Way back in 1991, a senior George Bush was president, the federal debt was $3598.5 billion, the New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills in the Super bowl, and Karl Ginter was a military man stationed at the Carlisle barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His car of choice was a '70 Six Barrel Road Runner. Karl and the Runner were frequent attendees at the local hotspots, but in 1992, his uncle, Sam that is, gave him the opportunity to see a strange new world. He was shipped to Korea and had to sell the car because he couldn't find suitable storage for it. after a year overseas, Karl was reassigned to the states and needed a car again.
It was 1993, and gas prices were on the way up, but Karl could not bring himself to own anything but a true American musclecar. He not only wanted a musclecar, he wanted what he felt was the mother of all musclecars-an E-Body Hemi-powered machine. He had a few stipulations for his perfect car: low mileage, documentation for the car proving its heritage and that it was cared for, and, of course, a high-impact color. Backing up the engine needed to be nothing less than a row-your-own four-gear selector. Another (relatively odd) requirement was the car could not have a Shaker hood. His reason for not wanting a Shaker hood-the engine is completely covered and unimpressive.
After an extensive two-year search, he found two ads in Hemming's Motor News for identical '70 Hemi-powered Challengers. Both were four-speed equipped, and both were matching numbers. Karl made arrangements to travel to the left coast and see both cars over the Labor Day weekend. Upon arriving at the location of the first Challenger, Karl was a little more than disappointed. He had traveled several thousand miles for a car that was not what it was advertised to be. It didn't have the numbers-matching engine block; there was very little paperwork; it was an automatic transmission-equipped car. So he jumped into another airplane and flew to Los Angeles to meet with car owner number two, Larry Scarth. Larry was into Super Gas racing and was apparently very good at it. And he liked good old American muscle. when Karl arrived, he found the Challenger parked among several COPO Camaros and a Hemi 'Cuda.
It took Karl several hours to completely check the car out, checking numbers, documentation, and so on. finally, the car was deemed legit. There were files of paperwork documenting the history of the car. This included the original dealer invoice, window sticker, broadcast sheet, operator's manual, and dealership brochures. The dry west coast weather had definitely dried out the interior because as soon as Karl sat in the driver seat to take it for a test drive, the seat cracked. But the sheetmetal and all components were original. With the deal completed, Larry also gave Karl a pair of N.O.S. AFB carbs for the car. Karl had the car shipped home to Pennsylvania, and the AFB carbs were Karl's carry-on for the flight home.
Karl drove the car on occasional weekends, while he spent the next 9 years tracing the history of the car, and looking for N.O.S. and date-coded parts to use for the restoration. During the historical trace of each of the car's owners, Karl called Kempthorn Motors in Canton, Ohio, where the car was purchased new. One of the original salesmen, Ray Harris, still works there. When Karl told him he had a '70 Hemi Challenger that was purchased there, Ray asked, "Is it green or orange?" When Karl told him it was orange, he said, "Oh that was the Howard Parks car. we only sold two Hemi cars: that car and one that was green." The search for N.O.S. parts lead Karl to the attics of dealerships across the U.S., Canada, and even Europe. he also spent many weekends at swap meets. Before Karl even began planning the restoration, he met a gentleman by the name of Roger Gibson. Karl was impressed with the way Roger paid attention to details, his ability to research cars, and the quality of his painting. But when Karl was ready to restore his car, he hit a snag. Roger had a 3 year waiting list.
According to Roger Gibson Restorations, this is the correct way to paint a Hemi. When comi
In order to get a quality, finished product, you gotta start with a good foundation. Karl'
In 1998, Karl's uncle Sam again gave him a ride to strange lands. This time Karl went to Germany, Bosnia, and Kosova. Since he was going to be gone for 3 years, automotive collector Frank Badalson kept Karl's car in safe storage.
In 2001, Karl returned to pick up the restoration process. The car was taken to Roger Gibson Restorations in Scott City, Missouri, and the task of a concours correct restoration began. The body was completely disassembled, all the parts bagged and tagged, and the sheetmetal sent out to be stripped of any paint and body filler. Since Karl did his homework before the purchase, everything was in good condition. The suspension was rebuilt using as many N.O.S. parts as possible. The rear end was refurbished, repainted, and even given the factory markings on the housing.
The engine was original and was given only the required machining to make it as good as factory new. remember the carbs Karl carried on the plane? They now found a home on the big Hemi. The exhaust, including the hangers, mufflers, resonators, and tips, are correct N.O.S. pieces. It's definitely a concours-correct restoration. Everything that could be reinstalled on the car for originality sake was, and items that needed replaced were swapped for N.O.S. parts. It took Karl 9 years to finally get his Challenger the way he wanted it, but thanks to his patience and the talent of Roger Gibson Restorations, the plan came together, and this Challenger was definitely worth the wait.
Owner: Karl Ginter, Frederick, Maryland
Body: '70 Challenger
Color: Hemi Orange (Sikkens)
Engine: 426 Hemi rebuilt to stock specs
Transmission: A-833 four-speed
Rearend: Dana 60 with Sure Grip and 4.10 gears (Super Track Pack)
Front: 15x7 Rallye wheels with F60-15 Polyglas tires
Rear: 15x7 Rallye wheels with F60-15 Polyglas tires
N.O.S. partsWoodgrain steering wheel, vinyl top, grille, bezels, headlamps, mufflers, resonators, exhaust hangers, tips, all lenses, side markers, carbs, power steering, brake booster and master cylinder, all chassis components and ball joints, shocks, center caps, wiper arms, belts, spark plug wires, distributor, alternator, brake drums, shock plates, rotors, trunk mat, and the list goes on.