Muscle Car Review # 1: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T – Red Earth Hemi



“The Missabe iron range of Minnesota was noted for one thing: tons upon tons of red earth. Only this was not dirt, but taconite ore, which crossed the Great Lakes on freighters like the Edmund Fitzgerald to feed the hungry mouths of the blast furnaces of Youngstown and Pittsburgh. It is fitting, then, that muscle cars would get painted colors like FK5, the code for Chrysler's Dark Burnt Orange Metallic, about as close to raw ore as you can get. What is even cooler is that this car now resides in the North Star State, and the reflective sheen you see in the photos is due to the same paint applied on the assembly line at Dodge Main in Detroit way back in 1970.

That originality was one of the factors that lead current owner Bruce Bartie to step up and buy the car back in 2004.




Among the cool gear built onto this Challenger for delivery were the slatted rear window louvers, front spoilers, deck-mounted wing, stripe package, drip and wide sill moldings, full vinyl roof, and hood pins. And that's just on the outside; inside are the console, leather upholstery, six-way driver's seat, light group, tach, AM/eight-track, left remote mirror, and Rallye dash. 


Like most original cars, this one has a few quirks that are part of its personality. For instance, above the Challenger emblem on the driver's side is an inconspicuous round lock opening. This was for an alarm, added to prevent somebody from hot-wiring the car back when it was a cruiser in New England. Nonetheless, little else has been done to the car recently beyond detailing, simply making sure it is kept up and preserved. Bruce went through automotive school in the '70s and does all the work on his own cars.







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