Remember The Challenger Deputy? This Was One Of The Cheapest Stripper Machines Mopar Ever Offered!

Remember The Challenger Deputy? This Was One Of The Cheapest Stripper Machines Mopar Ever Offered!

(By Greg Rourke) – A Mopar aficionado I am not. I love them, and am always amazed at how the real experts can spout option codes and production figures. “This is one of 37 1970 Cudas in Plum Crazy with a white interior, three speed ashtray, and the AM radio set to 670.” I recently read about a Challenger model that I’d never heard of before.

Back in 1970 the Challenger and E body Barracuda were introduced. They were a bit late to the Pony Car wars, but the results certainly speak for themselves. As with Mustang and Camaro, one could get a Challenger or Barracuda in most any flavor, from a six cylinder commuter to the Hemi or 440 Six Barrel. But in mid-1970 Dodge introduced another version, in case one didn’t have $2850 laying around for a new Dodge. This obscure model was the Deputy. Buy in was $2725. Adjusted for inflation that would be about $28,374 in todays dollars probably, according to figures I just made up.
Back then Dodge was on some sort of Southern law enforcement kick in their advertising, using the stereotype Southern sheriff telling us that we were in a heap ‘o trouble, boy. They used the Dodge Boys, whom one could tell were the good guys, based on the fact they all wore white cowboy hats. Hence the Deputy designation.
What did one get for what was likely a few months paychecks? Rather, what did one NOT get. The rear quarter windows were fixed, they didn’t roll down. Production figures show the Deputy as a Coupe, and all other Challengers were Hardtops or convertibles. The hole were the window crank would have been was simply plugged with a chrome plug. Was that 225 Leaning Tower Of Power that came in the Challenger base model too much power for you? The Deputy came with the 198 cube version. One wouldn’t worry about overpowering the D78-14 bias plies with that mill.
The steering wheel was a simple model with center horn button, but somehow a Rim Blow was available. That button was wired to a single horn, dual horns were not available.  The seats were Barracuda sourced in a black or white fabric. No spoiler was available, no SE little back window could be had, and certainly no power windows. A 3 speed manual on the floor was standard, an automatic or four gear optional. If the correct boxes were checked you could get a bigger 6, a 318, and a 383 in two or four barrel versions. Hemi or 440? Fuggedaboutit. Apparently a little over 3,000 Deputies were produced, anyones guess as to how many are left. Or how many were cloned into a more desirable model.

It hard to imagine that such strippo models were available one time, as even the lowliest Toyota Yaris or Chevy Sonic is equipped with A/C and power windows. Anybody have a clean Deputy for sale? I’ll be happy to pay double what it was new.

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3 thoughts on “Remember The Challenger Deputy? This Was One Of The Cheapest Stripper Machines Mopar Ever Offered!

  1. Arild Guldbrandsen

    I know a guy in sweden,that has one in brown metallic.There even more of them in Sweden too.

  2. Loren

    RR quarter windows still had the slide tracks and roller bushings, just deleted the lift mechanism and had a single bolt/washer holding it in place. No tint, either. Hard to say if it was worth the trouble but gave the dealers a cheapo package to offer then get buyers to move up from.

  3. Dan Jenkins

    I am the proud owner of an all original \’71 Deputy Challenger. Mine has the 225, column shift auto, and power steering, but nothing else. No console, no rear window cranks, one speaker radio. It is also my daily driver, racking up about 9,000 miles per year.


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