Wellborn Museum Awarded for Barn Find HEMI Roadrunner

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner HEMI – Barn Fresh

Wellborn Muscle Car Museum's 1970 Barn find 1970 HEMI Road Runner

Muscle Car Review Editor (MCR), Drew Hardin awarded Tim Wellborn the Editor's Choice award at Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) 2012 for his barn-found '70Hemi Roadrunner.  Keep an eye out for a full MCR feature coming soon!

About This Car

This 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner HEMI was sold new and lived its entire life in the same locality until joining the collection of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum. Bought in Wichita Falls, Texas it had the same owner since 1973 until being pulled from the open lean-to style barn in July of 2012. Cars like these, though not cosmetically perfect, do lend testimony to how they were enjoyed by the people who were the first to owned, them as well as to the era they hail from. This example as never before been recorded by any registry or 3rd party inspector before being unearthed by Wellborn. It is also believed to be the only '70 Hemi Roadrunner optioned in Limelight, White Vinyl top, and White Interior. I suppose if you can't have air conditioning, the white top and white interior kept the Texas sun from cooking the cabin and burning your thighs.

Showing 46,273 clicks on the odometer, we know a fair number of those miles were spent shuttling to and form the drag strip, then hurtling itself down the 1320. An original 4speed car, it is currently fitted with a 727 Torque-Flight and ratchet style shifter. The original A-833 4speed manual transmission was in the trunk, stored in an old beer box. Other curious details abound, like the GM radio for instance. “Thrush” and “Hays” stickers protect the rear side panel paint on each side. The tell tale spatter pattern etched into the paint around the battery box, makes us grateful for gel-cell batteries today. Found in the glove box was the original owner's fishing license from 1969. Not only do we know his name was N.L. Hamilton, but he was 29, 5 foot 10 inches, weighed 185 pounds, had blue eyes and brown hair. I guess it is true, you can tell a lot about a man by the car he drives.

About 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner HEMI

Chrysler had proven to the world that the HEMI was the king of the drag strip, but stodgy designs left them struggling to translate that to sales success on the street. In 1968 Plymouth was looking to capture more market share with a completely redesigned mid sized car, wrapped in a youth oriented package to rival Pontiac's “Judge”. $50,000 paid to Warner Brothers and the Plymouth Roadrunner was born, complete with the “Voice of the Roadrunner” Meep! Meep! horn sound.

1970 was an interesting year because the entirely new 1971 mid-sized body styles were already in their final phases by the time the '70 model year refresh was due. The problem was that the 1969 model front grill was drastically different than the upcoming '71. The solution? Style the 1970 front end to more closely resemble that of the all new car coming down the pipeline. The result? The 1970 Roadunner styling is the most popular amongst all 1970 Mopar B-Bodies. 1971 Plymouth? Ironically, the among the least.

Vehicle Specifications

Production: 1970

Class: Muscle Car

Body Style: 2-door Coupe

Curb Weight: 3,475

Wheelbase: 116 inches

Length: 204 inches

Transmission: 4-speed Manual

Engine: 426 Cubic Inches

Power: 425 Horsepower

Top Speed: 140 miles per hour

Exterior Color: Limelight Green, White Vinyl Top

Interior Color: White

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THE UNTOUCHABLES

New Barn Finds Exhibit Adds Excitement to Wellborn Museum, Magazine Features Coming (story by Geoff Stunkard)

People think that great cars, even Hemi cars, can’t be found these days. They are certainly not as common as they were once, but Tim Wellborn showed that you can still located rare muscle even now with a great car that was not even known to the hobby prior to 2012. This car will be featured in Mopar Muscle and Musclecar Review magazines in 2013.

“Roger Gibson had heard about this car down in Texas, so I contacted the gentleman who owned it, but I really needed to see some pictures before I’d commit to going to see it. It took several months, and he finally went out and bought a little disposable camera. He sent me that, and as soon as I saw the pictures, we were on our way to Texas!”

The owner, Marcus Hanna of Grovebeck, Texas, had bought the car back in 1972, a real Hemi/four speed Road Runner complete with Dana Super Trak Pak, FJ5 Lime Light paint, and Air Grabber hood. He had done some drag racing with it, and had swapped the stick out for an automatic back in the day. After it had accumulated just 31,000 miles, instead of selling the car when that passion faded, he parked it in a pole barn along with a stash of parts. He had gone on to become a judge in west Texas, and Tim was pretty excited to see this car in those surroundings.

“It has those stickers inside of it, and there are changes that way; the four-speed was swapped out for an automatic to go racing. Some of those things will be repaired, but for the most part, this one will be a time capsule.”

“You won’t ever see that car washed; it has that haze of having sat in a barn and I like that,” he continues. “I am going to get it running and take it to shows, using it to show what a car looks like when it is just found. So, it will bear that patina. It has zero rust, never been wrecked, and only shows a few door dings.”

When the car was safely back in Alexander City, he and Philip Love, one of the coordinators of the day-to-day operations, decided they would use one corner of the museum to display the fresh find. The car originally purchased by Gordon Denzler has already been drawing attention and it was added to this display as well. This 1971 440-6 Challenger R/T with Shaker and long option sheet had been special ordered and purchased in Canada by Mr. Denzler in March 1971; it has a huge amount of paperwork with it (perhaps the most of any Mopar known to have been bought privately) as well as being one of the nicest ’71 R/Ts in unrestored existence. Tim had already planned to keep it that way.

“Yes, that car would easily be one of the top Mopars in the world restored because of the options, but I will keep it original simply because it serves as a true model of how these cars were built,’ Tim comments. “It is dirty, dusty, but it is truly untouched, and that car can teach the hobby far more in its state right now than if it were restored.”

The Challenger R/T had been part of a larger purchase from the collection of John Hedges that had been made to supplement the museum several years ago, and had helped fill up the huge ‘dealership’ parts room that is part of the collection. As a result, around these two cars (and the Vanishing Point Challenger movie car on loan from Ted Stevens) are displayed a plethora of parts and pieces, some showing wear, some NOS, and even a few aftermarket items. Among them is aluminum 318 block that came from Herb McCandless.

Looking up, one sees an unrestored Daytona; this car came from Illinois and is powered by a 440/four-speed combo. Like the other two, it is a stabilized, rust-free vehicle showing some aging – like all Daytonas, much of the original nose paint was peeling and flaking, so the front end was primered. The scoops on this Hemi Orange model were left showing the worn paint; the interior was showing more serious signs of wear, so this car is kept above the fray. Unlike the other two, this car is actually a long-time vehicle in the collection, Tim’s own ‘barn find.’

“I’ve had it for about 25 years and bought it to restore it,” admits Tim. “What was most important was, again, that was an absolutely rust free, never-wrecked machine. It was all there, and is a perfect candidate for restoration. It has always been ‘the next one I’m going to get to’ car in the collection, but as I got busy with the ’71 Chargers, it got pushed back. Right now, it fits right in as a car that nobody has messed with too much before it goes to restoration.”

The trio and the parts can be seen by the public during regular museum hours. Tim knows many people had the passion to find buried treasure, and says that is one more reason to leave these cars close to as they were found. Talking about the Hemi Road Runner, he concluded, “That car had never been shown, nobody knew about it, and it had two broadcast sheets. This was in 2012, so that just goes to show people, there is still hope out there.”

Wellborn Museum Awarded At MCACN

Tim and Pam Wellborn give and gather accolades at giant Chicago event

By Geoff Stunkard

The annual Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., has become one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year for serious musclecar fans. The Wellborn Museum’s participation this year included multiple cars, a hospitality area in the display area the museum sponsored, and awards, both given and received.

Two cars from the Wellborn collection were honored as celebrity picks. Drew Hardin, Editor of Musclecar Review magazine, chose the recently-found 1970 Hemi Road Runner barn find from among the 500+ cars on hand as best exemplifying the dreams of most enthusiasts. The museum intends to leave the well-preserved but faded Plymouth as an example of what sort of cars are still out there. This four-speed/Dana 60-equipped Hemi car was unknown to the hobby prior to late this summer, residing for decades in a west Texas pole barn.

Meanwhile, legendary Chicago-area Dodge dealer ‘Mr. Norm’ Krause selected the Wellborn’s just-finished 1971 6.1L Hemi Charger tribute as his pick, a stock appearing musclecar with modern driveline and equipment upgrades. This car was on display in builder Ken Mosier’s exhibit area to show his handiwork. Highlighted near the venue’s entrance, the Dodge caught Mr. Norm’s eye early in the event.

The museum sponsored the Aero Warriors display, which was devoted to the NASCAR-oriented body releases by Ford and Chrysler of 1969-1970. As result, they were asked to present an award themselves in that category. After carefully deliberating, Tim chose the recently-completed Dodge Daytona of Tony D’Agostino, a spectacular white/red wing 440 model that had incidentally been awarded 999 of 1000 points in event judging earlier in the weekend.

In addition to the 6.1L and Hemi barn find, the Wellborns exhibited a Hemi Daytona survivor, a Hemi Superbird restored by Aloha Automotive Service, both in the aero display, and their 1972 Javelin pursuit vehicle, formerly owned by the Alabama State Police highway patrol. The latter was part of the special 1972 Invitational section.   As a finale to the weekend, that car was awarded Platinum Pick Judges Choice – Best AMC of the 2012 event.

 

 

Wings Over Alex City

The Museum’s Great Group of NASCAR Warriors; the Wellborn Musclecar Museum will display three at MCACN on Nov 17-18.

Story by Geoff Stunkard

“Back in 1969, my dad took me to the Talladega race, and that was when I became interested in the Bobby Isaac Daytona; when that Dodge was going around the track, it just permanently became ingrained in my mind. I never dreamed that someday I would own the real car and drive it, especially not in Germany and at Goodwood and places like that.”

While many people know the Wellborn Musclecar Museum for the terrific collection of 1971 Hemi Chargers there, the aerodynamically-enhanced 'wing car' models from 1969 and 1970 have also been part of the collection since before it started. As Tim states, his attendance at that first race at Talladega played a huge role on his impressionable mind back in 1969; as a result, the car he drove in his high school years was a real Dodge Daytona. This car, Hemi Orange with a 440 and white interior, was his regular driver, but in 1979, it became an even larger tribute to the car Bobby Isaac had piloted back on that September on the high banks of Talladega.

“I found a 2100-mile ‘68 Hemi Road Runner that been totaled, and took the engine, K-member, wiring, everything, and just swapped it right into that Daytona. It all fit perfectly, I got everything needed for a B-Body Hemi, and my goal was to make this into a tribute to Bobby Isaac and the K&K car. So I decided to letter it up, and had the call-out letters, ‘Dodge’ lettered on the nose, and pinstripes painted on it.”

He drove the car for a couple of more years, but money was tight; when he made plans to get married, the Daytona was sold to a gentleman in Atlanta, and Tim lost track of it. As things became better economically, Tim wondered whatever happened to it. Ironically, it came back to him 22 years later.

“I’m getting ready to load up for Barrett-Jackson on a Wednesday night, and I get a phone call. It is the owner I had sold that car to,” he recalls. “I asked him some questions and he says, ‘do you want to buy it back?’ I said, ‘absolutely,’ and I drove straight to Atlanta that following Sunday afternoon when I returned, wrote him a check, and brought it home. It came back showing just 312 miles since the day I had sold it.” Talk about preserving history…

By now, Tim and Pam had already purchased a few other Daytonas and Superbirds. In fact, they were able to purchase the original K&K Insurance Daytona that had been part of the collection at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. This car had set records at Bonneville, and, through Tim’s efforts, got the very first 528” crate motor Hemi from Chrysler. Tim, licensed to drive at speed, then toured the car in exhibition races across Europe, driving it at 150+ mph speeds at places like Germany’s legendary Nürburgring and Goodwood’s Festival of Speed. This car has been on display in the new NASCAR Museum in Charlotte since the day that facility opened.

One car in particular does stand out. This was a Charger Daytona that Tim had found and bought from the owner’s ex-wife, and it has a story. The car was sold through the Lenox Dodge franchise in Atlanta; its origins of its ordering are lost; it was likely bought by the owner Tim found out about through Lenox’ used car department as a repo. CONTINUED

“This guy had been sent out to buy a refrigerator, and came back with this car. His wife was not very happy about that,” Tim laughs. “So, as you can imagine, that marriage didn’t last, and when they split up, she kept this car basically to spite him. Then it sat out under a tarp in her yard for a long time.”

Tim got a call from somebody who found out about the car, and soon made plans to go see it. It was rough; the car had been repainted Petty Blue and was showing a large amount of surface rust, though the substructure rust normally feared about was non-existent (great trunk, floor pans and cowl). Seeing the car initially, he was pretty skeptical at first glance, until he saw the 999 paint code on the fender tag. Then he pulled the back seat up to see if the build sheet was in it.

“When I saw that color, my heart jumped,” he says.

Omaha Orange was never a color offered by any of the major manufacturers; it was a color used for taxi cabs running around the Haight-Asbury and other San Francisco places at the time. To date, there is only one other Daytona painted that way, and its whereabouts are questionable. Tim gave the unrestored car to Roger Gibson, who spent a couple of years reworking it into one of the most accurate restorations of any wing car.

As built, the car got the special paint, the 440 Magnum, four speed transmission, and Dana 60 rear. It got deluxe bucket seats, console, and AM radio. Like the interior, the wing was black. Most of these cars were built as sales bank cars and very few got special ordered. This one is unique for all of those reasons. The car originally came with 15” body-color painted rims. While Gibson restored the original set, Tim has chosen to use a set of the rare 15” Kelsey Hayes wheels that were recalled almost immediately due to failures; they fit the car perfectly.

The museum also has other Daytonas beyond these two and the #71 racecar – one is a 6000-mile Hemi survivor and another that is 440 powered, now stored is among the ‘barn finds’ displayed in Alexander City. The Hemi with be at the upcoming Musclecar and Corvette Nationals in Chicago on Nov 16-18.

The following year, Plymouth used a similar group of changes to build a group of cars that helped bring Richard Petty back into the fold. These cars were modified from Road Runners and used sheetmetal pieces from the redesigned 1970 Dodge Coronet to get even more streamlined. The slippery pieces developed for the Dodge were reworked with some improvements and, unlike the 500 cars built by Dodge, NASCAR now required one for every two dealerships – over 1900 units.

As a result, the Plymouth wings are found in more variety and abundance than the Dodges. The museum has three Superbirds, one Hemi-powered, one Six Pack, and one using the 440 combination (those were the three engines available in the model). The unrestored Hemi Superbird will also make its first public appearance away from Alabama at MCACN.

The museum’s Charger 500, the first aero-styled redesign that preceded the ‘nuclear option’ Dodge Daytona release, will also be at the Illinois event; it too is Hemi powered.

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1969 Dodge HEMI Daytona flies into 2012 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN)

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is sponsoring the 2012 Aero Warriors display as this year's Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, November 17th and 18th, 2012 in Rosemont, IL.  The Museum will host the "Aero Lounge" at the center of the display.  This will be an oasis of leather couches and padded carpeting in the sea of over 550 cars on display for the two day event.  The Aero Lounge will be flanked on either side by significant winged cars from the prime of the Aerocar Era of NASCAR.   Most significant will be the only 1969 Hemi 4spd Daytona left known to exist still equipped with its original motor.

The 1969 Daytona was a Chrysler Engineering marvel designed to better compete in NASCAR against Ford who held the top speed record of 189 mph.  Dodge already having the dominant HEMI, decided that the aero group had the best change of taking the top speed and overall win crown in NASCAR.  They proposed a rear "Y" airfoil to keep the car planted, the front nose cone balanced out the aero package, resulting in one the most stable race cars ever produced.  The goal was a 5mph increase over the top lap speeds recorded at Daytona Motor Speedway.  The result was the first NASCAR race car to eclipse the 200 mph barrier.

To homologate the Dodge Daytona for 1969 race season, they had to be build quickly, each '69 Dodge Charger hand converted by Creative Industries.  Excitement over the car by the public was palpable.  Dodge dealers had committed sales orders for over 1500 copies of the Dodge Charger Daytona.   Of the 503 made, only 70 were HEMI Daytonas and of those only 20 were 4 speed, manual shift cars.

Currently, only 11 four-speed HEMI Daytonas are known to exist.   The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is home to XX29J93412548, the ONLY ONE that retains it's original, numbers matching drivetrain.  Documented by two broadcast sheets, this is a 6,000 original mile car and still retains all of her original interior and aside from the hood, she also has all of her original body panels.  She spent most of her early life as an IHRA show car, note the "before" photo of the show car paint scheme before the car was restored back to stock original.

Just prior to restoration, the car was procured by Otis Chandler's Vintage Museum of Transportation and Wildlife.   Mr. Chandler had the car restored by the legendary Roger Gibson to stock specifications.   The car has also been featured in many hardbound books including "American Muscle, Muscle Cars from the Otis Chandler Collection" by Randy Leffingwell.   The vehicle is currently part of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum, owned by Tim and Pam Wellborn and featured in the hardcover book "The Art of the Musclecar" by David Newhardt.  Tim will be available during the MCACN show to autograph copies of this book which includes a total of 22 cars in the museum collection.

Considering the performance driven design, hand built limited run, and the revolutionary impact Daytona had on racing, it is certainly an iconic car.  Given that only 20 HEMI 4 speeds were ever made and this is the only one that remains with its original engine, it is most certainly rare.  And of course, also retaining her original interior and body panels, makes her a highly original example.  These are the reasons that this car has been the centerpiece for other significant collections like Otis Chandler's and Tim and Pam Wellborn.  So, make plans to join the Wellborn Musclecar Museum at the 2012 MCACN show, the relax amongst this and many other iconic Aero Warriors.

DATE CHANGE: Inaugural Wellborn Muscle Cars at the Museum Event moves to Spring 2013!

The Inaugural Wellborn Muscle Cars at the Museum Event has been moved to May 9-11th 2013.  Making this a Spring event will allow us to draw on a higher caliber of cars, better availability of celebrity guests, and better weather for the outdoor elements of the show.   The event was originally scheduled for October 11-13th of 2012.  Can't wait to see you in May 2013!

Wellborn Unrestored Boss 429 visits Town & Country Ford for Mustang's Birthday

Mustang turned 48 April 17, 2012.  The Wellborn Musclecar Museum's benchmark quality unrestored 1970 Boss 429 is headed to its birthday party; the Big Show '12 Mustang and All Ford Show held at Town and Country Ford in Bessemer, Alabama.

KK2097 is the lowest mile unrestored 1970 Boss 429 known to exist, showing only 4,770 actual miles.   For those who aren't familiar with the car, it was out Featured Car of the Month in July of 2010.  Join in the fun Saturday, April 21st, 2012 and catch a FREE glimspe of the history on display everyday at the Wellborn Musclecar Museum.

Flashback: Wellborn Museum’s 1971 Charger Event Sets Stage for 2012 Show

2012 WMM Show date is announced! October 11-13

 

story and photos by Geoff Stunkard

 

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum hosted a very special show late last year honoring the 1971 Charger. With vehicle attendance available by invitation, this unique inaugural has set the stage for an even larger, more inclusive edition this coming October 11-13, 2012.

 

 

“We wanted to honor the Charger’s 40 year heritage last year because that vehicle has meant so much to Pam and I,” says Tim Wellborn. “However, we really desired to showcase and host something that was for the whole hobby. This October, we are making plans for an event that will be open to all makes of musclecars at our facilty here in Alexander City.”

Due to the invitational nature of the show itself, some people might have misunderstood that attendance to the event’s display was open to the public. The invitational process was simply done to ensure the museum was not overwhelmed by participants, and is again open to a limited number of participants for that reason. The Wellborn Musclecar Museum will release the details for the 2012 version shortly, and recommends that interested parties consider registering early to get one of the available openings. There is room for approximately 150 cars between the museum’s immediate parking lots and the nearby small-town shopping area.

2012 Show Dates: October 11-13

Shown this week are a few images from the Wellborn Musclecar Museum show last October. Taken by Geoff Stunkard, several images are also slated to run in an upcoming issue of Mopar Muscle magazine.

 

 

Tim and Pam Wellborn: Love, Life and Musclecars

The Convertible E-body: 1970 440-4 'Plymouth Cuda

The 1970 'cuda 440 convertible was recently restored to its original

splendor by Andrew White of Apex Autosports.

Musclecar Milestones by Geoff Stunkard

Text by Geoff Stunkard / Photos by John Stunkard

 “My dad had Fords, and my first car was a Mustang, so I was not a Mopar girl when we first met; in fact, I had never seen a Hurst Pistol Grip until our first date when I climbed into Tim’s Charger. I saw it and said ‘what is that thing;’ my first thought was that it was some aftermarket redneck part.”

Pam Wellborn was laughingly recalling her first encounter with Chrysler’s legendary musclecar options. Tim Wellborn and Pam Twilley had known each other in high school, and Tim had arrived in a 1970 Charger for their first date that occasion. While the two enjoyed those carefree days, career and life choices would cause them to go their separate ways into other relationships and responsibilities after graduation. Pam moved to Birmingham to get her nursing degree, while Tim ended up beginning his serious work responsibilities at the family business, Wellborn Forest Products.

Tim and Pam Wellborn, with several of the legendary Chargers that formed the basis of what became the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, Ala.

The elastomeric body-color bumper, scalloped hood, inset grille, lighting accents, and rocker moldings helped make the 1970 'cuda a truly iconic vehicle in musclecar history. Being a convertible makes it exceptional.

From behind, the 'cuda featured an unmistakable tri-slat taillight design.

The ‘cuda seen here had originally came from the Phoenix, Arizona, being sold new through the well-known Town & Country franchise out there. It was the mid-1980s, and Tim had purchased it as part of a growing group of classic Mopars he owned. Partial to Chargers and NASCAR-oriented B-Bodies, it was the only E-body he owned at the time he and Pam’s relationship reignited in 1986.

“There is something about that car,” he says. “Blue, white top, big block…”

“Yes, do you remember we drove that car to the Mopar Nationals in 1988 in Columbus?,” Pam replies. “We got married in 1987, and we had four or five cars at that time, including the Jamaica-blue 1970 Charger we had dated in a few years earlier. Now, I love convertibles; Tim loves the 1971 Chargers.”

As things worked out, the financial requirements of Tim’s family-owned cabinet business in Alexander City, which he took over when his father passed away unexpectedly in the early 1990s, eventually resulted in the painful separation of virtually their entire collection, saving just one wing car (a yellow Superbird) and the Tawny Gold Hemi Charger that Tim’s late father had owned. However, those lean years were time and money spent wisely, and, once back on solid footing, Tim and Pam were able to reacquire the droptop E-body from its then-current owner in Canada.

This car is unique, as most people forget that the only year you could get a 440 four-barrel in the Plymouth ‘cuda convertible was 1970. No 440 convertibles were ever built on the A-body platform, and in 1971, the final year of production, the 440 high-performance motor was offered only in Six Pack trim. The standard 440 option allowed A/C to be installed on this car; only 34 1970 440-4 ‘cudas converts were constructed. Moreover, it is fairly high-optioned: EB5 Blue Fire Metallic paint, color-coded Elastomeric bumper, racing mirrors, hood pins, AM/8-track, and side-sill-deck moldings. Pam, for one, is very glad to have it back.

“Yes, I have had an impact on our collection with the cars I’ve picked,” says Pam with a big laugh. “If it were up to Tim, we’d have mostly 1971 Chargers!”

Tim laughs and nods in agreement. Though Pam might have not been overly impressed with that Pistol Grip and the brawny Mopars at first sight, she was a quick and thorough study. Tim’s previous serious relationship had not been very happy; having admitted that his car interest was a pretty important part of his life, he wanted to make sure that any other woman he became serious about having a relationship with ‘got it.’ So, within a short time of their reacquaintance, Pam was learning.

“Tim gave me all these reference books when we first started dating, and I really liked him, so I studied them,” Pam says. “Back then, a lot of them were little guides listing options and parts. Pretty soon, I had memorized a lot of details, and eventually I was actually doing judging at some of the events we went to. Of course, I had a great teacher.”

As mentioned, this car was sold in 1994 to help keep the business moving, and went through a number of owners before returning to Alabama. When it came back, though pretty unmolested and still garage kept, the unrestored numbers-matching machine was showing its age. To this end, the Wellborns turned it over to restorer Andrew White of Apex Autosports, who did a spectacular job of bringing the rare metal back to award-winning status.

Meanwhile, Pam’s interest in convertibles resulted in some other cars that have come into the collection, including their W30 4-4-2 ’70 Olds and their Ram Air IV GTO Judge, both outstanding droptops even if they are not Mopars. The couple also has a 383-cid Challenger R/T convertible in the museum’s holdings. These rarities have become part of the museum’s best-known holdings, and remain an important part of the heritage of the musclecar era.

MORE CUDA PICTURES ON THE NEXT PAGE

One of the Many "star cars" Expected at the '71 Charger Anniversary Event

This 1971 white Dodge Charger 440 4-barrel is heavily laden with options--sunroof (only 33 Charger R/Ts were equipped with sunroofs that year and only three of those were white), 727, power windows, buckets, console, hideaway headlights and, get this--headlight washers. The car was ordered with 14-inch steelies, Goodyear Polyglas G70-14s and no wheel covers (as per the build sheet). Oddly enough, first owner did not opt for air conditioning. To the second owner, Steve, who bought at age 17 in 1971, this Charger was just a car and it became a daily driver. He kept the car stock with the exception of adding an aftermarket A/C system, Keystone mags (but he saved the original rims) and a Bonsonic 8-Track player Oh yeah, he did add louder mufflers but they came off after a couple of year when he finally had enough of those. Steve registered the car in his dad’s name until he was 25 for a break on insurance. After driving it daily until 1978 and logging more than 105,000 miles, Steve parked the car.

Despite several offers to purchase the car, Steve happily kept it in storage. In 2010, Steve wanted to put the car back on the road. A friend of Steve’s told him about a Mopar restoration shop--Creations by Gemza—located about 3 miles from his house. They had heard about this Charger and were anxious to see it. Steve drove the car over and talked about a possible restoration.

Upon inspection, the Gemzas realized that the Charger was a piece of Mopar history and essentially an unmolested survivor. Steve learned that this was one of two identical '71 Chargers purchased by the owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richard Howard, to promote national NASCAR cup races. Howard bought the cars in February ‘71, lettered them and he and some of his employees drove them thither and yon as rolling billboards to promote the races. The World 600 ran on May 30th (the National 500 ran on October 10th) with Bobby Allison taking the checkered, followed by Donnie Allison, Pete Hamilton, Richard Petty, Fred Lorenzen and Buddy Baker in that order.

The Gemzas bolted back on the original rims and wanted to re-letter the car back to its pace car trim, but there was no reference material to go by. Tim Wellborn, noted collector of 1971 Hemi and 6-pack Chargers, among other cars, plus a ton of memorabilia, saved the day. He had an original program for the 1971 World 600 race, plus a sales brochure with several color photo of the pace car lettered, and he sent copies to the Gemza shop.

Steve will be showing this amazing Charger at Mopar events including the Charger reunion at Tim Wellborne’s Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, AL this October. The car should be quite a hit!

Jim Rockford's Firebird pulls a "J" turn into the Wellborn Museum

Strictly speaking, most muscle car hard-liners don't believe the Big Three produced cars after the 1972 model year.  And for the most part they are right.   One brand in particular held the candle out longer than most any other- Pontiac.  Their most desired Pony Car didn't even debut until 1973 when the 455 Super Duty hit the scene.  In TVland, Dodge was resting on the laurels of their 1969 Charger ten years later, with the premier of the Dukes of Hazzard in 1979.  Pontiac kept Jim Rockford in a fresh set of wheels.  As a Private Investigator, James Garner's character couldn't pull off the Hemi Orange and welded doors look.  I am guessing the giant "01" on the doors and Stars and Bars emblazoned on the roof would be easy to make when he was attempting to tail a bad guy. Jim Rockford drove a street sleeper, this very 1978 Firebird Esprit for the majority of the series AND in the made for TV movies 1994-1999.  Un-adorned by a screaming chicken on the hood and white walls, the bad guys would never suspect the performance driving Rockford was capable of.

Tim Wellborn wanted this car for the museum for its contribution to muscle car culture.  "The Rockford" or the J-turn has left a mark on popular culture as much as the General Lee jumping over a dirt pile while Bo and Luke screamed YEE-HAW!   When trying to evade someone tailing him or when otherwise cornered, Rockford would shift into reverse, speed up backwards in a straight line and sharply turn his wheels.  This maneuver would spin his car around 180 degrees and he would then quickly shift back into forward gear, speeding off to escape while maintaining a straight course the whole time.  The most recent episode of Top Gear USA, "Hollywood" as Tanner Faust and the boys as they put their TV star stand-ins to the test to see who can do "The Rockford" the best.  Check the embedded video as the man himself evades a C5 Corvette in the 1994 television movie.  And yes, Mr. Garner does all his own stunt driving.

Top Gear 2: Hollywood Cars. [Internet]. 2011. The History Channel website. Available from: http://www.history.com/videos/top-gear-2-hollywood-cars [Accessed 21 Sep 2011].

Wellborn Proudly Welcomes Unrestored, 10k mile, FM3 Dart to Collection

1970 Dodge Dart, 10,100 original mile, in factory FM3 Panther Pink.

 
The Wellborn Musclecar Museum welcomes this 1970, FM3 Panther Pink, Dart Swinger to the collection.  With only 10,100 actual miles and in intact unrestored original condition, this one would definitely be an object of lust for any enthusiast. The first owner, however didn't quite see it that way.  The car was originally purchased by the first owner's mother as a graduation gift.  His friends continually teased him about cruising around in a pink car.  Embarrassed by it, the Pink Swinger was parked the car and bought himself another set of wheels.  The car surfaced again in 1985 with a mere 4,100 miles on it.  At the time, she was still wearing her original plugs, wires, belts and hoses.  The car still wears them to this day.  The original IBM card was found when the car was recovered, but the broadcast sheet was not discovered until 2006 when a curious new owner pulled the rear seat for the first time.  Car remains one of the most desirably optioned, unrestored 1970 Dodge Dart 340 Swingers known to exist and is a welcome addition to the Wellborn Museum collection.
 

'71 Hemi Chargers: Beginning & End

Story by Geoff Stunkard * Photos by Geoff & John Stunkard

Tim and Pam Wellborn’s legendary collection of musclecars is anchored by their incredible group of authentic 1971 Hemi Chargers (as well as examples with other power from that model release). After all, one of the first cars in the group was a Tawny Gold 1971 Hemi Charger that Tim’s father had purchased not long after these cars ended up on the street. In the ensuing years, Tim and Pam gathered other examples, including famous ones that were road-tested by national magazines and used in factory advertising. Recently, they debuted one of the earliest and the final 426 Hemi examples built.

 

 

1971 Dodge Hemi Chargers driving
Here are the two Chargers driving down the road. Like all the cars the Wellborns own, they are kept in running order and get ‘regular exercise.’

The first car ends in serial number 00023, and was originally delivered to the legendary Grand-Spaulding Dodge in Chicago. This was likely the very first Hemi car delivered there, and was among those rarities of rarities – a pilot car that was not scrapped.

1971 pilot Hemi Charger decklid
The underside of the pilot car’s deck shows that no provision to mount a rear spoiler had been created yet.
1971 Charger deck lid
This is the production car spoiler mounts, seen on a 440 Six Pack 1971 Charger that is in the collection.

Pilot cars were done to create several examples of each vehicle package; it was especially critical in that summer of 1970, as the B-Body Dodges and Plymouths were completely redesigned for 1971. Moreover, most pilot cars were scrapped as they were actually ‘test shots.’ The pilot process gave engineering, management, and laborers time to decide the sequence of construction, parts fitment, and other details that would be harder to solve once the production line was up and running at speed.

1971 pilot Hemi Charger door panel
Roger Gibson did use replacement door panels since the ones on the car were marked as trim plant samples when they were created. The car is a time capsule showing what changed leading toward the beginning of production later in 1970.

“It’s really unbelievable to own a car built as early as this one,” says Tim Wellborn, who owns it now. “What’s more, we also have the final one built in 1971, meaning you can see both the first and last 1971 Chargers when they are on display.”

The pilot car is painted FE5 Red and was recently subjected to a very complete restoration by noted artisan Roger Gibson as it was purchased disassembled from its previous owner. The car had many unique pieces on it, and Gibson was careful to either replicate or restore those items. This included things like one-off stampings and parts markedly different from what ended up in later production. The window glass is dated 2-70 and the rear springs are off of the 1970 model.

More specifically, the 1971 model year ended up being the performance finale for Dodge’s musclecar production – the R/T, the Hemi, the Six Pack, and the Super Bee (now based on the Charger platform) all exited at the end of the model year. To that end, Tim began searching for the last 1971 Hemi Charger to roll off the assembly line, whose VIN ended in 90774 according to Chrysler Corporation records. The car turned up in Michigan, and shows just under 43,000 miles on the odometer. Painted FY1 Top Banana yellow, the car is similar to the pilot car since it is an R/T and included the Hemi / four-speed combination, console interior, and black graphics. The car will eventually end up with Gibson as well, since it is an older restoration; assembled the last day of production, July 30, 1971 there is no question that it is the last-built VIN Hemi Charger.

1971 final Hemi Charger
One thing that was standard on the Hemi-equipped 1971 Charger which had never been offered before was the functional Ramcharger hood scoop; no prior Charger had used one, and it got an A+ for ‘cool factor.’

These two bracket no less than 23 other 1971 Hemi Chargers in the collection. All of the cars at the museum will be part of a special event that will take place on the second weekend of October, the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the 1971 Dodge Charger, which will showcase a group of 150 cars that have been selected for display. The two-day occurrence will encompass presentations and special displays. While the field has been set as of this date, weekend admission to the entire program is available, with local accommodations available. Contact the museum for more info.

1971 Hemi Charger interior
The interior was a complete change for 1971 as well, taking major cues from what had been introduced in the E-body line in 1970. Four-speed cars got the Pistol Grip shifter.
 
1971 Dodge Charger Hemi engine
The Ramcharger package used a special hood-mounted system that would open and close the door when an underhood level was moved. It is operated by vacuum through a canister.
Wellborn Musclecar Museum
256-329-8474
www.wellbornmusclecarmuseum.com

Pocket Aces: The 1970 Chrysler Trans Am A-Bodies

Musclecar Masterpieces by Geoff Stunkard

They were called pony cars, models that fit a small but sporty segment between economy models and midsize cars. Named for the sales niche that Mustang had established in 1964, all the major manufacturers were making offerings to this marketplace by 1970. Prior to that, Plymouth had used their A-body platform to release the first Barracudas, but sales proved that it and the Dart from the Dodge Division was not quite what the public wanted. For 1970, it was the new Duster 340 aimed at the economy muscle market, because now Chrysler had released a completely new design, designated as the E-body, to meet the desires for ‘pony’ muscle.

These new models, Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda (that was called ‘cuda in performance trim), could be had with any engine in the Chrysler line-up, right up to the 426 Hemi. Though based on the B-body platform, big blocks in the E-bodies tended to be nose heavy. When it came to handling prowess, the refined 340 small-block ended up being the best overall choice, and you could get the four-barrel version in the both the coupe or convertible E-body styles. For hardcore fans, you could also get a very special E-body with a Holley six-barrel layout, which arrived in the special A53-coded Trans Am models that came off the line in March.

The Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am racing series had become a big deal for the manufacturers, and 1970 was by far the most visible year the SCCA ever had. Dodge hired Sam Posey to direct their Challenger program, while Dan Gurney’s All American Racers oversaw the Plymouth ‘cuda development. Part of the SCCA rules required that race-engineered equipment needed to be available on production examples. Thus the Cuda AAR (named after Gurney’s company) and the Challenger T/A (named after the racing series) were born, to homologate that hardware for the racetrack and promote the factory’s involvement in the series.

Continued

By far the two most visible signs of the car special heritage were their fiberglass hoods and the side-exiting exhaust. The hood on the Challenger featured a styled snorkel-type scoop that raised the opening an inch off of the hood surface; the ‘cuda used a channeled subsurface opening that had been developed by NACA for aircraft use. Both were pinned down in the front with light-duty hood hinges. Meanwhile, the exhaust system featured black-painted tubing, transverse mufflers (with the inlet and outlet on the same side), and dealer-installed chrome tips with deflectors that exited from under the rocker panel in front of the rear tires.

Special graphics and callouts in black tape were also standard, as was the rear spoiler, rear-mounted radio antenna, and mixed-size tires (Goodyear raised letter Polyglas E60x15 up front and G60x15 in the rear, all on 15x7 rims, with a Sav-A-Space inflatable spare in the trunk). Special heavy duty suspension equipment, front power disk brakes, and the special E55 340” engine completed the package.

Based on a stock 340, this was the most radical small-block done by Chrysler in the era. A high nickel content block with meat for four-bolt mains, head castings drilled for offset pushrods, and an Edelbrock aluminum intake (painted the same color as the engine) topped with three Holley two-barrels, were all part of it. Rated at a paltry 290 horses, the E55 was never again offered as a production option. With changes in policy and government mandates, the factory pulled out its money and support of the series after just one season, and the cars were never revived (though a ’71 Challenger was depicted in some 1971 model advertising).

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum features two of the most impressive examples from the one-year experiment. Moreover, both vehicles are low-mileage survivor cars, something the museum has specialized in. The duo came from the legendary collection of Otis Chandler, were subsequently sold to Carlos Monterverde and shipped to England, and finally returned to the States to become part of the Wellborn’s then-private museum in 2002. Take a look at them: Plymouth ‘cuda AAR and Dodge Challenger TA.

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A Survivor

Musclecar Masterpieces

“I think this is likely the best survivor T/A in existence,” says Tim. “There are a couple of things that have been changed or fixed on it over the years, but it is a real time capsule. I don’t own many small-block cars, but I have never regretted buying this one. Like the AAR, it is a lot of fun to drive.”

Mileage: 30,000

Production: 2400 (989 four speeds)

Color: EB3 Light Blue Metallic with a B5 Blue interior

Standard Equipment: A53 Trans Am package (T/A graphics, fiberglass hood, rear fiberglass spoiler, side exit exhaust, heavy duty suspension, E55 340 engine, D21 four speed, D56 3.55 Sure grip, U01 Goodyear tires - E60 front/G60 rear tires front, V6H tape stripe, W34 collapsible spare)

Continued

Options: (A44) rear window louvers (includes black vinyl top) * (A45) front spoiler package * (C16) console * (G34) outside LH remote painted mirror * (R11) AM radio * (J46) locking gas cap * (J55) undercoating * 15x7 Rallye wheels.

Cost in 1970: $4200 – plus.

1970 Plymouth Cuda AAR Survivor

Musclecar Milestones

“I really enjoy this car,” says Tim. “Compared to the other Mopars, it handles like something modern, and it responds; it’s definitely the most fun car in my collection. I normally keep a set of radials on it so I can take it out when I want to just drive. I bought it thinking I’d resell it; after driving it, now I will never sell it.”

Mileage: 20.600

Production: 2724 (1,120 four speeds)

Color: FE5 Rallye Red paint with accompanying A22 elastomeric bumpers, black interior

Standard Equipment: A53 Trans Am package (15x7 Rallye wheels, AAR graphics, fiberglass hood, rear fiberglass spoiler, side exit exhaust, heavy duty suspension, E55 340 engine, D21 four speed, D56 3.55 Sure grip, U01 Goodyear tires - E60 front/G60 rear tires front, V6H tape stripe, W34 collapsible spare)

Continued...

Options: (A22) Elastomeric front and rear bumpers (includes outside mirrors (left remote control) and deck panel treatement) * (A62) Rallye instrument cluster group * (R22) solid state AM / 8-track * (R31) dual rear speaker * (S74) power steering fast ratio (Y16) sales group * (A67) rear window louvers * (C16) console *(G15) tinted windshield * (J55) undercoating * (J78) front spoiler package.

Cost: $4,724.05

TIME & SPACE For Buick fans, the GSX was the best launch of the Space Age

Drive GSX
On the road? Actually, the GSX is making tracks at an airport with Roger Gibson driving. The styling of this particular car may have scandalized the dealerships it was sold through, but it cemented the legend of Buick in the minds of the performance enthusiasts. John Stunkard photo.

Museum Masterpieces by Geoff Stunkard

VEHICLE: 1970 Buick GSX

Engine: Buick 455 Stage 1

Transmission: M22 Rock Crusher by Muncie

Rearend: 3.46 PosiTrac

Interior:  black vinyl

Wheels: Rallye type

Tires: Goodyear Polyglas G60-15

Special Parts: GSX package, Saturn Yellow paint, Stage 1 engine

Owned by The Wellborn Musclecar Museum

Astronaut Neil Armstrong talked of mankind's steps as he became the first person who ever walked on the moon, and for many musclecar fans, what was happening back on earth was also pretty far out, too. After all, the auto manufacturers had announced they would be pushing the limit for the 1970 model year. Chrysler's Six Pack and Hemi engines would be in a new line of sporty E-bodies, Ford had 429-cid engines in street (SCJ) and race (Boss) trim, and GM lifted its 400-cid limit in midsize performance models.

GSX engine
Under the hood are 455 inches of Buick big-block in Stage 1 trim. Buick's casting technology made this engine almost 150 pound lighter than the Chevrolet 454" that also arrived in 1970.

Buick was one of the more 'stoic' brands being built, just below Cadillac in the GM hierarchy of excellence. However, that had not kept the Flint, Mich. company from engaging in projects with a more youthful outlook. The GS-series models based on the Skylark had carried that banner forward during the 1965-1969 years, using the thin-wall cast Buick big-block at 400" for power after its arrival in 1967. For 1970, both the 400" and the 430-cid Buick luxury engine were superseded by a new package that pumped out a big 455" cubes. It should be remembered that the 455" used by Buick was not the same as the 455" displacements offered by Pontiac or Oldsmobile (which were also different from each other).

Buick made use of an over-squared (bore larger than stroke) design in the new engine, and offered it in different states of tune. In the new GS455 model, it was paper-rated at mere 350 horse at a lowball 4600 rpm, with 425 lb./ft. torque. Buick was notorious for underrating true performance numbers, perhaps to persuade buyers to consider other options in the GM line, and most likely to allow the division to fly beneath the 'respectability' flag of its banker and broker audience. Most people in the know will quickly tell you that Buicks could hold their own against most anything else that was factory-available once that 455" lung became the mill of choice.

GSX carb
Ironically, Buick stayed with tried-and-true Rochester-design Quadrajet, even in Stage 1 trim. Replacements are hard to come by if you need one, to say the least.

Pontiac offered various states of tune for their 400” and new 455” mills (the Ram Air II,III, and IV packages), while Olds had what they called the W30 option . Buick used a hop-up they called Stage 1 available from the factory, and a Stage 2 that was dealer-installed. The Stage 1 program, begun in 1969, continued into 1970 with a hotter cam and reworked heads with larger valves. That got you another 10 horsepower at a mere 4600, to 360 hp on paper (with the true max rpm power ‘sweet spot’ someplace well north of 400 ponies) and a monstrous 510-lb/ft of torque at 2900 rpm. The cars were capable of times in the mid-13s, impressive when considering that these were fully-optioned machines with the same standard of quality that all Buicks were noted for.

But getting back to our space-age analogy, the names Saturn Yellow and Apollo White would be enshrined forever as special to Buick fans when the Chicago Auto Show opened in early 1970. Buick had pulled out all of the stops with a new model they called the GSX. Announced in the print advertising of the time as a Limited Edition, the X was a special $1195.87 option on the GS455 hardtop. Only the two aforementioned colors were offered, using black graphics and black-out hood, spoilers fore and aft, a hood-mounted tach, upgrades to the suspension, and more. Optional G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas tires, the last hurrah of OEM street bias-plies as the radial age dawned, made it handle. A fully-dressed GSX could come off the showroom floor with a sticker price of approximately $5,000, not small change in that time, but its appearance and notoriety were guaranteed to turn heads in any setting.

GSX above rear
From behind, the biggest visible change was the trunk-mounted wing that stretched from fender to fender, coupled to a black stripe and special GSX logos. Cool...

The car in the Wellborn collection is one of 188 that received the 455 Stage 1/M22 rock-crusher four-speed combo. There were only 678 GSXs produced in 1970, and the few examples produced after that first year suffered from the decline in compression ratios that affected all GM models. Like all other 1970 GSX models, the car in the collection has a black vinyl bucket seat interior, plus the Sonoramic radio.

GSX interior
Inside, the GSX models all had black interiors; this one used the front bucket seats and special consolette with four-speed Hurst shifter. Options on these model were minimal other than radios…

“We wanted to have an example of all the midsize GM performance models from 1970,” remarks Tim Wellborn. “The GSX is a legendary example of just how extreme things became. I like driving this car because it really is a Buick in terms of its build and ride quality, but it is also a real musclecar in terms of performance.”

The 1970 GSX would be a true legend of the age; the relative few that were built were treasured by their owners and made no bones about their ability when put to the test during a stoplight or highway joust. As a result, it has a fitting home in the collection, and a most deserving vehicle of the title 'muscle car.' Even (or perhaps especially) as a Buick…

GS options included on the Wellborn GSX

* A-X (included Stage 1 performance 455” engine, plus A-9 parts – GSX exterior trim, paint, hood-mounted tach, and color-coordinated mirrors and headlight bezels.

* B-M (included B-3 Manual transmission, B-4 consolette, B-8 floorpan with shift opening)

GSX tach
The hood-mounted tach, which has been introduced by Pontaic, was a fantastic touch to the image of the GSX. Black-out time, body-color outside mirrors, and spoilers completed the look.

Other options

* C-D  Quick ratio steering and power disc brakes

* D-1   Sonoramic radio

* F-7   G60-15 Super Wide Oval raised letter/chromed wheels

* H-6  Rallye Ride control package

* U-9  Gauge Cluster & Rally clock

* 3-N   Special paint – Saturn Yellow

432nd unit produced in 1970 invoiced 5/22/70

GSX low
The G60-15 tires on styled wheels, heavy-duty suspension, and spoilers gave the GSX a real sense of all-around purpose, and all agreed that that this last hurrah of the high-compression GM era was much more than a stripped-down drag strip beast.

RIGHT MOVER The Age of Aquarius Came Alive with Panther Pink in 1970

70 FM3 440-6 Charger

Museum Masterpieces by Geoff Stunkard

VEHICLE: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T

Restored by: Dale Gyorvary

Engine: Dodge 440 Six Pack Magnum

Transmission: 727 Torqueflite

Rearend: 8.75 banjo-type with 3.23

SureGrip Interior:  black hound’s-tooth/white insets

Wheels: Magnum 500

Tires: Goodyear Polyglas G70-14

Special Parts: FM3 Panther Pink paint plus standard equipment for R/T package (believed to be one of two FM3 440-6 Charger R/Ts built).

Owned by The Wellborn Musclecar Museum

Musclecar paint schemes grew more and more crazy in the late 1960s, and Chrysler’s legendary foray into the world of HIP (High Impact Paint) began in 1969, when five special paint colors debuted. These paint hues were actually an extra cost option, so such colors can add to a car’s collector value today. Things got even more extreme in 1970; the Charger here is painted code FM3, known as Panther Pink.

Other Dodge HIP colors in 1970 were EK2 Go-Mango (yellow-orange), EV2 Hemi Orange (or red-orange), FC7 Plum Crazy (purple), FJ5 Sublime (light-green), and FY1 Top Banana (yellow), with FM3 Panther Pink and FJ6 Green-Go (a deeper green than Sub Lime) both added at mid-year. For Plymouth, the corresponding colors were EK2 Vitamin C Orange, EV2 Tor-Red, FC7 In-Violet Metallic, FJ5 Limelight, FY1 Lemon Twist, with FM3 Moulin Rouge and FJ6 Sassy Grass Green added later.

Indeed, it appeared that all of Detroit had gone psychedelic by then; colors plus wild graphics and styling options abounded from the Big Three – scoops, blisters, wheels and wings. And the displacement wars were waging – the 440 was joined in 7+ liter territory with GMs 454” and 455” inch plants in the midsize body range that year. Chrysler did not add cubes for 1970, choosing instead to add more carbs, a package Dodge called the Six Pack.

After showing up in a handful of Road Runners and Super Bees in 1969, the 440 Six Pack was the newest mill for the Dodge line-up in 1970, available in the B-Body and E-Body performance lines and rated at 390 horses. It featured heavy-duty internals and the trio of Holley two-barrels just like the 1969 version, and its main benefit was more fuel throughout the RPM range. Indeed, it was a better street choice for many than the Hemi, since it achieved quicker peak horsepower on a lower torque curve than the 426 ‘elephant’ did. The Six Pack in this Charger R/T is coupled to a Torqueflite and a highway happy 3.23 SureGrip 8 ¾ differential.

Outside, this particular car was optioned with the white vinyl top and the longitudinal sport stripes that were new for 1970 (you could still get the Scat Pack rear-wrap stripe as well). Though it was an R/T model, it did not get a deck wing, and there was no ‘sport hood’ available yet for the Charger (that year’s Road Runners, GTXs and Coronet R/Ts, on the other hand, offered several variations). It also left the St. Louis assembly line with both left and right outside sport mirrors, tinted windshield, and front and rear bumper guards. Magnum 500 road wheels (code W23) and Goodyear Polyglas tires were part of the mix as well. . The F70 tire was the largest available from the factory on this model, but this example now uses the wider G70-14 replacements.

Inside, our Charger came with the scarce hounds-tooth buckets, covered with black vinyl featuring white cloth insets, plus the console with floor mount, woodgrain appliqué  dash with the standard Rallye cluster design (but no clock or tach), AM radio, and the black steering wheel with lower ½ horn ring.

So, who ordered it that way? Believe it or not, this was a sales bank car. These were models built by the factory for general distribution, and sales bank cars helped keep the assembly line busy and helped assure that a ready supply of cars was on hand for the dealerships. It was built very late in the 1970 year, July 10 being the scheduled production date, and may well have been done to help clean up what was laying around the plant since the Charger would undergo some serious restyling the following model year (which would actually begin a little more than a month later).

Tim and Pam Wellborn spotted it at the Mopar Nationals in 2004, and Pam knew it fit her outlook on life to a ‘T.’ Owner Dale Gyorvary had decided to sell it, and it is believed to be one of just two FM3 Six Pack Chargers built that year; the price was reasonable and Pam wanted something that could be driven around. The Six Pack fit that final requirement perfectly.

“What I like best is the color obviously, and I love ‘70 Chargers, unlike my husband, who’s crazy about the ‘71s,” she says with a grin. “The car was done, we didn’t have it do anything to it, and the white accents make this car a standout. It also has that hounds-tooth interior, and it was the only 440 Six Pack in our collection at the time. Those are all the reasons I gave Tim when I said ‘we need this car!’ that day.”

There was one other important reason: she and Tim had first dated in a 1970 440 Charger many moons ago. That car, unrestored and painted Jamaica Blue, is still in their collection as well.

This car has been featured in Musclecar Review and Old Cars Weekly magazines