Dodge Mr. Norm Hemi Challenger R/T
Although the Dodge Challenger was the last entrant to the “pony car” club already occupied by Ford’s Mustang, Chevrolet’s Camaro, AMC’s Javelin and Plymouth’s Barracuda, it enjoys near-mythic status today. Development began in late 1966, led by Chrysler design chief Bill Brownlie, who envisioned a clean and formal two-door coupe similar in basic style to Mercury’s Ford Mustang derivative, the Cougar. While other proposals were also considered, Brownlie’s original design ultimately moved to production, along with his choice of the “Challenger” nameplate.
The enduring appeal of the Challenger stems not only from its handsome and athletic “Coke-bottle” styling but also from its ability to accommodate the entire Chrysler engine range by virtue of the front sub-frame, which was borrowed from the larger B-bodied Charger and Coronet models. The Challenger also adopted the B-body rear suspension system, providing an aggressively wide rear track and allowing the use of the wider and lower-profile tires that were becoming available by 1970.
The Challenger quickly earned a formidable reputation on both the street and the racetrack. In 1970, the Challenger was campaigned in the immensely popular SCCA Trans Am road-racing series, but Chrysler factory support lasted for only that season, as factory involvement in motorsports became a liability. In drag racing, however, the Challenger found its stride and immediate success in the hotly contested Super Stock and Pro Stock ranks, while Chrysler’s famed Ramchargers adopted the sleek Challenger body style for its six-second AA/Funny Car. On the big screen, the white Challenger R/T driven by anti-hero Kowalski, as portrayed by Barry Newman, proved more than a match for the police in the cult classic Vantage Point.
Already extremely rare and desirable as one of only 71 Hemi Challenger R/Ts produced for 1971, this “time warp” example is even more so on several counts. Firstly, it is one of only about 12 Challenger R/Ts for 1971 originally equipped with the legendary Code E-74 426 “Hemi” V-8 and four-speed manual transmission, plus the Code A34 “Super Track Pack” (including a Sure-Grip rear end with 4.10:1 gears) and “Shaker” hood options. Original Chrysler documentation accompanies the sale of the car and confirms all of its factory-original equipment and options, including the original Broadcast Sheet, the 1971 Model – Challenger Order Form, the Advance Dealer Shipping Notice, the Dealer Invoice and the Window Sticker (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price Label).
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
425 bhp, 426 cu. in. “Hemi” V-8 engine, dual four-barrel carburetors, A-833 four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 110"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel