Repair or Replace: 1971 Dodge Challenger

1971 Dodge Challenger1971 Dodge Challenger

In 1969, Dodge began looking at how they could match the strong sales generated by the Camaro and Mustang. Dodge had found themselves on the outside looking in and needed an answer of their own to compete in the segment that Chevy and Ford had created. They found their solution in the 1970 Dodge Challenger. Arguably one of America’s finest muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger took no prisoners on the showroom floor once introduced to the general public. Today, the Challenger still goes toe to toe with the Camaro and Mustang, all while staying faithful to its roots. Dodge did an excellent job in designing the Challenger making sure to give their car its own identity. There was no shortage of options a customer could order on their Challenger. Today, the pricing on these old muscle cars can hit the stratosphere depending on the rarity of its options and rightfully so. This particular Challenger has a great story and was found in an old school gymnasium. That’s one I hadn’t heard before, so I decided to use this find for this week’s column. The price on this car isn’t low, but then again neither are most Challengers from this era. This car was originally “FJ6 Sassy Grass Green” and has since been painted a different color. So what’s the best method for turning this machine green again? Is it worth the coin? Let’s have a look and see.

  • Chemical Strip?

An old school tried and true method of removing paint is to strip the car chemically. These strippers are not to be played with and are very flammable. They should always be used in a well-ventilated work space that’s as cool as possible. Sanding the existing paint before you apply the stripper helps it to work faster and more thoroughly. Investing in some plastic car covering from your local auto parts store is a good decision and helps in keeping the mess you’re going to make to a minimum.

  • Media Blasting?

Media blasting the finish off your new project costs more, but saves time along the way. Depending on your time frame, Media blasting is often the way to go. The substrate you choose will directly correspond to how aggressively the existing finish is removed. Using a harsher substrate like walnut shells or buttons does the job quickly but can cause a little extra work in the end. Media blasting is by far the easiest way to remove any existing paint finish.

F.Y.I. “All in the Family” was among television’s most watched shows.

Automotive: In excess of 165,000 second generation Challengers were sold overall.

In the Movies: The 1970’s Dodge Challenger has appeared in movies like “Vanishing Point” and “Running on Empty”.

Billboard Charts: “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night held the number one spot for most of the month of May in 1971.

Fun Fact: The Nebraska Cornhuskers were NCAA Football Champions in 1971.

1971 Kentucky Derby Winner: Cannonero II

Miss America 1971: Phyllis George


Repair or Replace

1971 Dodge Challenger – $28k+

Online Pricing: $40k+

1971 Dodge Challenger1971 Dodge Challenger1971 Dodge Challenger

Quick Look Paint:

  • Complete Paint-
  • Fenders x2-
  • Quarters x2-
  • Doors x2-
  • Rockers x2-
  • Hood-
  • Roof-
  • Decklid-
  • Add for jams on all parts-
  • Undercoating-
  • Misc-$$$$-
  • Material-

= (Paint) Labor and Materials – $7.5k
(Media Blast) – $1.5k

Quick Look Body:

  • Body (Glass, Trim, Interior, Exterior) – 5k+
  • Body Repair any existing damage after Media Blasting
  • If no replacement panels are needed and body is semi-straight, 70 hrs+ repair, including prime and block.

=(Body) – Labor and materials – $9k+

Quick Look  Total: (Body, Paint, Parts, Material, Etc.)=

$28K+ selling price

$18K+ repair costs

=$46K+…Too close to call!

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