On a parts hunt, you never know what you'll find. Usually, it's something other than what you're looking for. Sometimes this can be a good thing, other times it can be a bad thing. Scott Shanks has an interesting story to tell us when he stumbled upon this '70 Challenger.
Back in 1995, Scott was looking for parts for another project car he had. He visited a long time Mopar collector to ogle his accumulation of parts and noticed a worn out convertible Challenger sitting in the garage. "It was actually being used as a doghouse, of all things," he jokes. He wanted to know a little about the Challenger and was told a brief history of how it came to be the home of a dog. It was wrecked in Oklahoma back in 1987 with damage sustained to the right front corner. Sometime between 1989 and 1993 the car was partially disassembled for a repair that never came.
Well, Fido was a little comfortable in his collector car sleeping quarters, and it wasn't for sale. "I continued to stop by for the next couple years and see if the car was for sale and that day finally came in 1997." The two men exchanged cash and Scott was on his way back to Gardner, Kansas, with a doghouse--err Challenger.
Scott was aware he purchased one helluva fix 'er upper, but he didn't see that as a bad thing. No, he viewed it as his invitation to build the car the way he wanted to. After brief thoughts of rebuilding it back to its original condition, Scott decided he would go all out. "I wanted to drive this one the way Dodge intended, hard!" He found himself daydreaming about how he would have ordered the car new, if it were 1970. "It was during one of these conversations that my wife suggested that I do it and do it right--she still regrets that last part," he jests.
He finally had a chance to go through the 16 boxes of miscellaneous parts that came with the E-Body, and, as luck would have it, they contained of most of the odd, hard-to-find convertible parts he needed. The project was off on a good foot.
When it came time to really dig into the car, Scott was a little reluctant. "Thankfully, this was my seventh Challenger, so I knew my way around them pretty well." However, he hadn't stripped one to a bare shell before and this was intimidating. He took his time and got her down to metal before blasting off the two coats of factory FJ5 paint to reveal a fairly solid car. "There was nothing wrong that a simple trunk and driver-side floor couldn't fix." He added a few little odds and ends, but the project was put on hold when he had a new baby girl and the family relocated to Florida.
In 2002, the Shanks family was living in Tallahassee, Forida, where Scott sent the car to Capital City Collision Center to have it painted. "I couldn't paint it green again and thought that this car should have a bold color, and I wanted to make it a modern Dodge color." After a short deliberation, Scott chose Viper Racing Yellow and black to accent it. A new black top was ordered from Year One, seat covers from Legendary, and the dash was sent to Just Dashes to be recovered.
The family then moved twice, stalling the project in its tracks. But once Scott was settled in after they finally moved back to Kansas, he set a goal to get the car finished as quickly as possible. In the time between his move to Florida, and back to Kansas, the hobby had taken a different direction. "A lot of emphasis was placed on handling and modern performance." With the new third-generation Hemi offering economy and power in a lightweight package, it seemed like the ideal choice for him.