Right in My Backyard

Posted January 21, 2021

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Facebook Marketplace

How do I say this without writing another “they’re still out there” tale? After all, it’s a whole lot easier to accept that all the good cars are gone or accounted for. That they’ve either been bought up or somebody knows somebody who can use the internet, assuring that you’ll never see a good deal on Craigslist again. But being constantly immersed in automotive content, I’m painfully aware that they are indeed still out there, but they’re out west or down south, not anywhere near me in Northern Wisconsin — or so I thought.

I live in a town of around 2,100 people, and it’s not exactly the kind of place you’d expect to find cool muscle cars hiding. For one, we’re deep in the rust belt, so our best finds are probably parts cars by other people's definition, and we have snow on the ground half the year. It’s also not really the right type of rural here, and we just don’t have enough barns around to be hiding cool old cars. The last serious muscle machine I had somewhat of a shot with around here was a 440-powered ’68 Dodge Charger R/T project car, but that was probably around 2007, and I didn’t have the means to purchase or store the car back then. But even after all these years of finding nothing, I’m still checking Facebook Marketplace a couple times a day, and also lamenting the deteriorated state of Craigslist every other day.

70  Challenger Find4

So imagine my level of disbelief when a friend sent me this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 four-barrel four-speed car listed on Facebook Marketplace. It wasn't an hour away, or in some other state, but instead IN MY HOMETOWN! There were only three photos of the car, clearly stuffed in a small garage, and the description was pretty short:

1970 Dodge Challenger project car RT 4 speed 440 magnum with original build sheet.

You’re shitting me… How could I not known about this thing, especially in a small town like this? The asking price was pretty reasonable, a good buy in my opinion, but still money my mortgage would have disagreed with. My friend was in a position to buy the car, especially after I talked him into it some, but it was too late. The Challenger was likely spoken for within hours of it being posted. I gave him shit the entire rest of the day because he had seen the listing right after it was posted, and probably could have had the car if he would have pursued it.

70 Challenger Find2

Is there another one out there? Probably. But there’s just something about a car that lands in your lap like this one did. Not only was it local, but it was one of the best Mopars a guy could ask for. A 440 four-barrel, four-speed ’70 Challenger, in what looks to be code C7 Plum Crazy with a code V9X Eggshell White Bumblebee tail stripe on the rear. Worse yet is that yellow license plate on the rear, which indicates this thing is a true Wisconsin machine with longterm ownership, registered sometime between 1979 and 1986. And it was in good shape! Ugh! Restored, we're talking about an $80,000 car all day long.

But you want to know what’s really the icing on the cake? There’s approximately 82 square miles of land in my town, and you want to know where this Challenger was? 2.0 miles from my house…

I didn’t want to say it folks, I didn't want to believe it, but they’re still out there. Keep your eyes peeled and a little spending money in your safe at all times, those are my words to the wise. And when you find one of these cars, don’t hesitate

Comments for: Right in My Backyard

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like