As a follow-up to what some consider one of the greatest muscle cars of all time, the third-generation Dodge Charger had massive shoes to fill when it was introduced for the 1971 model year. But with rising insurance rates, increasing EPA regulations, and a fuel crisis in the works, 1971 would prove to be the last grand hurrah for the “muscle car” era.
The new car would ride on a modified version of the popular Chrysler B-Body platform and would carry over many of the second-generation car’s powertrains, including the legendary 7.0-liter (426 cubic-inch) HEMI V8.
But as insurance and gas prices continued to rise, Dodge would only manage to sell 2,722 units of its performance-oriented Charger R/T model in 1971. Among those cars, only 63 would be assembled with the HEMI V8 under the hood.
One of these ultra-rare 1971 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI cars has now become available on the market. R&H Motor Cars in Solon, Ohio, has probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest 1971 Dodge Chargers in existence in their inventory.
This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI rolled off the line at the Chrysler Lynch Road Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan on Tuesday, September 22, 1970. For the next 40 years, the car would remain in possession of its original owner. Not used as a daily driver, the car was protected and loved by its owner to the point where the car was never in rain and never soaked with a hose (the owner would damp towel wash the car).
The car would be repainted in a Wild Candy Gold paint color in the late-1970s. It was at the point the car was undercoated to protect it even better against corrosion.
When the second owner took possession of the car, he wanted to restore it to its original color. After looking it over and talking to body shops, he decided that he wanted to do the car right and do it once. The doors, hood, decklid, and bumpers would come off anyway, and the engine would be pulled for inspection. By the time the car was stripped, the new owner decided to do a bit more work and just do a complete rotisserie restoration.
Because of the meticulous care done by the first owner, the car required no metal repair of any kind. Not even a single door ding was on the car. The decision was then made to preserve as many of the car’s bolt-on parts as possible while cleaning, protecting, and detailing them to show standards.
The car features the following options…
- Gold Poly Metallic Paint (GY8)
- Black Bucket Seats (D6X9)
- Hood Stripe (V21)
- Black Side Stripes (V6X)
- Light Group (A01)
- Track Pak with Dana 60 Rear Axle / 3.54 Ratio (A33)
- Front & Rear Spoiler Package (A45)
- Disc Brakes (B41)
- Power Brakes (B51)
- Center Console (C16)
- Bucket Seats (C55)
- Tinted Glass (G11)
- Lift Side Racing Mirror (G33)
- Right Side Mirror (G31)
- Strato Ventilation (H41)
- Pedal Dress Up (J41)
- Hood Hold-Down Pins (J45)
- Dual Exhaust (N41)
- Exhaust Tips (N42)
- Tachometer (N85)
- Ramcharger Fresh-Air Hood (N96)
- AM/FM Stereo Radio (R35)
- Power Steering (S77)
- Tuff Steering Wheel (S84)
- G60-15 White Letter Polyglas Tires (U86)
But as if those options weren’t enough to catch most muscle car collectors’ attention, the car was also equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission. That makes it 1 of 29 HEMI 4-speed cars produced for the year. It includes the iconic Hurst pistol grip shifter too.
The car sits in the R&H inventory with only 14,980 original miles on the odometer.
During its restoration, the HEMI’s cylinders were lightly honed before the original pistons and rods went back in. The heads were disassembled, checked, and reassembled with new valve stem seals. A fresh coat of HEMI Orange was applied before the original black wrinkle finish valve covers went back on.
The original 4742S and 4745S carburetors were washed down, checked, and have all-new gaskets and seals. The original distributor is up top, the original alternator and power steering pump are upfront and cooling is handled by the original 959 radiator. The engine wiring harness, battery cables, belts, and hoses were replaced for reliability. So when you talk about matching-numbered and restored, this car is one of the better examples.
The car is listed on the R&H website for $259,900. While it sounds like a lot, especially for a 1971 model, it may be one of the most sought-after, well-preserved examples of the third-generation Charger out there. It even comes with its original documentation.
For more information about the car, you can visit the R&H Motor Cars website.
1971 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI in Y8 Gold Image Gallery: