshaft. Wassil was less than pleased. He could not understand why the boys had taken apart a perfectly good running engine. After that day, Wassil never mentioned the camshaft installation again, but he still continued to use the Challenger for parts runs. However, now when making the parts runs, Wassil shook all the windows of the store fronts on the main drag (Broad Street) as he thundered by. Barry always believed that his father deep down was very proud of his young boys’ ability to take apart the engine, perform the camshaft swap, put everything back together, and have an engine that ran better than it had previously.
Mark’s tenure with the Challenger was brief, and within 15 months of taking ownership, Mark enlisted in the US Army. Mark was scheduled to leave for basic training in the summer of 1974. On the day Mark left for basic training, he threw the Challenger’s keys to Barry and told him, “The car is yours now.” Barry has owned the Challenger ever since that summer day.
Barry’s Challenger was built on May 1, 1970, with a 335 horsepower 383 engine, a 727 Torqueflite transmission, and an 8¾” rear end. The exterior was painted in black with white longitudinal body stripes and a black vinyl top with roof drip rail moldings. The Challenger had a factory dual exhaust with the pipes ending in chrome tips. The Challenger had a sport hood with hood tie down pins. A console with woodgrain paneling separated the factory black bucket seats. To match the seats, the rest of the interior was cloaked in corresponding black from the headliner to the carpet and from door panel to door panel. A Rallye Instrument Cluster Package containing a tachometer, an interior light package, and a two-watt solid state radio rounded out the inside of the Challenger.
As a young man, Barry enjoyed the performance-oriented Challenger. When not at work, Barry was always around the performance crowd, and he was well known because of the razor-sharp tuned 383. He made plenty of trips to Englishtown, NJ, with the Challenger to watch and occasionally participate in the quarter-mile drag races. Additionally, being quite an angler, Barry took the Challenger on many fishing trips throughout the mid-Atlantic states. On August 6, 1977, Barry and his fiancé, Elaine, were wed, and the Challenger was part of the proceedings. Once married, Elaine often took the Challenger to the local mall on her shopping trips. This repeatedly led to people (mainly men) asking her about the car and frequently offering to “take the car off her hands” assuming she did not know how special the Challenger was.