This 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A occupies a rare but multifaceted place in automotive history. Sporting unusually low actual miles (under 57,000!) and in faithfully restored condition (with numbers matching no less), it’s a veritable museum piece, but one that gives a hearty nod to a bona fide Trans Am racing heritage. The level of meticulousness and detail that went into its restoration is truly rare. Its history is properly documented as an entry in the National T/A registry.
Challengers of this era cut an impressive presence on their own, but the restoration that went into this T/A take this one to a whole different level. Its quality and precision are evident right away. The bright red paint job, not only factory-correct, but literally the same hue it was brought to life with, shines convincingly from all angles and is complemented by the broad blackness of its scooped hood – a feature unique to T/As – as well as the stripes occupying the upper region of its sides. The black “340 6-pack” decals adorning both of its fenders give proper notice that this is truly a special Challenger. In the back, the spoiler – with its “Challenger T/A” lettering – remains unfaded. Take a lap around the car and you’ll notice the uniformity of the lines – its hood, doors, fenders and trunk all line up with admirable precision. The chrome looks great, as does its fully functional scoop on that black hood, and the rest of the trim follows suit. Even the hood pins have a shine to them. There have been no shortcuts taken with this one and it has clearly been looked after carefully since its restoration, almost as if it’s been hermetically sealed for protection.
Not surprisingly, the interior reflects the same care and condition. The black, high-backed vinyl bucket seats straddle an equally black center console with its signature low-profile gear selector – and all have been faithfully restored. The door panels also look supple and shiny, as well. The rear vinyl bench seat, the black trim on each side and the package shelf to the rear also attain the same high standard. Everything inside retains its authentic stock look and the original AM radio still occupies its place in the dash. Even the dash pads, almost always where you see the first signs of decline in an interior, look good. The factory gauges are all in working order, with lenses that retain a fresh transparent look. The manual windows all roll up and down smoothly and seal properly at their top position. All are testimony to just how much attention went into this restoration.
The Challenger T/A has a mechanical history unlike any other. Relatively few of them were made and they were only around for this 1970 model year. Their “T/A” model designation reflects a true racing heritage, as they were configured specifically to be the street-ready counterpart to their brethren in Trans Am competition. With a 340 cubic inch V8 as its foundation, three 2-barrel carbs comprising the T/A’s signature “6 pack” configuration sit on an aluminum intake manifold and are topped by an oval-shaped, open sided air cleaner. The V8 gets a supply of cool dense air through that broad scoop in the hood. By several accounts, Dodge downplayed the power output of the T/A’s configuration and its advertised 290hp is up to 30 less than what some give it credit for. It’s connected to the HD727 3 speed automatic transmission it originally came with and exhales through its distinctive pipes that show themselves just in front of the rear tires. Dodge added power steering and power front disc brakes for increased drivability in everyday conditions and both systems have been restored to optimum operating condition. In a further nod to its racing heritage, the T/A also has the distinction of being the first factory-assembled car to feature wider tires in the back and this Challenger is fitted with the proper Goodyear Polyglas tires and 15″ stock Challenger rims it rolled off the line with.