Development of the Dodge Challenger began in late 1966, with early design work led by Bill Brownlie, who envisioned a clean, formal coupe that was quite similar to the overall design of the Mercury Cougar. The Challenger’s enduring appeal stems not only from its very handsome styling, but also from its ability to accommodate the entire Chrysler engine range, by virtue of the front sub-frame, which was borrowed from the B-bodied Charger/Coronet. In addition, the use of the Charger/Coronet rear suspension layout provided a wide rear track, which was capable of housing the wider wheels and tires that became available by 1970.
Much like the AAR Plymouth Barracuda, the Challenger T/A was built to homologate the Dodge Challenger for the SCCA Trans Am Series. Completed at Hamtramck on 8 March 1970, this Plum Crazy over black vinyl Challenger T/A displays a meticulous restoration commissioned by a previous owner. It is powered by an uncommon and correct 340 cubic-inch, 290 horsepower V-8 engine with factory-correct “Six Pack” carburetor setup.
As one of Dodge’s more rarified offerings, this example was specified with an impressive bevy of factory equipment that went far beyond its black vinyl bucket seats. The Trans Am package provided the requisite thicker front and rear sway bars, a 3.55 rear axle, heavy duty shocks, power front disc brakes with upgraded rear drums, dual body-colored mirrors, hood pins, and NACA-duct sport hood. Also included were unique front and rear spoilers, AM radio, side exhaust, larger radiator, staggered Polyglas tires by Goodyear, and the signature T/A livery. This chassis also received the Rallye instrument package, and it is furnished with a wood grain console implanted with an extended suite of gauges including a 150-mph speedometer, clock, ammeter, and others.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0620.