Copart Cadaver: This 1973 Dodge Challenger Was Pristine Before Being Meeting An Immovable Object

Copart Cadaver: This 1973 Dodge Challenger Was Pristine Before Being Meeting An Immovable Object

I really like 1973 Challengers. I’d actually argue that styling-wise they represent the best of the E-body lineup. That’s they way it always is at the end of a run though, right? Subtle changes are made each model year before a redesign and that last one before the language changes always seems to represent the finest of the breed. The lines are more taught, the edges maybe a little more crisp, the whole package just a little nicer. That was certainly the case with this 1973 340ci car that was a stunner before meeting what looks to have been a tree or utility pole at a big rate of speed. The way the whole front of the car is mangled indicates that this thing really had some gusto when the lights went out.

We have showed cars in this series that are marginal even before a wreck but not this one. This car was really, really good. We know that the horsepower numbers hit the skids really hard after ’71 so this car isn’t the fastest of more desirable of the bunch but it was an amazing example of a 1973 Dodge Challenger and what’s more important than that?

Whoever bought this car new, if what we are seeing is true to the VIN and options ordered, had some dough. It has all the luxury stuff, AC, the trunk wing, side stripes, etc. This was not a person trying to blend into the background and this was certainly not a car to be trying that with. Not being a Mopar freak by nature, I don’t think that this is an R/T car so the 340 under the hood would have been making a modest 275hp. Not enough to run down muscle cars but enough to put a smile on your girl’s face when you hammered the gas.

Those boys at Graveyard cars need to get their mitts on this junk before someone buys it and cuts the valuable stuff out of it and then sends the carcass to scrap. Man, whoever owns this thing must be sick to see it like this. Tough break for sure.

Check out these photos and then hit the link for the Copart listing to see what the price has risen to –

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18 thoughts on “Copart Cadaver: This 1973 Dodge Challenger Was Pristine Before Being Meeting An Immovable Object

  1. RockJustRock

    If you WERE a Mopar Freak you’d know this car was a clone. Note the repro factory engine callout sticker on the aftermarket air cleaner. The owner wasn’t a Mopar Freak either. BTW in my opinion Mopar Freaks prefer the earlier Challengers. Real Hi-Po powertrains and simpler styling, not gaudied up to attempt to bolster lagging sales due to a fuel shortage, safety and emission regs.

    1. Gary Smrtic

      Right on, RockJustRock. I hated the “sadmouth” Challengers. I also didn’t like that Mopar felt it had to chase the kid’s with “decal performance” like the Goat. The cars had superior suspensions and drivelines to anything GM ever dreamed of having, and they always underrated their horsepower rather than grossly overinflating it like GM did, too.

      1. RockJustRock

        I guess you need to be “infected” with Mopar to understand it. Upon further research there was no ’73 Challenger R/T, it was then the Rallye. Brian should be more of a Mopar guy. I would love to hear him interview Larry Shepard a God of Mopar, if nothing else to hear Larry’s Maine born thick as chowder New England accent again. An accent so heavy at the Drag Seminars people were always having him repeat things because they misunderstood some words. Even so one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever heard. He’s still cranking out prose with a bunch of books available on Amazon.

  2. Blue'67CamaroRS

    clone or not, it looks like the driver hit a icy patch of ‘I’m driving beyond my ability”

  3. loren

    Mopars of the era had “superior” suspensions and drivelines to anything GM had to offer? I know my E-bodies and I love ’em, but that would be a stretch. “Different” to a degree, certainly. Anyhow, there is a real divide between the Chrysler musclecar guys who know their stuff and stick to year-correctness etc. aspects, and the more-casual fan …saying the wrong thing can get you jeered out of the room if it happens to be populated with the former. Anyone just walking in should be forewarned!

    Oh the day when I wanted to know more about the construction of Challengers so I paid a dollar to walk into the Pick-Your-Part with a chisel and big hammer and cut a nice one up. And in 1981 I scrapped a perfect rust-free ’70 Barracuda body…but the reality was, they weren’t that great of cars. I even remember an original engineer saying, when he finally got a drive in the actual production model his heart sank. Sales the last couple of years were crap while the F-bodies hung on.

    The car above would have been an eye-catcher, pull the fake 340 stickers off the air cleaner and enjoy the factory guages at-least. You could drive it every day while a real muscle-era R/T you wouldn’t dare.

  4. ImpalaSam

    Why can’t we just enjoy a car for being a “nice car”?
    Why is the attitude with Mopars either it’s perfect or it’s
    junk. Perfect or not, hate to see a cool car meet its

    1. Gary Smrtic

      There are purists among every group. I’m not one of them. ( I drive a Plymouth Arrow pickup with a 360/904/83/4 combo. I’ve rarely kept things stock. So that doesn’t bother me one bit.

      1. RockJustRock

        It isn’t so much purists as either/or. Mods done like they would have been done then, all-out hot rodded or pristine stock. That car was probably a Rallye 340 piece from the sunbelt by the A/C, low miles and solid quarter panels. Paint probably toasted. The new owner in the show dressed it up as an earlier R/T, dressed up the engine but tried to fake some provenance. A car to impress the uninformed.

    2. Ye Olde Pharte

      That’s a damn shame right there, no matter how you slice it. But, I would have driven it, clone or not. I’m not that damned proud. My weekend driver would get me crucified with the militant purist crowd, a rusty, one owner 1963 Plymouth Savoy in as-found condition. 😉

  5. Old Mopars are cool !

    This is the part of the Hobby I hate everyone judging other peoples stuff. If who ever owned that car loved it and enjoyed it thats what matters. Not what any of us think about fake or legit who cares as long as they enjoyed a nice looking muscle car, to bad it had to get wrecked for them, hope everyone was ok. Most of us in the real world struggle to have something fun and presentable, let alone top shelf correct matching numbers stuff. Thats one thing cool about Road Kill as they show you can have fun with just about anything, look at the Mahem Charger. I think thats why the rat Rod crowd seems to have so much fun, their vehicles don’t have to be cookie cutter correct or perfect they just have fun. A local Rat Rod owner in are community has driiven his all over the place to other states and activities, he just has a blast, even delivered Christmas gifts to the needy with it. That car above is repairable if you can locate enough parts and have some ability as it just to expensive to pay someone to repair it. I have seen worse repaired. Just think twice before being judgemental of other peoples hobby cars, if they enjoy it, thyats what truly matters.

  6. grancuda

    After ’70 the styling went down it didnt get refined with time. A ’73 up untill a few years ago was considered a parts car, no one built them. The grille & taillights are hideous, huge bumper guards & they use the van marker lights.

  7. Craig

    Copart is showing this thing as “SOLD”………… Does any body know how much it brought?

  8. anthony

    Its a shame to see it like that I hope it gets repaired. My friend had a brand new 73 Challenger hes a car guy and has owned many what we would consider nice cars. He said it was built like crap and rode horrible and got traded for a new Trans Am that would have eaten the Challenger for lunch. He still said he would like to have it back though the styling is great. Good enough to bring it back now,right?

  9. Scott Liggett

    Oh no!! He added decals that weren’t supposed to be there? The horror! Blasphemy!! Get a rope!! If Mopar owners spent half as much time driving their damn Mopars instead worrying about correct overspray and endlessly touting production numbers, I would have a lot more respect for them. This guy actually drove his car.

  10. Lee

    The 1973 Challenger was IMO, just a slightly changed 1972. Dodge ended the R/T model in 1971. The 1972 was called the Rallye. This change was made because the insurance companies had tagged all Dodge cars with an R/T package a “muscle car” and attached high premiums to them. All performance engines except the 340 were discontinued beginning with the 1972 model and carrying into the 1973 model.

    BTW, those white stripes are from a 1971 Challenger.

    If the 1972 Challenger was just a shadow of the previous year, then the 1973 is one year “further back” from that.

  11. jerry z

    RockJustRock, are you really that anal? It a 73′ Challenger, big deal! Am I going to call every other 69′ Camaro owner that put on fake Z/28 badges assholes?

    It looked like the Challenger was in decent shape before it met it demise.

    Just let it be.

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