When it comes to unconventional off-road builds, a Dodge Challenger doesn’t necessarily spring immediately to mind. People previously modified the Mazda Miata, Porsche 911, and Ferrari 308 GT4 for off-roading. Even Corvettes converted for it. So why not Dodge’s muscle car? That’s the question the owner of a four-wheel-drive 1973 Dodge Challenger wanted to answer.
1972 Dodge Challenger 4×4 build details
To be fair, turning the 1973 Dodge Challenger into an off-roader took quite a bit of modification, The Drive reports.
For one, the muscle car’s body is welded to an M1009 military-spec Chevy K5 Blazer’s frame and chassis. And the whole thing rides on 37” BFGoodrich KM2 off-road tires. The Dodge Challenger’s 5.7-liter V8 is extensively reworked as well, AutoClassics reports. It has a new 4-barrel carburetor, radiator, intake manifold, fuel pump, air filter, and Flowmaster exhaust. The previous owner also gave the lifted muscle car a new alternator, spark plugs, and wiring.
The engine sends power to a 4-speed automatic, linked to a proper 2-speed transfer case. That’s right, this 1973 Dodge Challenger has 4WD, with proper 2Hi, 4Lo, and 4Hi. On top of that, it has Skyjacker Black MAX shocks, as well as Dana axles, not unlike a Wrangler.
The interior also has some upgrades. The current owner, according to the Dodge Challenger’s Craigslist ad, installed new interior panels, headliner, seats, and carpets. It also has new gauges and a modern Bluetooth-equipped stereo. This 4×4 Challenger also has a backup camera, additional LED lights, and a CB radio.
What’s it like to drive?
Lifting a vehicle, whether a muscle car or truck, is more difficult than many assume. And done improperly, it can be rather dangerous.
However, according to the owner, this lifted Dodge Challenger drives “incredibly well” on both short and highway trips. Though it’s best at tackling off-road trails. The owner has taken it off-roading in California’s Hollister Hills.
Admittedly, the Challenger isn’t going to challenge a Jeep Gladiator for rock-crawling supremacy. But then, like the rally-prepped Porsche 924 we featured recently, ultimate off-road supremacy likely wasn’t the point. And as a way of having fun in the dirt, this 1973 Challenger succeeds.
Making your own off-road Dodge Challenger
As of this writing, the 1973 Challenger 4×4 is listed for sale in Tucson, Arizona. The owner is asking $29,000 for it on Craigslist. Which, considering the amount of work that’s gone into it, seems like a reasonable price. Especially since other unmodified Challengers of this vintage have sold for more on Bring a Trailer.
That being said, it would be theoretically possible to make your own, newer version, OffRoad Xtreme reports. Several people have created lifted off-road Challenger concepts, such as the one above. Or built their own from scratch. The most difficult, and expensive part, is finding a proper suspension and lift kit.
But you can get a Dodge Challenger with 4 powered wheels without welding in a truck chassis. For just over $34k, you can get a 2020 Challenger GT with AWD, 8-speed automatic, and 305-hp 3.6-liter V6.
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