1971 Hemi Challenger R/T
1971 Hemi Challenger R/T
This 1971 Hemi Challenger R/T is 1 of 71 built and it is un-restored with only 11,479 miles. It is equipped with its 0riginal matching numbers R-code 426 Hemi engine, matching numbers 4-speed manual transmission, and matching numbers rear end with A34 Super Track Pak with 4.10 gears. 1971 was the last year for the availability of a factory installed 426 Hemi as the muscle car lifestyle began be phased out by the new car manufacturers. This 1971 Hemi Challenger R/T represents one of the last of the last.
Mecum Auctions listed this 1971 Hemi Challenger R/T and this is what they had to say about it. It was bittersweet as the sun set on the American supercar in 1971. The previous decade had seen its meteoric rise, its apex, and then its rapid aging into the more monolithic creations of the 1970s. In 1970, Dodge had been the final company to release a completely new model for this market, even as new cars like Ford’s Maverick and Plymouth’s Duster showed where things were heading. As a result, the E-body Challenger R/T made a formidable name for itself during a mere two-year period through production. Some, like this example of that design, were understandably cherished from day one.
This is an unrestored Hemi Challenger R/T. It is one of 71 Hemi versions produced in 1971, which would be the final year of any big-block Challenger and the R/T trim package. For ‘71, its second year, the Challenger received some minor changes in terms of external components. The inset four-headlamp grille now featured a distinctive pair of rectangular inserts that concisely divided left from right; this car features chrome bumperettes as well. Also new were twin vertically running stylings replicating brake-cooling scoops placed onto the lower quarter-panel just ahead of the rear wheel opening. These were smaller adaptations, yet some that would be exclusive to 1971. Overall, the aggressive body lines remained unaltered for the second season, but change was coming. Indeed, the Challenger design would not live on past the 1974 model year, ending production that spring as economic challenges reared their heads.
Perhaps most importantly, Chrysler ended production of the Challenger R/T that year without detuning this car’s engine, which still had 10.25 compression, two 4-barrel Carter AFB carburetors, and NASCAR-grade short-block strength. The Hemi needs little other explanation—the roar of this engine under acceleration is still like no contemporary. That fury unleashed itself with ease on this car, because in addition to the R-code Hemi, this car also came off the Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly line with the A34 Super Track Pak. This meant a heavy-duty A833 4-speed manual transmission mated with the SureGrip Dana 60 and 4.10:1 gears. It was virtually unbreakable when maintained correctly. Despite such serious driveline options, this car has never required a restoration.
Sometimes it is better to maintain a mild-mannered profile, and perhaps the hope was to not scare away the guy next to you at the stoplight; this car did not get a lot of extra dress-ups. The color selected by the buyer was not a high-impact version, but the popular B5 Bright Blue Metallic; this paint and its associated black longitudinal R/T graphics are original from 1971 on the car. The front valance is the only component that has been refinished. Other exterior accents include the power bulge sport hood with raised chrome 426 Hemi callouts and J45 hood pins, dual exhaust with chrome tips, locking flip-out gas cap, and A46 trim moldings. The package concludes with Rallye wheels and raised white-letter Goodyear Polyglas rubber.
Inside the Challenger are the original black vinyl bucket seats, divided by the center console that hosts the Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. Just in front of that is the expensive R36 AM/FM stereo with microphone cassette tape unit, just coming into vogue at that time and one rarely seen on a factory Hemi car. In addition, the car was equipped with the Rallye dash including tachometer, 3-way wipers and wood-grain accenting. All in all, it is a very satisfactory slate of options.
The package is actually simple to summarize. It is from the final year of the R/T model and Hemi-engine option. It is equipped with the highest-performance drivetrain available. It features original paint and interior components, coupled with specific trim exclusive to the model year. Unrestored and showing just 11,479 miles on the odometer, this is a blue-chip Hemi Challenger R/T worthy of membership in any muscle-car or Mopar collection.