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The Dodge Challenger R/T stands as an icon of muscle cars, but few of them were fitted with the Hemi.
These days cars are engineered with specific powertrain options in mind, but back in the day, automakers would sometimes let customers pick whatever engine they wanted. That's how the muscle car was born: take an ordinary vehicle, option the right engine and presto! you've got yourself a muscle car. That's how the original Dodge Challenger got its reputation. Joining the market late in the game, the Challenger was available with just about any motor in Chrysler's parts bin.
Specifying the top Hemi V8, though, added $892 to the price - a massive amount in the early 70s - to bring the MSRP up to $3,273. Which could explain why Chrysler only sold 70 Hemi Challengers in 1971. Not 70 per day, not 70,000 per annum - just 70 the entire year. With only 49 known to still be on the road today, that makes this particular example something of a rarity, especially in its triple-black finish and with the desirable A-34 Trak Pak. That could be why this Hemi Challenger is expected to fetch around a quarter million dollars when it hits the auction block at the Arizona Biltmore in a couple of weeks. Photos by Erik Fuller for RM Auctions.