Live The American Dream With The Legend 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger

“That thing got a Hemi?”

Developed for NASCAR use, the 426-cubic inch (7.0-litre) Hemi engine is a genuine legend in the Mopar enthusiast world.

Producing 425 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque, the 426 Hemi transformed a pony car like the Dodge Challenger into a flame-spitting monster.

Dodge would only offer the Challenger with this engine for two years, making them a true collector’s item.

Four on the floor

Making this particular car even rarer is it being equipped with a four-speed manual transmission.

Using the Hurst ‘Pistol Grip’ shifter, the Hemi Challenger could run a quarter-mile sprint in 13.1 seconds at 107.1 mph.

Of the 165,437 first-generation Challengers sold, only a small percentage were made with a manual gearbox and Hemi engine. For the 1970 model year, in R/T hardtop form, just 137 left the factory.

Time to bring the noise?

Imported from Canada in 2017, the Hemi Challenger had been restored in the early 2000s. It still retains its original engine and transmission, with a total mileage of 47,800 recorded on the odometer.

The combination of Hemi Orange paintwork with a black vinyl roof makes it hard to ignore, with the colour-coded wheels an original touch.

The Market does note that the Challenger is currently fitted with a California-specification exhaust. This makes for a quieter sound, although a new owner may want to change this to for the full Hemi experience.

Along with the Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, the interior is finished with black vinyl bucket seats. A wood-rimmed steering, and even an eight-track tape player, complete the retro look.

Measure your garage before bidding

As a genuine ‘unicorn’ of the American 1970’s muscle car craze, a genuine Hemi Challenger will command serious prices in the United States.

Restored concours-condition versions can surpass $250,000 (£188,000) at auction in the USA, with prices rocketing skywards during this past year. It makes a pre-auction estimate of £85,000 to £110,000 for this example seem particularly fair.

Being left-hand drive, and not small in stature, driving a classic Challenger on UK roads might not be for everyone. The sheer thirst of the 426 Hemi is also a factor to consider.

However, it does represent a true piece of automotive history, and should see plenty of bids before the auction ends on Monday, 29 November.