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I have a very good friend, who we will call Bob, here in Winner, SD who is huge mopar fan and owns a few Galen Govier certified cudas and challengers. Well here is the story on how he came upon a '70 426 HEMI Convertible Challenger:

It was 1991 and another resident here in Winner contacted Bob and said he knew where he could find a 70 convertible challenger. Bob went and checked out the car, after paying a minimal finders fee. The car at the time was in pretty good shape with no rust at all but needed a full restoration. The car had a 383 in it but Bob ran the numbers and come to find out it was supposed to have a 426 Hemi in it!!! In case you didn't know, only 9 1970 426 Hemi convertible challengers were made. So he asked who currently owned the car and called the guy and offered to buy it. The guy obviously didn't know the significance of the car and said he was planning on restoring it himself some day. Well Bob stuck with it and kept offering to buy, but the guy just wouldn't sell. After about a year the owner called Bob and told him that a guy from Oregon had offered to buy the car for $50,000 and was flying here in a week. The owner couldn't believe that somebody was going to pay him $50,000 for this car. So Bob made some phone calls and rounded up $50,000 and told the guy that he would pay him cash right now for the car no questions asked. The guy accepted the offer and now Bob had Hemi Challenger with out the original Hemi.
Now the hard part begins. How do you find the numbers matching Hemi that was supposed to be in the car? Bob did a title search that came up with 15 different owners! The car had originally been sold in Rapid City, SD. So Bob started with the original owner, who we will call John, and called to see if he was still listed in South Dakota. He wasn't. Most people move west when they move so Bob started calling each area code to the west of South Dakota. After much calling and time, Bob actually found John who was living in Idaho at the time. John was very nice and still remembered alot about the car. When he was growing up his brother was a big street racer and when John graduated from Medical school he moved to Rapid City and wanted to buy a musclecar to street race. He went to a dodge dealership and ordered a brand new 426 Hemi Convertible Challenger with a sleeper look with plane jane exterior and an automatic. John drove the car for a while and was getting sick and tired of it because it kept blowing head gaskets and was always in the shop at the dealership. One day he was at the dealership and a mechanic approached him and said he would buy the Hemi out of the car a swap in a 383 and pay John $1,000. John agreed and sold the car a few years after that. John didn't remember who the mechanic was but did remember the dealership. So Bob called the dealership and asked if they had someone who had been working there for a long time. They went and got a guy who had been working there for more than 20 years and Bob asked him if he remember anything about the mechanic or what happened to the Hemi. The old guy said he kind of remembered the mechanic who bought the Hemi and after a while the name came to him, we will call him Steve.
Well Bob called around and found Steve's number. Bob talked to Steve for a while and Steve remembered that he bought the Hemi to put in his speed boat so it would go fast enough to ski barefoot
. So Steve took the motor into a machine shop and told the guy to fabricate some engine mounts so that it would fit in his boat. Well the machinist wasn't getting done so the he called him and the machinist said the block was stolen. Steve didn't really believe him but collected his insurance and didn't bother to investigate.
Now Bob could feel he was getting closer to the numbers matching Hemi. So he called the machine shop that Steve had went to and asked the machinist if he had any Hemi's. The guy said no but said that he had 2 Hemi blocks but he sold them to a salvage company out of Denver two weeks ago. Bob called the salvage company and asked if they still had the Hemi's. Sure enough they did and Bob asked if they could get the numbers off of the block. The first block they checked didn't match but the second one...MATCHED! Bob offered the guy $2,000 for the block and the guy accepted the offer, but when Bob drove the Denver to pick the Hemi up the guy asked him what the motor was going into and Bob said a '70 Convertible Challenger. Immediately the guy went crazy and said the block was now going to cost Bob $5,000. So he paid the $5,000 and took the block back home and made plans for the restoration.
Well now Bob was pretty much broke after spending 50 grand on the car and another 5 grand on the motor. So he decided to sell the car to a professional restorer for an undisclosed amount of money. The car was restored to the exact showroom condition. And the car has been featured on a few covers of magazines. Only 4 out of the 9 convertibles were automatics and I believe there is only 1 other automatic known to exist.


I just thought I would share this incredible story with the rest of you guys. When Bob told it to me last night, I was shell shocked. It is amazing what you can find in a little piddly town like Winner, SD.

Sam
 

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I knew they were rare as "hens teeth" b/c I had looked into them before..

I originally found out they were rare b/c a lady in the Export Sales Dept. at the old APGreen Refractories Company, Mexico, MO had a '70 to '73 'Cuda Convert, (light Lime Green and white interior and top) she bought new, but it wasn't a Hemi!!

It got wrecked by I think one of her boys if I have my story right and the Insurance Company was going to total it AND she knew enough about early MOPARS and loved the old car so much that she said no way..

They fixed it for her.. AND I think the last time I talked to one of her boy's, he said Mom still had her car??

My brother had a '70-1/2, Challenger, 340 T/A Six-Pak that left after his death back in the early '90's.. IT is still in Macon, MO and a body shop by the name of Louis has it.. I have the A833 four speed, shifting arms and bellhousing out of it tho...

I looked into buying a new stripper/Taxi package, '70 Hemi Challenger when they came out and the local MOPAR Dealer offered me like $500 for my '67 Camaro SS/RS AND I said I was sorry I wasted both our time thinking about buying a car off them and walked right out the door AND never entered the place again!!

I think back then an El-Cheapo, '70-1/2, Hemi-Challenger H/T, four-speed, posi-trac, H/D suspension and AM Radio was like $4000 back then if I recall right?? (Maybe $4400??)...

pdq67
 

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shame he did all that dective work only to turn it around and sell it.

Dave
 

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A good friend of mine in Ottawa Bought '69 Hemi GTX in 1970. I grew up working on this car & going to Luskville Dragway almost every Sunday with him.


He stopped driving the car about 15-20 years ago & said he wanted to sell it. $30,000 (CDN) was the price. More that I had at the time. :(

About 10 years ago I had a couple of people interested in buying the car. I was in Ottawa on a vacation at the time & dropped in to see my friend & tell him I had a couple of prospective buyers for the car (I still didn't have that kind of $ at that time)

He told me that he sold the car (and spare parts ) to a guy from N.E. U.S. because he needed the money.

Sold it for $15,000 Canadian.


This was a black GTX, automatic, column shift, split bench 17,000 mile (!!!!) car. 1 of 99 automatic GTX Hemi cars made in '69. (198 total production)

I had the $15K at that time but never thought he would sell it so cheap, but I was too late. I should have offered to buy it earlier, but I didn't want to insult him with a low ball offer.

If you see somebody driving this car, let me know. I just might want to buy it.

I would give up my Camaro in a heartbeat for this car.

There is nothing more impressive that being in a Hemi car at WOT. I will never forget the experience.

Paul
 

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One of those 9 Hemi Challengers Convertibles did find its way over to us here in Sweden. You have to know that after the oilcrise in 1973 Musclecars was not an item to have and many was sold cheap. A lot of those Musclecars came over here, we gladly bought them. We were already use to high gas prices and the exchange rate for the dollar made those cars very unexpensive to buy for us. My Z/28 came here during those years.

Anyway one such Challenger came, among other unique Muscle-irons, and was driven around here and nobody really knew what it was. In the late seventies and early eighties the interest hadn't grown yet. At the end of the eighties someone found out about the rarity of this car and the rumour spread back over the ocean and eventually a collector from the USA brought that car back to its homesoil. The Swedish guy got plenty of dollars for it, the sums I have heard was somewhere around $100.000 and this was about 15 years ago.

Jan
 

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Same down here. GTO 'verts, Big Block Vettes, Shelby Mustangs, Pace Cars too. The list goes on and on.
 
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