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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Orange-on-Orange 1970 Challenger SE is a rare and rusty barn find

How rusty is too rusty for you to consider a restoration? We found this 1970 Dodge Challenger SE, which is currently up for bid on eBay, through BarnFinds.com, where commentators are debating the merits of restoring such a vehicle and lamenting the sad chain of events that must have led it to its current state.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/orange-on-orange-1970-challenger-se-is-a-rare-and-r...
76 REPLIES 76
Tsaxman
Instructor

The ROI on a Shelby GT 350 is obvious. This Mopar, not so much.

MrN
New Driver

Why does it always have to be about restoration? The world really doesn't need another like new Challenger that lasts forever in some rich guys warehouse. Whats wrong just fixing stuff to get it on the road and having some fun with it. Rivets and roof asphalt some sheet metal in the floors, refresh the brakes and enjoy the roar of a leaky exhaust on country road on a warm summer evening. Then putter around with fixing little things as you have time. Thats what's the hobby is about to me. I thought we were all about "patina" now anyway? Now it may be that this one is too far gone for that (irrepareable suspension attachments) but nothing wrong with taking a chance on ebay... Good luck to the buyer and the seller got a good price.
Oberlieutenant
Pit Crew

I know this car, and it could never be made safe with just "fixing stuff to get it on the road".
Snailish
Engineer

Well, it seems you can buy a reproduction Challenger body so as long as that is cool to do in your jurisdiction and you wanted to build a restomod anyways. Granted 10K is a lot to pay for a title.

 

---

My second thought is if you were a person with a barn and the price was reasonable you might just buy cars like this and sit on them for 10-15 years. As long as demand holds, the crummiest old shells do eventually gain value especially with clear title.

 

Not that I am meaning to advocate hoarding, but in a case like this where you either need someone willing to overspend now or the car is scrapped/parted then maybe (being stashed out of the weather) is a better possible fate.

 

My preference is almost the shortest path to getting something driving. And yes, most people should only be buying cars that are already able to do that.

Bigdog1949
Pit Crew

I’ve seen worse turned into a beautiful car by a real craftsman on Long Island ,a 68 Camaro ,total rust bucket ,but he got into it ,made a jig so everything was installed too specs !
Autocar
Intermediate Driver

There are a lot better Challengers out there for under 20K.
LongGone
New Driver

Parts car is the only way to save this neglected, once desired car. At least it wouldn't be a total loss. $10k is too much for the work needed.
MAXTHEAX
Detailer

$10,200? You can buy a large quantity of fine whiskey for that.
Daniel
Intermediate Driver

Looks like it was soaked in salt water. Unibody is shot for sure.
Randy99
New Driver

Crush it.
JSievers
Instructor

Jack up the VIN plate and drive a new car under it.

Yeah that's a bit to far gone for me. This is a good parts car or an incredibly huge money pit.
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

Ummm, let me think. What about this car even make it worth an article? Oh, it must be tyhe piostol grip shifter. Or the extremely rare 340 option? Maybe the black vinyl top? Oh heavens, the rare back window literally slaps one in the face.

I bet this thing has Fred Flintstone brakes to top it off.
Snailish
Engineer

For me this is one of the best auction articles posted here.

-talks about one car with some detail

-lots of pictures

-references condition and valuation for some context to the market without only being about that

-sparks conversation about motivation and reality

 

TeeeeJayyyy
Pit Crew

So cool to see a car with an Orange interior! I doubt it's worth saving unless you are flush with money and can send it to Graveyard Cars! Would be great if that happens!
Snailish
Engineer

How rare is an orange interior?

 

I can't remember ever seeing any car with one. My poppa's Monte Carlo was a 74 with that maroon/dark red interior which I thought was super cool as a kid (and still do). Red, blue and dark green interiors you see often at a car show still.

janedon
Advanced Driver

How Bad is Too Bad---I guess it depends on how much money you have & how much you Love the car--It's not always about Profit-
RG440
Technician

I just went in this morning to check on the status of this challenger just out of curiosity and discovered the seller, more importantly (a LOT less rust) than the challenger has a 1992 F150 1992/3 SEMA/Tasca Show Truck up for auction along with a 1962 Chevy II Drag Car. The SEMA show truck is currently at $10k With 4days 5hours left and the drag car $14.7k with 4days 6hours left. The challenger is currently holding at 7.1k with 5days 10hours left. Just fyi
VetteKid56
Intermediate Driver

If you don't do most of the work yourself its going to cost you $50 grand just to make it a safe driver. Only if it had been an original Hemi version would it make it worth restoring and if all you want is a good driver you can find them in the under 50 K price range.
RG440
Technician

A friend of mine met me at Carlisle years ago and had a swap spot filled with this kind of rusted junk in it off a few 71 Cuda’s . JD was dirt poor and this show (Aug) was his salvation to dig himself out of last winters bills as he was from upstate NY after moving from Ft. Lauderdale. Well Sunday came along and no one wanted his junk and he was really crying the blues all day long wondering how he was going to make it home. WELL, then it happened…This crew from Nash Bridges showed up and offered him a two figure sum for everything just to patch some cars up for the next episode. JD was trying to talk them out of it as it was too much for his junk and he wanted cash, not a check. SO they laid down 10k in Franklin’s with JD sitting on his broken down camping chair staring into space for the next few hours completely silent…..Sooooooo you just never know about rusted out junk
RG440
Technician

You could probably name your price with that complete burnt orange dash assembly along with the four speed console and overhead console in burnt orange along with the pistol grip. That burnt orange interior brings back a lot of memories for me….
70sMuscle
Pit Crew

I see it has been sold.
Hopefully we see another article some day telling the story of how it was has been returned to it's original glory.
acooper529
Advanced Driver

Let it go. Rest in "pieces". These cars are Soooo over-hyped and were nothing much new. The cool styling and big motors were the whole thing. Period!
That pistol shift was horrible and those clunky old "truck like" trannies would NOT shift if you ran the rpms out too far.
Even when brand new, when I worked at a Dodge dealer in Southern NJ, they weren't much as far as build quality, ride, suspension and just forget about cornering.
acooper529
Advanced Driver

I almost forgot, driving that entire series of cars is like you are sitting on the floor. Never could figure that one out?? It made, and still makes NO sense??
GoFaster
Detailer

Interesting comments about this car. I've been around the block on Mopar restorations over the years. I've seen worse in my life, and it is definitely restorable. If you feel that you always need to make money on a restoration, then maybe you should consider another hobby.
jaysalserVW
Advanced Driver

What would the restorer have when he finished? A car built from scratch. NOT the car he thought he'd have. Original is Original only once. When every scintilla has to be removed and replaced--it just ain't the same vehicle. The "soul" is gone from this car!
Oberlieutenant
Pit Crew

I know this car. It is NOT a "barn find". The family that sold it lives around the corner from me.

This poor Challenger sat outside, uncovered, on a concrete driveway since before I first saw it in 1989. Little to no effort was ever made to preserve the car, and last time I saw it up close 4 or 5 years ago, I formed the opinion it was unsavable. It will literally need all new sheet metal, and I believe where the cowl and A pillar meet is beyond repair.

Before that, I had tried to buy it several times without success. I continued to drive by it daily for over 30 years until I noticed it was gone.

If you are considering buying this car, pay close attention to the photographs. The seller has it listed with 46k miles, when it has over 85k. When I advised him of such, he told me via FB chat that "I don't give a **bleep**" and then stopped responding.

Let the buyer beware.