Advertisement

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A A Rare Find


70challenger.jpg

70challenger.jpg

Enlarge Photo
In 1981 Walter Baker bought a 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A for the grand ole sum of $700, which by all accounts was probably the going rate for a beat up old Challenger.  What he didn't realize was that he bought a very rare limited-edition 70' Dodge Challenger T/A built for racing.

According to Walter he drove the car for about six months after he purchased it and then decided to do some body work but eventually ran out of time. He then decided to park it for the next 20 years. Walter said he always had an idea the car was rare but never actually knew how rare it was until one day he contacted Todd Lewis of Xtreme Restorations who told him he had one of the rarest Mopars in existence.

Walter's Challenger was 1 of Only 2,399 T/A (Trans Am) models made between March 10 and April 17, 1970, enough to cover qualifications for racing. Manufacturers were required to make some street versions of the cars they raced. It's the sister car of the Plymouth AAR Cuda, though Barracudas and Challengers have different dimensions.

That spurred Baker, who owns a trucking company, to do a full-blown restoration that has produced a show car that he rarely drives.

First, he had to find a 340-Six Pack engine that powered all T/A models. "The person I bought the car from had put in a 318 automatic because he said his girlfriend had too many speeding tickets," Baker said. He found the drivetrain in Smithfield and spent years seeking out other parts.

They aren't that easy to find. "A lot of this stuff was available only in 1970," Baker said. And many of the items are exclusive to the T/A model. Baker paid a premium for a Fiberglas hood, for example, so that he could have the correct chrome pieces.

The 340-Six Pack is coupled with a four-speed transmission with a Pistol Grip shifter. It has dual side exhaust pipes in front of the rear wheels, which are larger than the front wheels so the pipes have road clearance. The rear springs are higher, also.

Disc brakes in front and 11-inch drum brakes in the rear were another T/A hallmark, as are the rear spoiler and the "whiskers" under the front bumper. Baker's Challenger has power steering and brakes, a Rallye dash and six-way driver's seat.

And then there's the color, one of Mopar's high-impact paints of the era. It's Go-Mango, called Vitamin C Orange on the Barracuda. "I love that color," Baker says. The special stripes are decals.

Because of the short building time, most T/As came out as factory cars. "You didn't really order them," Baker says.

In the course of the restoration, Baker bought a donor car and had so many parts that he has decided to build another T/A, a "tribute" car with modern running gear that he can drive whenever he wants. It will be Go-Mango, of course, and look much like the original, which is too valuable for everyday duty. "It has been appraised for $95,000, and I've been offered $120,000, but it's not for sale," he insists. In fact Baker, 67, says that his will states that the car must remain in the family.

Last July, Baker trailered the Challenger to the Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pa., and won two trophies. He's not sure if he's going to Carlisle for the Nats next month, but if he does, he can see first-hand the concept model of the new Challenger that Dodge is certain to make next year.

_______________________________________

Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (2)
  1. Hi, I have a stamped date code original 1970 T/A 340-Six pack Engine. toatally complete motor w/air cleaner, intake, carbs, its all fresh, complete and ready to be installed. This motor was in my Cuda for several years and I just did a complete restore on it..and put the original 340 back in it. So if you have any interests please email me at: thymless1@aol.com. or give me a call: 352-625-7434
    Thanks
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. HI, I have many gauge clusters for 70 Challenger, they have diff part numbers, maybe one is for a T/A, can anybody steer me to a list of T/A part numbers
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Take Us With You!

 

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you
Go!
Advertisement

Research New Cars

Go!

Related Used Listings

Browse used listings in your area.


 
© 2014 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.