The car was sold new at Parker Dodge in Paducah, Kentucky. After I got it to Florida, I wanted to do a few things to get it ready for the showfield. I installed a set of reproduction Goodyear Polyglas GTs that I bought from Kelsey Tire in Missouri. The car had a '71 gull-wing on the trunk, which I replaced with a correct '70 Go-Wing. I pulled the engine for a good cleaning and detailing, and had my paint-and-body man repaint the engine compartment. While the engine was out of the car, I noticed a small oval sticker on the top of the transmission that read "Clarks Motor Clinic, Winslow, Arkansas." I found a phone number for the place and gave them a call. It turned out to be a small one-man shop and the owner, Don Clark, remembered the car well. He had done some head work for a previous owner and rebuilt the transmission. He told me the name of the guy that owned the car at that time. From there I have been able to piece together the history of the car back to 1973. I'm still trying to find the original owner. There must be someone in or near Paducah, Kentucky, that remembers this car. I have spent hundreds of hours researching the history, and if I keep digging, sooner or later I'll be successful.
Now I own two N-96 Challengers. Also, in response to my want ad on Moparts.com, a young gentleman called me from Illinois. That's a call I won't soon forget. This time it wasn't another Six-Pack car; it was a Hemi. The car had been sitting in a garage behind his parents' home since 1974. It has the original paint with only 35,000 miles on the clock. Interestingly, it is the last Hemi Challenger N-96 car known to exist. The car was built on July 23, 1970, which is just eight days away from the start of the '71 model year production. I now own 3 of the 184 shaker hood Challengers that were built in 1970. They make up a pretty cool collection of Mopars.
Update: May 15, 2002
I had a feeling that my next car was just around the corner, and as luck would have it, I found a 383-powered car with a shaker hood sitting in the North Carolina woods. Until now it was thought that no 383 shaker cars were built in 1970. This car hadn't moved in 20 years. Not only is it an N-96 car, it is an original FM3 Panther Pink car. Options include a white interior, black vinyl top, white bumblebee stripe, and a rear spoiler. The fender tag and broadcast sheet verify this. The car will undergo a complete rotisserie restoration.
A friend told me that if I get one more FM3 car, I wouldn't be just a guy with a couple of Panther Pink cars; I will be a Panther Pink car collector! I still can't believe I've been lucky enough to find not one, not two, not three, but four real N-96 coded shaker Challengers. And to top it off, two of them are the hottest color found on any Mopar musclecar.
Yes, I'm "Tickled Pink."