Chrysler’s E-body platform debuted in 1970 as a base for Plymouth’s latest Barracuda and Dodge’s all-new Challenger. Rolling on a longer wheelbase (110 inches, compared to 108), the Challenger appeared in hardtop and convertible forms with either six-cylinder or V8 power.
A prestigious Special Edition sports hardtop and performance-conscious R/T package also were available either separately or together. Standard for the R/T, offered from 1970 to ’71, was the 335-horsepower 383 Magnum V8. R/T options included the 375-horse 440, 390-horse 440 Six Pack, and 425-horse 426 Hemi. Dodge’s 275-horse 340-cid small-block V8 was optional for non-R/T Challengers. A 290-horsepower 340 fitted with three two-barrel carburetors was the exclusive engine for the limited-edition Challenger T/A, built for 1970 only.
The V8-powered Challenger Rallye hardtop was the hottest model available from 1972 to ’74, and the 340 small-block remained the strongest engine during those years after the Hemi and 440 big-block were dropped after 1971. By far the most coveted Challenger was 1970’s Hemi R/T convertible—only nine were built.