The 1970 model year heralded a number of restylings from Detroit, but one of the most anticipated was Dodge’s new entry into the ponycar market, the Challenger. Created to compete with Cougar and Firebird, the Challenger’s E-body platform was capable of handling any engine in the Dodge passenger car line. The R/T designation would be for performance models, and it was only in 1970 that a convertible Challenger was ever offered. That year, 1,070 people bought new R/T convertibles; only nine of them selected the Hemi engine. Four of those chose the Hemi/automatic combination. This is one of that very exclusive group.
Much can be said about the Hemi engine, Chrysler’s basically detuned racing engine that ended up on the street for six years of unrestrained performance. In that short time span, many people wanted one but did not have the money to buy one, and those who did sometimes bought the most basic cars possible so they could go racing. That is not the case with this FJ5 Sublime Green machine. In fact, the car was highly optioned from the day it came down the line at Hamtramck’s Dodge Main line in early December 1969.
The matching-numbers 426 Hemi is backed up by a floor-shifted A727 Torqueflite, which was included as part of the A36 Performance Axle package. A 3.55:1 Sure Grip 8 ¾ differential is behind that. It rides well on Rallye wheels with F60x15 Goodyear Polyglas tires, and trim rings and center caps add a special touch. The Hemi’s dual exhaust system ends in twin N42 chrome tips pushing outward from the unique rear valance. The driveline was built as an overall blend of street-strip components.