Not So Rare: Dodge Will Build Hundreds More Last Call Demon 170s Than 1970 Challenger T/As
The Dodge Challenger is dead; long live the Dodge Challenger! This automaker has revealed that its long-running two-door car won’t survive the 2024 transition to eMuscle EVs and hybrids–at least not in its current form. Dodge is offering several “Last Call” 2023 special editions to celebrate its Charger and Challenger. The company has been using words such as “Limited” to suggest these will be rare collectors’ editions. But even the new SRT Demon 170 trim of the Challenger will be nowhere near as rare as certain first-generation Challengers, such as the 1970-only T/A trim.
Are 1970 Dodge Challengers rare?
Dodge built more Challengers in 1970 than any other first-generation model year. But with just 78,949 Dodge Challengers sold for the 1970 model year, not nearly as many are available on the used car market as Mustangs or Camaros of the same era.
The third generation of the Dodge Challenger has been around since 2008. Not only has Dodge sold many of these coupes, but it has released increasingly more powerful trims throughout the run. Likely, the final several model years will be the most collectible. But the first-generation Challenger was the exact opposite: poor sales and tightening emissions regulations mean that some of the most sought-after configurations were from the first model year.
There were some very fast 1970 Challenger trims
One of the most desirable–and rare–Dodge Challenger configurations features the 426 cubic-inch Hemi V8. This was a high-compression engine, with hemispherical combustion chambers, Chrysler Corporation engineered for NASCAR. It powered legends such as the Plymouth Superbird. When NASCAR required the automaker to offer it on the general market for it to be considered “stock,” several lucky Challenger buyers got one under their hood.
The “Street HEMI” option added an extra $778.75 to the Challenger’s total, while adding in the 4-speed manul would run you an extra $194.95. It produced a whopping 425 horsepower. Dodge only made 137 of the 1970 Challenger coupes optioned with both the HEMI and a four-speed.
Even more expensive than the 426-equipped Challenger was the 1970 Challenger T/A. This was a “homologation” car for the Trans America road race, not NASCAR. Instead of a big-block Hemi, the car had a specially built 340 cubic-inch V8 engine that made around 340 horsepower (Dodge only advertised 290). It also featured special rims and tires (larger in the rear), stiffer springs, a spoiler, a fiberglass hood with a scoop, a pistol grip shifter (if a manual car), and a side-exit exhaust–according to DodgeGarage.com.
The T/A option added $865.70 to the Challenger’s price, and Dodge sold just 2,539 Challenger T/As in 1970.
Will the 2023 Challenger Demon be collectible?
Dodge’s final “Last Call” Challenger will be its SRT division’s 2023 Hellcat “Demon 170” drag car. Because this car marks the end of the current Challenger generation, it will always be collectible. But with a cap of 3,300 produced, it will never be as rare as certain first-generation Challengers.
The 2023 Challenger SRT Hellcat “Demon 170” boasts “Super Muscle Car” performance numbers. Its supercharged engine makes 1,025 horsepower, rocketing it to 60 mph in just 1.66 seconds. According to Dodge, it can continue through the 1/4-mile in just 8.91 seconds.
I expect that many of the Demon 170s will be immediately mothballed by collectors. The automaker has promised to cap production at 3,000 for the U.S. market and 300 for Canada. But if it sells this 1,025 V8 as a crate engine, I predict a Demon 170 clone will be a popular mod for other third-generation Challengers. In a few decades, the Demon 170 won’t be nearly as rare a collectors’ car as the 1970 Challenger T/A is now.
Next, find out whether the Dodge Demon 170 is a supercar, or see its official reveal in the video below: