Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Russo and Steele Collector Autos '71 Hemi Challenger

Offered for Auction sale at Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona January 19th-23rd, 2011.

Unfortunately 1971 was also the last year the famous and awesome "Hemi" V-8 was offered to the public either in street trim or racing form. Insurance premiums were astronomical on high-performance cars and starting in 1972 Federal regulation demanded that all cars had to be able to run on regular gasoline. Rather than compromise the amazing "Hemi", Chrysler decided to retire it as a winner. Chrysler did announce it 1992 that it would start making 426 Hemi engines for racers and restorers through its Chrysler high-performance parts division.

As muscle-car production began to vanish in late 1970, Chrysler released one final handful of factory Hemi cars before pulling the plug. What Dodge sold to the public in 1971 turned out to be a small bunch of the rarest and highly-coveted high-performance collector cars ever built. Fewer than 400 Hemi cars in TOTAL (all models) left the factory in that year! Easily the most desirable Hemi cars ever produced were the 1971 E-bodied 'Cudas and Challengers with a grand total of only 190 cars being produced. Interestingly enough, Chrysler made far fewer Hemi Challengers than 'Cudas in 1971, with only 72 cars being built, that's right only seventy-two! Let's drill down even more...

Most knowledgeable Mopar guys know that all Hemi 'Cudas came from the factory with a Shaker hood. A little known fact is that Hemi Challengers DID NOT come from the factory with Shaker hoods! The fabulous Shaker was an option on the Challenger and as a result very, very few were ever produced. In fact, out of the 72 Hemi Challengers produced in 1971, it is estimated that less than a dozen cars came from the factory with a Shaker hood. So, needless to say, if you had a 1971 Hemi Challenger R/T that came from the factory with a Shaker, you'd truly be one of the few. Now, what if your factory Hemi Challenger was a sinister 4-speed black example with less than 5,800 original miles? As such, it would be truly one of the most significant Hemi cars in existence, right?

This 1971 Hemi Challenger RT is one of 58 4-speed cars and one of less than 12 produced with a factory shaker hood. It has a 3:54 Dana, Track-Pack rear-end and is finished in TX9 Black Velvet with a black interior and factory white R/T stripe. It is equipped with original "450" Steelie wheels and date coded Polyglass GT tires. It is a three owner car with a nut and bolt rotisserie restoration recently completed on a 5800 original mile car. It has the original matching numbers engine and the correct Hemi 4-speed transmission. It is fully documented with owner history, fender tags, two original build sheets, factory warranty card and authenticated by Mopar guru Galen Govier.

The "R" in the VIN indicates this 1971 Dodge Challenger is equipped with the 426 "Street Hemi" that produces 425 brake horsepower at 5600 rpm. It is equipped with two Carter AFB four-barrel carburetors and, of course, the famed Hemi hemispherical combustion chamber heads.

This is truly a unique opportunity to own one of the most significant and desirable Hemi E-bodies ever produced. It is fully documented, extremely rare and has less that 6000 miles on the clock. It would be, without a doubt, the cornerstone of any serious Mopar collection!

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