Is It Right to Convert a New Dodge Challenger into a Retro 1969 Camaro?
If you’re confused after seeing someone convert this Camaro and Challenger, you’re not alone. We would expect an early model to a late model Challenger or Camaro, but not a Challenger into a Camaro. It’s blasphemy. The only ones laughing are Ford enthusiasts. Nonetheless, let’s crack open how and why this mashup exists.
First, we should say that Chevrolet made a gang of Camaros in 1969, the subject of this conversion. Because Chevy didn’t have the tooling ready for the 1970 version, it continued cranking out 1969 Camaros into 1970. That’s why some second-gen Camaros use 1970½ instead of 1970.
Was an original Camaro cut up to convert this Challenger?
The reason we bring this up is that there are still a ton of them, should one be looking for a project. Wanting a completely modern vehicle under 1969 skin isn’t unusual. But using a Dodge Challenger as the donor car just isn’t right.
But relax, no original Camaro body panels are part of this mashup. They’re all reproduction parts. So what’s been done is a Camaro front dog house and rear quarters replace the Challenger panels. We must admit that the door gaps are as wide as the Grand Canyon. And there are some misalignment issues with the taillights.
Is there a Hemi under the Camaro hood?
That’s too bad because the builder was able to pull this off rather well. Adding to the ruse are the cowl induction hood, five-spoke rims, Wickerbill rear wing, and a gray wrap. Unfortunately, Mecum Auctions, which is auctioning this off, has not given any shots of the interior. The only thing we can say is that it looks like it is black.
Under the hood, there is no big block Chevy. It’s all Challenger, starting with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. There is also no stick as it has the ZF eight-speed automatic. We understand Dynomax mufflers are part of the exhaust system.
Should the builder have started with a new Camaro?
As these types of reimaginations sometimes go, there are good points and bad points. But however you view it, there is a ton of work right there. We’re seeing more and more 1968 to 1970 Dodge Charger conversions, and the Challenger is a good starting point for them. They’re modern Dodge hiding under vintage Dodge clothing.
But there was and is nothing in common with Camaros and Dodges. Nothing. So, if MotorBiscuit can offer some advice: If you’re going to replace your Challenger body, keep it all Mopar. Not Mustang or Camaro underneath.
And if you’re yearning for a new Camaro under an old Camaro body, start with the latest generation Camaro. They’re great cars and would seem even greater with a first-gen Camaro body on top. But if you’re interested in this conversion, Mecum will be auctioning it off in Dallas later this month.