- WD Detailing specializes in restoring abandoned cars like the 1971 Dodge Challenger to their former glory through cleaning and detailing.
- The first generation Dodge Challenger was a popular and iconic muscle car, known for its design, spacious interior and powerful engines.
- Well-maintained first-generation Dodge Challengers can sell for over $100,000, with the highest recorded price at $1.4 million, indicating their continued value on the used car market.
A brief overview WD Detailing’s YouTube channel, and it’s clear to see that it’s home to some of the most unique transformations on the web. They find cars that, unfortunately, have been neglected, sometimes for decades in a row, and set out to restore them to their former glory.
One such find for WD Detailing was 1971 Dodge Challenger according to them, he has been sitting in one place for the last 40 years. It has only 29,208 miles on the odometer, has a 3-speed stick shift, and according to the car’s owner, is 1 of 10 examples produced that year, making it an extremely rare find in the shed. As you’d expect from a car that’s been neglected for nearly four decades, the car is in pretty bad shape, but that only seems to fuel the team at WD Detailing, who are more than happy to try and restore the 1971 Dodge Challenger. to his best days.
And while WD Detailing only focused on cleaning, polishing and detailing the car to give the owner a nice surprise at the end, the question of whether Dodge The Challenger’s interior and mechanicals must undergo a lengthy restoration process.
All information in this article was taken from the WD Detailing YouTube video and from classic.com for their used prices.
What made the first generation Challenger so special
Few people remember the fact that Dodge actually rolled its iconic muscle car out of the factory gates quite late. By the time it was launched, cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac GTO were already in their production run. Mind you, musclecars started to gain serious traction in the 50s and 60s, so the 1970s Challenger release could very well have ended up missing the boat altogether.
Fortunately for Dodge and many muscle car enthusiasts, this was not the case. Even though the streets were flooded with muscle cars like the Firebird, Javelin, Cougar, Barracuda and more, the first generation Challenger was wildly popular. According to the State Journal, the Dodge muscle car racked up 76,935 sales in its first year. And even though it was still in production for a long time after that, that first year was the model’s best year to date.
It’s also easy to see why. The first generation Challenger was a combination of great design, spacious interior and several powerful engines. It was offered in coupe, hardtop and convertible body styles. These rear-wheel drive cars were available with a variety of inline 6 and V8 powerplants. Of particular note are the two performance variants known as T/A and R/T for the first-generation Challenger, which was produced until 1974. These traits helped it become one of the most respected muscle cars of its time.
One of the best Challenger restomods
There is no shortage of pointers that an owner can use if they decide to take the plunge and completely restore their 1971 Dodge Challenger. Perhaps one of the tastiest modifications made to the first generation Challenger, however, must be made by Restomods.
For starters, there’s the third-generation 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that’s been placed under the hood. In its most powerful standard version, this engine was offered in various configurations. But the most powerful version produced 399 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. We’re not sure what the engine power ratings are for this particular Challenger restomod, but it’s likely to top the 350 horsepower mark.
The engine is mated to a Silver Sport A41 automatic transmission, and there is a Tanks Inc. fuel tank that adds an in-tank EFI fuel pump. In addition, Restomods replaced the suspension, brakes and tires. The front discs are from Wilwood, and it rides on a custom Hotchkis full suspension system.
What’s more, they even strengthened the frame to increase rigidity. Again, Hotchkiss subframe connectors are used here, and the tires are courtesy of Nitto. The car also received an all-black paint job by SV Body and Paint. The LED taillights are taken from the modern Dodge Challenger (now sadly discontinued) and they even had to cut out the back of the ’71 Challenger to insert the LEDs.
As for the interior, the original instrument panel has been preserved. But a custom Forever Sharp steering wheel and an aftermarket infotainment system that supports Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity and even navigation have been added. The seats were swapped out for a set of custom Procar units from SCAT, and the cab was covered in custom upholstery from SOS Customs, which also includes the rear seats. And finally, they also included electric mirrors and windows.
Well-maintained Gen 1 Challengers sell for over $100,000
The first-generation Dodge Challenger held its value remarkably well over the years. Of course, it also depends on the state of the example you’re looking at. The abandoned Challenger in the video in this article, as an example, wouldn’t have fetched much on the used car market before WD Detailing detailed it.
At the same time, on average First generation Challengers cost around $80,000. However, the highest registered price for a first-generation Challenger is a staggering $1.4 million, and the cheapest was sold for just $14,300.
A quick overview of the offered options and their main indicators is also quite interesting. There are quite a few manuals on the market, and most of them have a lot of mileage. One particular example that stands out is a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T with 999,999 miles for sale in Texas. The sale price is set at $99,500 and it has been restored to original specification. This gives you an idea of the premium people are asking for an example in good condition.
Another example is a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T that has 46,309 miles, has an automatic transmission, and is for sale in Charlotte for a whopping $229,900. With the automotive world transitioning to hybrids and electric cars rather quickly, and the muscle car being phased out, it’s no wonder that timeless classics like first-generation Dodge Challengers command astronomical prices on the used car market .