Ron Bradley from Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of those guys that really likes E-Bodies. In 2000, Ron had been looking for a Challenger or 'Cuda for four years. Finally, his good friend Daren Townsend saw a Challenger parked next to a house. He called Ron and said, "I found you some junk." Daren (one of those misguided gentlemen who like Camaros) went with Ron to check out the car that was located in West Knoxville. Ron talked to the owner Rick, but he just wanted too much for the car. The trunk floor had plenty of holes, the engine compartment looked like a storm had come through it, and the interior was shot. The car was in gray primer and had a 440 in it. Ron wrote down the VIN number and then left. Ron waited a couple weeks, talked to the owner again, but no deal was made.
A few months later, Ron and his wife Sara were out celebrating their anniversary, and he discovered Rick's phone number in his coat pocket. Sara suggested they see if the car was still there. they drove to the house, and there it sat. Ron couldn't believe it when Rick's wife said, "We need money because we are building a new home. insult us, make an offer, and take it home today." Ron did just that-made an offer and bought it that very day. The next day when he brought it home, his friends couldn't believe he paid money for it. Ron didn't care; he knew what he wanted. He cleaned all the critters out, pushed it in the garage, and stripped it of everything. After it was apart, he sandblasted the engine compartment and sent it off for paint and body work to Mike Willard and Jim Richmond of Knoxville, where it remained for the next three months.
Top Gun Racing Engines got the nod to handle the machining chores. Ron will admit he's no mechanic, so David Overton of Knoxville did all the mechanical assembly work. While the engine was being assembled, Ron made weekly visits to see the car. While the car was in pieces, Ron and friends installed the engine and transmission. According to Ron, it was easy with no body parts in the way.
After a few months, Ron and David were ready to start the car. It was a Saturday night around 10 p.m. when the initial fire up occurred. They were ready, whether the neighbors liked it or not. But a few minutes after they had shut it down, some of the neighbors started coming over wanting to hear it again.
Now that Ron had a car with no interior, and its share of electrical problems, it was time to get it to a shop. David Lowery of Halls Service Center said he could fix it. New paint sure can cause a lot of ground problems. He finally got it back home, but it still had no interior. Friend Daren Townsend made a call to Steve Holcomb of Pro Auto in Knoxville, and he said he would install it.
Ron says this car is exactly the way he wanted it. It's built to have a stock appearance, but has a few aftermarket parts here and there.
Owner: Ron Bradley, Knoxville, Tennessee
Body: 70 Challenger R/T
Color: Flame Red
- .030 overbore
- stock steel crank
- TRW 9.7:1 pistons
- .484 MP cam
- cast 906 heads
- Performer Intake w/670 Street Avenger carb
- Hedman Headers
Rearend: 8 3/4 w/Sure Grip, 3.55 gears
Wheels/TiresFront: 15x7 Pacer Dragmart w/235/60-15 BFGRear: 15x8 Pacer Dragmart w/235/60-15 BFG tires