Author Topic: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?  (Read 1097 times)

Offline crazyhawk

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2017 - 05:35:08 pm »
Hey DrEamer, I totally get what you are saying. It's YOUR car and I would love to see a pic of it when it's finished.  The bottom line is that it's all about the fun factor of these e-bodies.  I love 'em all!  Sometimes I just feel like I have to stick up for the 72-74 Challengers(I have a '73 Rallye 340 in JA5) and Barracudas because I see a lot of "experts" bash them relentlessly online when all they own is a Prius.  Good Luck with that car!! 




Online Katfish

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2017 - 07:16:16 pm »
Just something about the 70 grill and tail lights, I say go for it.
It will look awesome.
I don't think I'd cut up the fenders or rear quarters to change the side markers.
Not much of a difference for the amount of work involved.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2017 - 07:46:28 pm »
Just something about the 70 grill and tail lights, I say go for it.
It will look awesome.
I don't think I'd cut up the fenders or rear quarters to change the side markers.
Not much of a difference for the amount of work involved.

I agree completely. You're not trying to pass it off as a 70, only trying to get the great look of the grille and tail lights.


Online garity

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2017 - 06:48:57 pm »
My car was only 7 years old when the original owner decided he wanted it to look like a 70 and cut one of the quarters to jam a 70 side marker in the hole. I got it with the 70 tail and front end already there. Even back then, the 70 was more desirable.

Offline Mopar Mitch

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017 - 01:48:22 pm »
My 70 T/A is a detailed clone... originally a 72 318 Rally (no A/C).   Bought a new front 70 grille, bought a new rear tail light panel, etc;,  side marker lights (sectioned out from junk yard car and welded in... had a 70 next to it in the shop).    i did this back in 1977-78... only for SCCA racing rules... today's rules are more lax.   I've progressively modified the car for more highly competitive SCCA AX/HSAX racing classes.   It's been worth it to me...  tons of compliments and extreme pride to actually appreciate and drive/race the car... have over 300 awards (mostly racing, some shows).    Despite its cleanliness, etc, its not a "show car"... its a very good looking race car (streetable  and raceable!).

Go for the swap... you won't regret it!
Autocross/road racers go in deeper... and come out harder!

See  MOPAR ACTION MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2006 ISSUE for featured article and details on my autocross T/A.

Offline 70chall440

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017 - 01:55:28 pm »
My 70 T/A is a detailed clone... originally a 72 318 Rally (no A/C).   Bought a new front 70 grille, bought a new rear tail light panel, etc;,  side marker lights (sectioned out from junk yard car and welded in... had a 70 next to it in the shop).    i did this back in 1977-78... only for SCCA racing rules... today's rules are more lax.   I've progressively modified the car for more highly competitive SCCA AX/HSAX racing classes.   It's been worth it to me...  tons of compliments and extreme pride to actually appreciate and drive/race the car... have over 300 awards (mostly racing, some shows).    Despite its cleanliness, etc, its not a "show car"... its a very good looking race car (streetable  and raceable!).

Go for the swap... you won't regret it!

Awesome car
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6, 73 Cuda (under const)
05 Durango, 99 Dakota, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR, 61 Jeep FC170
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline AARuFAST

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2017 - 06:24:51 pm »
Google 1973 Challengers and view all of the pics.
Lot of nice rides,
1970 AAR Cuda
1970 Gran Coupe Ragtop. 1 of 66
Gran Cpe Convertible 1 yr only.

" I Want to Ride "

" I tried to be normal once...
it was the most boring
2 minutes of my life!!!!"

Offline Mpdlawdog

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017 - 11:02:50 am »
I did exactly this....I have a 72 340 4 speed rally car....I looked long and hard for a 4 speed car and as you know finding a 70 4 speed car for decent money is impossible....my car was a non matching number, no fender tag, no build sheet so I didnt feel bad changing mine over to a 70 ta clone...luckily my 72 was solid so I basically sold my 72 stuff (hood, fenders, grill, seats) and got the 70 stuff....I had the rear tail light panel put in as well as the side marker lights....After 4 years of never driving the car and working on it...if I had it to do all over again, I would have just rebuilt the engine and driven the car.....the 72's grew on me after I had already gone past the point of no return...or I would have found a "finished" 70 and swapped the 4 speed...would have been much more ahead that where I am now... :2cents:

Offline crazyhawk

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017 - 10:15:26 pm »
Well, I think it's time to unload the most unloved, verbally lambasted car I've ever owned and move on to something that I can take to a car show without hearing constant negative comments.  Oh well, live and learn.  Bye bye 73 Challenger....

Offline 340-FOUR- BARRELL

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017 - 10:21:49 pm »
It is kinda like taking sand to the beach.

Offline DrEamer

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017 - 11:38:43 pm »
Well, I think it's time to unload the most unloved, verbally lambasted car I've ever owned and move on to something that I can take to a car show without hearing constant negative comments.  Oh well, live and learn.  Bye bye 73 Challenger....

Hold on, do YOU like the car? Do YOU enjoy driving it? Do YOU really care what other people think, who most likely don't even own a classic car, say at a car show? It's YOUR car, enjoy it because YOU like it. I started this tread because I wanted to know what was needed to convert a '73 into a '70, not a popularity vote whether I should do it or not. At the end of the day, it's my car, my money, and I'll do what makes me happy. I politely suggest you consider doing the same. Life is too short to worry about what other people think about something you love.  :)
Well, I had to start somewhere.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017 - 11:46:01 pm »
Hold on, do YOU like the car? Do YOU enjoy driving it? Do YOU really care what other people think, who most likely don't even own a classic car, say at a car show? It's YOUR car, enjoy it because YOU like it. I started this tread because I wanted to know what was needed to convert a '73 into a '70, not a popularity vote whether I should do it or not. At the end of the day, it's my car, my money, and I'll do what makes me happy. I politely suggest you consider doing the same. Life is too short to worry about what other people think about something you love.  :)

In a way, I kind of envy you on this. Almost every car I've owned has been numbers matching cars with more potential collector value if kept in its original configuration. What happens is I find myself agonizing over wanting to do one thing but in the end unable to deviate from stock. You are free of those issues so you can build it exactly how you envision it without losing sleep because you cut up a priceless car. Run with it and have fun.

Offline 70chall440

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2017 - 02:55:18 pm »
Absolutely agree with the latest comment; these cars are just that "cars" and are meant to be enjoyed. I can't say I have never owned any "numbers matching" cars but that never stopped me from making them into what I wanted them to be and never will. Sure it is much easier with a non matching low option base car, but as stated, YOUR car, YOUR money, etc. Supposed "collectors" are what ruined this hobby on the one hand in that they drove the prices through the roof and made every E body supposedly worth big money. I would be remiss however if I did not acknowledge the fact that because of just this, the after market rose up and now makes many parts that were very hard to get if not impossible.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, look forward to seeing the work.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6, 73 Cuda (under const)
05 Durango, 99 Dakota, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR, 61 Jeep FC170
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline Flatdad

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2017 - 02:27:18 pm »
I pursued converting a '73 to a '71 and while gathering the parts together, two things happened: I started liking the 72-74 styling, and I came to realize even if the swap was done, I'd always want the "real" thing.

Long story short, the '73 got sold (still regret it), and I bought a '71 project.

If you are ever in the northeast Indiana area, I still have all my conversion parts if you still want to convert yours.

'71 steel tail panel
'71 tail panel bezels+challenger emblem (broke in middle)
'71 taillight housings
'71 taillights
70-71 quarter skins (I need full quarters for my project)
70-71 rear bumper brackets
'71 parts grill (isn't very nice)
'71 steel panel that goes above the grill and ties the fenders together

You would still need:
'71 headlight bezels
70-71 front fenders
70-71 side marker housings+lenses
70-71 front bumper brackets
+any of the other junk I don't know about

If I were in your shoes, start with changing all the bumper brackets to tuck them in like a '72 car, the styling might start growing on ya, good luck with the project!
'70 Road Runner-B7 383 Auto, now with more cubes
'97 Ram 1500 Sport 4x4-Bright Red 318 magnum
'67 Belvedere II-Dark Blue 318 Auto, now owned by my brother
'73 Challenger Rallye-B5 318 Auto, had a 360 in it, SOLD :(
'42 Harley Davidson 42WLA-U.S. army green 45ci flathead
'71 Challenger R/T-B5 383 Auto, now 400 powered and rusty!
'86 W100-Yellow 318-2bbl 4x4 4spd, off road toy

Offline DrEamer

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Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2017 - 01:23:27 am »
I pursued converting a '73 to a '71 and while gathering the parts together, two things happened: I started liking the 72-74 styling, and I came to realize even if the swap was done, I'd always want the "real" thing.

Long story short, the '73 got sold (still regret it), and I bought a '71 project.

If you are ever in the northeast Indiana area, I still have all my conversion parts if you still want to convert yours.

'71 steel tail panel
'71 tail panel bezels+challenger emblem (broke in middle)
'71 taillight housings
'71 taillights
70-71 quarter skins (I need full quarters for my project)
70-71 rear bumper brackets
'71 parts grill (isn't very nice)
'71 steel panel that goes above the grill and ties the fenders together

You would still need:
'71 headlight bezels
70-71 front fenders
70-71 side marker housings+lenses
70-71 front bumper brackets
+any of the other junk I don't know about

If I were in your shoes, start with changing all the bumper brackets to tuck them in like a '72 car, the styling might start growing on ya, good luck with the project!

Thank you for the kind offer, but from Oregon, I don't think I am going to make it your way anytime soon.  :grinno:

Anyway, I went up today to pick up the rest of the parts for the '73. After a short inventory, it looks like the the main front part that holds the grill and headlights is missing. Also, the front lower valance is fairly rough. After looking at a few major suppliers, there does not seem to be anyone that carries the 72-74 front end piece. I did get a new 70-71 repop  fender as part of the deal. With that, I guess I have the first part of the conversion. Whether I like it or not, it appears the aftermarket seems to cater to the 1970. In my case it is okay, but it surprises me that the other years are not covered better. One last thing, once again, I have had a 1972 and loved that car, but I still just like the 70 better.   
Well, I had to start somewhere.