The six-way-adjustable seat...
The six-way-adjustable seat (option code C62) was originally covered in factory black leather. Charles had Legendary Interiors whip up a matching skin for the rear bench when the buckets were recovered.
It wasn't until they started to restore the T/A that Charles realized the car had something special about it. A look at the fender tag revealed the Challenger was a rare V02-optioned car. The two-tone paint scheme distinguished the Challenger from others Charles had previously seen.
An e-mail from the Challenger T/A Registry's curator, Barry Washington, informed him of the Challenger's rarity: of the 1,150 T/A cars presently listed in the registry, the car is one of only two T/A cars registered with the V02 painted top. In addition, it was the only one listed as painted in EV2 Hemi Orange with the TX9 black top. Also, the Challenger would be only one of 949 four-speed T/A's ever built out of the 2,450 total.
The restoration process went smoothly enough once Charles and his youngest, Dave, dove into the required work. The dashpad was sent to Just Dashes; the AM/FM Multiplex radio and its R35 Deluxe radio package were boxed up and replaced with new in-dash speakers, a matching pair of 6x9 Infinity speakers, and an Alpine AM/FM/CD player. Another goodie listed on the factory buildsheet was the inclusion of the HRX9 deluxe leather seat option. This gave the car leather front bucket seats and included the carpeted door panel bottoms with red reflectors. Nothing earth shattering, but adding to its rarity all the same.
Though not sure of the Challenger's...
Though not sure of the Challenger's race history, the previous owner used the T/A as a cool cruiser.
When Charles called Legendary for new seat skins, he inquired about having a rear bench cover made from the same material. While the seats were on the workbench, the frames were cleaned and painted, and the six-way-adjustable driver seat frame was rebuilt. The door panels were given a good cleaning, and a new package tray and headliner was all that was needed to finish off the cabin.
The needed bodywork was minimal. The car had no major dents or rust that needed to be mended. it was coated in fresh PPG basecoat/clear paint.
When it came time to get the running gear in top shape, Charles went to Precision Motor Werks in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The 340's cylinders were bored .040-over and filled with new pistons connected to Eagle rods. A Comp Cam XE268H camshaft was chosen. The ground crankshaft was balanced, while the heads received the royal treatment-a three-angle competition valve job. The final result was a nice 9.8:1 compression ratio with a combustion chamber volume of 67 cc. Using the stock cast-iron manifolds, the 340 made an eager 356 hp at 5,800 rpm. The ignition was upgraded to a new Mopar Performance electronic unit.
While the engine was under construction, Charles and Dave went to work replacing all the front-end components, as well as installing all new fuel lines, brake lines, gas tank, and brakes. The Chesna boys sent the manual steering box to Firm Feel, while the rearend and A833 four-speed went off to a local builder to be freshened up. Once returned, the crash box and rear were reinstalled under the E-Body, completing the package.
Finally assembled, Charles handed the keys to his youngest son. Dave's extremely rare T/A is easily one of the greatest examples of being in the right place at the right time (and having the right dad).