1970 Challenger

Project: 1970 Challenger

My client wanted a ’70 Challenger R/T resto-mod. The goal was to build a Challenger that performed and handled/braked/steered like a modern car but would retain the classic 1970 Challenger body lines. I searched around the mid west and found a very straight example in The Chicago area. It was a disassembled roller that had already received significant body panel replacement. The previous owner (who had unfortunately passed away) catalogued and bagged up the smaller parts and sub assemblies.

When I brought it back to the shop I began researching modern suspensions and drive trains. We decided to go with a complete suspension upgrade. This included 4 wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, full coil over shocks and elimination of the rear leaf springs and front torsion bars. Chassis prep also included full weld in sub-frame connectors which are contoured to the car’s under body structure.

For the engine and drive train We decided to go with a 5.7 liter fuel injected Hemi motor and transmission from a 2016 Dodge Charger.

Here are some pics of the suspension, drive train install and paint work to date.

orig owners
Original seller and friend where the challenger was purchased
remove old suspension
Original Susupension removed.
Frame connectors in
Frame Connectors fitted and ready to weld in
front painted and on rotisserie
front end painted and body on rotisserre
under frame coated
Underside of frame painted
rear painted and brakes installed
Original rear rebuilt 3:55 gears installed, painted, disc brake conversion
sub frame installed
New subframe with rack and pinion coil over shocks and disc brakes installed
front brakes installed
Front suspension and willwood brakes installed
5.7 litre Hemi
motor painted
Motor and transmission painted satin black
motor painted and installed
Motor and transmission installed
trial fit hell cat seats
Test fit the Hell Cat seats
started paint work
Body painted plum crazy purple
painted tail
painted hood
Hood and tail stripes painted.
We tried several different hood badges but decided on a red Hemi with chrome outline looked best
Here Doug Jones begins laying the vinyl top down.
Vinyl top being installed
Another view of the vinyl top. Also in view are the Tourqe Thrust 2 Wheels.  18 x 9 rear and 17 x8 up front.
Original style gas cap and door installed.
Drive by wire gas pedal for the EFI Hemi motor was a tight fit because of where the new fuse box is installed. I had to make a custom bracket to make everything fit together.
Fuel pump being made ready for final installation. Upstream is a Corvette filter with built in regulator and return.
Insulation laid down and Hell Cat seats set in place for a trial fit. After my client sat in one we realized they were too tall. I cut out and reinforced a section of floor to lower both seats about 2”.
Doug and Colby Jones did an amazing job of resizing the late model Hell Cat rear seat to fit the ‘70 E-body Challenger. It was shortened several inches.
Here the Vintage Air hard lines are being run.
Custom fitting of the carpeting completed.
A late model console sits between the Hell Cat front seats. It’s height allowed for hiding a lot of the extra wiring required to operate the multiple electrical systems in this build.
The Dakota digital dash cluster replaces the factory gauges but has a period look. The instrument panel, console and door inserts were wrapped in the same wood grain pattern.
I actually tried three different steering wheels till I found one I liked. It complements the interior very nicely.
After final assembly and aftermarket valve covers and intake cover installed.
Front bumper and grilles installed. She’s really looking better every day. 
Here are some final pictures of the completed ’70 Challenger build.

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