After that, Bill began to think bigger. "The body and paintwork were so great, one thing led to another," Bill says. "Bob scrutinized every part before it went back on the car. We either bought new or used parts or had the old ones reconditioned. While the bodywork was being done, we had both the front and rear bumpers rechromed by North Star Plating in Brainerd, Minnesota. Bob then rebuilt the front and rear suspensions and the rearend using new parts. When he was finished with that, we installed the interior, dropped the motor and tranny in, and installed all of the electrical wiring, bumpers, tti exhaust, brake system, and custom Stockton wheels. We basically finished the rest of the car together."
Bill got Steve and Jim Cherewan to do the finishing details. The black exterior is the third color for this Challenger chameleon. It was originally yellow with a black stripe and sat in storage as blue, but Bill wanted something different. "There was a lot of orange and purple out there at the time [of the resto]," Bill says. "I wanted something that was different but factory-possible." Less than 1/3 of the '72 Challengers were Rallyes, which replaced the R/T as the performance package that year. Bill also believes it was assembled very early in the production year because the dash and other components are '71 parts, apparently leftovers from the previous year. "It wasn't that easy to find a Challenger Rallye in Minnesota back then," Bill says. "It wasn't a big-block, but it really stood out."
Bill's journey brought him in contact with some great people in the hobby, many of whom were contacts Bob had developed during his restoration. Bill even learned how to rebuild a Carter 750 ThermoQuad carb and has rebuilt several since then. But the most valuable thing he took away from the project was the time he spent with Bob.
"My brother was a huge part of this," Bill says. "It wouldn't have happened without him. When you're the oldest [like me], you don't have the perspective of looking up to an older brother-you just don't get it. When I went into the service, Bob was really young, but we have so much in common. This was like catching up on lost years."
Bill says he never set out to do a concours resto, but he doesn't drive the car that much, either. It stays covered in a heated garage most of the time, but Bill does take it out for fair-weather cruises and a few shows a year. The first time he took it to a show, it won First in the E-Body class at the Midwest Mopars in the Park Show at Shakopee Raceway.
"This is the very first car I ever bought," Bill says. "I remember the first time I drove to school in it and people said 'I didn't know you were like that.' You see a lot of people driving fancy, expensive cars, and in a year or two they are looking for something else. It's not really them. But this car feels like it was built for me. In the 20 years it sat, I got a lot of offers, but I have no intentions of selling it-ever."